December 3, 2009 at 8:43 a.m.

Cut flowers as holiday gifts

Cut flowers as holiday gifts
Cut flowers as holiday gifts

Although my articles concentrate on fruits and vegetables, I really enjoy flowers. In years past I had many annuals such as dahlias, gladiola, cannas, and calla lilies. The problem was planting, digging them up and storing, which was more than my knees could handle. I also love indoor-outdoor plants like hibiscus and amaryllis. Having too many rather than enjoying a few, forced me to give away most of them.

Flowers have been holiday gifts for centuries. Since writing about cut flowers is way out of my league, I went around to local flower shops and greenhouses for information. Roses continue to be the most popular cut flower for any occasion, including the Christmas holiday. Red is still the most popular color if men are buying, followed by yellow and orange. On the other hand, women prefer to buy the pastel colors. The majority of roses we buy come from foreign countries where warmer and more consistent temperatures prevail. According to one florist, there are only two growers of cut roses in the United States, and one of them is in Plymouth, Minnesota. The problem of wilting flowers during flight and transport has been solved as chemicals can restore wilting roses in a matter of minutes.

Carnations are very popular cut flowers because of their durability, requiring little care. It is not unusual for them to last two to three weeks or longer. Mums, pompoms, and daisies are also very popular because of their durability and low maintenance.

All cut flowers purchased in flower shops are in a non-wilting solution. One can also buy a mixture to add to the cut flowers to keep them fresh when in the home. One shop employee stated that they never use soft water in their plants because of the sodium used in some water softeners.

Not all flower gifts come in the form of cut flowers. There are many potted plants that are very popular gifts during the holiday season. They include the Christmas cactus, amaryllis, cyclamen, kalanchoe, Easter lily, hydrangea, and poinsettia. Be sure to read the information attached, so your plant remains as healthy as when you received it.


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