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Monday, August 8, 2011

Cut flowers and the Temperature: Even they think it is too hot!

As you may (or may not) know, our shop is located in Northwest Arkansas.  Our area, and the southern part of the country, has been in the middle of a drought with some very hot weather conditions for the past month.  It has been hot here-very hot.  The other day the thermometer at my local bank said 114 degrees Fahrenheit!  Forget using the frying pan and stove, the side walk or even the leather seats in my car will work just fine!

All this hot weather made me wonder: How do flowers fair with such harsh conditions?  Answer: they don't.  Let's face it, flowers are delicate and are quite temperamental when it comes to their living conditions.  You have never heard the expression "as durable as a tulip" now have you?

In this post we will address the proper care and keep of cut flowers.  As for the dead ones in your yard, well you might either want to pay an arm and a leg to keep them watered, do a rain dance, or just give up.

Before
After
As I mentioned earlier, flowers do not do well in the heat.  The cooler the temperature that flowers are exposed to, the better.  However, that temperature needs to be above freezing.  (Nobody really wants freeze dried flowers anyway.)  The opening of a flower signals the end of their growth and heat just speeds up the  process.  The warmer the temperature that a flower is exposed to, the quicker they will fade and the more work it is for you.  Allow me to share an equation with you to help understand:

warmer temperature = warmer water = breading ground for more bacteria = water that needs to be changed often.

Now if you like to keep your house the temperature of the desert, don't assume that you can just place a fan or air conditioner right on your flowers.  Fans and air conditioners that are placed with a direct hit to an arrangement causes the flowers to dry out and fade more quickly.

A few more tips for keeping flowers beautiful longer:

-Keep away from fruits and vegetables.  Dying fruit and vegetables emit a gas that is harmful to your flowers.
-Car exhaust is also bad for your flowers so if you were hoping to keep your flowers stored in your garage, don't.

-And finally, don't breathe on your flowers.  Even if you brush your teeth 50 times a day, use mouthwash, and chew gum, a flower doesn't care how good your breath smells.  Human breath is also harmful to flowers. So smell but hold your breath while you do!

So as you are attempting to keep cool this summer, remember to keep your cut flowers cool as well!