Beating the “Winter Blues” with Beautiful Flowers

Many people feel depressed during the winter. Call it “cabin fever” or “winter blues.” The fact is that the lack of exposure to sunlight and outdoor activity tend to keep our spirits down. Many of us turn to food to cheer us, but that only adds to our waistline. For a real pick-me-up try the scientifically proven remedy: fresh cut flowers!

According to recent behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University, nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health – flowers. The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life.

Flowers Mood Happiness Jeannette Haivland-Jones

Jeannette Haviland-Jones and her husband Terry McGuire

“What’s most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way,” said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study.

Research Findings

A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.

  1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
  2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
  3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being.”

Winter Flowers Seasonal Affective Disorder Plaza Flowers MoodSharing Space

The study also explored where in their homes people display flowers. The arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors – such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms – suggesting that flowers are a symbol for sharing.

“Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.”

Background

The Emotional Impact of Flowers Study was conducted by Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Project Director, Human Development Lab at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Haviland-Jones is a psychologist and internationally recognized authority in the role of emotional development in human behavior and nonverbal emotional signals and response.

The research adds a scientific foundation to what many consider to be common knowledge – that flowers have a strong, beneficial impact on those who receive them. The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Rutgers research team, bringing an expertise of flowers to the project.Flowers Seasonal Affective Disorder Winter Plaza Flowers

Caring for Poinsettias

Poinsettia Flower Christmas Care Plaza FlowersPoinsettias, a member of the euphorbia family, are one of the most enjoyed plants in the world. For the longest enjoyment, follow these care instructions:

-Place the plant in good light inside the house.

-Keep the temperature between 65 to 70 degrees F.

-Water your poinsettia frequently but don’t drown it.

-Keep the plant out of drafts, hot or cold.

-After blooming, discard or begin preparing the plant to bloom again next year.

How do I get my poinsettia to bloom again?

To avoid unhealthy levels of frustration, you may want to throw it away and purchase a new one next year. Poinsettias are perhaps the most difficult flowering potted plants to rebloom indoors. Brave, persistent souls may read on. In some warmer areas, poinsettias can be placed outside in the spring after the danger of frost. If placed in a protected area where early fall frost won’t harm it, they can make beautiful plants for the next holiday season.

Poinsettia Flower Holiday Care Plaza FlowersFor best results, do not plant the poinsettia in the ground. Make sure that the outdoor poinsettia receives only natural sunlight. Any additional light from yard and street lights will inhibit blooming. Keep pinching out the tips of the new growth once a month so the plant will fill out. Do no pinch after August 15th. From the first of October until the colored bracts can be seen it should not receive any light at night. Keep the plant in complete darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.. A closet may be ideal to put it in at night. Even a quick, short exposure to dim light can prevent flowering. The plant should flower right on time if these procedures are followed.

Are poinsettias toxic to children or pets?

Contrary to a common myth, poinsettias are not poisonous. Pets have ingested entire plants and suffered little more than an upset stomach. The average child would have to eat over 500 poinsettia leaves before they would have a serious problem. Of course, some people are more sensitive than others. So, a few leaves may cause some digestive problems to a very sensitive person. Additionally, the white, milky latex sap may cause eye and skin irritations in people with sensitive eyes and skin. For additional information on the toxicity of certain plants please visit the California Poison Control System website..

For more information on caring for poinsettias or other plants, please contact us with any questions you may have!

 

White Poinsettia Bloom Flower Holiday Care Plaza Flowers

Cyclamen: Nature’s Treasure of Winter and Spring

Cyclamen is derived from “Kuklos,” Greek for ‘circle.’ The name most likely refers to the shape of the tubers which are characteristic to this beautiful plant. Native to the regions of the Middle East and North Africa, many cultivars of Cyclamen Flowering Flowers Plaza Flowerscyclamen have been developed for ornamental use indoors. However, most climates throughout the world also support a wide variety of hardy cyclamen.

Due to the persistence of botanists over the last century, most indoor cyclamen varieties now bloom for seven months (roughly November through May). Some plants can live for over twenty years. They are truly a treasure in a season when very few plants are blooming. Here are the proper care instructions for a long flowering season:

-Cyclamen thrive in a sunny but cool environment. They are perfect for foyers, window sills, entry stairwells, and bedrooms. Optimum temperature 55 to 63º F.

-Water moderately but regularly, at the edge of the pot, never onto the bulb; two to three times a week, depending on temperature and pot size.

Cyclamen Flowering Flowers Plaza Flowers-Water thoroughly, then discard any water that has not been absorbed within half an hour of watering. Stagnant water is bad for the roots. Soft, wilting stalks are more often a sign of over-watering than of drying out. The soil should be checked; it should always be slightly damp, but not soaked!

-Fertilize cyclamen once a week to plants in bloom and once a month in summer.

-When outdoor temperatures do not dip below 45º F , you can put it outside at night to keep cool, and bring it in each morning.

-Keep the plant free from wilted blooms and foliage. Just a light twist of the stalk should remove unwanted flowers and leaves.

-Outside cyclamens prefer semi-shade and shelter from the wind; in autumn they enjoy full sun. They can withstand near-freezing temperatures, and even light falls of snow.

 

For more information on the care of cyclamen or other plants, you may contact us with any questions you may have! Additional information can be found on The Cyclamen Society’s website. Cyclamen is a truly one-of-a-kind plant both indoors and outdoors, and it’s bright colors are sure to keep your spirit warm through the winter and spring!Cyclamen Flowering Flowers Plaza Flowers

Thousands of Petals Set to Brighten Wednesday in Philadelphia.

New Data Shows Emotional Benefits of Flowers
Plaza Flowers Encourages Busy Commuters to ‘Petal It Forward’

Philadelphia, PA, October 1, 2015 – The “Happiness” team will be hitting the streets of PhiladelphiaLove Park PetalItFoward Philadelphia on October 7th, handing out hundreds of flowers to busy commuters to help brighten up their week, as part of the ‘Petal it Forward’ program, in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF), of which Plaza Flowers is a member. ‘Petal It Forward’ is in response to the release of new data by SAF showing the positive emotional benefits of flowers.

University research reveals that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. Now, a new survey has found that, when it comes to flowers, it’s just as good to give as it is to receive. With this data in mind, the Petal It Forward team is not only spreading happiness to lucky Philly residents who receive the flowers, but arming these recipients with the tools they need to Petal it Forward and spread happiness to others: An extra flower bouquet to share with a loved one, coworker or even a stranger.

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The Joy of Autumn Hardy Mums

mums garden potted plants flowers plaza flowersFew autumn flowers are more iconic than chrysanthemums, or mums for short. The most well-known type of mum are Autumn Hardy Mums, also known as Garden Mums. These bright, cheerful flowers are perfect in the chilly climate of your fall garden, and with the right care, can even come back in the spring and last through many growing seasons. These plants are considered perennials, but gardeners often wonder why they are unable to keep them alive throughout the winter. In this article, we will explore how to plant and care for mums for longevity, and take a closer look at why these truly one-of-a-kind flowers are so special.

A main difference between hardy mums and florist mums is root growth. Florist mums are typically used in bouquets and arrangements, and will not survive the winter if they are planted because they do not possess the necessary root growth. Hardy mums, on the other hand, will produce lasting roots that help the plant survive the winter. Many people mums in pots plaza flowers re-plant their mums annually, as they are not overly expensive to re-buy year after year. However, if you want your mums to last, you should consider planting them in the spring. Although you are less likely to find a wide assortment of colors, getting your mums planted in the spring is important in promoting root growth, as they will have the entire growing season to get their roots situated to survive the frosts.

Most perennial cultivars of this plant will survive the winter in Zones 5 to 9. Any colder climate will make it very difficult for the plant to live through harsh, northern winters. The earlier in the season you can get your mums planted, the better. Many people will wait until fall to buy mums because they desire a wider range of colors than mums in luxury containers plaza flowers philadelphia floristwhat’s available in the spring, but we recommend that once you see mums available, that you purchase and plant as fast as possible. This is the best way to ensure that they will have time to establish roots and prosper.

When planting mums, be sure to put them in a location where they can get at least six hours of sunlight per day. If your mums don’t get enough sunlight, they will become tall, leggy, and produce fewer blooms. Mums have shallow roots that do not like competition, meaning that they need to be watered frequently, and prefer well-drained soil. As stated before, plants should be watered frequently (about an inch of water per week once the plant is established), but you should not soak the foliage, as this will encourage disease. Mums planted in the spring should be fertilized but mums planted in the fall do not require fertilizing.

Mums come in many different shapes and sizes, but are great overall for mass garden coverage. Many mums are very full of blooms, and can be put side by side to densely fill up a flowerbed space. Their wide range of colors also help to really make your autumn garden as customizable as possible. Easy to take care of as annuals, rewarding to preserve as perennials, and a truly iconic autumn flower, Autumn Hardy Mums are sure to delight anyone who chooses to plant them.

 

Have any question regarding the planting/care of these beautiful flowers? Feel free to contact us with any concerns you may have, or to order some of these flowers yourself!purple yellow mums flowers plaza flowers

August is Here! – Time to Start Taking from Your Cutting Garden or Planning for Next Year

With August upon us, it’s time for local gardeners to take to their gardens and begin excessive cutting from their cutting gardens. If you are unfamiliar with what a cutting garden is, or attempted one this past season and were unsuccessful, this post should give you an idea of what a cutting garden is and how to have one that prospers for when next season rolls around!

A cutting garden is a garden consisting of annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs and other plants that are grown quickly to be used in bouquets to decorate homes with. These gardens are different from your typical flower beds in the way that flowers are planted densely enough that someone should always be growing that you can take and turn into a bouquet. They are often much messier as well, and might not be ideal for someone who wants to keep the flower beds around their homes nice and tidy. But for someone who wants to pull flowers often, cutting gardens are the perfect choice!

If you would like to start a cutting garden, though, there are some things you should keep in mind:

-You should select a location that gets plenty of sun and has good soil that drains well

-Due to its haphazard style, you may wish to put your cutting garden next to a vegetable garden that has

a similar “crop style” arrangement.

-Your garden can be as big or as small as you would like. Even if you only have a 3 foot by 6 foot space, that area should be able to hold roughly 20 plants.

-You should put a lot of planning into what plants will go where in your cutting garden as you will want plants of varying heights and shapes to continuously blossom throughout the growing season (spring to autumn). Don’t be afraid to pack them in!

-You should use the same soil that you use for your other garden beds

– Although you should pack things in dense, make sure you have access to everything you plant to ease the processes of weeding, fertilizing, etc.

If you keep these things in mind, then by planting everything in April and May, you should be well on your way to a beautiful cutting garden throughout the growing season!

Unsure of what to plant? Here are some ideas of what kinds of annuals and perennials not only look great, but work well in any cutting garden!

Annuals

Lupines

These plants typically grow anywhere between one to five feet tall. They grow in formations similar to stalks and the flowers resemble what has inspired names such as “Blue Bonnets”. Typically shades of reds, blues, and purples, these flowers perfectly compliment many different bouquets.

Gladiolus

This popular plant from the iris family is also known as the “sword lily”. The stems are unbranched, and the flower spikes that come off of it contain flowers that range from very small to 40 mm across. They come in many different colors, so there’s a cultivar for everyone!Glorious Gladioli Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Gerbera Daisies

A popular cutting garden choice, gerbera daisies come in a wide range of colors. Thousands of cultivars exist and they greatly vary in size and shape, so it’s easy to find something that works for you!Gerbera Daisy Daisies Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Zinnia

Not only are zinnias a great cutting flower for their variety of colors, but they also are a favorite butterflies, and many gardeners use them to attract butterflies to their gardens!Hot Pink With Limes Zinnia Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Perennials

Gomphrena

This popular perennial works as an annual in temperate climates. For this reason, it is a great pick for almost any climate and will bloom nonstop from summer into autumn.Camera Ready Boutonniere Gomphrena Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Allium

A member of the onion genus consisting of garlic, scallions and other plants, this globe-like flower is truly something to behold, especially the one-of-a-kind allium giganteum. Summer Arrangement Allium Garden Plaza Flowers

Red Hot Poker

Known to attract hummingbirds and orioles, these red, orange and yellow flowers produce bright, upright spikes of flowers that are sure to impress.Red Hot Poker Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Shasta Daisies

This classic looking daisy with white petals and a yellow center is iconic, however it’s a bit larger. Perfect for adding to a bouquet for its popularized daisy look.Shasta Daisy Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Butterfly Bush

As the name suggests, this purple flowering plant is popular with many different kinds of butterflies, and can be used to attract them to your garden. And as an added bonus, it also looks great in bouquets!

These are just a few of our suggestions! There is truly a near limitless amount of great cutting flowers out there for you to try! Mixing and matching plants of different styles and heights is the best way to create the most individual cutting garden you can, and will help you create stunning bouquets to impress your family and friends! For any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Planting and Caring for Roses – By Plaza Flowers

rose garden roses flowers butterfly

Photo courtesy of rose-gardening-made-easy.com

Although June has passed and National Rose Month is behind us, many of our customers arrive home from the nursery with a wide variety of potted roses. Others may have ordered bare root roses online or through mail order. But whatever the case may be, a question we always receive is “What steps can I take to ensure that my plant will bloom the most beautifully?”

The prospect of growing roses may seem intimidating, and many of you have heard the horror stories of roses having problems with insects, diseases, and other issues. However, Clair G. Martin, author of the book “100 English Roses for the American Garden” states that “While problems do exist, they are, for the most part, cosmetic and easily overcome with basic horticultural practices”.

Below we’ll give you step by step instructions to planting your roses in order to fortify your knowledge of growing these truly one-of-a-kind plants, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

  1. Soak the roots and stems. Dry root roses should be submerged for 24 hours to hydrate the tissue of the roots and stems. Potted roses (pot and woody trunk) should be submerged for two hours. Remember, roses love water and plenty of it at the time of planting will greatly strengthen the plant.
  2. Prune dead wood and damaged stems. Cut out any damaged or dead portion of each plant with sharp pruning shears. Always cut on an angle. This is not the time to perform selective pruning to force blooms. That will be done next spring.
  3. Prepare the hole for planting. For potted roses, cut the entire bottom from the biodegradable container and dig a hole that is three inches wider and deeper than the pot. Prepare a mixture of rose garden soil of either 50% soil & 50% bone meal, or one part potting soil, one part compost, one part bagged manure. Place three inches of the mixture in the bottom of the hole. Place the pot in the hole. Backfill with soil mixture you created. For dry root roses, dig a hole that is twice the distance across the roots. The depth of the hole should be three inches greater than the distance from the bud union to bottom of roots. Place three inches of the soil mixture in the bottom of the hole. Hold the plant in the hole and backfill with the remainder of the mixture. Whether you roots were dry or potted, your soil line should be one inch higher the bud union.
  4. The Philadelphia Rose Society states that “The most important thing roses need is water”. Create a shallow moatblooming garden basket roses plaza flowers near the perimeter of your hole and fill it with water. Allow the water to seep, then repeat three times. At this point, you cannot overwater your rose.
  5. You will notice that much of your soil mixture has settled and likely exposed your bud union. Replenish with the soil mixture if settlement was two inches or more. Cover the soil with three to four inches of mulch, mounding at the perimeter of the plant to create a moat so less water runs away from the plant.
  6. Fill your moat with water daily. After the roots are established (about three weeks) you can move your watering schedule to three times a week. Water daily during hot days or periods of drought in the growing season.
  7. Fertilize your roses with any commercially available rose food. Follow the dosage instructions carefully.

 

Living rose plants work well in mixed plant baskets, and many other beautiful arrangements you could create at home by planting your own rose bushes. For more information on planting and caring for roses, feel free to reach out to us online! You may also wish to visit the American Rose Society for an in-depth look at things like winter care, common pests for roses, and much more to give you the best growing experience possible! These beautiful flowers are as iconic as they are beautiful, and growing them is truly a joy. Dozen Roses Beautiful Plaza Flowers

A Guide to Extending the Vase Life of Roses

Roses are the most popular of all cut flowers sold in the U.S. The American love affair with roses began in colonial times and has grown through the centuries. Now florists sell hundreds of different varieties of hybrid tea roses, mostly imported from South America. Although roses are familiar, their proper care is not.Beautiful Rose Flowers Garden Care Plaza Flowers

Follow these simple steps to prolong the vase life of your cut roses:

  1. Fill a clean, deep vase with warm water and add the flower food obtained from your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
  2. Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial growth.
  3. Select a sharp knife. Do not use shears to cut stems because they usually pinch the vessels closed.
  4. Recut stems underwater, this will prevent air from entering the stem. Place the flowers in the vase solution you’ve prepared.
  5. Change the water and recut stems daily. This will keep the end of the stems free of debris that blocks water flow.
  6. Display your roses away from direct sunlight and warm or cold drafts.
  7. You can revive a wilted rose by cutting the stem and submerging the entire rose in hot water for about 30 minutes. Remember to always cut stems under clean water.

Beautiful Rose Flowers Garden Care Plaza FlowersProper care can often double the vase life of roses. Remember, once the roses are cut they begin to die. The enjoyment you receive from those roses, depends on how long you can delay their death. The steps listed above simply maximize the amount of water the reaches the bloom. This delays dehydration and death.

If you have any further question in regards to the care of roses, or caring for any other plant, please contact us with any questions you may have! You may also wish to refer to the American Rose Society’s website for more information on care of roses and the rose growing community!Beautiful Rose Flowers Gardening Care Plaza Flowers

Norristown’s Oldest Florist Merges with Plaza Flowers

Undated photo of Anna in front of her store

Undated photo of Anna in front of her store

Norristown, PA – May 28, 2015 – Today marks the beginning of an exciting merge of two local florists in Norristown; Plaza Flowers on Egypt Road and Anna Catanese Flower Shop on DeKalb Street. Both shops have endured for generations, giving customers high-quality products for decades, but only Anna Catanese Flower Shop enters their hundredth year as the oldest florist in Norristown, Montgomery County. Both shops plan to bring their valuable wisdom and loyal clientele together to forge a bond that will propel them forward for generations to come.

Eagleville Florist Gift Basket Flowers

Chris Drummond & Heather Tuckey, Owners of Plaza Flowers

In order to understand how a business becomes ingrained so deeply into the heritage of a community, we must first investigate the origin of this proud business and the individuals who began it.

 

First florist at 321 DeKalb, only 9 feet wide!

First florist at 321 DeKalb, only 9 feet wide!

Domenic Catanese immigrated to the U.S. in 1888. Shortly thereafter, he began growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers on his eleven-acre farm on Tremont Street in Norristown. Around 1900, he opened 20th Century Florist and Seed at 321 DeKalb Street to sell his produce and seeds. Flower sales were slow at first but grew quickly, leading to the addition floral design and delivery services around 1910. In 1915, Domenic’s daughter-in-law & floral designer, Anna, purchased the store with a $3500 loan from neighboring businesswomen. She then employed three of her family to help make the Flower Shop a success. Read more