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Flowers By Tarra

  • Arrangements
  • Boutonničres
  • Bromeliads
  • Corsages
  • Dracaena
  • Fresh Cut Flowers
  • Hibiscus
  • Orchids
  • Planter Baskets
  • Peace Lilies
  • Poinsettias
  • Rose Care

ArrangementsFlower Arrangement Care

Please check for water immediately upon arrival.

If your flowers are arranged in a vase:

  1. Display your fresh cut flower arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun and drafts.
  2. Change the water and re-cut the stems every 2-3 days with a sharp knife or shears, cut at least 1 inch off end, on an angle, ensuring there is no foliage below water line.
  3. Keep vase full of water

If your flowers are arranged in a container with floral foam:

  1. Display your fresh cut flower arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun or drafts.
  2. Fill the container with clean lukewarm water every day


Boutonničres should be worn on the outside of the buttonhole of the left lapel.

Caring for your boutonničre:

  • Wear them as the flower grows blossoms up, stems down.
  • Pin from underneath the fabric to secure your boutonničre
  • If you are not wearing your boutonničre within a couple hours, keep in box and store in your refrigerator (not in crisper or beside fruit )

If your flowers are arranged in a container with floral foam:

  • Display your fresh cut flower arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun or drafts.
  • Fill the container with clean lukewarm water every day



Bromeliads tolerate a wide range of light intensities, including low light, for long periods without ill effects. The plants, however, will look better when they receive proper light.

care for bromeliadsAlthough optimum light levels vary considerably, the following characteristics are helpful in selecting a spot for a particular plant. Generally bromeliad species with hard, thick, gray, gray-green or fuzzy foliage withstand the highest light levels, while species with soft, green, thin leaves grow best under lower light levels.

A general recommendation is to grow bromeliads where the light level is approximately 1,500 foot candles or where orchids grow well. In a home, a window with a southern, eastern or western exposure is satisfactory for bromeliad growth, but most species must not be exposed to the direct rays of the sun.

In most instances, a bromeliad will indicate by its growth habit whether light levels are satisfactory. A yellowish or pale green plant may indicate that the light level is too high. Conversely, a darker green than normal, with a more open or elongated shape, may indicate low light levels.

It is difficult to categorize bromeliad genera into optimum light levels, because light requirements of species within a genus may differ. The following generalizations can be used as a guideline, however, when selecting bromeliads for a particular site. Plants in the genera Dyckia, Puyas, Hechtias, Ananas and the hard-leaved species in Aechmea and Billbergia grow best at high light levels. Plants in the genera Guzmania, Neoregelia, Nidularium, Cryptanthus and Vrieseas can grow under lower light levels.


The majority of bromeliads are tropical or subtropical and thrive outdoors in Florida's high summer temperatures. Many tolerate temperatures in excess of 100°F. In a home environment, however, bromeliads do best at 70-75°F during the day and between 60 and 65°F at night. Bromeliads native to central and north Florida tolerate temperatures slightly below freezing for short periods, but most introduced species should not be exposed to temperatures below 40°F. As a general rule, the softer-leafed species need a higher temperature, while those with very hard, stiff leaves are much more tolerant of cold.


Most bromeliads grow best indoors at a relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent. Unfortunately the average humidity in most homes is well below 40 percent, especially during winter months when heating systems are operating. bromeliads care

Humidity levels in the home can be increased by installing an inexpensive humidifier. Humidity in the vicinity of plants can be improved by placing potted plants on a 2 or 3-inch bed of wet gravel. Water evaporating from the gravel increases the humidity. The bottom of the plant pot should never be in or under water, because this causes waterlogged medium, possibly resulting in root damage. Another method of increasing the humidity around plants is to mist them with water frequently during the day.

Air Circulation

Bromeliads, due to their epiphytic nature, require good air circulation. Fresh air supplies them with carbon dioxide and moisture. Plants grown in stagnant air are more apt to be attacked by scale insects and fungal organisms causing the bromeliads to deteriorate rapidly. Air circulation can be improved in a home by simply opening a window on days that are not too cold or by turning on a fan at low speed for most of the day.


Bromeliads are extremely tolerant of low-moisture conditions and will survive prolonged periods of drought. Most of the problems encountered with bromeliads are usually associated with rot caused by overwatering. Growing these plants in light, porous potting mixes that drain rapidly should help prevent this problem.

caring for a bromeliadBromeliads grown in a potting mix or in the landscape should be watered when the soil surface feels dry. Plants grown in pots should be watered thoroughly, until water runs out of the bottom of the pot and then not watered until the medium surface feels dry. Under normal household conditions watering thoroughly once a week is usually sufficient. In homes where the relative humidity is low (during winter months and in air-conditioning) plants must be checked and watered more often.

Many bromeliads are formed of a rosette of broad leaves which creates a "cup" or "vase" in their centers. If the plant is supplied with moisture by wetting the soil around its roots, it is not necessary to keep the cup filled with water. Most bromeliads adapt so well to culture in a pot that they absorb the needed moisture and nutrients through their root systems. Keeping the cup filled with water under low light conditions that exist in most homes encourages bacteria and fungus problems. If the cup is kept filled with water, it should be flushed out with plenty of water periodically to prevent possible stagnation. Periodic flushing also prevents a build up of salts left when water in the cup evaporates. Water should be removed from the cup if the temperature is likely to fall below 40°F. This practice will prevent cold damage which appears as a brown line across each leaf at the water level.

Epiphytic bromeliads, such as those found in the genus Tillandsia, are often grown secured to a board or bark. Because these plants have no distinct cup to collect water, they absorb moisture from the air through their scaly leaves. Unfortunately, in an indoor situation, where the humidity is usually very low, they are unable to obtain adequate moisture from the air. Moisture can be supplied to these plants by misting or dousing them in a container of water daily.

Planting Bed Soil

Bromeliads have a limited root system compared to other flowering annuals and perennials. Roots function primarily as a support or anchoring system. Bromeliads absorb water and minerals through their leaves from the moisture in the air and through their cups. They are not as dependant, therefore, on their root system as are most other plants. It is important, however, to keep their root system alive and in good health.

The epiphytic nature of bromeliads prevents plants from tolerating heavy clay soil. To improve these soils, incorporate 2 to 3 inches of organic matter (peat, leaf mold, compost, etc.) into the planting bed. The sandy soils of Florida are usually well drained and good for growing bromeliads.

Potting Media

Most bromeliads grow best in a very porous organic medium which permits quick water drainage and sufficient air circulation around the roots. There is no one potting mix which is better than any other, however, the following mixes are suggested:

 1. One part peat, one part bark, one part coarse sand

 2. One part peat, one part bark, one part perlite

 3. One part peat, one-half part leaf mold, one part coarse sand.

 Osmunda fiber, unshredded sphagnum moss or tree-fern fiber may substituted for peat moss in these mixes. Some bromeliads thrive best when grown in a medium composed only of osmunda fiber.


Actively growing bromeliads respond to light applications of fertilizer. During the winter months, or under conditions of low light, they require little or no fertilizer.

A general purpose, liquid houseplant fertilizer can be applied to the potting mix at 1/3 to ˝ of the recommended dosage every 1 to 2 months. It is best not to add fertilizer in the cup because this could lead to an accumulation of fertilizer salts that may burn newly emerging leaves.

Controlled-release fertilizers can be incorporated uniformly throughout the potting mix at planting and applied on the medium surface of established plants. Bromeliads usually grow much better with a continuous nutrient supply. Labor is also reduced because controlled-release fertilizer application frequency is less than for rapid-release fertilizers.


Bromeliads can be propagated by removal of "pups" or "offsets" from the "mother plant" (asexual) or by seed (sexual).

care for bromeliadsBromeliads slowly die over a period of a year or two after flowering. However, several pups usually develop during the flowering cycle and usually emerge from the soil near the edge of the container. The pups should be separated from the mother plant after they have developed a small rosette of leaves similar to the mother plant. To remove a pup, use a serrated knife, pruning shears or small saw. Coarse hacksaw blades may also be used for this purpose. Push the saw blade into the growing medium, between the pup and mother plant, and cut through near the base of the mother plant. The young pup may or may not have developed a root system of its own. Don't be alarmed if it hasn't. Add more potting medium to the area where the pup has been removed and transplant the newly cut pup into another pot. The mother plant, especially if helped along with a small amount of dilute fertilizer, will continue to produce pups until it dies. Pups should begin growing soon even though initially roots may be absent. Don't overwater. These plants will normally flower in 1 to 3 years. Propagation by vegetative means (pups) is by far the best and most satisfactory method for home gardeners.

Seed propagation is a long and tedious method of producing large numbers of bromeliads at a relatively small expense. Seeds can be sown in pots or flats on a surface of moist sphagnum moss or finely screened potting soil containing 50 to 75 percent organic matter. Because seeds are sown on the surface, a glass cover should be placed over the pot or flat to maintain a high humidity and prevent the medium from drying out too rapidly.

Seedlings are usually left in the propagation container until they are 1˝ and 2 inches tall and then transplanted directly to small pots. Plants grown from seeds normally require 3 to 6 years to attain flowering size.


Many factors cause bromeliads to bloom such as plant age, day length, light intensity, water and temperature. Some bromeliads bloom quite regularly while others do not. Research on the flowering process has shown that bromeliads can be induced to flower by exposing them to ethylene gas (a product of burning wood and leaves and ripening fruit and vegetables). After exposure to ethylene gas, the flowers appear, depending on the genus involved, within 6 to 14 weeks. A simple method that a home gardener can use to start bromeliads' flowering is to place a healthy, mature plant with all the water drained from its cup inside a tightly closed, clear plastic bag for a week to 10 days with a ripe apple. During senescence (aging process), the apple releases ethylene gas that, in turn, induces the bromeliad to flower.

Chemicals such as "Ethrel" and "Omaflora" are available and are effective for inducing flowering in bromeliads. However, these chemicals are tricky to regulate and may interfere with pup development.


Many problems commonly attributed to diseases are the result of unfavorable growing conditions. Low temperatures (40°F and below) and overwatering can cause the crown of many bromeliads to rot. Also, plants subjected to mechanical injury, insects or sunburn may be invaded by one of many fungi. This invasion usually appears as a dark spot on the leaf, either with sunken or water-soaked areas and frequently with a radiating yellow area.

For severe infections or where large numbers of plants are involved, chemical control may be needed. For recommendations on selection and application of fungicides, contact your county agriculture extension agent.


Few insects bother bromeliads, and those that do can be controlled. A number of scale insects attack bromeliads. Appearing as small round or oval objects on the leaves, scale insects multiply rapidly. They make plants unsightly by producing yellow spots on the leaves where the insects suck plant juices.

Mealybugs and root mealybugs, both characterized by their cotton-wool protective covering, may also attack bromeliads. When mature, mealybugs vary from 1/5 to 1/3-inch long and some species have long wax filaments extending from the rear of the body. They damage bromeliads by sucking plant juices.

Spider mites may also attack bromeliads. They are about 1/50-inch long when mature and may be greenish, yellowish, reddish or virtually colorless. Commonly found on the undersides of leaves, they suck juices from plants through their needle-like mouthparts. A 10- or 15-power hand lens is very helpful in detecting infestations before severe damage occurs.

After bringing a bromeliad home, isolate it for a month and carefully examine it for pests before placing it with other bromeliads. If a pest is found, either discard the plant or contact your county agriculture extension agent for recommendations on appropriate pest-control methods.

This informatio provided by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the State of Florida.

CorsagesCorsage Care

Corsages are traditionally worn on the wrist or left lapel.

Caring for your corsage:

  • Wear them as the flower grows blossoms up, stems down.
  • Pin from underneath the fabric to secure your corsage
  • If you are not wearing your corsage or boutonničre within a couple hours, keep in box and store in your refrigerator (not in crisper or beside fruit )

If your flowers are arranged in a container with floral foam:

  • Display your fresh cut flower arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun or drafts.
  • Fill the container with clean lukewarm water every day

Dracaenacaring for a dracaena

The name dracaena incorporates a broad variety of plants. In this entry we will talk about the care of the most common variety, the marginata or dragon plant. They usually have a lot of woody stalk showing and are grown upright with the foliage or head just at the top. They can be anywhere from two feet to twenty feet tall. More expensive plants have had their stems weighted down during production growing to make curves and bends in the stalks. They can resemble a candelabra. The leaves are dark green with a dark red margin around the outer edge. Marginata tips are mainly foliage with a small amount of stalk showing.

Over watering - pale, dwarfed new growth, brown tipping, rotting, stinky stalks (remove these immediately).

Under watering - bright yellow lower leaves, droopy heads, wrinkled stalks.

Pruning your Dracaena

Cut the cane to desired level or pull out only center new growth if you want a subtle prune job and want to maintain the same height. The ends of the foliage will sometimes brown indicating over watering. These can be trimmed to the shape of the original leaf or blunt cut.

Fresh Cut Flowers Caring for your fresh cut flowerscaring for fresh flowrs

  1. Remove all plastic water vials from ends of flowers.
  2. Remove all leaves that will be below the water line.
  3. Fill a clean vase with lukewarm water and floral preservative.
  4. With a sharp knife or shears cut at least 1 inch of each stem on an angle, arrange and place into vase.
  5. Keep your vase full of water and re-cut stems every 2-3 days.
  6. Display your fresh cut flower arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun or drafts.

When your flowers are finally done, bring them back to In Bloom and we will compost them for you and reward your "green" efforts with savings on your next purchase.



Hibiscushibiscus care

Rose mallows like lots of moisture. Be sure to water them well when they are first planted and just before the winter freeze each year. When rainfall is irregular, or during drought periods, be sure to check them and water deeply every week or two if their soil appears dry. Allow a hose or irrigation system to drip water slowly on the soil over their root systems to soak it down to about 10 inches. A layer of mulch on the soil over their roots will help the soil retain moisture (see below).
For more information see file About Watering Equipment.

Feed rose mallows once a year in the spring. Sprinkle a handful of all-purpose organic granular fertilizer on the soil around their stems for the rain to water in. Some homeowners spray a dilute solution of fish emulsion or other liquid fertilizer on the foliage of their perennials occasionally during the hot summer months to boost their vigor. While this is not essential it is beneficial.
For more information see file About Fertilizers.hibiscus care

Consider Plant Growth Activators
There are on the market a growing number of products that will help your plants become healthier, more drought resistant, more disease resistant, and even more insect resistant. These products are generally easy to use and not terribly expensive. If you want to give your plants some oomph, check out New Technology In Plant Growth Activators

A 2 to 3 inch layer of an organic material such as chopped leaves, grass clippings, or wood chips reduces water evaporation from the soil around rose mallows. Spread over landscape fabric laid down first, or directly on the soil, this mulch will also discourage weeds and protect the plants from injury from yard care equipment.
For more information see file on Using Mulch.

Winter ProtectionCaring for a Hibiscus
Protect young rose mallow plants from northern winters by mulching their roots heavily. Consider erecting a shelter of burlap or agricultural fleece to shield plants in locations exposed to winter winds and late frost. Be sure to allow plenty of air circulation around the plant. Never use plastic to wrap a plant.
For more information see file on Winter Protection For Plants.




Orchidscaring for orchids

Orchids are fascinating flowers that are fun to nurture but do need some special care. These slow growing plants are best grown indoors and will need to be repotted every other year. In addition to repotting, you will need to provide the plant with enough light, water and fertilization as well as prune it properly to keep it in the best of health.


Orchids should be repotted in a pot that is larger then the current, but not too much larger - go just one size up. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can repot into a really huge pot and then not have to worry about it for the next 5 years! Fill the pot about 2/3rds of the way with soil that is formulated for orchids and set the plant with the growing tip in the center and it’s roots spread out in the soil. Fill the pot with the rest of the soil and pack it gently around the plant. Water thoroughly.


Tropical orchids thrive in organic material. Fir bark and osumda fiber mixed with peat are great for growing orchids. You need soil that has good drainage but will also hold some moisture. You can buy special orchid mix soil to plant your orchids in.


Orchids like light and your plant will do best in a bright sunny window. A south window, where the plant can get indirect light in the morning and afternoon is best. Make sure the window is not drafty. In the winter you must be sure that your plant is getting enough sunlight and you may want to use fluorescent lighting to supplement the natural sunlight. Fluorescent lights work quite well for growing orchids and you can use them in even the darkest corner and have wonderful plants.


All plants need water but many people do not know how to provide it properly. Some water too much leaving standing water in the pot all day and contributing to root rot. Others don’t water the plant for weeks and wonder why it can not survive. The first consideration is to make sure you use a pot with good drainage - either one of those with a hole in the bottom and a saucer or at least put pebbles under the soil. Water the plant thoroughly but not so much that a pool of water is sitting on the soil - water once a week or when you feel the soil has dried out. If your orchid is planted in bark, then it will probably need to be watered every 5 days or so.orchids

You can also moisten your orchid with a spray bottle to give it a more humid environment. Some people like to gently wrap the plant in a floral paper or wax paper cone and spray inside. The cone helps to keep the moistness in. If you do spray your plant, use distilled water as tap and spring water can leave deposits on the leaves.


Although orchids are tropical plants, they prefer cool temperatures at night. Most orchids will do best in temps that would be to cold for you in your house. When grown in professional greenhouses, they are kept between 55 and 65 degrees at night. The cool temperatures help to keep the soil more moist.


Orchids growing in bark or peat and bark mixes do best with a liquid fertilizer that has a 20-20-20 analysis or, better yet, a specialized orchid fertilizer (30-10-10). Try using a water soluble urea free fertilizer for best results. When fertilizing, simply add it in your regular watering schedule following the instructions on the fertilizer package.


Pruning is important for orchids to remove dead parts and shape your plant. You can prune your orchids periodically throughout the year, or reserve the pruning for once a year typically in the fall or early winter. When the blooms have died and the stalk is dried up and yellow or brown, use sharp shears to cut it back to an inch from where it comes out of the soil. A new bloom will appear during the next blooming season.

In some cases, you may want to just remove the end of the bloom stalk which may cause it to bloom again. If you do this, you may find a new shoot or baby plant to spring up. If this does happen, you can remove the baby and plant it in a separate pot for an additional orchid plant to enjoy!

Planter Basketscaring for planter baskets

Caring for your Planter Basket:

  • For best results keep soil moderately moist.
  • Avoid over watering, shallow non-draining containers require less frequent watering than those with drainage.
  • Place you planter near a sunny window but protected from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid placing your planter near heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators (Appliances like TV’s give off heat, which cause plants to dehydrate).
  • Most green plants will last indefinitely if cared for properly, flowering plants can be removed and replaced with fresh ones.







Peace Lilies

The Peace Lily has become one of the most favored houseplants of our day. And it's no wonder. Perhaps no other commonly grown interior plant offers so much beauty in returncaring for a peace lily for so little. It readily survives in very low light situations, it produces an abundance of glossy, dark green foliage, and it regularly adorns itself with dramatic white blossoms. With the current surge in popularity of these specimens, caring for peace lily plants is a timely topic.

Peace Lilies, botanically known as Spathiphyllum, are members of the Aroid family, which includes such other familiar flowers and plants as Anthurium, Calla, Philodendron, Dieffenbachia, and Chinese Evergreen. Most of the Aroids are indigenous to the warm and shady forest floors of the tropics. Thus, they are well-adapted to the low light levels and comfortable room temperatures found in most homes. And even among shade-loving Aroids, Peace Lilies are most tolerant of reduced light. They'll even flourish under the completely artificial flourescent lighting commonly found in offices and commercial spaces, although their preference is for bright, filtered, natural light. This makes caring for Peace Lily plants relatively easy.

As far as watering is concerned, Peace Lilies prefer an evenly moist soil. Most people find that they can water their plants once a week, depending of course on light and temperature conditions. At lower light levels or cooler temperatures, any plant will use less water than when it is more actively growing. Use room temperature water. Soil should never be soggy, and plants should never stand in a saucer filled with water. Peace Lilies should also never be allowed to completely dry out, which will result in wilting of the plant, death of the tiny root hairs which conduct water to the plant, and subsequent yellowing or browning of the leaf edges. Peace Lilies do exhibit a sensitivity to chlorine in the water, so in metropolitan areas where it may be heavily chlorinated, it's best to allow the water to stand overnight to allow the chlorine to dissipate before watering the plants.

peace lilyFertilizing is another important factor in caring for Peace Lily plants. The soil in any given container will become depleted of nutrients over time as the plant grows. So it's a good idea to help replenish it by feeding the plant once a month or so, during the growing season, with any standard house plant fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, at one-quarter the recommended dilution rate. The delicate root hairs as well as the edges of a Peace Lily's leaves can burn if the fertilizer is too strong. Repot the plant every year or two in a rich soil consisting of equal parts of loam, peat moss, and sand.

Peace Lilies are rather resistant to most insect pests. An occasional infestation of mealy bugs may show up, and can be easily treated by wiping with rubbing alcohol and spraying with insecticidal soap. Because these plants have broad evergreen leaves, they benefit from having their foliage regularly wiped with a damp sponge to remove dust.

It's interesting to note that in caring for Peace Lily plants, we are also helping them to care for us! Spathiphyllums were among the top ten plants in the Clean Air Study conducted peace lily careby NASA, and were shown to be highly effective at removing formaldehyde, benzine, and carbon monoxide from the air, thus fighting "Sick Building Syndrome".

Peace Lilies have been extensively hybridized in recent years, so that now we have many more choices among the varieties. "Flower Power" is a new introduction which, as its name suggests, is a prolific bloomer. "Sensation" is a huge plant, potentially becoming 6 feet or more across, with bold, dark green, ribbed foliage; quite effective in interiorscaping. "Domino" is a variegated type, with irregular white splashes mottling its thickened leaves. Check with your local professional florist for these and other varieties, and bring home a breath of fresh air, courtesy of the durable Peace Lily.



Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive Through the Holidays!poinsettia care

It’s rare to walk through a store or a home during the holidays and not see vividly colored Poinsettias, properly placed around other festive ornaments. Tis the season, and there’s not better way to brighten it up than with the colorful reds, pinks, white and marbled Poinsettia flowers. But if you want to keep it alive through the holidays, and for years to come, there is much you need to know. After all, if you can keep it alive, it will grow to be 10-16 feet tall and will give you everything you need for outdoor decorating. But first, a little history of this traditional plant.

The History of Our Christmas Plant

Mexican legend has it that Poinsettias, Euphorbia Pulcherima, came into existence by the words of a peasant boy with no money and no gifts for the Christ child. He prayed the sincere prayers of a young boy and watched as this beautiful flower bloomed at his feet, and it was called “Flower of the Holy Night.” This may or may not be exactly how it happened; there are many versions of this story.

In reality, however, the Poinsettia was around long before being introduced to Christianity in the Western Hemisphere. It was introduced here in the United States in the early 1800s and came to be known as the Christmas plant. But it was used in nativity scenes long before that—in 17th century Mexico. According to statistics, Joel Robert Poinsett, U.S Ambassador to Mexico, as well as being a skilled botanist, had some sent to his house, cultivated them and began sending them to other botanical gardens.

Choosing Your Plant and Keeping it Healthy

It’s best to pick out your Poinsettias at least 10 weeks prior to the holidays if you want them in full bloom during the festivities, although you can usually buy them already bloomed closer to the time, if there are any left. So, if you picked one out in October, it should be in full bloom for the season. If you want to take the time to make sure these are in full bloom for the upcoming occasion, put them in a dark place, a closet or dark room, for 14 hours then bring them out for 10 hours of bright sunlight. If you want to take the time and energy, this will assure you of having bright, healthy flowers for the holidays.

Decide how many you will need to brighten up your house or office, and begin picking them out, but only after you’ve inspected each one. Make sure stems are good and sturdy, and that the soil is moist. If it’s dry this could result in plants withering and dying soon after you get them home. Make sure plants are bright and foliage is a deep green and there are no brown spots on leaves.

Now that you’ve inspected the plants and chosen the Poinsettias you want, make sure when you leave the store that the plants are covered if it’s cold or windy outside. Like many people, Poinsettias don’t do well in cold and drafts, and to insure you have brightly colored flowers, keep them between 60-70 degrees. Once home, place your plants away from doors and other drafty places. Remember, these plants are from Mexico where they thrive. Water your Poinsettias very well, then let them dry out before watering again. Wherever you decide to place the plants, whether it’s around the tree or adorning the dining room, make sure they have plenty of sunshine—not necessarily direct light, but wherever they can get some light.

What to Do After the Holidays are Over

christmas pointsettia careThroughout the holidays you can marvel at your beautiful Poinsettias because you’ve taken good care to keep them healthy and bright—whether you chose them 10 weeks early, or bought them two days before the big dinner.  But there is also much to know. When the holidays are over, and you’ve breathed a sigh of relief, it’s now time for your plants to take a long winter’s nap. When you first notice your plants becoming wimpy and dropping leaves, it’s time to cut down on the watering and clip the stems. Gardeners say it’s best to clip the stem back by about two or three buds, and decrease the amount of water you’ve been giving them.

It’s time to let the plants remain dormant until spring, so pinch the stems way back to about four to six inches for its dormant period ahead. This insures the plant will grow bushier and will even get some side shoots. Place them in a cool, very low light area and let them hibernate like a bear.

In the spring take them outside (providing the weather is good) and give them plenty of sunshine and a good drenching. If the pot seems to be too small for the plant, repot it into a pot one size larger, and make sure it has proper drainage at the bottom. You can either leave the Poinsettias in pots, or plant them in the ground and watch them grow, once you’ve determined there is no chance of frost. Poinsettias make great outdoor plants, growing to more than 10 feet. Use your outdoor plant to decorate next year, or if leaving it in the pot to bring in later, your Poinsettia will be more stunning than ever.

Although Poinsettias are known as Christmas plants, if given the proper care, they will give you years of pleasure anytime.

About the Author:  Angela Lytle is a self-employed mother of four and publisher of Christmas Decorations Online, a website featuring holiday decorations that will brighten up your holiday display like Outdoor Christmas Lights to Artificial Christmas Trees to beautify your home.





RosesHow To Care For Roses

If your roses arrive gift wrapped please follow steps #1-7Caring For Fresh Roses
If your roses arrive in a vase #5-7
  1. 1. Remove all plastic water vials from ends of roses.
  2. 2. Remove all leaves that will be below the water line.
  3. 3. Fill a clean vase with lukewarm water and floral preservative; roses require a lot of water to open to their fullest capacity.
  4. 4. While holding the stem end under water (in small bowl or sink), cut at least 1 inch of stem on an angle. Place immediately into to vase.
  5. 5. Display your fresh cut rose arrangement in a cool-room temperature area away from direct sun or drafts.
  6. 6. Keep vase full of water, re-cut stems and change water every 2-3 days.
  7. 7. Should a rose wilt prematurely, remove from vase and submerge the whole rose in a tub or tray of water for about 1hr, re-cut stem underwater, and put back in vase
  8. 8. If you follow these steps and your roses do not last for 5 days please call us.


RosesWhen you cut a rose from the plant, you sever it from its life support system. And, as soon as the cut is made, the rose, like an astronaut without a temporary life support system, is in trouble. The components of the life support system for the cut rose, which it obtained from the plant before the cut was made, are: nutrients, sugar, cool temperatures, anti-aging compounds, and most importantly, Water

All these ingredients of the life support system are dependent on a continuous and ample supply of water since they are all soluble, or carried into the rose in water. Research has shown that a molecule of water can move from the base of a 24-inch cut rose to the petals in 30-seconds or less. Such movement occurs when the cut rose is in the light at room temperatures. roses

The cells in the stem of a rose, which carry the water, are like a handful of soda straws. As long as the straws are in a glass of water, you can draw water up through them. Take them out of the water while sucking on the straw, and you draw up air. The rose stem does the same thing as its demand for water is continuous even when severed from the mother plant. The big difference is, however, that the cells in the rose stem have "end plates" or small screens that allow water to pass, but block the passage of air. A small bubble of air is formed and trapped at the end of the rose stem when it is cut from the plant. Of course, with the base of the stem blocked with air, more water cannot get up the stem even if you replace that stem in water. In short, the rose is very near its life support system but cannot get to it.





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