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