Flower Tips

Water for Flowers

It is best to use water at room temperature for your flowers. Adding flower preservative helps keep your flowers fresh and lasting longer.  If you have rain water that is the best water to use for your flowers

Flower Preservative

Try making your own flower preservative. This recipe simulates what the flower food sachets that usually come with bunches of flowers provides.

To 1 litre of water add

¼ teaspoon bleach ( careful not to splash it on your clothes)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar

The Vase for Flowers

You may have been lucky and received your flowers already in a vase, but if not you will need to find a vase in which to place your bouquet of flowers.

Try to find a vase that is in proportion to the flowers, the vase needs to be about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the flowers (include the stems in this measurement).

Make sure you clean the vase thoroughly before use. A ¼ teaspoon of chlorine bleach in a litre of water can be used to clean any nasties from the vase interior.(be careful not to splash the bleach on to your clothes)

You can trim some off the bottom of the stems if required to have the bouquet sit nicely in your vase. Where the stems have been tied together, should sit about level with the top of the vase.

Your flowers have been arranged professionally for you and are designed so that you can just put them into a vase.
There are usually two ties around the stems in a bunch of flowers; the outer tie is usually connected to the ribbon bow and may also hold the top of the water bag in place. This tie needs to be removed so you can put the stems in water. The 2nd inner tie holds the bunch in place and should not be removed (unless you want to rearrange the flowers yourself).

Florist Wrapping Paper

To remove or not to remove that is the question many of us have considered before. Well it is really a personal choice which is up to you. The florist does go to some trouble to wrap your flowers to complement the bouquet, and the wrapping does protect the flowers during delivery. 

Unlike many other florists; Flowers 4 Nelson does not over wrap your flowers and you should be easily able to enjoy the flowers with the wrap left on. If you can't see the flowers for the wrapping where you have set them down, then try pulling the edges of the wrapping down a bit so that the flowers are more visible; or you can remove the wrap completely.

Flowers For the Sight Impaired

When you are ordering flowers for a sight impaired person you can ask that scented flowers and or foliage be included, this will give the receiver more pleasure.


Notes on Flowers


These flowers keep growing and elongating their stems after they are picked. The flowers will grow toward the light. So when used in arrangements they often grow out of the position that the florist has placed them in. If you are picking Tulips from the garden to bring inside, cut all the white at the base of the stems off the flower before putting the stems in the water.


Don’t like fluoride in the water, and are best in rain or bottled water if you have it. If you have a bunch of only Gerberas, keep the water in the vase fairly shallow ( say 2 cm deep) as the stems rot faster when they are in deep water.

Gerbera flower heads turn toward the light and are often wired with a wire into the flower head and the wire spiraled down the stem; this helps to keep the flowers facing as they were arranged by the florist. It also provides extra strength to the soft stem of the Gerbera flower.


Lots of people love these huge rose like flowers which aren’t of course related to roses at all. There are peony growers in Nelson, so we are lucky to have these flowers to use. But the season is short only about 6 weeks around November, you are advised to pre-order peonies if you want to be sure of obtaining them for your order.


Lilies are one of the main flowers used in floristry, they provide a long lasting display, and some varieties are beautifully scented. Pollen from lilies stains anything it touches. To avoid the pollen stains from lilies remove the stamens (the orange brown bits) as soon as you can after the flowers open. Just pinch them off between your thumb and fingers, they come off quite easily. Dispose of carefully so as you don’t get stains on anything.

Potted Cyclamen

Place your flowering cyclamen in a cool draught free position, in filtered light. As the individual flowers fade, hold the stem and twist and pull to remove them from the corm. Water moderately, watering around the ouside of the corm if you can, not on top of the corm; as water remaining on the corm could cause the stems to rot. The plant should never be left with water standing in the saucer. Once the plant finishes flowering and the leaves begin to die off; you can take your potted cyclamen outside and place the pot in a shaded spot in the garden or under a hedge and forget about it until the late summer.

In autumn the new leaves should appear, and it is time then to re-pot into a slightly larger pot, and start watering the plant. When it starts to flower again you can bring it back inside the house.

Potted Begonia

Begonia plants start to die back and stop flowering in April – May, at this time stop watering the plants and put the pot into your garage or garden shed to completely dry out.
About late September it is time to remove the bulb from the pot, also remove some of the soil from around it before re-potting the bulb into a slightly larger pot.
Begin lightly watering it again, and soon the new leaves will appear followed a month or so later with the first of the new flowers.