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How To Use Live Plants To Create Valentine's Day Flowers

day-flowers: Flowers Next Day Love, they say, is eternal, but Valentine's Day flowers are not. A finely crafted artificial bouquet, regardless of how beautiful it is, can never match the appeal of a live plant. Here is how to extend the sentiment behind a live plant.

Cut the stems of boxed flowers, such as roses and carnations, under water. This prevents the air from plugging the moisture-conducting tubes in the stem. Add a bit of floral preservatives to warm water and then place these Valentine's Day flowers in it. Water temperature is not critical if the cut stems have been soaked in water continuously. Once in the water, shift the Valentine's Day flowers to a cool location which will optimize the intake of water and preservatives.

Florists have good reasons for keeping their arrangements in the cooler. Flowers last much longer in cooler temperatures than in room temperature. You should remember to keep cut flowers away from the hot sun and other heat sources for a longer life.

Consider moving them overnight into a cooler location such as a basement or a bay window. However, moving them to the fridge is not that bright of an idea. Besides the usual space crunch, excessively cold temperatures will make the Valentine's Day flowers freeze. Fruits and vegetables in the fridge can give off ethylene gas which will lead to the Valentine's Day flowers aging prematurely.

Colorful containers of tulips, hyacinths, and crocus are very popular Valentine's Day flowers. You should keep in mind the usual conditions while these Valentine's Day flowers are blooming. That will help keep the bulbs as fresh and lovely for as long as possible. Model temperatures for the bulbs are in their 40s and 50s. You must keep them as cool as possible to prolong their blooms. At 75 degrees, the flowers will just fade away.

Forcing bulbs to bloom early uses up all of their energy reserves. You can, of course, keep the foliage alive by watering regularly until the leaves die out naturally. However, the intensity of the light is much lower indoors and the bulb has been so stressed out that the results are fairly disappointing. You will get greater satisfaction from planting fresh bulbs in the next fall season.

If, nevertheless, your heart is bent on saving these Valentine's Day flowers' bulbs, keep watering and fertilizing to rebuild strong bulbs. Once the foliage dies out naturally, the soil can be allowed to dry out partially. Soil should be allowed to crack away from the edge of the pot, but should not be allowed to become powder dry. Separate the bulbs and plant outdoors as soon as the soil is workable.

Red and white flowers make azaleas a natural choice for Valentine's Day flowers. Under diffused sunlight and regular watering, these show Valentine's Day flowers remain in good condition at a temperature of about 55 to 60 degrees.

Azaleas grow in an acid soil, that is, a soil that is peaty. Peat is a good holder of moisture. But once it is allowed to dry out, it can be hard to rewet. Never let your azaleas entirely dry out or else you will never be able to remoisten them again. If the soil becomes too dry, sink the entire pot in a tub of warm water.

Because they are woody plants, azaleas can be kept growing year after year, but getting them to bloom again is not so easy. Apart from careful attention to watering and soil pH, these Valentine's Day flowers need a chilling period in order to bloom again. If you want to try and get your azaleas to bloom again, shift them outdoors in a shade, with no afternoon sun, in late May. You can plant these Valentine's Day flowers directly in the ground with one part soil and one part peat moss or you can sink the pot in.

If you keep the root system at or just below ground level, that can preclude the need for frequent watering in the summer. Use a fertilizer of the acid variety for your azaleas through the spring and summer months. Put the azaleas in the pot immediately prior to the first frost and then set the pot in a frost-free coldframe.

by November, these Valentine's Day flowers will have received enough chill for them to rebloom. Transport the plants indoors, maintain them in a cool and bright location, and water frequently. The plant should give off fresh flowers within six to ten weeks.

Live plants beat toxic roses for Valentines gift. Accessed August 14, 2012. http://www.adn.com/2009/02/11/687521/live-plants-beat-toxic-roses-for.html

How to choose eco-friendly Valentine's Day flowers. Accessed August 14, 2012. http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/blogs/how-to-choose-eco-friendly-valentines-day-flowersBy Lee Moore - Lee is a personal trainer, pet lover, tech geek and freelance writer. Her hobbies are gardening, interior decorating and volunteering.  

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