Keep the vase filled (or floral foam soaked) with water and some of the food provided. Flower foods make flowers last longer but it is important to follow the mixing directions on the flowerfood packet. Most packets are to be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more or less water than is specified on the packet.
- If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely with properly mixed flower food solution. If possible, re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Be sure to use a sharp knife or clippers (not scissors) that will not crush the stems. Immediately place the stems into solution.
- Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, which causes flowers to dehydrate.) Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions.
- Keep your flowers in a cool place until you can get them in a flower food solution. Don’t forget how important it is to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet.
- Fill a clean (washed with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution), deep vase with the water/food solution.
- Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower. (Not to mention it looks better!)
- Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife or clippers. (Scissors will crush the stems.) Place the flowers in the vase.
Not only are green and flowering plants a great enhancement to any home or office decor, they are also beneficial to your health. The results of a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show that common houseplants are powerful, natural air cleaners – all the more reason why you want to keep your plants healthy with the proper care.
Most plants come with care instructions specified for the type of plant. The Society of American Florists provides these additional general guidelines to keep most green houseplants thriving:
- Keep plants in medium-light locations – out of direct sunlight
- Natural light is best, but some plants can also thrive in office fluorescent light. Most flowering potted plants should be placed in areas with the most light in order to maintain good flower color and promote the maximum number of flowers to open. Foliage plants will do well under lower light levels and can be placed in areas providing reduced light.
- Plant soil should be kept moist at all times (there are a few exceptions to this)
- Plants should not be allowed to dry out or wilt. Be careful to avoid overwatering – do not allow plants to stand in water.
- Avoid wetting plant leaves.
- Avoid excessive heat or cold
- Plants should be kept in a cool spot (between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) for best performance. They should be kept away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, which causes plants to dehydrate.)
Some may shy away from the orchid because there is the misconception that the orchid is a difficult plant to grow. The fact is, most people can follow the basic instructions of orchid plant care. In the home or outdoors, an orchid needs light, as do any flowering plant. Orchids will appreciate consistent temperatures. To raise a healthy blooming orchid, the humidity should be monitored as well. Just as we need adequate water and sufficient food, so will the orchid.
In the home an orchid does best in an east or west window, but never a north window because of the lack of light. A southern exposed window will work for an orchid if the light is diffused.
Temperatures in the home about 75 degrees during the day and between 55-60 degrees during the night will give an orchid an optimal environment. An orchid can tolerate some variations of temperature changes that are due to seasonal changes. In the home, changing of location in the home can control the seasonal changes.
An orchid doesn’t need high humidity in the entire home. Since the orchid likes humidity, an area around the orchid should provide the humidity it needs. This can be created through plant grouping and setting the plant on a tray of stones and water so it sits above the water level.
The orchid will require adequate water. It can be done by taking an orchid in its pot to the sink or outdoors to water. The frequency of watering an orchid plant will depend on factors such as root condition, foliage age, and stage in flowering. The plant should be watered thoroughly allowing the water to drain out of the bottom, before returning it to it’s location in the home.
A consistent schedule for fertilizing is optimal for an orchid. Using a diluted solution of fertilizer more often is better for this plant than full strength fertilizing less often. During the winter, to allow the plant to rest, fertilizing should be decreased. With fertilizer, its better for your orchid if you err on the side of too little, instead of too much.
Since orchids are more difficult to grow outdoors in climates with extreme changes in temperatures, pots of orchids in the garden often are preferred. A lightweight pot can be brought indoors when outdoor seasonal changes are too cold or too hot for the orchid to survive.