A vase of sweet-smelling flowers or a lovely, healthy pot-plant can make such a difference to the interior of one’s home. Unfortunately, cut flowers fade and die quickly and pot-plants often lose their lustre when growing inside; however, with a little care, cut flowers can last longer and pot-plants will retain their lush appearance if these few simple tips are followed.
When arranging flowers, it is not always necessary to have an expensive vase. A single, long-stemmed flower such as a rose or a daisy, inserted in an unusual bottle, makes a great statement – or, how about putting a bunch of lavender in a pretty tin from a by-gone era? A posy of tiny roses in an antique cup and saucer will also enhance any table.
Tips for keeping cut flowers fresh
- If picking flowers from your garden, pick them in the early morning or early evening. Wrap the stems in damp paper or put them straight into water if you can’t arrange them immediately.
- Before arranging, cut the stems at a 45 degree angle and put the flowers into a bucket of tepid water. Allow them to stand in the water for a few hours so that the stems can soak up as much water as possible – this will keep the flowers fresh for a longer period.
- Before arranging the flowers, remove all the leaves that would be under water in the vase. Removing the leaves will prevent the water from getting cloudy.
- To prolong the life of your arrangement, keep it away from heaters, fans, air conditioners, draughts and direct sunlight.
- Wilted blooms can sometimes be rejuvenated by re-cutting the stems and immersing them in warm water for a couple of hours.
Keeping the flowers upright in the vase
If you don’t have the florists’ oasis to put in the vase to keep the flowers upright, try these ideas:
- Put glass marbles in a net bag and place it at the bottom of the vase. The marbles will hold the stem in place.
- When arranging long-stemmed flowers in a wide-necked vase, place a piece of wire netting over the neck of the vase and press the wire firmly around the sides of the vase. Place the stems in the spaces of the netting.
- Take several plastic hair rollers and twist a rubber band around them. Place them upright in the bottom of the vase and put the stems in the individual rollers. (Don’t use a transparent vase, as the rollers will be seen).
- Keep the leaves of pot-plants in pristine condition by cleaning them with a soft, damp cloth.
- If the plant is not doing too well, it may be root-bound. If the roots are in a tight ball, the plant needs to be re-potted.
- When re-potting, put the plant in a pot only one size bigger that the one it has been in. If put in a much bigger pot, the plant will take a long time to adjust.
- If a hanging pot-plant does not have a drip saucer, put a plastic shower cap over the bottom of the pot when watering it – the cap will catch all the drips.
- To keep a pot-plant watered while away on holiday, water the plant well, then put a plastic bag over the entire plant and tie it securely at the top. The plastic bag will produce humidity which will keep the plant moist.
These few practical hints should ensure that you get the most out of both your beautiful flower arrangements and your pot-plant with its shiny foliage.
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