Flowers are beautiful, fragrant and relatively inexpensive. Cut flowers add the beauty of nature to any room in the house and can be the perfect way to perk up the decor of your home without spending a fortune. Potted flowers last longer than cut flowers and can be enjoyed indoors and out. Flowers planted in the ground in your garden may return to bloom year after year if given proper care. While the care of flowers can vary greatly depending on the specific type of plant, there are some things that all flowers need in order to grow and thrive.
Cut Flower Care
Cut flowers in the late afternoon or early evening, as the plant has more stored food at that time, according to information published by the University of Illinois. Most flowers perform best if cut when the buds are first opening.
Remove any leaves that will be below the water from the stems. They will quickly rot and foul up the water if submerged. Also, remove any leaves that have insects on them or are damaged.
Prepare a container full of warm water and floral preservative. Re-cut the stems again at an angle, and immediately place them in the water.
Add more water when the level dips, and change the water if it becomes cloudy. Display the flowers in a cool location away from the direct rays of the hot sun, which can hasten wilting.
Planted Flower Care
Provide good soil for your planted flower. Commercial potting soils rich in organic matter work well for most flowering plants. Or, choose a soil created and sold for your specific flower, such as orchids, which need a very loose planting medium.
Set or plant your flower in a location where it will receive some light during the day. While the amount of light needed will vary depending on the specific plant, most flowering plants need at least some sun exposure in order to bloom. Many flowers do best in locations that receive morning sun followed by afternoon shade, as morning sun will dry any moisture left on the leaves from dew. Moisture that is allowed to sit on leaves can cause leaf spot.
Water your flower, but not too often. Again, while this can vary greatly according to the specific flower, in most cases it is best not to over-water. Overly wet or soggy soil may cause root rot, according to information published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Let the surface of the soil dry before watering your flower.
Feed your flower. Give it a dose of fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Most flowers do well with a general, balanced (10-10-10) water-soluble fertilizer, but try to choose one that is made for your specific plant if you can. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the label as per the size of your plant.