How to Prepare Your Grocer Bouquet When You Get Home

Purple Calla

[Purple calla from a grocer bouquet]

First thing– before you get home- while you’re at the flower vendor, grab more packets of floral preservative.  See my post “Floral Preservative – Don’t Skip It” (http://floraphilia.net/?p=432) for more info.

With that out of the way, when you get home, cut away (don’t pull) any plastic or paper wrap.  Using a paring knife, re-cut about an inch off of all the stems while they are submerged under warm water.  Try not to use scissors because with tender flower stems you are reducing the ability of the cells to absorb/uptake water by mashing and compacting the stem.  Instead, take a paring knife and cleanly slice the stems at an angle. Cutting under water eliminates the potential for air pockets to form; air pockets will prevent full hydration.   Next, remove only leaves that will be submerged in the container water.  Unless you are working with hydrangeas or lilacs, don’t remove every single leaf because this reduces the flower’s overall ability to rehydrate.  Leaves above water help flowers hydrate.  Tender leaves underwater tend to decay very quickly and will promote flower rot.  Exceptions: for Hydrangeas and lilacs, you need to make sure to remove every leaf to ensure hydration to the blossom and to prevent rapid wilt.

For roses, remove thorns and the guard petals (if still not yet removed). Removing the guard petals, (dull, papery petals) will reveal the velvety, saturated petals of the rose beneath.

Use a sanitized container.  Use a preservative.   As blossoms fade, remove them.  Daily, add water or change it if it is cloudy and add a correct preservative solution.

Most flowers will need a floral preservative, which is mostly a concoction of sugar and an anti-bacterial agent; however, if you are dealing with solely orchids or tropicals, there is no need to use a preservative.  Just make sure you keep the water fresh and your flowers should last carefree for at least a couple of weeks.

Also, be sure to keep your flowers away from any ripening fruit.  See my “Don’t Mix Flowers and Fruit” post (http://floraphilia.net/?p=336) for more info.

To see tips on how to select the best bouquets, see my other post “More Fresh Flower Tips” (http://floraphilia.net/?p=342).

Most of all, enjoy!

First thing– before you get home- at the flower vendor, grab more packets of floral preservative.  One

packet is never enough and will make a weak solution that will actually accelerate flower demise.

Typically, the 1×1 inch preservative packets make a half-quart solution, and your average vase is one quart

in volume.  This means you will probably need at least two bags of the standard 100 gram pack preservative.

Look at the back of your package, it should tell you how much volume of water to use and pick up enough bags

of preservative to accommodate your container.  Using too little preservative is worse than using nothing,

so if you don’t have enough preservative, it’s better to use none at all. If you have extra solution, use it

to top off your water level or for water changes throughout the week.

With that out of the way, when you get home, cutaway, (don’t pull) any plastic or paper wrap.  Using a

paring knife, re-cut about an inch off of all the stems while they are submerged under warm water.  Try not

to use scissors because with tender flower stems you are reducing the ability of the cells to absorb/uptake

water by mashing and compacting the stem.
Instead, take a paring knife and cleanly slice the stems at an angle.
Cutting under water eliminates the potential for air pockets to form; air pockets will prevent full

hydration.   Next, remove only leaves that will be submerged in the container water.  Unless you are working

with hydrangeas or lilacs, don’t remove every single leaf because this reduces the flower’s overall ability

to rehydrate.  Leaves above water help flowers hydrate.  Tender leaves underwater tend to decay very quickly

and will promote flower rot.  Exceptions: for Hydrangeas and lilacs, you need to make sure to remove every

leaf to ensure hydration to blossom and prevent wilt.

For roses, remove thorns and the guard petals (if still not yet removed). Removing the guard petals,

(dullish, papery petals) will reveal the velvety, saturated petals of the rose beneath.

Start with a sanitized container. Use a preservative.   As blossoms fade, remove them.  Daily, add water or

change it if it is cloudy and add a correct preservative solution.

Most flowers will need a floral preservative, which is mostly a concoction of sugar and anti-bacterial

agents; however, if you are dealing with orchids, there is no need to use a preservative.  Just make sure

you keep the water fresh and the orchids should last for at least a couple of weeks.

Also, be sure to keep your flowers away from any ripening fruit.  See my “Don’t Mix Fresh-cut Flowers and

Fruit” post at http://floraphilia.net/?p=336 for more info.

To see tips on how to select the best bouquets, see my other post “More Fresh Flower Tips”

(http://floraphilia.net/?p=342).

Most of all, enjoy!

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This entry was posted on 021200H Aug 2010 and is filed under Calla, fresh-cut flower care. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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