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Valentine's Day 101: La Jolla Florist Offers Tips to Keep Flowers Blooming

Adelaide's on Girard Avenue offers tips and bust myths about keeping flowers lovely for your beautiful valentine.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Fiction seems to consume the world of love and romance, but this Valentine’s Day let's stick to the facts. Adelaide’s flower buyer and operations manager Robin Phillips has dispelled five common (and outrageous) myths surrounding extending the life of a beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet.

Myth 1: The sugar in soda will make flowers last longer, pour about ¼ cup of 7-Up into the water.

Robin says: Sugar is often found in floral preservative products but by itself can help bacteria grow which will cloud the water and eventually kill the flowers. We say leave sugar to the kids!

Myth 2: A spritz of hair spray not only preserves your hairstyle but also can help flowers look fresh longer.

Robin says: Would you use a spritz of hair spray on your face? There are professional products, such as Clear Lfe, you can use to help the flowers look fresher, longer but generally these products are used even sparingly by florists as they can create other problems. Generally products like Clear Life are for short term use when the flowers are going out into unknown environments and they must look good such as for an event.

Myth 3: Add a crushed aspirin to water before adding flowers.

Robin says: Old guys take aspirin to help thin their blood and keep it flowing through their heart. Last I checked we don’t put our flowers into blood but rather clear, clean water and adding an aspirin may only make you feel better – not the flowers.

Myth 4: Add ¼ teaspoon of bleach per quart of vase water to keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria. 

Robin says: Bleach can help keep water from building up bacteria however the dangers are greater than the rewards. Think about it. You are adding bleach to something that could spill or eventually will have drops fall on your kitchen counter, floors, clothing or furniture when you change the water. We use Chyrsal as a preservative which is available at Adelaide’s. Also, do you really want the smell of bleach emanating from your flowers. Ooh-lala…

Myth 5: Add a copper penny or two.

Robin says: Pennies are best kept in piggy banks.

Now on to the facts. 

Here are five tips to make your love last longer, straight from Robin:

1. ALWAYS keep your water fresh. Empty out the vase every three days, wash out the vase and add a commercial flower preservative such as Chyrsal.

2. Don’t let the water get low. Always keep the stems in water – they drink a lot – so check it daily.

3. Cut the stems of the flowers every three days when you change the water. Stems should be cut at an angle to help the stems continue to drink up the water.

4. Keep your flowers in a cooler part of your home or office. If you leave your flowers in your office over the weekend and they turn off the air conditioner – chances are they will die. Best to take them home and enjoy. Also cut off any dead blooms from multi-bloom stems. This will keep them looking fresh and will prevent the stems from rotting.

5. The BEST way to keep your flowers looking fresh is to replace them when they die! Flowers generally will only last five days before they need to be disposed of. 

—Tips and truths are courtesy of Adelaide's in La Jolla

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