Annuals- Tender, Hardy and Half-Hardy

Annuals are a delight to the gardener and to those who view the garden. They provide bountiful color and fulfill many gardening functions. [Read More]
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Pink Hibiscus

Pink Hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii, is a beautiful bloom. This perennial favorite comes in different shapes and sizes. They have single and double petals and vary in size from small to ten or twelve inches in height.

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Tips On How To Care For Fresh Cut Tropicals

by Willie Jones

You can do your own tropical flower arrangements and add life to your office or home. Tropical flowers are generally much hardier than their softer cousins. They are brilliantly colored and have a longer shelf life especially if you care for them properly.

Here are some things you can do to maximize their life:

1) Every type of fresh cut flower will produce a certain amount of ethylene gas during shipping but this can be taken care of by immediately unwrapping them and submersing them completely in a room temperature bath or large tub of water for 10 to 20 minutes. This applies to almost all the tropicals except for the fuzzy protease and most orchids.

2) Cut the stem of your tropicals about an inch from the bottom at about a 45-degree angle. The slant ensures that the stem will draw the maximum amount of water. Do this several times during the week and you will extend their life.

3) Tropicals grow in warm rainy climates and they enjoy being wet. For this reason keep your tropicals away from drafts and cool places and direct sunlight. Spray mist them daily to keep the moisture content up. In nature tropical blooms have pods facing upward, as they like to pool water in them. You can also do this with your fresh cuts.

4) If you find that the water gets cloudy then put a few drops of bleach in the water. This helps to prevent bacteria from growing and this will not hurt the flowers.

5) Make sure that when you design your flowers in a vase that you do not have any greens below the water line. This will rapidly decay the rest of the arrangement.

6) If you have purchased bird of paradise for your arrangement and they are not open, you can gently ease them apart by taking your index finger or thumb and slowly push your way at the base of the flower and force the blooms up.

Most tropicals will last between 7 to 14 days if properly taken care of. I have seen cymbidium orchids last as long as 3 weeks. So enjoy these vibrant exotic flowers in your home or office.

About the Author

Willie Jones is a freelance writer, researcher, floral designer, and artist, for Art Inspires, Inc. Make sure you enroll in the free motivational poster drawing at

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