Enjoying Hardy Asters

aster flower floral garden perennial plaza flowersHardy Asters are a very popular flower for late summer and autumn. When they bloom, they look similar to daisies, and people often like to use them as flowers in bouquets. However, these flowers are not ideal for cutting gardens. Asters come in many different colors, but are typically found in shades of blue or lavender. Hardy Asters, like its fellow autumn perennial the Hardy Mum, can find difficulty surviving winters to regrow in spring, but with proper care, this can be achieved. In this article, we will be looking at the proper way to care for Hardy Asters, as well as what makes these autumn flowers so special!

Asters are such a cherished autumn flower, that many hybrids have been created that give the plant a wide range of colors, heights and other characteristics. They are classified as perennials, and in the right conditions can survive winters depending on how harsh the climate is. Typically, Asters can survive in USDA Growing Zones 3-9. Asters should be planted in the spring, like Hardy Mums, to promote root growth throughout the growing season. Plants should be lightly fertilized, avoiding excess nitrogen in the formula as this will cause the growth of excessive foliage.perennial aster blue garden floral plaza flowers Asters like well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline to acidic. They should be situated in full sun if available, but can also do well in partial shade. Asters should be watered daily in the mornings, but DO NOT water the leaves, as Hardy Asters are very vulnerable to leaf fungus.

Additionally, these flowers should be planted around 3-4 feet apart in order to receive proper air circulation. Asters are prone to mildew, and air circulation can help decrease the chances of your plants getting this mildew. This is also why Asters are not ideal in a cutting garden setting. When you plant a cutting garden, everything should be densely packed to allow many different types of flowers to grow in a small space. For more information on cutting gardens, please see our blog post!

Asters can grow anywhere between six inches to six feet, depending on the cultivar and the growing conditions/climate. They will begin to bloom in late summer/early autumn, but some are known to bloom earlier. Asters are also known for attracting bees and butterflies, often hosting butterfly larvae. They are also deer resistant, but may attract pests like aphids and rabbits. Asters are also self-seeding flowers, meaning that at the end of their growing season, they will drop seeds to help promote growth of more flowers in the spring. If you wish to inhibit this growth, simply cut off the blooms at the end of the blooming season. You may also wish to divide the plants in half every few years to spread them out to promote better air circulation.

Overall, Asters are a very popular plant to have in your Autumn garden. Their bright, colorful daisy-like appearance is very popular in bouquets and their affinity with bees and butterflies makes them great to liven up the garden. They are capable of surviving winters, making them a popular perennial that you can enjoy year after year. And with their ability to self-seed, you can be sure that you can have a booming population of these plants within a few years.

For more information on the care of Hardy Asters or other flowers, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!aster perennial floral garden plaza flowers

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

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

Top Ten Prom Flower Tips

Top Ten Prom Flower Tips

Your high school prom is a highly anticipated evening that requires a lot of planning. What type of dress is best for me? What color? How will I style my hair? What jewelry to wear? Where will we take photos? What about a limousine? Post-prom party? All of these questions need to be answered, plus you must address the floral details. So now you’re more stressed than ever. No worries. Here are my top 10 tips from Plaza Flowers to simplify your prom flower selection. Read more