Gerties Bloomers
 

Gertie's Guide To Helping Your Arrangement Last Longer

if your arrangement is standing in foam, keep it wet at all times - don't let it dry out. The coloured foam dries out more quickly than the normal green, and should be moistened every day.

keep the container in which the foam is standing topped up with water. If it is awkward to apply water (with can or jug): every day place a couple of ice cubes (depending on area of foam) low down amongst the plant material, and they will melt without creating messy spillage.

if the flowers are in a vase/jar, keep the water topped up and clear

when topping up any container, warm water moves more quickly up stems than cold, therefore use warm water if possible

it also helps to spray the arrangement every day

keep arrangements away from draughts and/or direct sources of heat (eg radiators)

if possible keep flowers away from fruit which gives off ethylene gas which hastens ripening, thus shortening the life of blooms

sometimes material (foliage or flowers) might wilt through lack of water (for example heads of roses will droop). This is often caused by an air-lock, which should then be released:

remove from water/foam

re-cut stem at an angle, under hot running water

stand in 2" of boiling water

count to 30 and then put into cold water and watch the bubbles come out

replace in arrangement

if your arrangement contains lit candles, make sure that you don’t let them burn down to the level of the plant material; and that you don't leave them unattended (especially when you retire at night)

plant food - used to prolong the life of cut material….

contains mild disinfectant to stop build-up of bacteria in water

contains sugar (up to 95%) in the form of saccharose and glucose (however sugar is an ideal environment for bacteria, hence the need for disinfectant)

raises the acidity of the water, which helps its uptake and decreases chances of air-locks

stabilises colour of flowers

the following can be added to water in lieu of proprietary plant food:

lemonade (+ disinfectant, eg. bleach)

gin or vodka

aspirin

pennies

and finally - if practicable - keep your arrangement somewhere cool (in your garage or even in your fridge if there's room) when it's not on display or at night, especially when the central heating is on