Tropical flowers make an exciting change from the more traditional floral gifts such as roses and gerberas, assuming that they're available in your area. Their stark and colorful beauty makes them an impressive gift for special occasions like Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries.
If you're lucky enough to grow tropical flowers such as heliconias or gingers in your garden, here are some tips to help them thrive and to extend their shelf life as cut flowers.
1. Water your plants well and give them a big drink before cutting. This is important for foliage plants as well because some varieties "drink" very little after cutting. Instead, they live off their own sap.
Tropical plants have adapted to their natural environment which typically involves frequent but short periods of heavy rain.
Look at the flower heads and notice how the petals are "cupped" to catch and store as much water as possible. These plants drink from the top and like being wet.
Look at the pattern on the leaves. The ridges channel water down to the stem where it's absorbed into the many layers of the plant.
2. If your flowers have been out of water for any length of time after cutting, submerge them in the bath for half an hour or so.
3. Cut 3 to 4 inches off the stem and then place them in a tall vase FULL of clean water.
4. Use a spray bottle to mist them at least twice a day.
5. Change the water and re-cut the stems every 2 or 3 days.
You can double the vase life of your cut flowers by using these simple techniques.
? Gerry Belvedere
Gerry Belvedere is a former artist who now runs her own florist service at http://www.rosaflora-flowers.com
Rosaflora delivers flowers Australia wide and overseas and offers tips on getting the most out of your cut flowers. You can view some of her tropical arrangements at http://www.rosaflora-flowers.com/special-event.html