Caring for Flowers

There are a lot of myths and old wives tales about caring for cut flowers.....

Add sugar/lemonade to the vase water

A lot of people believe that sugar is great flower food, but it isn't. The same goes for lemonade. It's only an extra source of bacteria which you want your flowers to stay away from. Just stick with cut flower food provided with your bouquet. This contains every nutrient that your flowers need.

Add bleach

Although bleach stops the growth of bacteria and helps with damaged stems people generally use too much of it. Only a tiny drop is enough but it's best to stay away from bleach. The flower food provided with your bouquet contains enough to help keep any bacteria at bay.

Bash the stems with a hammer

I cringe whenever I hear this one. This is 100% a myth and a definite no no. By bashing the stems you are actually damaging the stem cells which prevents the flowers from absorbing all the nutrients and water. What you should do with all flowers is use a very sharp knife or scissors and cut the stems at a sharp angle thereby increasing the surface area which helps the flower drink.

Place the flowers in the sun

We all love a bit of sun and warmth. Me in particular! Flowers do too but placing them in sun speeds up the opening time of the flowers which shortens their vase life. Flowers kept in the cool last a lot lot longer. My closest friend keeps her flowers in the front hall and they last at least a month. And I've known customers place the flowers outside in the porch over night and bring them in again during the day. Just not recommended if there is frost in the air!

Remove all the leaves/thorns

This is partially true. It's best to remove all leaves that would end up below the water line in a vase. By doing this you will prevent rotting and extra bacteria in the water. But keep the rest of the leaves and thorns on. The leaves will improve the water uptake and make your bouquet look nicer (with the exception of contemporary designs). If you cut off the thorns you create little wounds which will contaminate the vase water.

Add a penny to the vase of water

Copper does have anti-bacterial properties but copper pennies don't dissolve in water. So adding pennies to the water does not have any positive effects on the vase life of the flowers. Because pennies and other coins contain a lot of bacteria it will actually have a negative effect on the vase life.

Flowers With Passion's care tips

1. Our bouquets generally come in a bubble of water in a box. You can keep your bouquet in the presentation box if you wish but we would recommend only for a couple of days. By then the water level could be very low and it will need replacing with clean fresh water.

2. Use the cut flower food provided with your bouquet. Our sachets contain enough for 1 litre of water. Use a clean vase and clean tap water.

3. Remove the flowers from the box and hold over a sink while you remove the bubble of water. You can keep the rest of the packaging if you wish but we would recommend you remove this too to allow the flowers to breath and air to circulate.

4. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife or sharp pair of scissors. Cut the stems on an angle. By using blunt scissors you will actually be strangling your flowers! This is because you will be blocking their cells and uptake of water will be restricted.

5. Completely change the water every couple of days and add more flower food. If you don't have any spare in your cupboard please call into the shop and we'll give you more. We care about our flowers!

6. Keep the flowers away from the fruit bowl. Ethylene gas is released by fruit, especially bananas, which in turn ages your flowers at a faster rate.

If you follow these easy rules you should be able to enjoy your flowers for a week or two. Sometimes more!

Calla Lily - May's flower of the month


The Calla used to go by the impressive name of the Ethiopian arum lily. It originates from an area extending from South Africa to Malawi, where it grows in swamps. The areas where it grows are alternately marshy and dry. This means that the Calla is not only beautiful, but also strong.

Colours and shapes of the Calla

The Calla offers plenty of choice when it comes to colour. The flower comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green, black and bi-coloured. The most noticeable aspect of the Calla is the beautifully shaped spathe. This spathe is actually a petal, and emerges serenely and majestically from the stem. It's a kind of wrap that slowly opens up until you can look deep into the heart of the plant. The actual flowers are very small and are located on the elongated spadix in the centre of the spathe.

Care tips

• Hold the flowers by the stem and trim the stems diagonally.

• Place the Callas in a clean vase with clean water.

• Add cut flower food to the water.

• Regularly trim the stems a little, and remove any stems that have become slimy.

• Don't place your flowers in a draught, in direct sunlight or near a source of heat.

• Don't place your flowers near the fruit bowl. Fruit naturally emits ethylene gas, which causes flowers to age rapidly.

Calla symbolism

The Calla has various symbolic meanings. It is considered a flower of purity and sympathy, and represents beauty. The Calla is also considered a lucky flower. This dates from the Greek and Roman period. They associated the flower with festivities and enjoyment, because the shape of the bloom resembles a goblet used for drinking. Although many centuries have passed since then, the Calla has always retained this meaning. 




Gerbera - April's flower of the month

We call gerberas our happy flowers. They are bright and cheerful and there are 100s to choose from in a huge array of colours. The smaller headed gerberas we call germini and recently we had some new spider and pompom gerberas for sale in the shop - just stunning.

They are the world's fifth most popular cut flower after roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips. Bees and butterflies love them but they are resistant to deer.


When you think of gerberas, you think of colour! The gerbera’s basic colours are white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange and green. The flower is also available bi-coloured, multicoloured and in various shades derived from the basic colours. The flower’s beautiful heart can be black or green. In other words: there’s plenty of choice when it comes to colour. The shape is always cheerful: single and double flowered, pom-pom and spider shapes. Have you noticed that when a child draws a flower, it’s always in the shape of a gerbera?   


The gerbera has no symbolic meaning but with its colourful and sunny appearance it makes any home or workplace more cheerful and welcoming. Its presence means: you make everything more beautiful!


The gerbera is an unscented flower which is part of the Asteraceae family. It originates from South Africa, Asia, South America and Tasmania. Some 900 million gerberas a year are produced in the Netherlands with 600 different varieties of colour, shape and size. 


Gerberas have much stronger stems these days - especially when bought from am independent florist! They used to get a bad press about drooping but here is a very USEFUL TIP:

Don't fill a vase and add gerberas. You will drown them - hence the drooping. They breath through their hairy stems so only put them in a small amount of water with the correct flower food. If you are still having trouble then ask your florist for a special tablet that goes in the water - we call them viagra for gerberas!!!!

  • Trim the stem diagonally with a sharp knife.
  • Use a clean (glass) vase and fill it with approx. 7 cm of tap water at room temperature. Use cut flower food for a mixed bouquet.
  • Ensure the right ambient temperature (max. 20 °C).
  • Do not place gerberas in a draught, in full sun or near central heating.
  • Regularly top the vase up with tap water.
  • Never put cut flowers near a fruit bowl - the ethylene gas which fruit gives off ages the flowers much quicker.


Freesia - February's flower of the month


Freesias are known for their scent and that subtle perfume certainly takes me back in time and evokes memories of my parents' house. My father loved freesia and would often have a vase of them on his desk. This nostalgic flower has made a big come back and is a very popular request here at Flowers With Passion. We don't keep them in stock all the time but can get them in with a couple of days notice if you'd like us to include them in a bouquet or you'd like a nice bunch of them in your home. One of our most popular floral gifts on our website is the freesia basket.

Another is our Scent With Love posy....

And with Mother's Day fast approaching these make gorgeous gifts especially as the freesia symbolises unconditional love - and not just for your Mum. Traditionally you give your spouse white freesias after seven years of marriage to remind you both of pure, genuine love. The beautiful fragrance of the comb of flowers lends an extra dimension to this. It also symbolise innocence.


The freesia’s tuber forms small tubers under the soil called beads. These beads grow into a full tuber and ultimately into a comb of flowers which lends extra style to any home - and they even carry on growing merrily in the vase! The freesia comes in white, yellow, orange, red, blue, pink and purple, but can also be bicoloured or multicoloured. Many varieties have a beautiful sweet scent which makes your home even more attractive.  


The tuberous freesia was ‘discovered’ in South Africa, where they were called ‘Cape lily-of-the-valley’. The flower was given the name ‘Freesia’ in around 1830 by the South African botanist Ecklon, who named it after his friend, the German Dr F. Freese.

Many thanks to our friends at The Flower Council of Holland for some of the above information. Check out more on their website:

Caring for freesias

  • Select a clean vase and fill it with tap water at room temperature.
  • Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.
  • Cut or trim the stems by 3 to 5 cm with a sharp and clean knife or secateurs.
  • Do not place freesias in a draught, in full sun or near central heating.
  • Regularly top the vase up with tap water.
  • Don’t place freesias near a fruit bowl. Fruit emits ethylene gas which will cause the flowers to age more rapidly.

Tulips - January's flower of the month


National Tulip Day is on January 21st and there is a special event in Dam Square, Amsterdam.

From Turkish turban to Amsterdam canal-side house

You’d think you can hardly get anything more Dutch, but the tulip is actually pure Iranian, pure Afghan and pure Kazakh. Nomads brought the colourful flowers to Turkey, where manly sultans started wearing a tulip on their turban. That’s how the flower got its name: ‘tulipan’ means ‘turban’.


The ever-cheerful tulip comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or with multi-coloured petals. The shapes of the tulip are also a feast for the eye. You can find them with a single or double row of petals, whilst there are also eye-catching fringed and parrot tulips with serrated petals, and there’s the playful lily-flowered tulip. Peony tulips look like peonies, and French tulips are exceptionally tall (unlike the average French mademoiselle) and have very large flowers


If you gave someone a tulip in the sixteenth century, you were giving them a fortune. At that time the flower was incredibly popular and a speculative trade in tulip bulbs developed. You could buy a whole canal-side house in Amsterdam for the price of one tulip bulb in those days. A nice bunch of tulips now costs just a couple of pounds, but the symbolism has gained in value. If you give someone tulips, you’re also giving them a message. Hence red tulips mean passionate love, and with black tulips you’re saying: ‘I love you so much I will sacrifice everything for you.’ So don’t give those to just anybody.


Tulips can be found growing wild from north Africa and southern Europe across to north-west China. The greatest diversity can be found in three mountain ranges in central Asia: the Pamirs, the Tian Shan and the Hindu Kush. With cold winters, long springs with cold nights and a dry summer, the climate here is ideal for tulips. Tulips need a cold night and a cold winter in order to be able to grow, which is why they can’t be cultivated in a warm climate.


You can enjoy your turban flowers for five to twelve days by following these care tips:

·       Select a clean vase that is tall enough: tulips will continue to grow another few centimetres.

·       Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.

·       Wrap the tulips in the vase in paper or film for an hour first. The tulips will then fill themselves with water and straighten up.

·       Use tap water at room temperature.

·       Trim the stems diagonally with a clean, sharp knife or secateurs.

·       Place the vase in a cool spot out of the sun and away from the fruit bowl.

·       Tulips are heavy drinkers, so top the vase up with tap water regularly.


tulip january.png

Plant care - Amaryllis

Amaryllis: December Houseplant of the Month

The story of Amaryllis

Stylish and sensual Amaryllis (also known as Hippeastrum) is available in many varieties and rich earthy colours. This houseplant’s big feature is its changing appearance. A stately hollow stem emerges from a bulb on which smooth buds develop. Those open into voluminous calyxes with velvety petals in white, salmon, red, pink or even green. The flowers can reach a diameter of 20 cm. This is very spectacular, particularly because you do not expect such a lavish display from such a sleek stem, especially not in the winter months. 


Amaryllis is a member of the Narcissus family, with more than 70 species. It’s native to the (sub-)tropical regions of Mexico and the Caribbean through to northern Argentina. The first plants probably developed in Brazil. The plant was first cultivated in Europe in around 1800. 

What to look for when buying Amaryllis

  • When buying Amaryllis, look at the colour and the flower shape which will emerge from the bulbs. The larger the bulb, the more (hollow) stems emerge from it, sometimes up to 3-4 stems per pot. Every stem produces 3 or 4 conical flowers.
  • Check that the bulb is well rooted and not too loose in the pot. A green tip must already visible on the bulb when purchasing. 
  • Check that there is no mould on the bulb or the soil - a sign that the plant has been too damp. 
  • The bulb and stems can be affected by ‘red blotch’ (red stripes on the stem) but this does not detract from the lifespan. 

Choice of range

The Amaryllis range is very broad. Alongside main colours such as red, pink and white, new colours are constantly being added, like salmon, lilac, green, orange and bicoloured varieties with stripes or edges. There are varieties with single and double flowers. Bulbs with a wax or felt coating that the consumer doesn’t have to do anything to are very popular. Do stress that it requires patience: it takes a few weeks for a bulb to start growing.

An Amaryllis in a pot develops slightly faster. 

Care tips

  • Amaryllis can tolerate both dark and light positions, as long as it’s reasonably cool.
  • Do not allow the soil to dry out, but do not have standing water either. Bulbs with felt or wax will flower without water, but should not be too warm, otherwise the flowers will dry up.
  • There’s no need to feed, since the nutrients are already in the bulb. 

Thanks to The Flower Council of Holland -


Plant care - poinsettias


Here at Flowers With Passion in Longridge we have several different varieties to choose from - red, cream, pink, speckled. All beautifully gift wrapped either in mixed planted containers or individually wrapped for your own home or as a gift for a loved one.

We Care - pass the message on!

With the plants being the undisputed stars of the festive season we would like to highlight the reasons why your local florist should be the go to shop to buy your poinsettias.

Care guide - Temperature

Poinsettias need warmth and light and must be kept away from draughts. That means they must be kept away from fireplaces, doorways, open windows, and breezy hallways.  Poinsettias originate from Mexico, hence their sensitivity to the cold and wind.  Keep your plant somewhere that has some natural daylight.  They're most happy in temperature between 15 and 20°C, so it will be completely at home in most living rooms.

Essential buying tips…

We should share the message that If the retailer hasn’t handled your poinsettia correctly, it may well not last at home.  You should never buy a poinsettia that’s been sitting next to a set of automatic doors that open every 30 seconds, because it will have been damaged by chilly winter draughts, they don't appreciate the cold blast of air, then a hot blast from air heaters!

When you choose a plant, it shouldn't be too light or heavy - it should be neither soaking wet nor totally dry.  Other information worth sharing is how you can spot how healthy a plant is feeling by just looking carefully at it; dense foliage and yellow-green budding flowers in between the coloured bracts are sure signs of quality. 

Care guide - Watering

Poinsettias don’t like a lot of water. The plant’s root ball should neither dry out nor be drenched. Overwatering can quickly lead to waterlogging, which in turn causes the roots to rot and leaves you with a dead plant.

The easiest way to care for them is to either immerse the whole pot and root ball in water once a week in tepid water and let it drain before popping it back in the pot.  Similar to how you would a Phalaenopsis orchid.  The alternative is to give it a small amount of water every few days. 

Safe Journey Home…

Finally, make sure poinsettias are all wrapped up to protect it from the cold on the journey home.  Ask your florist to gift wrap your poinsettia for you.

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Wedding photoshoot

During the summer I was asked to take part in a photoshoot being staged by Little White Books. I was thrilled to involved meeting lots more fabulous wedding professionals - hair, make up, bridal, photography and venue dressers.

I was told that one of the dresses to be modelled had a hint of sunflowers in the underskirt so I was asked to bring along a bouquet including sunflowers. On closer inspection the dress also included orchids. Always loving being able to play and be creative I designed a bouquet with both flowers included. I created one very natural bouquet with plenty of foliage - bang on trend at the moment. The other I created a framework out of wool and ribbon and made a slightly different bridal bouquet.

I threw (not literally!!) a few extra flowers in the van because I had no idea what to expect. On arrival the lovely Beks from Little White Books asked if I could decorate some large LOVE letters. Again, I thought I'd try something a little bit different and I didn't have many flowers to play with. Absolutely thrilled with the finished effect.

It poured it down with rain all day but nothing could dampen our spirits. Although next time I will come up with lots more bouquet and table centre ideas. Loved the day and having a chance to play. Here are some photos.....