Fresh flower care and handling tips

If your roses are arranged in a vase:
Change the water every 2 days, or when water appears cloudy.  Use the provided flower food according to directions.
If your roses are in water tubes:
Fill a sink with 3" of tepid water, remove the tubes and cut the stem under water.  Arrange in a clean vase with fresh, tepid water, following the instructions on the packet of provided flower food.
If one of your roses appears wilted:
When any flower wilts prematurely, it is a sign that the flower is not getting water up the stem.  This happens to very fresh roses, and can easily be fixed.  Fill a sink or tub with 3" of tepid water.  Cut the stem under water, and then lay the rose in the water for approximately 1 hour.  The rose will revive beautifully!
Location - Hang your basket in an area that receives at least 5 hours of direct sunlight.  During the hotter months, it is beneficial to provide shade during the hot afternoon hours.  In areas where only part of the porch receives direct sun, the pot should be rotated once a week to ensure even growth and flowering.

Watering -  It is very important to keep the soil from completely drying out.  Plants should be watered thoroughly, so that some water flows from the bottom of the pot.  In cooler months, one thorough watering in the month is usually sufficient.  During the heat of the summer, two to three waterings a day will be required.

Fertilization - Common fertilizers such as Miracle Gro, Peters and Jack's should be applied two or three times a week, using the label recommended rate.  In general, 1 teaspoon per gallon, several times a week will provide adequate nutrition.  It is very important to allow some water to drain from the pot when watering between feedings.  This washes out any excess harmful salts that may build up after repeated fertilization.

Plant Care - The plants used in hanging baskets respond very well to pruning.  If flowering stops, or have been damaged by drying out, they can be cut back to stimulate new growth and flowers.  Simply trim them back to the edge of the pot with scissors or pruning shears.  Remember to also cut back the upright growth between the hangers.  Give the basket a good feeding, keep watered and in a few weeks, the basket will once again be full and colorful.


General Care Information
Vase Arrangement — To keep your flowers looking their best, be sure to add fresh water upon arrival and re-cut stems approximately 2-3 days later. Re-cut the stems under water and remember to also replace water, and add preservative (flower food). These measures will ensure you get the maximum enjoyment from your fresh flowers.

Container Arrangement — (Basket, Ceramic,etc.) -Flowers in these containers usually are arranged in a floral foam-to keep your flowers looking their best, make sure to add water upon arrival. Check the foam on a daily basis to make sure it is moist (if it feels dry to the touch, add water carefully and slowly ).

Plants — Water when the soil is dry to the touch, but don't over water and don't let plants sit in water as this leads to root rot. Recommended containers have drain holes on the bottom so water will give the plant the nourishment it requires without drowning the roots. Fertilize with houseplant food following your florist's directions or the directions provided on the packaging. Most plants require moderate temperatures and medium light, but check specific care and handling tips provided by your florist as ideal conditions vary from plant to plant.

Silk and Dried Flowers — To prevent fading, keep these items out of direct sunlight. To keep these items looking their best, dust them occasionally with a small brush and by blowing. If you are going to store them for an extended time, use a plastic bag and place in a crush proof box.

Corsages and Bouquets — For optimal display, wear with stems down. Keep in original package in cool place-DO NOT PLACE IN FREEZER. To keep flowers-other than orchids-looking fresh, sprinkle or mist them with water.

Fruit Baskets — Although wrapped in beautiful trimmings, please remove the wrappings immediately. Fruit should be stored at room temperature until it is ripe, then refrigerate.

Boxed Flowers — If stems are in tubes, carefully remove them. Re-cut stems and place the flowers in a clean container with warm water and floral preservative. Remove any extra greenery from below the waterline to prevent foliage rotting. Replace with fresh water and floral preservatives daily. It is not necessary to completely fill a container, just place enough water in the container for the stems to drink.

If a rose should wilt prematurely, remove it from the arrangement. Submerge the flower completely in warm water. Cut the stem near the bottom and leave the whole flower under water for 1 hour. The rose should revive and last as long as if it never wilted. Premature wilting is a sign of a very fresh rose that has not had adequate water.

Keep all flowers away from direct sunlight and away from cold drafts. With these tips, your fresh flowers will bring enjoyment for many days.

Popular Name: Alstroemeria, Peruvian Lily, Inca Lily
Botanical Name: Alstroemeria Pelegrina (al-stro-MEAR-ee-ah peli-GRl-nah)
Form & Size: Leafy stems 12-36 inches (30-91 cm) long with terminal clusters of delicate trumpet-like flowers about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, somewhat resembling orchids and lilies.
Vase Life: 7-14 days, with individual flowers in a cluster opening and lasting from 6 to 7 days.
Availability: Year-round with peak supplies May through June.
Care and Handling
  • Temperature control is essential---keep them cool!
  • Recut stems and remove lower leaves; keep them cool, especially at night; keep away from heat sources and drafts, replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days; remove dying florets.
  • Leaves often yellow and die, not lasting as long as the flowers. To help prevent, remove lower leaves when conditioning.
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Popular Name: Anthurium, Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flower
Botanical Name: Anthurium Andraeanum (an-THUR-ee-um an-dree-AH-num)
Colors: Red and orange predominate, with increasing numbers of pink and white also available, all having a whitish spadix (tail).
Form & Size: The stiff, waxy, heart-shaped 'flowers' are actually bracts which surround the protruding "tail" or spike of true flowers. Bracts vary in length from 3-6inches (7-15 cm). Miniature varieties, such as the Butterfly anthurium, are also available.
Vase Life: 14-28 days---outstanding lasting qualities! Longevity is promoted by use of cut flower preservative.
Availability: Year-round. Order in advance to insure supplies of certain varieties.
Care & Handling Keep away from extreme hot or cold; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days; recut stems, particularly if wilting; place flower heads (bracts) in deep cool water to help wilted flowers regain turgidity (stiffness).
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Antirrhinum Majus

Popular Name:


Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus (an-ti-RY-num MAY-jus)
Colors: A variety of colors are available, with white, yellow and light pink being most common. Dark pink, red, bronze and lavender shades are also popular.
Form & Size: Flower spikes have individual florets along the stem that can be pinched to open and close, thus the name "snapdragon". Individual florets are up to 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) long. Spike length around 10 inches (25 cm); with total height varying from 15-45 inches (38-113 cm), depending on variety and growing conditions.
Vase Life: 5-8 days, depending on environmental conditions. Life can be doubled when STS conditioning and floral preservative are used.
Care & Handling
  • Re-cut stems; keep cool---especially at night; keep away from heat sources and drafts; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days.
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Popular Name: Aster, China Aster, Bachelor Button, Cornflower, Celosia Cockscomb, Plumed Celosia
Botanical Name:
Callistephus chinensis (koll-is-TEEF-us kin-ENS-is)
Centaurea cyanus (sen-TOR-ee-a sy-AN-us)
Celosia argentea 'Cristata' (si-LOZ-ee-yah ar-GEN-tee-ah)
Celosia argentea 'Plumosa'
Colors: Aster: White, red, pink, lavender and purple

Blue, pink, white, and lavender

Celosia Cockscomb:
White and light yellow to pink, red and purple.

Plumed Celosia:
Usually shades of red and gold with foliage in green or bronze.

Form & Size:


Aster: a whorl of bright. coarse textured petals set off around a light center. Flowers single, semi-double or double with heads 2-4 inches across (5-10 cm), on leafy stems with length 8-15 inches (20-38 cm).



Slender leafy stems covered with gray-green foliage. Flowers in round heads; carnation-like at tops of the stems.


Cockscomb: Uniquely formed flat, velvety ruffled head is brilliantly colored. Actual flowers are congested into these crested masses.


Flowers arranged in brilliantly colored feathery plumes.

Vase Life: Aster: 5 -10 days
Cornflower: 4 - 5 days
Celosia: 5 - 10 days


Vase life depends on production conditions and temperature and other environmental factors. Use of cut flower preservative helps to prolong vase life.

Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems; remove lower leaves; replenish preservative every 1-2 days; keep away from warm air, direct sun, and drafts / remove aging flowers from vase or arrangement.
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Popular Name: Bouvardia
Botanical Name: Bouvardia longiflora (boov-ARD-ee-ah lon-ji-FLOOR-ah)
Colors: White, light and dark pink, orange and red.
Form & Size: The multiflower blossom has a starburst of dainty, jasmine-like flowers on top of a long, slender, leafy stem.
Vase Life: Often 7-10 days. but 14 days possible with proper care throughout the distribution channels
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems (daily is best); keep cool, especially at night; be sure to use preservative and replenish solution every 1-2 days; keep away from heat sources and drafts.
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Popular Name: Chrysanthemum---Standard Chrysanthemum, Football Mum, Mum
Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum morifolium (chris-AN-thee-mum more-i-FOH-lee-um)
Colors: White, yellow and gold plus shades of pink, lavender, bronze and red.
Form & Size: Long, straight, thick stems with deep g reen, lobed foliage. Major flower forms are incurve (e.g. Nob Hill, Morocco); semi-incurve (e.g. May Shoesmith); and spider (e.g. Super White, Super Yellow). Other forms include the disbuds or decoratives (e.g. the Princess Annes), and daisies grown as standards. Flower stem length is usually 18-36 inches (45-90 cm). Standard chrysanthemums have one flower per stem, with the diameter ranging from 3 to 8 inches (7-20 cm), depending on type, variety, and growing conditions.
Vase Life: At least 7-14 days, depending on variety and environmental factors, such as temperature. The foliage often deteriorates before the flowers. Longevity can be extended by use of floral preservative from harvest through vase life.
Care & handling:
  • Re-cut stems; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days; keep away from heat sources and drafts.
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Popular Name: Carnation---Carnation, Standard Carnation, Pink
Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus (die-AN-thus- care-ee-OH-fill-us)
Colors: Extensive color selection from white to pink, salmon, yellow, red and all shades between. Variegated types are striped or frosted with contrasting colors. Carnations can be tinted to many different hues.
Form & Size: Double, fragrant flowers are 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) across, borne singly on wire stems which are 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) long and having grass-like, waxy blue-gray leaves.
Vase Life: 5-7 days, depending on variety and environmental factors, like temperature.
Care & handling:
  • Re-cut stems; keep cool, especially at night; keep away from heat sources and drafts; replenish cut flower preservative solution every 1-2 days. Do not place near fruit and vegetables.
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Popular Name: Freesia
Botanical Name: Freesia x hybrida (FREES-yah hi-BREED-ah)
Colors: From pure white to shades of yellow, mauve, purple, pink, red, and violet.
Form & Size: Slender. wiry stems have combs or inflorescences of richly scented, tubular flowers. Both single and double flowering varieties grown. Individual florets are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. There may be between six and eight flowers on a stalk. Flowers stand upright on a stalk that emerges from only one side of wiry stems 9-18 inches (20-45 cm) long.
Vase Life: 5-10 days. depending on environmental factors, especially temperature. Use of STS conditioning and preservative solution has been found to encourage continued development after harvest and to prolong life.
Care & handling:
  • Re-cut stems; keep cool, especially at night; keep away from heat sources and drafts; replenish cut flower preservative solution every 1-2 days as needed; often the smallest buds at end of the comb are dormant and may not open---also pinch off first bloom which will wither before the rest.
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Popular Name: Gerbera, Transvaal Daisy, African Daisy, Barberton Daisy
Botanical Name: Gerbera jamesonii (GERB-er-ah jame-i-SOH-neye)
Colors: Variety of unique. clear and intense colors including reds, pinks, salmon, orange, yellow, and white.
Form & Size: Large. daisy-like flowers on long. wiry flexible stalks. Flower form Varies from fluffy and double to single. Flower diameter runs 2-5 inches (5-13 cm) and stems range from 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
Vase Life: 3 to 8 days. depending on variety and environmental conditions such as temperature. The use of floral preservative can double the lasting quality.
Care & handling:
  • Re-cut stems; keep cool especially at night: use clean water and containers: replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days: keep away from heat and drafts.
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Popular Name: Gladiola, Glad
Botanical Name: Gladiolus sp. (glad-ee-OH-lus)
Colors: A vast range, including bright colors and pastel shades. Colors range from pure white to pink, salmon, yellow, orange, and red. A few green, mauve, and purple shades are grown commercially.
Form & Size: Leaves are sword shaped and surround long spikes that bear funnel shaped flowers all facing in approximately the same directon. Glads come in a number of sizes from grandiflorous types down to miniatures. Spike length may be 18-30 inches (45-75 cm), on tall stems with total height of 3-4 feet (90-120 cm). Individual florets fully open. vary from 3 to 5 inches (7-12 cm) across. Small-flowered varieties are delicate and more graceful with flowers measuring 1 1/2 to 3 inches (3.8-7.6 cm) across.
Popular Name: Baby's Breath, Gyp
Botanical Name: Gyspsophila paniculata (jip-SOPH-ill-ah pan-ick-u-LAH-tah)
Colors: White
Form & Size: Tiny blossoms are produced in massive quantities on slender, multibranched stems, giving an airy, delicate effect. The small grayish-green leaves are barely noticeable below masses of flowers. The many stems are covered to the ground with blossoms, with individual flowers not opening simultaneously. Branches range from 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) long with many tiny flowers 1/16-1/4 inch (.25-.5 cm) across.
Vase Life: Fresh---5-7 days. Longer with STS conditioning and preservative use.
Dried---1 year or more.
Care & Handling:
  • Replenish preservative in arrangements containing baby's breath every 1-2 days; keep away from heat sources and drafts; pinch off dead blossoms.
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Popular Name: Iris. Dutch Iris
Botanical Name: Iris hybrids (EYE-ris)
Colors: Blue, yellow, purple and white. Flowers have typical yellow centers and yellow or purple spots on the petals.
Form & Size: Unique flower form with three upright petals (standard) and three outer handing petals (falls) often with yellow or purple blotches. Open flowers reach 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in diameter. Upright stalks vary from 15-24 inches (45-60 cm) long and have swordlike foliage.
Vase Life: 3-7 days, depending on variety and temperature, as well as other environmental factors, including not being kept dry for prolonged periods. Use of a cut flower preservative helps prolong vase life.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems; keep away from warm air, drafts, and direct sun; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days.
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Popular Name: Liatrus, Blazing Star. Gayfeather
Botanical Name: Liatrus spicata (lie-AY-trus spi-KAH-tah)
Colors: Available in bright shades of lavender, pink, rose and purple.
Form & Size: Tiny individual flowers form tall, narrow. fluffy spikes giving a bottle-brush type of appearance. Unusual in that flowers open progressively from the top of the spike to the bottom rather than vice versa. Overall height ranges from 12-36 inches (30-90 cm).
Vase Life: 5-7 days. Vase life can be doubled with use of cut flower preservative.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems: keep cool---keep away from heat sources and drafts; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days; don't expect blooms to open all the way down the stalk.
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Popular Name: Easter Lily Enchantment Lily and Connecticut King Lily, Rubrum Lily
Botanical Name:
  • Easter Lily or Lilium longiflorum (LILL-ee-um Ion-ji-FLOR-um)
  • Asiatic Lilies, which are basically tiger lily hybrids including Enchantment, Connecticut King and others or Lilium hybrids.
  • Oriental Lilies. mainly composed of hybrids. including Rubrum Lily or Lilturn speciosum 'Rubrum (LILL-ee-um spees-ee-O-sum ROOB-rum)
Colors: Easter Lily---pure while
Enchantment Lily---brilliant reddish-orange
Connecticut King---a pure bright yellow
Rubrum---white petals elegantly tinged and speckled with pink and maroon
Form & Size: Lily trumpets are 4-6 inches (10-15 cm), with open diameter tiepending on variety. Some have reflexed petals (e.g. rubrums), with diameter 3-5 inches (7-13 cm). There may be several to many flowers per stem.
Vase Life: Open lily flowers 4-5 days and longer for rubrums. Buds will open in succession to give total vase life of 7-14 days depending on variety and environment. Opening and longevity prolonged by STS conditioning and use of floral preservative. Foliage generally ages faster than the blooms.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems and remove lower leaves: replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days: keep cool---avoid heat sources and drafts; pinch off dying flowers and yellowing leaves.
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Popular Name: Statice, Sea Lavender
Botanical Name: Limonium species (li-MON-ee-um)
Colors: Shades of blue. purple, red. pink, yellow and white.
Form & Size: Paper like inflorescences (clusters) with a tiny white flower at the center of each inflorescence atop 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) winged stalks.
Vase Life: Fresh slatice (in water): 7-14 days. Flowers dry out and stems will rot unless they are removed from water once flowers start to dry. Dried: a year or more.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems; avoid heat sources and drafts: replenish preservative solution every I-2 days in arrangements having statice; statice can also be dried for future enjoyment.
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Popular Name: Daffodil. Narcissus. Jonquil
Botanical Name: Narcissus pseudo-narcissus (Nar-SISS-us SUE-doe nar-SISS-us)
Colors: Mainly bright yellow plus orange, bi-colors and whites, especially in the smaller flowered varieties.
Form & Size: Large. medium and short-trumpet daffodils are forms of Narcissus pseudo-narcissus. Other Narcissus species have small flowers with several on each stem (i.e. the clusters of smaller white blooms are often called jonquils).
Vase Life: 3-6 days depending on variety and environmental factors.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems; avoid heat sources and drafts; replenish preservative solution every I-2 days
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Popular Name: Rose, Hybrid Tea Rose, Intermediate Rose, and Miniature or Sweetheart Rose
Botanical Name: Rosa x hybrida (ROH-sah HY-brid-ah)
Colors: Red. pink. lavender. yellow, orange. white and bicolors.
Form & Size: Hybrid Tea Rose---bud lengths from 1 1/4 to 2 inches (3-5 cm): stem length usually 12-30 inches (30-70 cm).
Intermediate Rose---bud lengths from 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2-3 cm): stem length usually 9-24 inches (22-60 cm).
Miniature or Sweetheart Rose---bud lengths from 1/2 to 1 inch (1-2.5 cm); stem length usually 8-15 inches (20-38 cm).
Foliage often leathery and glossy in texture with color ranging from light to very dark green with some bronzy.
Vase Life: 3-7 days. depending on variety and environmental factors such as temperature and care. Flower life can easily be doubled when floral preservative is used from harvest through decorative vase life.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems under water: replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days: keep cool, especially at night---keep away from heat and drafts; if roses exhibit bent neck (drooping), revive by re-cutting stems under warm water.
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Popular Name: Tulip
Botanical Name: Tulipa hybrids (TOO-lip-ah)
Colors: Intensive hybridization has brought a vast range of red, pink, rose, mauve, lavender, yellow, orange, apricot, cream and white shades, plus numerous bi-color combinations.
Form & Size: Plants have broad or linear leaves with flowers usually borne singly atop long, straight stems. Many cultivars produce typical single, bell-shaped flowers. with other forms being available. Among them are: double flowering, parrot, fringed, and lily-flowering types. When cut in the "bud" stage, flower size ranges from 1.5 to 3 inches (3.8-7.5 cm). The tulip flowers increase in size about 50% after being cut. Stem lengths range from 12 to 24 inches (30.5-61 cm).
Vase Life: 3-7 days, depending on variety and temperatures. Preservative use can extend longevity.
Care & Handling:
  • Re-cut stems; keep cool, especially at night---avoid heat sources and drafts; replenish preservative solution every 1-2 days and put tulips in slightly taller vases to accommodate the stem elongation that occurs.