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Flower power - Caring for your flowers and plants

Not too good with plants? Here are some useful tips to prolong the life of your festive flowers and plants.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - February 18, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Flower power - Caring for your flowers and plants

By now, you’re probably not too concerned about whether your Valentine’s bouquet or Chinese New Year plants are thriving or barely alive. But you can extend the life of cut flowers or potted plants with these simple tips. If these pointers come too late for you, keep them in mind for next year.

Cut flowers

  • Remove the flowers from the packaging and cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. Don’t crush the stems.

  • Place the flowers in tepid water.

  • Cut off extra leaves and foliage that might fall below the water level in the vase.

  • Get a clean vase or container and fill it with fresh, lukewarm water. Add a floral preservative to the water.

  • Display the flowers in a cool area, away from direct sunlight, draughts or a heat source. Keep away from ripening fruit and vegetables as these release ethylene gas.

  • Check for wilted flowers and remove them promptly. Change the water daily and re-cut the stems for improved water absorption.

Potted plants

Four season limes : Place in a bright but sheltered area that doesn’t get direct sunlight. Water daily, but avoid wetting the fruit or it may rot. Insufficient watering and light will cause the leaves and fruits to drop. Look out for caterpillars.

Kelanchoe : Place in a semi-shaded area and water sparingly on alternate days. As this plant is a succulent, it can withstand short period of drought. Don’t spray water at the leaves or the flowers. Cut away dead flowers and leaves.

Chrysanthemums : Don’t overwater as their stems are susceptible to rot. Water once a day and drain off excess water. Put them in a brightly lit area as the flowers need light to open. Remove dead flowers to prolong the blooming season.

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