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Flower Care and Handling
Arranging a Bouquet of Flowers
Start by choosing blooms that are just starting to open. Be sure that stems are firm and that the petals look healthy. Pull off any leaves that will be covered by water when the stems are in the vase. Then submerge the stems in water and cut them diagonally with a scissors.

Select a vase that has a neck and water reservoir large enough to hold the flowers comfortably. Add a packet of flower food to the warm water in the vase and begin arranging. Insert stems of foliage and filler flowers first. Crisscross the stems as you insert them to form a grid that will hold the other flowers in place. Start at the vase's rim and work toward the center when you add other flowers, placing the longest stems in the center of your bouquet.

A note about floral food: Floral food is a combination of additives that help to nourish the flowers and discourage bacteria from growing in the water. It is one of the best and easiest ways to extend the life of your flowers. It is very important to follow the directions on the package correctly. Improperly mixed floral food can do more harm than good.

Care and Handling of Arrangement
Certain varieties of cut flowers last longer than others. Carnations, for example, can remain vibrant for long periods. Roses have a shorter vase life, but are prized for their special and delicate beauty. When buying flowers, be sure to ask your florist how long you should expect your arrangement to last. Whatever variety you choose, a little TLC will go a long way to keep your blooms looking fresh longer. Here are a few handy tips that can help add days to their beauty!
  • Keep them in a cool spot (65-72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents and direct drafts from ceiling fans.
  • Arrangements should not be placed on electrical appliances such as televisions and stereos to avoid dehydration.
  • Water should be added to baskets and containers daily.
  • Vase water should be added to daily and changed every other day with stems being re-cut to increase longevity.
  • If water becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. If possible, recut the by removing one to two inches. Remove leaves that will be below the waterline.

For a longer lasting arrangement, choose bouquets with the following flowers:
- Alstromeria - five to ten days
- Lilies - five to ten days
- Carnations - seven to fourteen days
- Spray mums - seven to fourteen days
- Dendrobium orchids - five to ten days

Helping Problem Flowers

Roses
-
Remove all roses from the vase.
- Immerse the stems in several inches of lukewarm water.
- While stems are under water, cut off one inch using a sharp knife or scissors.
- Leave stems submerged for 30 to 60 minutes until the stems return to a straightened position.
- Transfer the roses immediately to a vase filled with lukewarm water and one half package of floral preservative.
- Check the water level daily.
- Remove one or two outer rose petals when necessary to improve appearance.

Lilies

- Removing stamens (the pollen heads) from the blooms as they open will increase the life of the flower as well as remove the risk of staining furniture and clothing.
- Cutting faded blooms will aid in the opening of smaller blossoms.
- These take in a lot of water. Check level daily.

Tulips
- A penny or two in the bottom of the vase will help drooping tulips stand up.
- Many tulip varieties open very quickly but will hold an open blossom for two or three more days.

Gladiolas
- Snapping the tops of gladiolas off will help open up lower blossoms quicker. 
- Removing faded lower blossoms helps the higher blossoms open.

Caring for Poinsettias: The Classic Holiday Plant

Choose a spot for display

  • Keep poinsettias in indoor environments that range between 18° - 21° C.
  • Avoid placing your plants in a chilly, drafty spot such as by the front door or near a heat source inside your home.
  • Poinsettias are the perfect houseplant for the holiday season. They are ideal as a holiday dinner table centrepiece, as an accent in any room, or as a gift for the holiday host or hostess

With proper care, the beautiful, colourful blooms on these traditional holiday houseplants will last right through Christmas and well into the new year.

  • When in bloom, poinsettias need at least 6 hours of indirect light every day.
  • Allow the plant to dry out between waterings and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot. Remove the plant from watertight decorative containers when watering.
  • Mist poinsettias regularly and if possible, keep them in a humid environment.
  • Don’t fertilize your plant while it’s blooming.
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