care

Tulips - January's flower of the month

TULIPS

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’.

COLOURS AND SHAPES

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

SYMBOLISM

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.

ORIGIN

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.

CARING FOR TULIPS

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.

 

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Plant care - poinsettias

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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