A yard isn’t complete without a few bulbs growing, and a home isn’t complete either without a bouquet of freshly picked flowers right from your garden. When you have a picking garden just a few steps away, you have the chance to bring the sights and smells of the summer season inside. Plus, removing flowers can even encourage new growth on your plants!
While we already list a few of our favorite bulbs for arrangements, here are some tips on how to bring the beauty indoors, ensuring they last for weeks on end.
The Basics of Picking Flowers
Yes, we mostly pick the flowers instead of cutting the flowers. Why? Sometimes bulb flowers can have a virus, and while it’s not harmful to people, that virus can be passed from plant to plant when cutting. The virus attaches itself to the cutting implement and can be passed to other plants when the next healthy flower is cut. Whenever possible, pick. Sometimes this isn’t possible when using thicker stemmed, more “woody-like” blooms. So, use your own judgement. While picking flowers for arrangements isn’t difficult, there are still some key tips to keep in mind, so your bouquets thrive for as long as possible.
- Gather flowers earlier in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler outside. Picking flowers in the heat of the day is stressful on the plant, and your flowers will have a hard time recuperating, they may even end up wilting.
- In general, when gathering plants with multiple buds along each stem, like Gladioli, choose a stem that has at least one bud showing color and at least one other bud starting to open since flowers will naturally open while in vases. For flowers that grow on individual stems, like Dahlias, cut them when they have fully opened. For foliage plants, select stems with strong coloration and firm leaves.
- Don’t pick until the plants have established themselves, and they look lush and full of flowers. This takes about a month for annuals, and perennials might not fully bloom until the next season. Harvest only about a quarter of each plant’s blooms.
- When cutting flowers and foliage stems one inch from the bottom of the main stem, slicing at a 45-degree angle to allow for more water uptake. Use clean and sharp clippers, knives, or shears — do not use the everyday scissors that you use to cut fabric and paper. Place stems in lukewarm, clean water immediately after picking, even if you’re not quite ready to arrange them.
- When placing in arrangements, remove the leaves from the lower part of the stems that will be submerged in water. By doing this, you are slowing the rate of bacterial growth.
- Keep arrangements away from drafts and direct sun as they will dry out faster. And keep away from ripening fruit which emit ethylene gas that can negatively impact flowers.
- Change water every two or three days, and add flower food since the stems are no longer getting nutrients supplied by the plant. Recut flowers that have gone limp, and discard any wilted blooms.
Tips to Create a Stunning Floral Arrangement
After you select a vase or container for your arrangement, clean it first to prevent bacteria. Choose a vase that’s proportional to your flowers. A general rule is that the height of the flowers should be about one and a half to two times the height of the container.
Use a mix of different heights, shapes, and colors of stems and flowers. Bold blooms make wonderful focal points, while wispy blooms act as fillers. Foliage plants round out the bouquet, pulling it all together. Just be sure not to overcrowd the vase.
If you’re going for a monochromatic look with flowers of the same color, include varying textures to keep the arrangement interesting. If you want something more vibrant, don’t be afraid of mixing colors! In our opinion, it can be difficult to create an unappealing looking arrangement due to the colors of the blooms. If it looks good to you, then it looks good to everyone!
Flower arrangements add style, fragrance, and fun to your home, even if you’re not a floral designer by trade! If you have any questions about methods for cutting bulbs for bouquets, just let us know.
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