Flower Power


A beautiful bouquet is the perfect way to say ‘Thank you’, ‘Get well’, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’. Cut flowers make us feel great, put a smile on our faces and help us celebrate special occasions. Flower lovers, rejoice! Valentine’s Day is your day and it’s almost upon us!

Flowers are among the most popular gifts given on Valentine’s Day. For every florist in the country, it’s their “make it” or “break it” time of year. Receiving a bouquet of flowers any time of year is joyful. But on this day, it means a bit more: it’s a traditional expression of love and romance.

Anyone receiving a beautiful flower bouquet knows that nothing ruins the joy of a beautiful fresh flower arrangement more, than having it wilt after only a couple of days. From the time a blossom is cut from the plant, the slow decline of the bloom begins. An important thing to be aware of: a flower’s purchase price doesn’t guarantee its lasting power. I’ve experienced this problem more than once, so I’ve become a little more picky when it comes to choosing cut flowers for my home or as a gift.


My go-to flower for my home is the Phaleonopsis Orchid plant because I can keep it alive for about 2 months depending upon the time of year. I also have good luck with the cut Dendrobium Orchids (orchid sprays). These last about 3 weeks, which for cut flowers, is a long time and they look beautiful in any kind of vase. My go-to color is white for all orchids and the thing that’s wonderful is these flowers work in both traditional and contemporary settings.


Roses are always a top choice for people and especially for Valentine’s Day but sad as it is, the longevity of cut roses is only 3 - 7 days. There are many varieties, sizes and colors to choose from and the fragrant roses - well they just speak for themselves.


The Peony is my favorite flower. Its blooming period is very short and, like the old saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Late spring is the best time of year to find peonies and luckily, peonies last about 2 weeks. If you live in LA, Trader Joe’s has an amazing selection of peonies when they’re in season at the best price. I like buying a bouquet of both blooms and buds so that after the blooming stems die, I still have the blossoming buds to enjoy.

Tips for keeping flowers alive:

  1. Trim the stem of all cut flowers at a 45 degree angle before you put them in a vase. Don’t use scissors. They can squish and damage the end of the stem which can prevent them from absorbing the water in the vase. Use a sharp knife instead. For flowers with thicker stems, use garden shears. Orchid stems need to be trimmed every day or every other day.

  2. When shopping for roses, squeeze the rose where the petals meet the stem. If it’s firm, the roses are fresh. If it’s soft, don’t buy them. The roses are old.

  3. Always use a clean vase that has been rinsed well and is free from chemicals. Change the water in the vase every day or every other day. Cool water is best. If you’re not willing to drink the water that’s in there, why would your flowers want to?

  4. Don’t put the vase of any flowers close to an A/C vent or near a window with direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight is best. Also, a room temperature of around 70 degrees is ideal for most flowers.

  5. The best way to water an orchid plant that is not in a pot is to put 3 ice cubes under the leaves once a week or when the plant is dry. If the orchid plant is in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom, running the plant under cool water for 15 seconds works well but make sure to avoid the core at the center of the plant. Also make sure to let all the water drain out before placing the pot back in the saucer.

  6. For orchid stems that have multiple blooms or buds, remove the dead ones to restore energy and growth back to the stem with the remaining flower.

  7. With all of the lily varieties, remove the pollen pods when the lilies begin to bloom to extend its life and to remove staining. Use paper towels or gloves when removing as the brown powder will stain your hands.

The next time you buy fresh flowers or get a beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet from that very special person, feel the love, enjoy its beauty and rejoice in the fact that you know what it takes to have flower power.

Smooch! xx Barbara