Caring for Your Floral Gift
Cut Flower Arrangements
We know they can't last forever, but a few simple techniques can
really extend the life of your fresh flowers:

-Change the water daily, adding a cut-flower food powder or a
little Sprite or 7UP to provide sucrose and citric acid.

-Every other day, cut about an inch off the end of each stem
using a sharp knife and cutting diagonally.

-Since different varieties have different life spans, as some blooms
fade, just toss those away, and scale down what's left, using a
smaller container. In a pinch, a drinking glass, jelly jar, or mug
can house your new version!

Cut Flower Baskets

Your basket creation comes with the flowers arranged in a special
water-retaining floral foam (Oasis) in a water-proof basket liner.

-Re-cutting the stems may prove inconvenient, but it is very important to keep the foam saturated with water. Just fill the liner to the top, and the foam will absorb all it can.

-The other suggestions in the above section apply here, too.

-Note: Due to spills, the basket itself may be damp...please be
careful to set it on a surface which won't sustain water damage!

Mixed Plantings

Green plants generally prefer bright light, but avoid direct sun except in the early morning. An east-facing window is the best, but a southern or western exposure
is fine provided there is some filtering by a sheer curtain or a tree outside.

-Keep soil moist (like a squeezed-out sponge), but NEVER soggy.

-Fertilize using a water-soluable fertilizer. Follow package instructions, but don't
over-do. Small potted plants need less nutrition than their cousins growing
outdoors with bigger root systems and brighter light.

-These plants are tropicals, and may do best in a sheltered location outdoors,
provided you bring them in during the occasional South Florida "cold snap."

Orchid Plants

Despite their delicate appearance, orchids are actually pretty tough. Most bloom once a year, and those blooms may, depending on the species, last as much as 6-8 weeks!

-Your blooming plant may be placed anywhere providing you avoid
direct midday sun and chilly drafts from air conditioners.

-Water VERY SPARINGLY. The #1 killer of domestic orchids is over-
watering. Once a week is usually plenty, and even then, just lightly
dampen roots and potting medium.

-After blooms fade, snip the blossom stems off near the crown, and water even less for about a month.

While perfect growing conditions vary from one species or hybrid to another, most will thrive
given a few basic requirements: bright filtered light, light watering, and monthly feeding using a
commercial water-soluable plant food diluted to half the normal concentration. In South Florida,
many orchids do best outdoors; many even thrive if simply attatched to the bark of a shady
tree and left alone!

Bulb Plants

Generally, just follow the same guidelines as for mixed plantings,
above, but cooler locations are better to prolong bloom life
of bulb plants.

In our climate, most bulbs will not thrive without intensive climate control, and therefore will not be worth keeping after
the current blooming cycle.

One notable exception is amaryllis, which may be planted in your
garden or kept in its pot and placed outdoors.

Bromeliads

Your bromeliad will enjoy a fairly warm location and bright
filtered light, but will also tolerate low-light situations for
several weeks.

Let the potting medium dry out somewhat before watering , but
always keep fresh water in the "cup" of the plant.

These plants do well outdoors in filtered light, and their offshoots
(pups) may be cut off and repotted to start new plants.

Use a water-soluable fertilizer with a light touch.

Gloxinia

Like most flowering plants, Gloxinias like plenty of bright light,
but not direct sun. They like it warm as well, blooming best in
temperatures of 70 degrees or more.

Never allow them to become waterlogged: they grow from tubers
which store some water. Just wait until soil becomes dry to the
touch before giving them a good drink.

Use a water-soluable fertilizer (one especially made for blooming
plants is best) to enjoy a long blossoming period.