The benefits of spending time within nature are numerous; calming and rejuvenating, boosting and invigorating, which is why now more than ever it's important to bring a little bit of the outdoors-in at home. Perhaps you’re enjoying the serenity of a garden or keenly tending to house plants - or maintaining cut flowers. Whichever embodiment of flora and fauna you’re embracing, our experts share their fail-safe tips to keep them in good shape so you can enjoy them for as long as possible...
Find out our tips for those embarking on growing sweetpeas...photo Roway Spray
Alison Lithgoe - Events Lead Creative
- For woody stems such as cherry blossom, forsythia and lilac, gently split their stems at the bottom - this will allow them to drink even more water.
- If you’re growing sweetpeas, picking the flowers is crucial as the plant will stop producing flowers if left to go to seed.
- Sourcing my usual and favourite plant feed is difficult at the moment, with garden centres being closed, so I am making my own. I have easily found nettles and comfrey on my morning walks. Leaves have been gathered, (with gloves!) and they are now soaking in a big bucket of rainwater. The ‘plant soup’ will be ready in a couple of weeks to feed my pots. It’s a bit pungent so I only use for my outside pots
Using woody stems? Split the bottom of the stems - this allows them to drink more water -photo Roway Spray
photo Roway Spray
Gina Hardy - Head of Events
- Make sure the flowers you are putting together are hospitable in a vase - for instance, daffodils and hyacinths release a sap into the water that kills off other flowers quicker!
- Read your leaves - you can often treat your plant accordingly by taking notice of alterations in leaf colour. For example, if the leaves are turning lighter, and a little squidgy then they’re drinking too much water - however, if they’re going darker and feel brittle, it’s likely they’re not drinking enough! Yellow hued leaves are an indicator they’re not receiving enough sun.
- Flower food! Packets of flower food are mainly comprised of three key ingredients; sugar, acid, and bleach. Sugar produces energy that encourages flowers to bloom quicker, acid looks after the Ph balance in the water and the bleach keeps the water clean. As you want to keep your flowers lasting at home longer - remove the sugary elements from the equation and add just a drop of bleach in the water, but make sure it's just a drop!
Some flowers such as daffodils and hyacinths can effect other varieties in the vase
Sophie - McQueens Flower School Principal
- Refreshing the vase water every couple of days is key to longevity - but the type of vessel used also plays a part, plastic tends to generate bacteria quicker so opt for glass.
- When choosing supermarket flowers - my favourite look is monofloral, a mass of the same flower packs a punch!
- Just before your flowers are about to go over, whip them out the vase, tie the stems together with a piece of string and hang upside down away from sunlight to dry. Dried flowers take on an altogether different guise - and your enjoyment of them will last even longer!
Glass is the perfect material for your vessel
Andrea - Commercial Manager
When conditioning stems of Euphorbia - firstly wear gloves (the same applies when handling other flowers from bulbs) as the leaves and sap can really irritate the skin. As the sap emerges from the trimmed stems, carefully sear the ends - either with a flame or in boiling water - this ensures a longer vase life.More from McQueens Flowers...McQueens Flower School
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