The Flower Doctor Is In

(ARA) – Looking to prolong your blooms’ life? You can find a prescription for preservation by calling the Flower Doctor’s hotline at (888) FLOWRMD (356-9763).

Throughout the month of February, the hotline plays recorded tips by horticulturist Dr. Bridge Behe on the care and handling of cut flowers. A professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, Dr. Behe also answers e-mail questions through, sponsored by The Flower Promotion Organization. The Web site, and its parent site, are a year-round resource for flower lovers.

Founded in 2000, offers consumers simple ways to decorate their homes with flowers though “flower recipes” and answers consumer questions through its “Ask Bridget” section. “We’ve had years of experience helping flower lovers with questions of all kinds, now we want to help lovers get the most from their flowers,” stated William Carlson, managing director of the Flower Promotion Organization.

As a primer, Dr. Behe offers the following flower care Q & A:

Q. How do I keep my fresh cut flowers alive as long as possible?

A. Re-cut the stems – about one additional inch – with flower clippers while holding the stem under water. Dissolve commercial flower preservative in warm water and place the flowers in the solution. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from drafts.

Q. When re-cutting, is it better to cut in warm or cold water?

A. Warm water is best.

Q. Which cut flower lasts longest?

A. Flower life is a function of genetics and environment. Generally, though, chrysanthemums and carnations last the longest.

Q. Does removing leaves harm the flowers?

A. No. In fact, removing leaves that will be under water will help reduce bacteria and fungi growth that can harm the stems.

Q. Is a vinegar and water solution better than floral food?

A. No. Nothing extends the life of a cut bloom as well as a measured amount of commercial floral preservative dissolved in warm water.

The Flower Promotion Organization also offers recipes for creative floral arrangements on its Web site, This Valentine’s Day, consider something unique, like this recipe for romance:

Roses to Go

Materials – for small take-out container:

* Small Chinese food take-out container

* Five stems “classy” red roses

* One stem brown hypericum berries

* Floral clippers and floral preservative


* Thoroughly wash the container. Fill with water that has been treated with floral preservative

* Insert the fresh cut flowers. Cut the stems short so that just the rose blooms peer out over the Chinese food take-out container.

*Cut the hypericum so that their berries are a bit taller than the roses, then insert them among the roses.

Courtesy of ARA Content