Thursday, June 23, 2011

How To Take Care of Indoor Plants

Conditioning a plant to the home environment is the first step in adapting store bought greenery to life in your house or apartment. Our homes usually have less light and humidity than the plant had before we bought it. Houseplants might lose their leaves within a week or two of purchase if our home environment provides too drastic a change for them. Conditioning plants to our home extends their life and it's possible to buy preconditioned plants. Buy from a garden center and ask them if the plant is pre-conditioned.

To condition new plants expose them to the maximum amount of light available. Over a period of a few weeks, gradually reduce the available light to approximate the desired final location for the plant. You can remove excess fertilizer and salts from the soil by allowing water to filter down through the soil and escape through the drainage hole. The greenhouse where your plant lived before was more humid than your living area. Using a humidifier is good for your plants.

Choose plants that need medium to low light unless you plan on providing some extra artificial light. When plants are located in low light areas they thrive better in cooler temperatures, so try to maintain the minimum recommended temperature in your home. Usually, the brightest location is near a south-facing window, and the darkest is at a north window. Plants at the western window are exposed to a much higher temperature. Putting them outside in the summer often revitalizes plants. Be careful of too much direct sunlight by starting in the shade and gradually exposing the plant to more sunlight. Rotate the plant daily because it will grow towards the light. This will help it to grow straight. If you have a problem getting enough natural light, your plants will thrive with extra fluorescent lamps.
Most houseplants do well in daytime temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit lower at night. As a rule, as temperatures increase the need for light increases. Don't put your plant where they are subject to hot or cold air drafts. Plants on window ledges may freeze in winter.

Plants need moisture in the air; most foliage plants require humidity of at least 15 to 20 percent. Heating the home during the winter reduces the humidity to desert levels. The best way to compensate is to use a room humidifier. Spraying plants with clean water removes dirt from the leaves and helps a little with humidity. Spray them early in the day to allow the surfaces to dry.
Use pots and containers with drainage holes. Soil in clay pots dries out faster than in plastic pots, so less watering is necessary. Pots can be sterilized by soaking them in a 10:1 solution of chlorine bleach and water. There are some general guidelines to watering plants: Plants get water and nutrients from the soil and it is important that the soil drains well so that excess water can run out of the pot. Thoroughly wet the soil at each watering. Don't water more often than needed; over watering can lead to root rot and blocks the oxygen necessary for root growth.

Fertilizing depends on the type of plant, available sunlight, soil, frequency of watering, and type of fertilizer. Fertilize growing plants every two months but don't fertilize dormant plants. Plants need less fertilizer under low-light conditions. Burned or dried leaf edges and wilted plants are a sign of excess fertilizer application.

Carefully inspect leaves, stems, and soil of new plants for insects, mites, and other pests. Repotting plants in a store bought pasteurized potting soil eliminates soil insects. Gently wiping the leaves and stems with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol is a good way of controlling aphids or mealybugs. You can also wash plants with soapy water if you rinse them after.

Pests such as fungus gnats, caterpillars, ants, millipedes and slugs don't usually cause damage. Always isolate new plants or plants that have been kept outside for a week or two and watch them for signs of pest infestations.

Remove dead leaves and debris from plants and pots to eliminate hiding places used by many pests. When handling infested plants, be careful not to accidentally infect other plants. When plants have extremely heavy pest infestations, it's probably best to throw them out. Pesticide sprays offer the most practical way to control pests on houseplants. Check the pesticide label to see which plants and pests it is recommended for.

Diseases in houseplants can be frustrating to overcome. Even with proper care, houseplants are subject to plant diseases. The four main groups of causes of plant diseases are fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes. A dry home environment is usually not favorable to many diseases that plague plants grown in a humid greenhouse environment. Many houseplants already are infected when they are purchased. Over-watering, excessive misting and insect damage can provide the conditions for disease to develop.

Most diseases of houseplants can be prevented or minimized by following a few simple precautions: Be aware of and observe the proper growing conditions for each plant. Over-watering or over-fertilizing stimulates root rot diseases. Do not over-mist to prevent mildew and leaf spots. Grow houseplants in clean containers and in drained and sterilized commercial soil. Buy healthy looking plants and beware of bargain plants.

Making a pond in your garden

Decide on the Position
Firstly, you need to think carefully about where you will place the pond. If it has trees overhanging, then you will be driven mad by leaves falling in. If it is too shady, your plants won't appreciate it (water lilies and other water plants generally like plenty of sunshine). Above all of course, however, do pick a place where you can see it and appreciate it.Incidentally, this is the point where you really want to sit back and be sure that this is what you want.  Before long, you will be spending money and digging a hole that takes just as much work to fill up again if you change your mind.  Make sure that what you are planning is going to add to the value of your home and garden, and not be out of place.

Decide on the Size
Now decide on the size. The best way to visualise it is to lay a hose pipe on the ground to define the edge of the pond. Then look at it from different viewpoints to make sure that it fits well into the view of the garden.  Even go into the house, and consider whether it looks right from the window.  In bad weather, when you are indoors, the pond can still be an attractive addition to your view of the garden if you choose the position well.

Now Start Digging!
Digging is hard work, and you will learn just how unpleasant your subsoil is! Your first step is to remove the turf and any good topsoil and put these aside - you may want to use some of this later when tidying up the edge of the pond.  You will need to hire a skip to get rid of most of what you dig out, unless you are going to use it to build up height elsewhere in the garden.  (Yellow pages for Skip Hire).If you buy a pre-formed pond, then of course you dig a hole to fit it, but we will assume in these notes that you intend to dig a hole the shape you want, and then use a plastic liner. You will need to dig much of it out to at least 30 cms deep, as even if you want 'marginal' plants growing near the edge, it is easier to grow them in special plastic baskets sitting on a shelf this deep.  Away from the sides, beyond your 'marginal shelf', you can dig down as deep as you like, but keep the walls sloping to stop the earth falling down, and to make it easier to fit the liner later.Right at the edge of the pond, you might want to think about how you are going to finish it off.  Usually, you drape the liner onto the bank, and cover with stones or paving, but a nice idea for part of it is to have a gentle slope into the water, which can be a pebble beach.  Another idea is to cut away a strip of soil about 8 cms deep, and 20 cms wide, so that you can hold the edge down with partially submerged stones - this neatly conceals the liner at the waters edge, but do allow for the extra liner width.Finally, make sure the edge of the pond is perfectly level, as once the liner is in and full of water, it is too late to fix (water lapping over the edge at one end, and a cliff-face of exposed liner at the other end!!).

Buy your Liner and Pump
Buy your liner and pump by mail order (saving about 20%), but first do have a look at these items in the garden centres, to make sure you understand how the pipes fit on, and what sort of fountain attachments there are.You also need an underlay to put under it unless you are going to use sand or a DIY job with old carpets.  This is to protect the liner from sharp stones and roots.  In addition to the pump (check the catalogues for the size you need), you need some piping and connectors if you are going to send water to feed a waterfall.  You may get away with this lot initially, but be warned that you may need to buy a filter later on especially if you have fish, and want to see them (ie. to keep the water clear).

Lay the Liner and Fill the Pond
Laying the liner has to be done carefully, but in fact it is the fun part! It also signals the end of all that digging, so is really something of a milestone event.  Our first tip on this is to make sure you have some drinks ready for the minor celebration on seeing water in the hole!!You start the process by draping the liner over the pond, and then making sure it is roughly fitted to the shape, by folding it in the right places.  Place a few (smooth) stones on the liner around the edge to stop the wind catching it , and to hold it in place.  You will need to walk over the liner inside the hole, so you are best to be in bare feet to avoid damaging it.  Then start filling with water.  (Incidentally another wotnext tip is not to switch over to a water meter just before doing all this!).As it fills the bottom of the pond, walk around, and smooth out any wrinkles, and adjust the folds as needed, so that the liner stays firmly against the sides.  And continue like this until the pond is full.  You may have to adjust the stones around the edge as the liner shifts into place.You might now want to trim off any surplus liner (leave at least 30cm overlap beyond the pool edge), and then that is it for a while, giving you a chance to relax and admire your handiwork, and giving the pond a chance to settle down over the next few days.
Finish things off
You now need to finish the edges, as we mentioned earlier, with rocks, or paving, or with pebbles and cobbles for a beach.  If you just want to buy a few large rocks as part of this, you can get them at B&Q for about half the price of a garden centre.  If you want a large quantity, then it is cheaper to order from a building stone supplier (in the yellow pages); rockery stone is sold by the ton (about 40 large rocks), and the more regular building stone is sold by the size of wall you can build with it, ie. by the square metre.Installing the pump is straightforward, the main issue being to conceal the mains cable and the piping.  You will probably find that you need to tie a few stones or half-bricks to the pump and piping in the water, to stop it all drifting to the surface!

Put in the Wildlife
Finally, you need to put in the wildlife that you want.  Everyone (well nearly everyone at least wants some plantlife, and you can put water lilies in the deep water, irises and other plants in the 'margins', and floating plants like water soldiers anywhere you want.  At this point, you start to discover how water garden centres make their money - while many marginal plants are only about £3 each, the water lilies will set you back about £15 each.  If you are going to have fish too, then get the credit card ready!!Interestingly, as soon as the water has settled, from somewhere or other, wildlife will gravitate to your pond.  You will soon find mysterious bugs and things in the water, and before long birds will start to visit, especially if they can easily walk down to the water's edge.  All very nice.Finally, you will probably want to plant some flowers around the pond, to serve as a pleasant backdrop. You can buy a good selection at low cost though mail order, using It's a nice web site with lots of interesting gardening hints and tips.

Climbing Plants

How to Plant Flower Seeds

  • 1
    Determine the best time to plant your seeds. Most flowers can be planted outside any time after the last frost, but some should be planted later in the season. Most seed packets have directions for when to plant, or you can check the planting schedule in the resource section. If you want to start your flowers early, you can plant them indoors six to eight weeks before outdoor planting.

  • 2
    If you're planting your seeds outside skip to step three. If you choose to start your plants inside, fill the pots about three-quarters full with potting soil. You can use small starter pots or seedling trays and eventually transfer the seedlings from the container to the ground, or you can use peat pots, which go directly into the ground and dissolve in the soil.

  • 3
    Plant two or three seeds per pot. Press the seeds about half an inch below the surface, and cover them with soil. If you are planting large flowers, remove extra seedlings so there is only one flower growing in each pot, but planting extras will ensure that at least one seedling germinates. If you are planting directly in the ground, follow the same procedure, but space seeds in rows 2to 6 inches apart, depending on the size of the flowers.

  • 4
    Water the soil until it is damp but not soaking. If you're planting outside you're finished, just water the ground as needed until seedlings appear. If you're using pots, make sure they have holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Put the pots on a tray or cookie sheet to catch the drainage, and cover with plastic wrap to help retain moisture. Place covered containers in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.

  • 5
    As soon as the seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move the pots to a sunny area or place them under a grow light. Water seedlings as needed until it's time to plant them in the garden. If you're using plastic or metal pots, hold the base of the seedling and tip the pot upside down to remove each flower from its pot. The roots should come out intact, and the whole clump should be planted slightly below ground level and covered with soil. If you're using peat pots, plant the entire pot below the ground, and cover it with soil.

  • Landscaping Around Swimming Pools

    Privacy, safety, beauty and convenience are some of the considerations to keep in mind when landscaping around swimming pools.
    Plants provide beauty and privacy around a swimming pool. They soften the harsh lines of swimming pool equipment and help swimming pools to blend more naturally with the surrounding environment. If you grow plants that are tall enough, they will form privacy screens around the pool area. But plants must be chosen wisely. Strive for low-maintenance plants. For instance, you don't wasn't large deciduous trees around a swimming pool, as you'll end up fishing all those leaves out of the water! Even needle-bearing evergreen trees can be messy. A good alternative is a broadleaf evergreen such as holly. Avoid fruit trees: not only are they messy, but the fruits attract bees. And as beautiful as flowers are, be aware that they, too, can be bee-magnets. Even worse, plants with invasive root systems can damage a swimming pool over the years.

    Fencing around swimming pools is a must when small children are present, for the purpose of safety. The right fence design can also offer you privacy. If you don't like the look of a fence, soften it by training vines to grow over it; the vines will enhance privacy to boot. Another safety feature around pools is outdoor lighting.

    Patios or pool decks provide not only beauty, but safety for swimming pool areas. Climbing out of the swimming pool, you can be assured of a slip-resistant surface to land on with a scarred concrete patio. If you opt for a brick patio instead, be sure to keep the surface of the bricks rough (you'll have to clean moss off patios periodically). For convenience around swimming pools, nothing beats a closed gazebo in which you can change into/out of your clothes and relax in the shade. Outdoor furniture also affords convenience around your swimming pool, as do barbecue equipment and outdoor furnaces.
    And you'd better keep some sunscreen in that gazebo....

    Landscape Styles

    Mediterranean Style
    Mediterranean Garden:
    Mediterranean Garden one of the oldest designs of landscape architecture. Like any classic, this style has passed the test of time, is still attractive today, has spread far beyond the land gave rise to it.

    Especial charm of terracotta pottery, herbs, clipped conifers, white sculptures, sand and gravel garden paths, highlighting the water in the pool – there is no indifferent people who are inclined to seek harmony in all.

    The most popular decorative elements in Mediterranean garden are grottoes and paths-pergolas covered with ivy or other plants. A characteristic feature of modernity - the appearance in a garden of cane or wrought-iron garden furniture and sun umbrellas and awnings stretched over light pergolas, arbors. 

    Moorish Style
    Moorish gardens:
    Moorish gardens were derived from oases - the main joy of a person living in the desert. That's what determined the main features of Moorish style in landscape design - the abundance of green, lush exotic flowers, bright colors, as well as water features, all that is what nomad lacks in the sandy desert.

    The oriental gardens are characterized by the desire for maximum splendor on the background of the need to save water resource. Water reservoirs in Moorish gardens - ponds, fountains, channels are usually small in size but are arranged so that the water all the time was in sight.

    In the Moorish gardens features geometric accuracy, but unlike the regular style gardens, here adjusted geometric plan that mimics the eastern ornament, combined with the natural vegetation riot.

    J Japanese gardens:
    The fashion for Japanese gardens existed for a long time, and still interest in this style is not waning. Fundamentals of Japanese style borrowed from the Chinese, which Asians further developed in accordance with their world vision.

    The first Japanese gardens created sages and philosophers. They believed that the disclosure of secrets of life lies in the understanding of nature and its contemplation. In addition, the Japanese have always worshiped the mountains, waterfalls and trees, placing them in a range with same creatures as humans and animals.

    Japanese gardens are divided into several types, depending on the basis of accent. It can be gardens of stones, water, trees, seasons, or moss. Mixing these elements in a garden is allowed, herewith great importance is attached to the alignment of stones. Japanese believed that every stone has its own face, his character and placement. Positioning should be from right to left, it is considered that that this is way human’s eyes move.

    The best-known example is the garden rock garden of the monastery Reandzi created in the late XV - early XVI century, in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto. A garden has a rectangular area 23x9 meters, located in front of the house with a veranda. Verandah is a place of contemplation. The background has a low wall behind which groups of trees are located. On the ground, covered with white sand, there are groups of 15 stones. Sand is combed with special rake so that the grooves run parallel to the long side of the garden and form concentric circles around each group of 2-3 or 5 stones.

    The most important is that if you look from every part of the veranda, of 15 stones can be simultaneously observed only 14.
    In general, the garden creates an impression of the sea, washing the group of islands. Or it seems that you are high above the ground and watch the high mountain peaks through the clouds.

    In the compositional and color Japanese gardens are closely associated with painting and need the perception of visual space by the laws of painting. The softness of colors, muted colors make these gardens look like paintings, made one-color ink. Paths, bridges, benches, lighting, fences and gates are integral parts of the garden. They are made of natural materials - bamboo, wood of different species, stone (the most common material), and sometimes of metal, usually iron. Any pained surface, closing the texture of the material, is excluded. "Old age" elements of the landscape are especially appreciated - moss or lichen on a stone, patina or rust on metal, dark-colored wood and stuff.

    Paysage Style:
    Various resources, including literature, indicate that this landscape style originated in England in the XVIII century. At that time, the British naturalists who have brought new trends of culture from the East, and that was reflected in literature and art of England, led to the creation of new views of the landscape design.

    English paysage style - not the result of ideas borrowed from the East, but the original phenomenon of British culture, embodying the idea of the naturalness and beauty of the world and people creating it.
    This style is free, natural layout of the landscape; straightness, correctness of form and symmetry completely excluded.  

    The main feature of English paysage style is the absence of artificial landscapes and a hint of its artificial origin. Arrangement of parts and components is often used in "chaotic", and at the same time, carefully thought-out. Obligatory specialty of this style is rugged terrain with ravines, artificial and natural elevations, ponds of irregular shape. Compositions are created so that when you walk on the roads or paths, in the field of vision constantly get hidden for previous second details  - every track curve - new experiences and unexpected solutions in the art of creating landscapes. Harmony in a combination of elements is the principal measure of completeness of the paysage landscape.

    Paths should have winding structure, but the turns, thus, should not be contrived and sharp, the material of paths - always of natural origin or high quality imitating of it. This provision is consistent with the ancient Chinese teachings of Feng Shui. Smooth and winding lines must be presented in all elements of the landscape - in the form of weeping trees, natural stone and even the roofs of houses should not remain on the sidelines.
    Important role in the paysage style of landscape compositions have water features, whether the pond, creek, small waterfall or cascade, and even decorative swamp; important thing is that they, as well as everything else seemed the most natural.

    When selecting plants for planting, it is desirable to use species that are natural for your climate zone. However, in creating thematic compositions, to give additional color to the landscape, Mediterranean, Japanese or any other style, is acceptable and even necessary to take plants that are peculiar for the climate of that part of the world, which thematic designer use.

    From the examples of landscape design in paysage style, of course, distinguished old English manor.

    Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Home Landscape Design

    Success in home landscape design is certainly attainable for do-it-yourselfers, but there are some pitfalls that should be avoided if maximum satisfaction is to be achieved. Thus the need for this list of 10 mistakes to be avoided in home landscape design. The mistakes covered range from miscalculations that have practical ramifications to more subtle errors that negatively impact your enjoyment of your home landscape design.

    1. Piecemeal Planting: Failure to Have a Plan

    Many home landscape designs evolve helter-skelter. A plant is planted somewhere in the yard simply because there is room for it there at the time. Ideally, it's best to start from scratch, draw a plan for the whole yard, and stick to it. Short of that, try at least to sketch a rough plan for one large area of your yard, and put all your energy into implementing that plan this year. This article introduces the do-it-yourselfer to drawing landscape plans:

    2. Having a Lawn Just Because "Everyone Else Does It"

    Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that having a grassy area in the yard designated as "the lawn" is somehow an obligatory part of home landscape design. But historically speaking, the lawn as we know it is a relatively recent introduction to landscaping. For those not attracted to that rather monotonous "green carpet" look or who dislike having to mow grass every week, it's important to know that other acceptable options exist, especially for small spaces. Whose yard is it, anyhow?

    3. Insufficient Fall Color in Your Home Landscape Design

    Spring and summer receive most of our attention when it comes to planting. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget to plant for fall. Yet the fall season holds enormous promise for those landscaping enthusiasts willing to plan for it. Don't allow your home landscape design to miss out on the colors offered by autumn's bounty! Consult this Top 10 list for shrubs and vines with standout fall foliage:

    4. Lack of Winter Interest in Your Home Landscape Design

    If the fall season is often neglected in home landscape design, matters stand twice as bad with the winter season. Yet in the North, it is precisely in wintertime that we most need a yard decor that will bring us cheer. This article presents a Top 10 list of trees and shrubs for winter interest (descriptions accompany the ten entries):

    5. Failure to Irrigate

    Many of us face a dilemma: we enjoy having plants in our yards, but we also like to travel during the summer. So how do the plants get watered while we're gone? Sometimes a friend or relative can come to the rescue, but why chance it? There's a lot tied up in your home landscape design, both in terms of money and sentimental value. But don't ditch your travel plans! Just install an automatic irrigation system in your home landscape design.

    6. Planting on a Hillside Prone to Erosion

    Do you have a steep slope in your yard? Is it tough to retain your topsoil there during a heavy rain? Have you tried growing your favorite plants there to no avail? The problem is that you failed to fix your erosion problem prior to planting. Build a retaining wall first, then do your planting afterwards.

    7. Failure to Work With What You Have

    Do you have a rocky yard? A yard with a lot of shade? Or perhaps your yard's problem is a punishing summertime heat that scorches all in its path? Sometimes you can successfully fight the terrain you inherit in your yard, as in the case of building retaining walls for slopes to fight erosion. Other times, instead of fighting it, it's better to go with the flow and work with what you have. The key is to know what you're up against and what options you have. That's the mission of this article.

    8. Failure to Incorporate Deer-Resistant Plants in Your Home Landscape Design

    You may think you've arrived at the ideal home landscape design. You meticulously drew up a plan and stuck to it. The soil is fertile, you've installed automatic irrigation, you've followed directions faithfully in planting your specimens, and you've applied a generous layer of mulch around them. But you come out of the house one day -- and find your plants in shreds! What happened? You forgot one thing: deer can make a snack of your plants quicker than you can say, "Bambi goes to market."

    9. You Never Get Anything Done in the Yard Because Tools Are Never Handy

    The surest way to get little done in the yard is to realize you need a tool -- only to find that you can't find it! If you don't have enough storage space, chances are your tools will all be jammed into one small area (perhaps a corner of the garage), making it tough to keep the area accessible and the tools organized. What you need is a storage shed. The longer you put off getting adequate storage, the longer you'll be disorganized -- and the further you'll fall behind in your yard work.

    10. Forgetting Functionality in Home Landscape Design

    When one thinks about home landscape design, it is aesthetic considerations that immediately come to mind. Functionality, however, takes precedence over aesthetics. There is no reason you shouldn't be able to have both; but when push comes to shove, one needs to be more concerned that a home landscape design is safe, convenient and usable.

    Cycas Palm

     Cycas revoluta (sago cycad), is an attractive plant native to southern Japan. Though often known by the common name of king sago palm, or just sago palm, it is not a palm at all, but a cycad.

    This very symmetrical plant supports a crown of shiny, dark green leaves on a thick shaggy trunk that is typically about 20 cm (7.9 in) in diameter, sometimes wider. The trunk is very low to subterranean in young plants, but lengthens above ground with age. 

    It can grow into very old specimens with 6–7 m (over 20 feet) of trunk; however, the plant is very slow-growing and requires about 50–100 years to achieve this height. Trunks can branch multiple times, thus producing multiple heads of leaves.

    The leaves are a deep semi glossy green and about 50–150 cm (20–59 in) long when the 
    plants are of a reproductive age.
    Propagation of Cycas revoluta is either by seed or by removal of basal offsets. As with other cycads, it is dioecious, with the males bearing cones and the females bearing groups of megasporophylls. Pollination can be done naturally by insects or artificially.

    Lucky Bamboo ( Dracaena sanderiana )

    Lucky Bamboo is a really popular indoor plant for the home, dorm, or office. The name is a little bit deceiving as it is actually not a bamboo, but rather in the Lily family with the scientific name Dracaena Sanderiana.

    The Lucky Bamboo is very easy to grow and take care of. The following should always be remembered:

    • The plant should not receive direct sunlight.

    • The plant should be in 2 - 3 inches of water that should be changed weekly to prevent the plant from rotting. Use rocks to hold the stalk upright.

    • The use of fertilizer is not necessary but can encourage and keep the plant strong.

    • For optimal growth, keep the Lucky Bamboo between 60-70F.

    The Lucky Bamboo usually does not require too much care. One common problem is yellow leaves. This problem is caused either by too much direct sunlight or the use of tap water with too much fluorine. To overcome this, do not place the plant directly in front of the window and try using filtered or bottled water.

    How to take care of cut flowers

    Roses can add a special touch to the room. As well as their beauty, fragrant roses add a wonderful aroma that is hard to beat; you want to make sure they last as long as possible. Follow our guidelines here and our guide to taking care of cut flowers to make sure that you enjoy the beauty of your cut roses for as long as possible.

    Submerged leaves can decay and create bacteria. Remove these leaves. Be careful not to damage the bark of the stem. Any damages to the stem can prevent uptake of water through the stem.

    Hold the stems under water and cut about 2 cm from the bottom of the stem with a sharp knife or scissors. Keep this end moist and don't let it dry before being placed in vase or container.

    Immediately after the stems are cut, place roses in a deep vase of warm preservative solution (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Leave roses in a cool, dark room for a couple of hours before arranging. This gives the roses a little time to settle and adjust before being arranged.

    Arrange fresh-cut roses in a vase with water that contains flower preservative. Bought flowers normally come with a packet and instruction on mixing it with water. Avoid water with other additives.

    If you use a florist's porous foam material for arranging the roses, make sure it is thoroughly wet with preservative. Use a vase large enough to keep the entire block of foam submerged. Insert the rose stems firmly in the foam so that they can absorb the preservative solution.

    Roses are thirsty flowers. Check the container regularly and make sure there is plenty of water. Remember to add more preservative solution as you add more water.

    Roses don't like too much sunlight or extreme temperatures. Keep the rose arrangement in a cool area out of direct sunlight and drafts.

    Roses can wilt if they can not take up water and preservative through the stem. If fresh roses begin to wilt, it could mean that there is air trapped in the stem. Cut off the bottom of the stem. Check for any damage to the bark and cut the stem above this, if it is above the water level since it can cause air to get into the stem. Submerge the rose in warm water for about an hour and it can then go back in the arrangement.