How to Care for Your Flowers: Flower Care Tips from Nico De Swert | Pottery Barn

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Pottery Barn Living Arrangementswith Nico de Swert Hi I'm Nico de Swert, I'm a floral designer and interior stylist, Today I'm going to give you some care tips on everyday flowers.

What I'm going to start with here is really beautiful roses and I'm going to teach you how to trim andtake care of them, to take all the extra foliage off because when when you put them in the vase, you don't want to have any flower, any leaf completely submerged in the water because it's going to be murky and the water's going to create germs and bacteria and that's going to kill your flowers soyou want to remove them.

And then also the extra thorns, if you only have a few roses for your home you don't have to do a big deal you can just do them by hand, it's much better to do it this way.

The thorn strippers that you can buy in the flower market, it's more for commercial use, and they damage the flower a little bit, they scour your stem and it turns brown, so we don't want to do that.

And then you cut a flower, mostly roses or hearty stems, always in a forty five degree angle with a very sharp clean knife, to create a large surface because a large surface takes up a lot morewater than a small surface.

When you have your bouquet ready and you put it in a vase, after a few days you want to take the bouquet out of the vase and recut the stems just like half an inch, just so that the bottom of the stems don't clog up withbacteria and all kinds of stuff that's in the water.

Clean the water of course, put the bouquet back in the water and you're gonna enjoy it much longer.

That's how you take care of your roses.

There was a person, who used to, in the forties, he created what we all know today as the floral foam.

This is basically the same thing as what's inside of a stem of a flower, a sponge-like texture that takes up the water and absorbs it.

With floral foam there's one little trick that you have to do which a lot of people don't follow and it ruins your entire flower arrangement and I'l show you how.

You have to submerge it.

Basically you have to fill up your sink at home, or a tub or a large bowl like this and you take the brick and basically just put it on top of thewater and that's it.

And you let it submerge by yourself, and the water will come into the brick.

What you don't want to do is what most people do because they're impatient is push it underwater, because what happens is you're going to create an air pocket inside of the brick, and when you later make your on arrangementsyou're gonna stick a stem right into that pocket and there's never going to be any water that gets absorbed into your stem of your flower so your flower arrangement will probably be ruined.

The next flower I'm going to use and cleanand give you some tips on is one of my favorite flowers which is the carnation.

I know a lot of people don't like them but Ilove them and they're becoming much more popular today because of the new varieties and new colorsthat are being introduced in the market and it's a very strong flower and pretty much availablethroughout the united states in any flower story easy-to-use fun to use, they come in suchgreat great colors like these beautiful lavender mini-carnations and these simple white,and I really love them because of the texture.

I use them mostly just flower to flower, petal to petal, you can create a beautiful texture like that, and easy to work with, and they're strong, uh and cleaning them is very easy, you just take offthe extra leaves, again any leaf that is under your water line when you make your arrangementyou should remove because it's gonna create bacteria in your water.

Sometimes when you buy a bouquet from your local floristthere's a little package that is attached to year bouquet and it's flower food, a lot of people don't want to use it because theythink it's nonsense, I think you really should use it, because it's very helpful, it kills the bacteria inthe water and your flowers are gonna last much longer and you're gonna enjoy them much longer.

Now how can you recognizehealthy looking flower? Well it's very easy you look at the stem, see that there's no rottingleaves on it or any bruises on the stem, any brown foliage, any brown leaves, the flower buds, are they really clean and young? There's no decay, no rotting brown parts, this is very healthy and clean so you can see that,and then roses for instance, you can take the roses and there's hard petals on the roses and if they'renice and young like these then there's nothing wrong with it, but if there are any rotting leaves or rotting petals,you can ask your salesperson at the flower store to give you a great discount.

One of my most favorite flowers is the calla lily, or Zantedeschia, which are these beautiful things.

Now, to pay attention when you buy those and to se when they're fresh, there's a very very easy trick you basically just bend them, and if they don't break, if they don't snap in the middlethat means they're very very fresh, and young.

Also just looking at the flower head whenyou feel it it's really beautiful and crisp and clean and you want to see that there'sno wrinkles or anything in the leaf itself.

You almost want it to feel like leather, andwhen you feel the flower itself you feel that it's almost like a leather texture, so you also want to look at the stamen of the flower and if there's any pollen that's it'sshedding already.

When it's a fresh flower, there's basically no powder on it as you can see, and when it gets older, it starts to open up, and it starts to loosen the pollen that's in the stamen.

When shopping for hydrangeas, what you should pay attention to is basically again the texture of the flower andyou can feel it with your hands it has to feel like leathery crispy, you can hear it, you know it, it's very fresh and young and that's what you should look for,and if hydrangeas are very soft, like really really really soft youshould stay away from them because they droop very fast and they won't last very long.

But in case you do buy Hydrangeas that are not very fresh,when you get home and get stuck in your car on a hot day and they start drooping, an easy trick to revive them is to take the flower and basically like submerge them in water likethis and leave them there for about ten minutes and they'll just pop up like that in no time, Hydrangeas, because they have wooden stems, like lilacs, and an old wives' tale is to take a hammer and smash the ends of the stemsbefore you put them into your flower arrangement butthat's really the wrong way to do it.

You basically destroy the cell texture that's inside of the stem, you basically have to take a sharp knife cut the stem a sliver in it and cut it at a forty-five degree angle, and that should do it, just no smashing.

Hopefully these tips will help you enjoymore beautiful healthy long-lasting flowers.

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