Help and Support | Tips & Advice

Help and Support | Tips & Advice
Help and Support | Tips & Advice

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If you want advice in choosing flowers to send as a gift or floral tributes just ask - we are here to help.

All our florists know which flowers work well together in arrangements and bouquets etc, which flowers last longest and which are easiest to care for. They also understand the cultural aspects of floristry in the UK and Ireland; for example a suitable flower arrangement for a new baby or an appropriate tribute to send to a funeral.

Phone: (+44)  01823  25 46 46

Email: info@judithgossflorists.co.uk

Judith Goss Florists
77 Station Road,
Taunton,
Somerset.
TA1 1PB

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Flower Care;

We selected the following interesting tips hope this helps there will be more to follow;

Tips For Flower Care;

Simple tips to ensure that your flowers last longer and look their best ;

  • Make sure vases are very clean
  • Use fresh lukewarm water with commercial cut flower food added.
  • Strip all leaves below the water level.
  • Take at least 3cm (1") off all stems, making a slanted cut with a sharp knife or very sharp scissors.
  • Avoid draughts heat or direct sunlight  which can shorten the flowers' lives.
  • Remove faded flowers and foliage's as they occur and keep flowers away from fruit
  • Top up the water regularly and add flower food in proportion.

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Do's & Dont's

Do's ;

Buy flowers from a reputable outlet, and choose blooms with firm petals or with buds that show a degree of colour to ensure the flowers will develop fully.

Ensure the flowers are well wrapped for protection and, if the flowers are to be kept out of water for some hours, ask the florist to cover the stem ends with damp paper, or even to "aqua-pack" them in their own water `pod'.

Ask for cut flower food if it is not already supplied.

This contains the correct ingredients to

  • a) feed the flowers properly,
  • b) keep bacteria at bay (which blocks the stem and stops water uptake),
  • c) encourage buds to open,
  • d) lengthen the life of the flowers.

Snipping the corner off a one-dose sachet and adding it to the vase water is simple and effective - and scientifically tested to make your flowers last longer.

Use lukewarm water - there's less oxygen in it, and helps prevent air bubbles in the stem that will block water uptake. It also encourages some flowers to open up. The only exception to this is spring bulb flowers like daffodils and tulips which prefer cold water.

Use thoroughly clean vases - bacteria kills flowers.

Cut stems at an angle. This gives the stem a bigger area to take up more water, and stops it resting on the bottom of the vase and sealing itself.

Follow the care and conditioning stages outlined below to prolong the life and beauty of the flowers.

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Dont's ;

Smash or pierce the stems, or use blunt scissors, as this destroys the water vessels and inhibits water uptake, and causes bacteria to multiple more quickly and over a larger area. It also causes the flower undue stress which shortens its life.

Mix daffodils and narcissus with other flowers. They emit latex from their stems when cut, which is known as `daffodil slime', and shortens the life of other flowers. Keep daffodils alone in vases, or use the special bulb cut flower food which makes them safe to mix with other flowers. You can place the daffodils in a bucket of water for at least 12 hours on their own and then arrange them with other flowers, making sure you do not cut the stem again.

Don't put flowers near ripening fruit – it releases tiny amounts of ethylene gas which prematurely ages flowers.  Dying flowers do the same so 

 

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Lilies care tips 

Care tips for consumer:

                          

    • Fill a clean vase with water and flower food ;
    • Remove the lower foliage to prevent leaves hanging into the water,
    • Use a sharp knife to remove two centimetres diagonally from the bottom of the stem ( A 45 Degree angle should be fine)
    • Keep lilies away from direct sunlight draughts or ripening fruit,
    • Check and replenish (change) water level regularly
    • In the event of pollen stains: use a dry brush or sticky tape to remove. Never use water.
    • If stains persists, place the clothing in the sun and the pollen will disappear after  time.
    • Caution: Cut flowers are not suitable for human consumption

 

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Gerbera care tips ;

    • Fill a clean vase with water and flower food ;
    • Use a sharp knife to remove two centimetres diagonally from the bottom of the stem ( A 45 Degree angle should be fine):
    • Keep gerbera away from direct sunlight draughts or ripening fruit,
    • Check and replenish (change) water level regularly
    • If gerbera flagging , wrap some paper round stem to support it trim stem at an angle again (45 degrees) as above and place it back in fresh water and it will firm up after a few hours: 

Gerberas in mixed Bouquets tips :

 

  • Fill a clean vase with water and flower food:
  • Use a sharp knife to remove two centimetres diagonally from the bottom of the stem ( A 45 Degree angle should be fine):
  • Remove the lower foliage to prevent leaves hanging into the water,
  • Keep lilies away from direct sunlight draughts or ripening fruit,
  • Check and replenish (change) water level regularly
  • If necessary, trim stem at an angle (45 degrees) again and place back in water and stems will get firmer after a 4 hours or so :

 

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 Plant Care ;

Here are Some simple tips to keep your houseplants looking

healthy & good;

 

 

Looking after houseplants is not difficult, but some may need special attention. Buy plants with a specific care label with a botanical name on it. This helps you identify the three key elements your plant needs to grow, and therefore where it would be happiest - how much light the plant needs, how warm it likes to be, and how much water to give it.

 

Try to choose houseplants that like the conditions in your home or the way you look after your plants. For instance, if you have warm sunny rooms cacti are ideal; whereas shady areas would suit ferns or ivy. Azaleas are ideal for those who over water plants; and  for those who forget!

 

Don't forget to feed your plants regularly - to give them the energy to flower, produce new roots, and encourage healthy leaf growth. There are many different types of plant food available - make sure you use one for either flowering or foliage plants, as appropriate, as the ingredients are different. If you have plants with broad glossy leaves, give them an occasional wipe over with a damp cloth. The plant's 'lungs' are in its leaf surface - and if it's choked with dust it can't breathe.

 

New plants will not need feeding as the compost contains enough nutrients for at least six weeks growth. Some flowering houseplants have a dormant period when they recuperate after a season of growth; during this time they need less watering and feeding. Talking to plants is not so daft either, as you are breathing carbon dioxide on them, which they need to survive. It also allows you to inspect, close up, for pests and diseases or signs of stress.

 

Quality of your plants is vital, so inspect them well before you purchase and only buy from a reputable source. Choose houseplants with lush healthy leaves and new growth. Buy flowering plants when the buds are just opening; and remove dead flower heads to encourage new flowers to open.

 

We hope this gives you fresh new ideas for using plants in your home or work! Remember all living houseplants help increase feelings of relaxation and well being, and help you breathe more easily. So whatever houseplants you choose to have around you, they will improve your mind, body and spirit - as well as beautify your surroundings.

 

 

 

Phalaenopsis Orchid Plants

Rule 1 - How to Water Orchids

1)    Submerging

Most orchids will live in a clear container with a potting medium such as soil and bark. This will then sit inside a holding pot like the one pictured.

Using distilled or recently boiled and cooled tap water, fill the clear orchid pot and holding pot so that the orchid roots are fully submerged.

Do not fill above this point - fill just under the crown of the orchid and leave the orchid to soak

After 10-15 minutes remove the orchid from the water and allow it to drain for 5 minutes. Pour the remaining water out of your holding pot.

Once the orchid has drained away the excess water, pop it back inside the holding pot and return it to its home.

Water How often?

Depending on where the orchid is placed temperature of room and the time of year, submerge it once a week when they are actively growing (The start of flower stem production is caused by a drop in daytime temperatures in September, after flowering finishes, but prior to the central heating being turned on in most households. The new flower stem becomes clearly visible a few weeks later) to once every 2 weeks when they are not shooting new growth. Phalaenopsis orchids generally require brief dry periods between every watering.. The new flower stem becomes clearly visible (see picture below) a few weeks later. once a week when they are actively growing (see above) and once every ten days when they are "resting". Our watering method is to fill a large container (about 15cm / 6in deep) with tepid (room temperature) rain water is best.

Avoid getting water into the crevices of the leaves. If this happens, grab a towel and dab any excess moisture away to prevent rot. 

2)    Pouring

If submerging isn't your thing or if the orchid can't be removed from its pot, you can try the pouring method.

Simple pouring is still fine to water orchids. If the orchid cannot be removed from its larger pot, be mindful that it may not have any drainage holes.

In this case, water sparingly as orchids will suffer when they are standing in pooled water. Also, make sure the water is not poured directly onto the plant and is poured into the roots underneath the leaves at the base.

Avoid getting water into the crevices of the leaves. If this happens, grab a towel and dab any excess moisture away to prevent rot.

How to Tell When to Water Orchids

Watering can be a little bit of trial and error. Keep in mind that long summer days may require you to water the orchid more and short winter days will require less watering.

Here's how to tell if the orchid needs water...

Roots that are green are getting just the right amount of water.

Roots that are soggy and brown are getting too much water.

Roots that are grey or white are not getting enough water.

Another easy way to judge if the orchid needs watering is to use your finger to poke deep into the pot:

If the mix is wet or damp - don't water it

 If the mix is dry - water it
 

Rule 2 - Humidity and Orchids

 

Humidity is important as it recreates the conditions of an orchid's natural habitat, which of course helps them thrive.

There are multiple ways of creating ideal humidity for your plant but by far the easiest method for indoor orchids is to mist them regularly.

What is Misting?

Misting is simply spraying an orchid regularly with a fine mist spray bottle.

Spray the orchid leaves and any aerial roots up to two times a day depending on the plant's location in your home. This may sound like a lot but water very quickly evaporates. Do a finger test if you're worried about overwatering.

Avoid plain Tap Water

If possible, use distilled or water boiled in the kettle and cooled for your mist bottle. Standard tap water is laden with impurities, which can cause the orchids leaves to become covered in white crust. This can be unsightly and can also block moisture from entering the leaf.

How to Tell When to Mist

Insufficient misting and lack of humidity can lead to a few problems. If you notice any of the following, increase your misting:

Stunted Growth

Falling Flower Buds

Brown tipped Leaves

Twisted Flowers

Rule 3 - ideal light for orchids


Like most plants, optimal light is the absolute key to keeping orchids happy.

 

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Under no circumstances, place the orchid in direct sunlight, as they will get sunburnt - yes, really!

It can happen in a matter of hours, so keep your eyes on the light the orchid is receiving.

An ideal place for the orchid to live is in a room that stays at a consistent temperature through the day, away from drafts, fruit and where it can receive indirect sunlight.

What's indirect sunlight?

Indirect sunlight is simply sunlight that has been filtered by bouncing off a wall or through an object before hitting the orchid.
If you're unsure if your location is suitable, try this:

How to Test if the Light is Just Right

The simplest way of measuring light intensity is to use your hand.
It sounds strange but, at the height of the day, when the sun is pointing through the window at its brightest (a bright day is best to try this rather than overcast), put your hand a few inches above the plant’s leaves so that you cast a shadow over the plant.

If there's little to no shadow then the light intensity is too low.

If the shadow is a soft light grey then the light intensity is perfect.

If the shadow is very strong and dark, this indicates too much light.

Rule 4 - How to Feed Orchids

 

How To Feed An Orchid

If using liquid food, don't pour it over the plants leaves as this will burn them

Use a narrow spouted jug, lift the leaves and distribute the feed into the soil

There’s no need to water the orchid on the week that you feed it

Try and wash away any remaining fertilizing salts with your next watering

Ice Cube Feeding

Alternatively, you can make things even easier and freeze your feed mix as well as your water.

Just like ice cube watering, this great orchid tip allows the food to be absorbed by the orchid much more effectively. It also prevents the possibility of burning or over fertilizing the orchid.

Just make sure you label your ice cube tray so you don’t end up with a strange taste in your gin and tonic!

Tips for Feeding Orchids

 

Avoid increasing the concentration of your fertilizer if you miss a feed, it is much better to fertilize more frequently with weaker doses

Very dark green drooping leaves can be a sign of fertilizing too much

When you notice the orchid actively growing, fertilize it

If you spot that the orchid is in poor condition, avoid fertilizing

Rule 5 - how to prune orchids

 

How Often Do Orchids Need Pruning?

When the orchid peaks its blooming period, its new flowers will last up to 12 weeks. After this time, they may fade, droop or fall off their stems (spikes) when they are spent.

Once they do this, you will need to determine how to prune the orchid. First, check if the stem is healthy or in poor condition:

Healthy stems are green and firm to the touch.

Unhealthy stems are brown/yellow in colour and hard to the touch.

Orchid Pruning Tips

Cutting back an orchid for the first time can seem daunting. Nevertheless, by following the next few tips, you should expect the orchid to produce their beautiful flowers for its next blooming cycle (providing all other care instructions are followed of course!).

Bear in mind when pruning that orchids are very fragile plants and can’t be handled like you would a shrub. For example, if you partially cut an orchid leaf, the rest of the leaf may die as a result

 

With sterilised and sharp shears or a knife, trim away any dead leaves, tissue or roots as well as your stem

As a rule, if something is still green, it is living

When you make the cut, be sure to cut diagonally as shown

Healthy Stem

First Time Pruning

If your stem is healthy and this is the first prune. Trim the stem just above the stem notch/node where the first flower had bloomed.

This will allow a new shoot to emerge.

Unhealthy Stem

Second Time Pruning

If your stem is unhealthy or you have already re-bloomed your orchid pruning once already, it is best to cut an inch above the base of the stem.

This allows the orchid to focus its energy into producing new strong leaves and roots.
 

  

 

 

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