February 2017 Issue
Maintaining Holiday Flowering Plants
During the holiday season, interiorscapers transform ordinary offices into festive workplaces with decorations and flowering plants. To keep the delicate blooms looking their best, follow these guidelines.
Keep them moist
Most flowering plants have extensive fibrous root systems that require constant moisture. Plants in flower do not like to dry out. If top watering, water the entire root ball thoroughly. Remove any excess standing water. Allow media to dry out only slightly; water again when top 1/4″ has dried out. Over watered flowers drop green leaves and blooms, and stems develop rot. Under watered flowers drop yellow leaves and blossoms. Flower buds turn brown and dry up.
The best solution for maintaining constant moisture is to transplant the flowers into subirrigation or use water absorbing polymers. There are many forms of polymers or hydrophilic gels on the market. Spikes, powders, granules or discs all work on the same principle. The gels absorb water and release it slowly into the media to supply a steady amount of moisture to the roots. Both subirrigation and hydrophilic gels extend the time between watering and prevent the plant from drying out between maintenance visits.
Keep them pretty
Keep flowering plants looking beautiful by pinching off spent blooms. Groom out yellow foliage and remove debris from the container. Rotate container weekly to expose all sides to the best light source. To prevent fungal diseases from developing on plants, avoid splashing foliage or blossoms when watering. Remove or replace declining flowering plants before they lose all their blooms. Protect flowers from cold drafts or excessive heat. Plants such as poinsettias will develop blue or white blotches on bracts when exposed to cold temperatures. Excessive heat will dry out flower buds and cause wilting. If possible move plants away from heating ducts or ventilation systems.
Flowering plants are a welcome addition to any account. By providing the right maintenance, your plants will reward you with beautiful blooms the entire holiday season.
Fragile – Handle Plants With Care
When transporting and installing flowering plants, it is important to protect their delicate blooms. Their life expectancy will be shortened if the plants are not handled properly from the time they leave the greenhouse or warehouse until they reach their new home on your account.
Transporting flowering plants
- Plant sleeves should extend 2-3″ above the tips of the plant to provide complete protection for flowers.
- Take care not to crush sleeved plants: lateral branches of plants such as poinsettias and chrysanthemums are delicate and will easily break off if bumped or handled roughly.
- Temperature extremes during transport may cause wilting , foliage drop and discolored flowers. Keep temperatures between 50F- 70F.
- Do not leave poinsettias in sleeves for more than 24 hours. Prolonged storage causes the plant to produce ethylene. Excess ethylene results in epinasty, a condition characterized by droopy bracts and leaves.
Installing your flowering plants
- Remove sleeves b y gently tearing or cutting along the seam.
- Remove damaged stems, leaves or flowers. Remove spent blooms or yellowing foliage.
- Check moisture level of growing media. Plants should be evenly moist. Be aware that newly installed flowers use more water the first week. Remove any excess water water that may be standing in saucer.