10 Ways To Extend The Life Of Fresh-Cut Flowers Like a Professional
by: Janet Arango
1. Florists realize the virtue of cutting flower stems under water before transferring them from bucket to vase. When flower and foliage stems are exposed to air they will immediately begin to seal up inhibiting the absorption of much needed nutrients. Secondly, when fresh cut stems are exposed to air, bubbles of air become trapped in the stems, preventing the steady flow of water to uptake through the stem.
2. Florists and commercial growers use lukewarm water for their cut flowers. The water temperature should be comfortable to the wrist, approximately 100°F to 110°F. Theobject is to facilitate the water and nutrients to get to the head of the flower as quickly as possible. Warm water molecules move faster than cold water molecules and thus will greatly enhance the absorption process. The one exception to this rule is bulb flowers, such as tulips, tend to thrive in cooler water.
3. Florists know that a well balanced preservative solution drastically increases the longevity of cut flowers. Under normal circumstances, the plant will supply what the flower needs; however, when severed, the flower becomes immediately deprived of these essential nutrients. Commercial preservatives offer a form of these nutrients to the cut flower. Such solutions contain sugar for nutrition, antibiotics to fight bacteria, and citric acid to add necessary acidity to the water. When using a commercially produced or homemade preservative, always be two dozen white roses sure to use the recommended measurements. The recipe included with this article offers the same preservative properties found in most commercial brands, and is extremely effective in prolonging the vase life.
Flower Preservative Recipe:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon bleach
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1 quart lukewarm water
4. Florists know that clean, bacteria free, shears or clippers, made specifically for cutting plant stems vastly improves a flower's ability to uptake fluids. Using ordinary scissors, made for cutting fabric or paper will crush the flower's vascular system, and prevent proper water uptake. A bulkier gauge tool, designed for cutting stems, will create a sharper cut, causing less damage search engines to the stems delicate vain system.
5. Florists realize the advantages of cutting flowers and foliage at an angle and approximately one inch up from the bottom of the main stem. Cutting a 45 degree angle near the bottom of the stem provides a larger, more exposed area for the uptake of the water. In addition, the angle also enables the stem to stand on a point, allowing the water to be in contact with more of the cut surface.
6. Florists are aware that recutting limp flowers enables the stem to readily absorb more water. A fresh cut will open the veins up allowing the flower stem to absorb necessary nutrients.
7. Florists are aware that keeping fresh cut flowers away from drafts, direct sunlight, and ripening fruit drastically prolongs the longevity of a bouquet . Ripening fruit emits ethylene gas, which encourages poor petal color, discourages petals from opening, and shortens the overall vase life of a bouquet. In addition, direct sunlight and drafts are also major culprits in shortening the life and beauty of a fresh flower bouquet.
8. Florists know that keeping the Oasis foam clean, fresh and soaking in preservative treated water extends the vase life of a floral arrangement. If your bouquet arrives in wet Oasis foam, keep the floral foam soaking wet by adding a small amount of preservative treated water each day. In addition if, after a few days, the Oasis is carefully removed (while keeping the flower stems inside the Oasis), and allowed to drain for only a few minutes, then placed back in a clean vase with fresh preservative treated water, the bouquet's life can last far beyond the normally expected vase life.
9. Florists know that the stems of hollow-stemmed flowers will benefit thanksgiving centerpieces with candles from being manually filled with water. Simply turn the flower upside down and pour water into the open cavity of the stalk. To keep the liquid in, plug the stem with a small piece of cotton, then place it in the vase, or place your thumb over the opening at the bottom of the stem and place it in the water. The water trapped inside will keep the stem strong and straight.
10. Florists understand the advantages of removing excess foliage and dieing, wilted blooms. By removing all the lower foliage when initially creating a bouquet, and by tossing the dead flowers as they begin to die, the vase life of an arrangement can be lengthened or even doubled. Changing the water, adding the correct amounts of new preservative, and rearranging the bouquet to compensate for any loss, will also lengthen the cut flower's general appearance and overall freshness. Simply by taking simple steps to freshen the bouquet, retarding the bacterial growth, you can increase the beauty and life of a bouquet while also creating a bright, appealing floral arrangement that will last well beyond its anticipated expiration
"Simply put, the quiet residential neighborhood of West Hayden Estates First Addition is not an appropriate location for such activities," he wrote.
It takes about three months to install all the lights and the decorations - so the Morrises are already hauling out the holly and reindeer and other holiday accessories.
"Dolly the Camel is not an ordinary household pet and is not allowed to be kept on your property for any period of time," the attorney wrote.
Folks travel from all over town to experience the larger-than-life Christmas display - and spectators say it is indeed something to behold.
Hence, the war on Christmas in Autumn.
It seems to me the homeowners association has a legitimate concern about crowds and traffic and livestock. But I suspect this has more to do with Christianity than camels.
To be fair, the Bible does not mention a cat or hamster being present at the Nativity.
"Your event will be offensive to the senses and will interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of your neighbors' private property rights," Poorman wrote.
Folks, I love Christmas as much as the next guy -- but I'm not too sure I'd have much holiday cheer if there was a camel munching on my mistletoe.
I live in the United States," he said. "I live in the state of Idaho - where we are supposed to still have some religious freedom. And if I want to witness to people on my driveway or on my lawn, that's my right."
Think Clark Griswald on steroids.
"I am somewhat hesitant in bringing up the fact that some of our residents are non-Christians or of another faith and I don't even want to think of the problems that could bring up," the letter read.
Jeremy Morris, of Hayden, Idaho, loves to go all out for Christmas.
Last year, he purchased a home in their neighborhood - with hopes of making his annual holiday event bigger and better.
But the West Hayden Estates First Addition Homeowners Association does not share Jeremy's yuletide cheer.
Jeremy tells me he has no intention of taking down a single piece of tinsel.
The homeowners association did not return my telephone calls, but it seems like the Baby Jesus really jingled their bells.
Santa Claus -- a nuisance? Whoever would have thought?
Santa Claus -- a nuisance? Whoever would have thought?
"Their real agenda is to attack Christians," he said. "This is about hostility towards people of faith. I have certain religious beliefs that I hold dear to my heart. We wanted to help people in the community and promote Christmas as the Christian holiday it's always been."
The HOA objected to the lavish display and put Jeremy on their naughty list.
His https://www.diigo.com/profile/floristil annual Christmas display includes tens of thousands of lights, a Living Nativity, a 22-voice choir and a camel named Dolly.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.
They were especially upset about the religious nature of Jeremy's display - as noted in a certified letter he said he received from the homeowner's association board.
Attorney Scott Poorman fired off another letter on Oct. 26 demanding that Jeremy and his wife take down their display or else face the wrath of a lawsuit.
He also uses the Christmas display to raise money for the families of cancer patients as well as a local organization that helps homeless children.
His letter did not mention folks who might take offense at the Christians - but he did claim the family violated a number of other rules and regulations.
The attorney feared the bright lights, loud music, choirs, zoo animals and Santa Claus would cause all sorts of helter-skelter in the neighborhood.
And the board really took issue with Dolly the Camel.
"Your planned event will be a nuisance to the entire neighborhood," he wrote.
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Transcript for Hero Florist Says Haircut, License Plate Helped Her Spot Dylann Roof
We heard interest that hero florist shop worker who spotted the suspect and Debbie Dills joins us live right now from Shelby, North Carolina along with police chief of Shelby, Jeffrey Ledford. Thank you both for being with us this morning and Debbie, let me start with you. Thank goodness that you saw something and you acted upon it. Just take us back to yesterday, what you saw. I was just on my way to work and had been watching a lot of the news coverage, started the night before and had been really thinking and praying about the people there and how horrific what happened to them was and I just can't imagine, I can't imagine in my heart of hears what was going on with them but I was just on my way to work and I had seen a lot of the coverage and I had seen pictures of the car and pictures of the young man and I just looked over and noticed the car and I couldn't figure out really why I was looking at it and then I realized I seen the car. I seen the South Carolina state -- the license plate on the car and then I seen the haircut, the things that, you know the news was telling us to look for or to look at and then I didn't want to believe it was him but turned out it was him. And you followed him for more than 30 miles. What were you doing -- were you concerned that he might notice that you were following him? I didn't follow him directly. I got off of the entrance and come back to -- I started back to the floral shop and called my boss. Who he's the one, Todd, the owner here is the one who guided me through and called the police and stayed on the phone for while I got back out on tobypass to follow him to see if I could get his tag number and everything. Oh, my goodness. Chief Ledford, when your office received the call what did you all do? Well, once the call came in, she told us where she was in the city then we were able to get our cars over to her, of course, at that point flower shops they followed in behind him, identified the car, make sure we got the right one and that's when they did their stop. Did the officers say how the suspect, how he reacted if he said anything? Was very cooperative the entire stop, no problems, no issues. He went peacefully so we had no problem with that part at all. Chief Ledford, many people were touched that before you addressed the media there that you called for church leaders to come, that you called for other community leaders to be there. Why was that important to you, sir? We did that after this got started. We're fortunate. We have a coalition locally, faith-based partnership, so to speak, so I had put something out to them, it had already gotten to the media, so I sent something out to a lot of our local clergy and said here's what we've got, first off we ask them, you know, keep our staff and the folks in Charleston in your thoughts and in your prayers and told them if they wanted to come up we'd be more than happy to have you, so they came up and were a tremendous asset to us, not only from a staff standpoint but from people who were coming to the department in the parking lot, obviously they had questions, emotions were up and down, so just having the whole community there along with us was important and it turned out to be a big payoff. It was very powerful, chief. It really was, chief Ledford, thank you. Debbie, bless your heart. I mean this is the person everyone was looking for. We're always told as citizens if you see something, do something and you did just that. Many were fearful of what he could possibly do next. So I know that was of concern to you, as well. So, Debbie, thank you. Chief Ledford, thank you very much. Our best to everybody there. Thank you. Thank you. You take care.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.
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