There is no doubt that a beautiful fresh flower arrangement adds beauty and elegance to the decor of a home. Knowing some unique ways to help keep the cut flowers fresh, speed up the assembly of the arrangement and enhance the appearance of the finished design will make the flower arrangement look more professional.
Ways to Retain the Freshness of Cut Flowers
- If the flowers are being cut from the garden carry them in a heads-down position. This will ensure that heavy-headed flowers will not snap off.
- Lay the flowers flat on a sheet of newspaper and wrap them into a bunch. Place the bunch in tepid water for up to five hours or overnight to condition them.
- To reduce underwater decay, strip the stems of all the foliage that fall below the water line.
- Prolong the freshness of an arrangement by spraying the flowers with tepid water morning and night.
Flowers with Woody Stems
- Preserve or revive flowers with woody stems by softly pounding the bottom two inches of the stem prior to putting them in water.
- Ensure woody stemmed flowers absorb enough water by paring off the bark from the bottom two inches and crosscut the stems.
Flowers with Soft Stems and Heavy Heads
- Stems of flowers such as Gerberas can be strengthened by wrapping thin wire around the length of the stem.
- The bent stem of a heavy-headed flower can be repaired by pushing a toothpick through the centre of the flower and into the stem.
Rapid Opening Flowers
Flowers such as Roses, Tulips and Lilies tend to open rapidly in warm weather. To avoid blooms from opening while arranging, use sticky tape to lightly keep the petals together. Remove the tape shortly before the arrangement is displayed.
Securing of Flowers and Foliage in the Container
There are various materials that can be used to secure the flowers and leaves in the container. The type of base used will be dictated to by the size and shape of the vase and the variety of the flowers used.
The most common types of bases are:
- Oasis- a green ‘sponge-like’ material which has to be well soaked (preferably overnight) into which flowers and foliage can be inserted. These usually come in rectangular blocks but can be easily cut into any desired shape. Using oasis has the added advantage of not having to use excessive amounts of water since the oasis itself is saturated with water.
- Pinhoder- a small heavy base with spikes sticking up. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The stems of flowers and leaves can be secured on to the spikes.
- Chicken wire- crumpled chicken wire is useful if the vase used for the arrangement is tall or very large. The stems of the flowers are inserted into the holes in the chicken wire.
Knowing the little tricks of the trade can help to achieve a more professional finish to the fresh flower arrangement.