African Violet
Amaryllis
Anemone Poppy
Anthurium
Azalea
Bouvardia
Bird of Paradise
Bromeliads
Calla Lilies
Candy Tuft
Carnation
Celosia
Citrus
Chrysanthemum
Crocus
Croton
Daffodils
Daisy
Delphinium
Ferns
Freesia
Gardenias
Gerbera Daisy
Ginger
Gladiolus
Heliconia
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Kalanchoe
Liatris
Lilacs
Lilies
Lime
Marigolds
Mums
Narcissus
Norfolk Island Pine
Orange
Orchid
Palms
Poinsettias
Star Gazer
Roses
Safflower
Statice
Sweet William
Zinnia

     
AgroConection.com

Plant & Cut Flower Care Tips

African Violets (Saintpaulia ionanta)
African violets do best in indirect or bright-diffused sunlight from an east or west facing window. For artificial light, 14 to 16 hours per day is about right. They should not be kept in direct sunlight, and are comfortable at 65°F to 70°F. Below 50°, chill injury may occur. Above 75°, blooms and leaves will wilt quickly, and plants are prone to insect infestation.

Water regularly by sitting pots in a tray of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. African Violet food is also recommended. DO NOT sprinkle water on the plant, especially cold water, as this causes brown spots on the leaves. Violets should be groomed regularly by trimming away dead leaves and blossoms with sharp scissors. Do not pull them loose since this may damage the plant.

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Amaryllis (Hippeastrum vittatum)
Amaryllis should be grown in bright-diffused sunlight. Try to avoid direct sunlight since this makes stalks spindly. Turn plants regularly to prevent stalks from leaning. Keep the plants at 65° F while growing and blooming. Moving plants to a cool spot at night (45°-55°) will prolong blooming. If plants are kept too warm they will grow too tall, too fast.

Water amaryllis from the side of the pot or from the bottom. Once a week while sprouting, twice a week after leaves develop. DO NOT pour water on the plant as this promotes decay of the bulb. Support each stalk with one or more stakes. Be careful not to scrape the bulb when inserting stakes. Blooms should last a week or more. When blooms wilt, cut the bloom stalk off, about two inches above the bulb. Take care not to damage the leaves. Continue to sun and water the plant as before while the greenery and bulb matures.

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Anemone Poppy (Anemone coronaria)
Delicate cup-shaped spring blossoms with bold black centers, Anemones range from white and pastel pink or lilac to bright red. Display arrangements containing Anemones in a cool place away from drafts. Keep well watered and use flower food as Anemone wilt easily. When re-arranging flowers, do not put Anemone in the same vase with Narcissus.

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Anthurium
Varieties:
  • Anthurium scherzerianum - curly spadix
  • Anthurium andreanum - straight spadix (most common)

Anthuriums are those waxy, heart shaped flowers with the white shaft protruding. The heart shaped part is called the spathe. The shaft is called the spadix. Red and pink are most common, but orange, green, and white are also available. Anthuriums are a tropical flower and prefer high humidity. They evaporate a lot of water from the spathe. Loss of shine or wilting are clear indications that they have been without adequate water much too long. If the plant is wilted, recut stems under water and then soak spathes in cool tap water for 20 minutes. Like other tropicals, Anthuriums are very temperature sensitive - especially to chilling. Keep arrangements containing anthuriums away from drafts, air conditioning, and heat sources like registers, and televisions.

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Azalea
Varieties:
  • Azalea indica - hybrid, Rhododendron simsii
  • Rhododendron obtusum - hybrid

Bold and colorful natives of higher elevations, Azaleas are woody plants that do best in bright, diffuse sunlight. Azaleas thrive in cooler temperatures from 60°-65° during the day and 55°-60° at night. Hardy varieties make excellent yard shrubs in appropriate regions. Keep plants moist; water when soil is dry down to about 15mm. Drain properly and discard water that collects in catch trays. If soil or potting mix becomes too dry and hard, immerse the whole pot in warm water to above soil level until bubbles stop rising.

Azaleas require slightly acidic soil. Follow recommended usage on a commercial soil acidifier like MirAcid. Fertilize Azaleas occasionally with a balanced plant food like Peter's Special. When planting outdoors, loosen the root ball and plant in a shallow hole with the roots fanned out horizontally. Mulch well in cooler regions.

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Bouvardia (Bouvardia domestica)
Bouvardia have clusters of white, pink, or dark pink florets. They look a little like geraniums. Bouvardia are extremely sensitive to water level and wilt quickly if the vase is not kept full. Arrangements containing Bouvardia will last longer if kept in a cool place with little or no exposure to sunlight.

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Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
Highly recognizable, the Bird of Paradise has a bent over sheath with several orange and deep violet blooms extending above. The sheath contains as many as 3 or 4 blooms. New blooms can be gently pried out as exposed blooms fade.

Bird of Paradise prefer high humidity, so keep water full, and use flower food. They are VERY temperature sensitive. Keep arrangements containing these flowers completely away from drafts and air conditioning. Cover with several layers of tissue if they must be carried outdoors on a cool day.

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Bromeliads (several varieties)
Common varieties:
  • Aechmea fasciata - Urn Plant
  • Guzmania lingulata
  • Cryptanthus acaulis - Earth Star (Starfish Plant)
  • Neoregelia carolinae - Blushing Bromeliad
  • Nidularium innocentil - Bird's Nest Bromeliad
  • Vriesia splendens - Flaming Sword
  • Tillandsia usneoides - Spanish Moss

Natives of South and Central American jungles, bromeliads grow in much the same way as orchids. These plants do well in a south-facing sunroom. They require bright, diffuse light, and very high humidity Remember, they're jungle plants! Keep temperatures above 50°. Some bright-colored plants may require as much as 80°-85° to flower. Mist the leaves in summer. Keep the "vase" or cup formed by the leaves full of water. Compost should be moist, but never over-water. Ensure good drainage. Use de-chlorinated, mineral free water, or use rainwater if tap water is high in carbonates or sulfates.

The most common problems with bromeliads are: pale brown patches on leaves, called sun scorch, and brown leaf tips (dry air, hard water, or failing to keep "vase" full). Rotting and death of the bloom stalk is normal once flowering is complete.

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Calla Lilies

see also Lilies

Varieties:
  • Albo maculata - white, spring
  • Rehmannii superba - pink, spring
  • Zantedeschia aethiopica - white, winter & early spring

Commonly used in weddings, these regal, sophisticated cone-shaped flowers have traditionally been available only in white. Colored hybrids are beginning to appear, including pink and yellow. Originally a tropical derivative, Callas are temperature sensitive and should never be chilled or refrigerated. As with other cut bulb flowers, Callas evaporate a lot of water. Keep vases full of fresh, clean water. Use flower food. Re-cut stems under water at about 4 or 5 days. Replace in fresh solution. Continuous use of fresh flower food will help prevent stems from splitting at the bottom.

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Candy Tuft (genus Iberis)
Varieties:
  • Iberis candia
  • Iberis cruciferae
  • Iberis umbellata
  • Iberis amara

These durable flowers grow in globular clusters of cross-shaped florets, or in spikes similar to hyacinth. Colors range from white through pink and lilac to red. The growing plants are very tolerant of heat, drought, poor soil, and pollution. As cut flowers, candytuft requires only that water be kept fresh and full. Care of arrangements containing candytuft is generally dictated by other more delicate blossoms in the arrangement.

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Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)
The mainstay of much of the floral industry, carnations come in an endless variety of colors and varieties. Carnations are a great value as they are very long lasting, colorful, and fragrant. Care is as simple as keeping water fresh and full and giving the arrangement adequate fresh air without exposing it to drafts or sunlight. Corsages and boutonnieres can be wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored on the top shelf in a kitchen refrigerator.

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Celosia (genus Celosia)
Varieties:
  • Celosia plumosa - Plumed
  • Celosia argentea cristata - Feather Cockscomb

Celosia is most often used for its unusual shape and texture. Blooms are feathery; almost fuzzy. Some resemble cock's combs. Vivid colors range from yellow and orange to magenta and red. Easy flowers to tend, just keep water full. Celosia also dry very well - suspend stems, blooms down, in a dark, dry, well ventilated place.

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Citrus(ornamental lemon, lime, & orange)
Varieties:
  • Citrus mitis - Calamondin Orange
  • Citrus sinensis
  • Citrus limon ponderosa
  • Citrus reticulata

The fresh, fragrant blooms of ornamental citrus plants are delightful! This coupled with many people's fascination with the tiny fruits make them very popular as indoor plants. Though many do not actually bear fruit until they are too large to keep inside, several varieties are available for indoor cultivation. Citrus plants are sun lovers; place them in the sunniest spot available. Plants grown indoors most of the year should be placed outdoors in the summer time. Water moderately year 'round - allow the soil surface to dry slightly between waterings. Citrus prefer moderate to high humidity - mist the plant occasionally, especially when blooming. Feed often according to the instructions on a balanced plant food such as Peter's Special. Repot if necessary in the spring. In winter time, place plant indoors in a cool, sunny spot (above 50°F).

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Chrysanthemum
Common Floral Varieties:
  • Chrysanthemum frutescens
  • Chrysanthemum morifolium - many varieties including: Standard, Daisy, Disbud, Ball, Fuji, Solid Pompon, Daisy Pompon, China, Button, Spider, and Spoon.

A mainstay of floral designing, Chrysanthemums have adorned gardens and fresh arrangements since the 1800's. Actively bred, the variety of colors, forms, names, and sizes is endless. Chrysanthemums are generally as tough as they are pretty (Exception: Spider and Fuji mums loose their heads very easily). Care of an arrangement will be dictated by the more delicate blooms. Top up with water and fresh flower food regularly. Corsages and boutonnieres can be wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored on the top shelf in a kitchen refrigerator.

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Chrysanthemum
Common Floral Varieties:
  • Chrysanthemum frutescens
  • Chrysanthemum morifolium

Popular flowering plant, 'mums' make a wonderful gift. Controlled greenhouse growing makes blooming Mums available almost any time of the year. There are two general varieties: 'Pot Mums' and 'Hardy' or 'Garden Mums'. Pot Mums naturally flower in October or November. They can be planted outdoors as a tender perennial in warmer climates. When kept indoors, display plants in bright diffuse light. Room temperature during the day and slightly cooler at night is best. Check moisture daily. When soil surface is dry, water until drainage runs into the catch pan. Discard drained water. Hardy or Garden Mums naturally flower in September. Relocate to a prepared bed after blooming is done. When kept indoors, display plants in bright diffuse light. Room temperature during the day and slightly cooler at night is best. Check moisture daily. When soil surface is dry, water until drainage runs into the catch pan. Discard drained water.

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Crocus (Crocus vernus)
Crocus should be grown in bright-diffused sunlight. Keep plants at 55°-65°F both while growing and blooming. Water from the side of the pot or from the bottom. Once a week while sprouting, twice a week after leaves develop. Do not pour water on the top of the plant as this promotes decay of the corns (bulbs). Flowering lasts a week or more. Corns bloomed in a greenhouse will not bloom a second time indoors. Continue to sun and water the plant as before while the greenery and plant matures. When re-planted outdoors, corns will flower at their normal spring season in one or two years.

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Croton (genus Codiaeum)
The most common variety sold commercially is Codiaeum variegatum (Joseph's Coat). Crotons are attractive for their vivid, multi-colored foliage. Keep potting medium moist at all times with room temperature water. Temperature should be constant and above 60°. Mist the plant frequently, especially in summer, to keep the air moist. ost common problems with Crotons include: loss of lower leaves - brown tips (too dry), loss of lower leaves - brown edges (too cool), and loss of leaf color (not enough light).

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Daffodils (Narcissus pseudo-narcissus)
These popular yellow or butter-colored, cup-shaped flowers are a relatives of the Narcissus. They do best if kept in a cool place. Keep vase full of flower food and water. When re-arranging, display Daffodils in a vase by themselves. Do not mix with other flowers (see Narcissus).

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Daisy

Varieties:
  • Gerbera jamesoni - Gerbera Daisy
  • Anthemis tinctoria - Yellow Daisy
  • Chrysanthemum maximum - Shasta Daisy
  • Chrysanthemum frutescens - Marguerite Daisy

These well known relatives of Asters and Chrysanthemums are most familiar in white with a yellow center. Though durable and prolific while growing, daisies are unexpectedly delicate as cut flowers. Arrangements containing daisies must be kept full with water and flower food, and arrangements displayed in a cool place out of the sun.

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Delphinium (Delphinium cultorum)
These tall blue or violet spikes of bell shaped flowers add a splash of color to any bouquet. Arrangements containing Delphiniums need fresh water and flower food every four or five days. Keep arrangements away from heat sources, sunlight, and drafts as the delicate petals dry out easily.

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Ferns - potted plant, temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical
Ferns are wonderful indoor plants and will do very well if tended properly. Nearly two thousand varieties are available for growing indoors. Of all varieties, Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis) is perhaps the most common. Ferns are understorey plants and so are accustomed to diffused light, plenty of fresh water, and high humidity. Fronds tend to stretch in low winter light, and grow shorter and broader in the summer. Though not prone to chilling, ferns stay greenest at comfortable room temperature. Pot ferns in soil with high organic material content. Keep soil moist at all times, but never soggy (the plant will rot). Mist fronds regularly to help keep humidity high around the plant. Fertilize with a balanced plant food like Peter's Special (20-20-20). Studies have shown that ferns do best in pH neutral to very slightly alkaline soil. Small amounts of gypsum (also adds trace minerals) every few months will help. Not generally prone to insect infestation, ferns are easily treated should scale or mealy bug invade. Wash infested plants in the bathtub or shower, repot with fresh soil and fertilizer, and treat with a mild house plant insecticide.

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Freesia (Freesia refracta)
These colorful and fragrant sprays of pink and orange cup-shaped blooms command attention even a few at a time. Freesia are sensitive to water loss, so keep the vase full and use flower food. Do not use straight chlorinated/fluoridated tap water, rather let the water stand open for several hours as you would for an aquarium. Display freesia in a cool place with adequate fresh air. Do not sit these flowers where they will be near a trash storage can or open bowls of fruit. Trim wilted blooms with a pair of sharp scissors. When re-arranging flowers, do not put Freesia in the same vase with members of the Narcissus family.

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Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)
These waxy honey white or cream colored rose-like blossoms are most popular for their heavenly scent. Gardenias are often used in wedding bouquets and boutonnieres. Keep arrangements topped up with water daily and always use flower food. Flowers of woody bushes, Gardenia are accustomed to a well developed supply of adequate nutrients and water. Light misting of the Gardenia blossoms will help them stay fresh. Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)
These waxy honey white or cream colored rose-like blossoms are most popular for their heavenly scent. A wonderful addition to any sunroom or atrium, these fragrant plants are a joy when properly tended. As with other flowering plants, Gardenia need warmth during the day (65°-70°) and about 10° cooler at night. Grow plants in bright, diffuse sunlight. Excessive heat and low light will cause plants to lose their buds. Water thoroughly when the soil surface is still barely moist and discard drainage from catch trays. Feed periodically with a balanced fertilizer like Peter's Special. Apply a commercial soil acidifier monthly according to package directions.

Gardenias are prone to spider mite infestation (look for small patches of very fine web) and will lose their leaves. Treat afflicted plants with a gentle miticide or insecticide approved for tropicals.

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Gerbera Daisy

see Daisy

Full saucer blooms resembling Asters, Gerberas come in a variety of pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges. As cut flowers, Gerberas prefer warmer temperatures than that for most fresh blooms. Keep the vase full of water and flower food daily. Gerberas are sensitive to 'dirty' containers (algae, mildew, and bacteria). Display Gerberas in a warm part of the house, though not in direct sun.

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Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesoni)
Full saucer blooms resembling Asters, Gerberas come in a variety of pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges. Plants grow best in full sun. Keep soil moderately moist; water thoroughly when top surface is dry to the touch. Place pots to maintain good drainage as plants must not stand in water. Improper watering will cause the plant crown to rot. Trim wilted blooms with sharp scissors to accommodate new buds.

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Ginger (Phaeomerica magnifica)
With cone-like, pine cone shaped, or torch shaped clusters of flowers, Ginger comes in pink and red. They are even more sensitive to chilling than Bird of Paradise. Cover with several layers of tissue if they must be carried outdoors on a cool day. As with other tropicals, high humidity is preferred. Keep the vase or arrangement topped up with water every day. When filling arrangements containing Ginger, do not get water in the blooms.

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Gladiolus (Gladiolus hybrida) These spectacular, tall spikes of trumpet shaped blossoms are best known for their variety of color and dramatic presentation. The delicate petals are sensitive to water loss and do not recover if wilted. Keep vase full of water and flower food. With a sharp knife, diagonally cut about 20mm off the bottom of each stem (working under water) and replace in fresh solution about once a week.

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Heliconia
Tuft - or feather-like blooms of red, pink, orange, or yellow. Heliconia is a very temperature sensitive tropical. Blooms develop black spots within hours of exposure to temperatures lower than 55°F. Cover with several layers of tissue if they must be carried outdoors on a cool day. Arrangements containing Heliconia must be kept consistently at room temperature. A table in the middle of a room is best. Avoid wetting the blooms as they rot easily.

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Hyacinth
Varieties:
  • Muscari armeniacum - Grape Hyacinth
  • Hyacinthus orientalis

Hyacinth should be grown in bright-diffused sunlight. Keep plants at 55°-65°F both while growing and blooming. Water from the side of the pot or from the bottom. Once a week while sprouting, twice a week after leaves develop. Do not pour water on the top of the plant as this promotes decay of the bulb. Blooming lasts a week or more. Forced bulbs will not bloom a second time in the same growth cycle. Continue to sun and water the plant as before while the greenery and bulb matures. When re-planted outdoors, bulbs will flower at their normal spring season in one or two years.

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Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Globular, snow-ball like clusters of pink or blue flowers, Hydrangeas grow on woody shrubs and are accustomed to a well developed supply of nutrients and water. Keep arrangements full of water and flower food. Extend vase life by displaying in a cool place.

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Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
These woody plants produce globular, snow-ball like clusters of pink or blue flowers. Hardy varieties grow quite large and make attractive yard shrubs. They are popular foundation landscaping plants in the South-Eastern U.S. (Generally, greenhouse varieties are not hardy). Hydrangea are interesting in that soil pH and mineral content determines bloom color; acid soil yields blue flowers, alkaline soil produces pink. Hydrangea require bright, diffuse light, though not hot or direct sun. Place pots close to an east or west facing window, or a few feet back from a south facing window. Plants will not survive in low light. 65°-70° is best during the day. Slightly cooler (60°-65°) at night will extend blooming.

Hydrangea require LOTS of water. Do not wait for outward signs that plants need attention as the paper-thin blossoms do not recover once wilted. Soil should be thoroughly moistened every day, though not kept soggy. Discard run-off collected in under-pot saucers. Fertilize occasionally with a balanced plant food such as Peter's Special.

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Iris (genus Iris)
Common Floral Varieties:
  • Iris reticulata
  • Iris germanica - Bearded Iris
  • Iris hollandica - Dutch Iris

These popular trumpet shaped flowers come in a variety of shades including: light and dark blue, purple, yellow, white, and combinations of these. Iris are sensitive to water loss and do not recover if stems are allowed to dry out. Keep vase full of floral preservative. Arrangements containing Iris should be kept in a cool place and away from drafts.

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Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Tough and durable succulents, Kalanchoes retain their decorative value even after blooms have wilted. Flowers in red, pink, salmon, yellow, and white are unusually long lived - as much as 6 or 8 weeks in well tended plants. Display plants in a bright location near a sunny window. Though Kalanchoes will tolerate low light levels, they do not flower well under these conditions. Kalanchoes are native to warm, dry climates. Water thoroughly when soil is dry down to 25mm and allow to drain. Do not over water, but do not allow soil to become bone-dry and hard either. Use a balanced plant fertilizer like Peter's Special at recommended mixture.

Kalanchoes can be re-flowered indoors. Late fall and winter are best. Keep plants in uninterrupted dark and cool 13-15 hours each night, bright light during the day, until buds form. When colored buds are seen, move the plant to a brighter location.

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Liatris
These violet or blue bottle-brush shaped spikes add splash and interest to any arrangement. Reasonably durable, care of Liatris is generally dictated by the more delicate flowers in the bouquet. Liatris are one of the few cluster blooms where florets open first at the tip of the stalk. Trim the stalk as tip flowers fade.

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Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris / hybrida)
Violet, blue, pink, and white, Lilacs present as hanging clusters of sweetly fragrant trumpet-shaped florets Popular single flowered varieties are derived from the standard French lilac. Larger, double-flowered varieties are available but are more expensive. Lilacs grow on woody bushes and are accustomed to amply supplies of water and nutrients. Lilacs are also sensitive to bacteria and algae build-up. Keep arrangements full of water and fresh flower food. Do not get water on the blooms or leaves as this promotes mildew and subsequent wilting. Display Lilacs in a cool place with adequate air circulation, though no direct drafts.

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Lilies
see also Calla Lilies, Star Gazer Lilies.
Common Floral Varieties:

  • Lilium regale - Regal Lily
  • Lilium candidum - Madonna Lily
  • Lilium longiflorum - Easter Lily

Versatile and fragrant, these trumpet shaped flowers are available in a wide variety of colors. Lilies must be kept in a clean vase with a fresh solution of water and flower food. Trim wilted blooms and yellowed leaves immediately. In arrangements containing lilies, these blooms will last longer if other wilted flowers and greens are removed regularly. Periodically re-cut lily stems under water and replace in a clean container with fresh solution. Use tweezers or wear a garden glove to remove anthers (the parts with the pollen) from blossoms as soon as they open. Take care as lily pollen, even in minute amounts, will stain clothing and hands yellow.(If you do get lily pollen on clothing, DO NOT wet or wash the spot. Remove as much pollen as possible with a dry brush or vacuum, and then have a professional dry cleaner clear the rest by blowing pressurized air through the fabric from the back).

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Lime - ornamental
see Citrus


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Marigolds (Tagetes erecta)
Bright red/orange and yellow tufts, these pungent blossoms are as durable as they are colorful. Care of arrangements containing marigolds is generally dictated by the more delicate blooms. Keep water topped up and use fresh flower food. Trim wilted blossoms with sharp scissors. Remove and discard completely wilted stems. Marigolds also dry well for potpourri. Hang wilted flowers in a dark warm place with good air circulation.

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Mums
see Chrysantemums
Narcissus(genus Narcissus) - cut flower, temperate
Varieties:
  • Narcissus tazetta - Paper White Narcissus
These fragrant trumpet shaped flowers are cousins of the Daffodil. Blossoms are clusters of smaller florets. Individual florets wilt and drop as days pass and should be trimmed off with sharp scissors. Arrangements containing narcissus will last days longer if kept in a cool place away from sunlight. When re-arranging, display Narcissus in a vase by themselves. Do not mix with other flowers. Cut Narcissus (including Daffodils, Jonquils, and Soleil d'Or Daffodils) leak sap into the water. This sap is very detrimental to most other cut flowers and greens.

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Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla / excelsa)
These very slow growing trees make a great gift because they tolerate a wide variety of conditions while in the home or office. Locate pots in bright-diffused or indirect light; 3-8 feet from a window is good. Turn regularly so the tree doesn't lean or become lop-sided. Cool temperatures are best: 65°-70° is okay during the day, but plants really thrive if temperatures dip down into the 50s at night. For some reason, there is a tendancy to overwater this plant. Wait until soil is dry down to about 15mm them water moderately. Discard any water that collects in catch trays so the plant does not stand in water. Remember, Norfolk Island Pines like cool and moist places. Prolonged warm, dry conditions are a sure way to weaken the plant and create problems with red spider mite infestations. Don't prune or take cuttings! Due to eccentricities of this particular tree, pruned ends sprout multiple branches and ruin the tree's shape. New trees must be grown from seeds. Cuttings won't grow vertically if planted; they grow sideways and won't make another tree.

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Orange - ornamental
see Citrus

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Orchid
Common Floral Varieties:
  • Cattleya
  • Cymbidium
  • Dendrobium
  • Phalaenopsis
  • Oncidium
  • Vanda

Full, trumpet shaped blooms in a wide variety of colors. Orchids tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, but not anything lower than what you'd find comfortable. Orchids need adequate air circulation, though no direct drafts. These flowers are commonly used as cut flowers in corsages and wedding bouquets.

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Orchid
Common House plant Varieties:
  • Cattleya - Corsage Orchid
  • Cymbidium
  • Cypripedium - Slipper Orchid
  • Coelogyne
  • Oncidium - Butterfly Orchid
  • Miltonia - Pansy Orchid
  • Odontoglossum - Tiger Orchid

Over 100,000 unique types of orchids have been identified though only a handful will grow under household conditions. Orchids need lots of bright-diffuse sunlight. 10-15 hours per day is preferred. Supplement in the winter with artificial light. Keep plants at about 70° during the day (60° in winter) and 50°-60° at night. Cooler nights are important. Keep soil continuously moist (though not soggy) and feed plants with a balanced fertilizer like Peter's Special during the summer. Grow plants in unglazed, 'breathable' pots (no plastic or glass) and ensure adequate air circulation. Cold drafts are fatal, and Orchids deteriorate quickly in hot, stuffy places. Don't worry if Orchids become pot-bound, they actually prefer it. Repotting is only necessary if plant growth begins to suffer.

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Palms
see Narcissus


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Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
Poinsettias are available in red, white (actually off-white), and pink or white/pink marbled. Poinsettias can stay in bloom for 4-7 weeks. Once in your living room put the plant in a well-lit spot away from drafts, and keep it reasonably warm. The minimum temperature the plant should be exposed to while flowering is 55-60 degrees. Exposure to low temperatures, hot or cold drafts, and poor lighting may cause leaf fall. Water thoroughly when the compost becomes moderately dry, but avoid overwatering. If leaf margins become yellow or brown, the usual reason is dry air in a warm room. Poinsettias need moist air, so mist leaves frequently.

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Star Gazer Rubrum Lilies (Lilium speciosum rubrum)
These spectacular blooms are often used as accents in wedding bouquets, and large showy pieces. Pale trumpets streaked with darker pink, and burgundy freckled - Star Gazers are among the most beautiful of arrangement flowers. See also Lilies

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Roses (genus Rosa)
Probably the most regularly requested flower, roses are poplar almost everywhere in the world. Roses, both domestic and imported, are available in a variety of clors.

The most important thing to remember about roses is Roses are Thirsty! A dozen roses can consume as much as 18 oz / 530 ml of water in a day! Drooping heads are a sure sign the water level is too low. If your arrangement reaches this point, recut each step underwater with a sharp knife and immediately replace into a vase full of fresh water and flower food. Mix the flower food according to the directions; too little will not sustain the blooms, too much will cause fading or brown petal tips.

Display roses in a cool, moderately lit place. The cooler you keep them (above freezing), the longer they'll last. Roses 'blow' open quickly or wilt if kept too warm or left in the sun. For goodness sake, don't place a vase of roses on top of the television!

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Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius)
The orange-yellow, thistle-like blooms of the safflower are most often found in autumn arrangements. As a growing plant, Safflower is considered an annual herb (called American Saffron). The dried flowers arrange well or they make a nice dye.

Safflower prefer room temperatures and adequate water. In general, they are combined with other flowers that have similar needs.

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Statice
A 'tough as nails' filler flower, statice is most common in purple and white. These spikes of tiny, papery flowers grow on peculiarly ribbed stems. The casual observer often cannot tell the difference between dried statice and fresh. The chief requirement for keeping these flowers looking good as fresh, clean water.

Drying Statice: When the arrangement fades, pull the statice, cut off the wet ends, and hang blooms-down in a warm, well ventilated place.

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Sweet William
A lovely little accent flower, Sweet William is most commonly recognized in magenta or dark red with white high-lights. White or pink are also available. Petals have serrate edges.

Sweet William is sensitive to ethylene damage: avoid vehicle exhaust, fruit bowls, and keep the arrangement fresh by immediately removing wilted flowers. Keep water full, but do not get water on the blooms - like other field grown flowers, Sweet William easily develops mold or mildew.

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Zinnia
For many, the smiling faces of zinnias capture the essence of summer. Sizes range from a petite 4 cm to huge 15-18 cm blooms. Forms include single, and double-daisy, with straight, quilled, or ruffled petals.

Zinnias prefer room temperatures and adequate air circulation (though no direct drafts). Moderate light is good, but as with most other cut flowers avoid direct sun. Zinnias must be fed properly. Be sure and use the flower food provided according to package directions. Keep water full, but do not wet the blooms - like other field grown flowers, Zinnias easily develop mold or mildew.
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