Eco-friendly flower arrangements are a growing trend with the green community and those who prefer the beauty of organic blooms to those grown with chemicals. Organic, or sustainably grown flowers, are those that were cultivated with natural fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides rather than chemical treatments. Organic flowers grow on USDA certified organic farms or gardeners may grow and cut their own flowers. Look for the certified organic seal when choosing eco-friendly flower arrangements.
What are Eco-Friendly Flower Arrangements?
An eco-friendly flower arrangement is one that uses certified organic blooms in the display. Gardeners may opt to grow their own flowers thereby exhibiting ultimate control over the growing environment, or they may select from certified organic growers. Sustainably grown or organic flowers are not exposed to herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, or chemical fertilizers. Those who show extreme sensitivity to these chemicals may have a reaction to conventionally grown flowers as these still retain chemical residue. Some choose not to purchase or support markets that use chemical fertilizers or other products as a way of reducing their harmful effects on the environment. Organic or eco-friendly flower arrangements look the same as conventional flower arrangements. They are simply grown in chemical free environments.
Eco-Friendly Flower Arrangements Grown in Organic Fertilizers
Whether grown on USDA certified organic farms or in a hobbyist’s backyard garden, eco-friendly flower arrangements begin with flowers that were cultivated with organic fertilizers. The belief is that the absence of chemicals helps promote soil quality and conserves water, therefore, in the end; an organic farm will continue to thrive and produce higher quality, and healthier blooms than a conventional one.
Organic fertilizers provide many benefits and they will not enter waterways with contamination. There are no poisonous dust clouds to breathe in or chemical fumes that may enter your immediate environment, home or lungs. Regardless of whether you are growing organic flowers in a windowsill planter or in an organic farm, organic fertilizer is necessary component to ensuring fully developed, well-blossomed blooms. Organic fertilizers deliver more than potash, nitrogen and phosphorous but are designed to be a boost to soil quality and help promote water absorption. Many organic fertilizers provide a flourishing environment that encourages friendly insect activity. As chemical fertilizers tend to destroy all insects, they also kill the good insects that help flowers thrive by feeding off their natural prey. Organic fertilizers are formulated in a manner that is designed towards specific flower types, their pests, and their beneficial insects. Many organic fertilizers include more minerals than just potash, nitrogen and phosphorous and may include minerals such as calcium, zinc, sulfur, manganese, and more.
How to Care for Organic and Eco-Friendly Cut Flower Arrangements
Eco-friendly cut flower arrangements will provide gorgeous blooms but there are certain steps that can ensure your arrangement lasts as long as possible. To make certain your blooms remain fragrant and vibrant, change the vase water at least every three days, however, you may change the water daily if you prefer. The standard rule is that the cleaner the water, the longer your eco-friendly flower arrangement will last. Every time you change the water, use a sharp blade to cut at least ½” from the stem as this prevents bacteria from attaching itself.
Those who want to preserve their cut flowers without using the packets provided by florists can use half of a tablet of aspirin in the water. The aspirin helps keep flower stems open, enabling easy flow of water to travel through the stem. Those who want to reduce the amount of bacteria in the water may opt to add a penny to the water, as it is traditionally believed that the penny acts as a natural fungicide, due to its copper content. Some choose to add other ingredients such as lemon juice, sugar, Listerine antiseptic mouthwash and for some who do not mind, ¼ teaspoon of bleach to the water.
Tips for Displaying Eco-Friendly Flower Arrangements
Ensure the vase selected for eco-friendly flower arrangements are size appropriate. Make certain the vase holds plenty of water for the flowers, otherwise there is an increased risk of the leaves wilting too soon or the flowers drying out. Change the water on a daily basis for best results and always trim the stems with a sharp blade to prevent bacteria from closing off the stem base.
Before placing flower arrangements in a vase, remove any leaves that will sit in the water or below the water line. It is best to display your flowers in a cool environment rather than warm or hot. A sunny window might cause your flowers to wilt at a fast rate. Avoid areas where electrical appliances omit heat, as these will have a drying effect on your flowers. Store your flower arrangements in the refrigerator at night to keep them fresh as long as possible.
Learn more about eco-friendly flowers including a guide to creating flower arrangements in the links below.
- Purdue University Garden Publications: A list of gardening publications in PDF by the Purdue University
- Southwest Yard and Garden How To Videos: New Mexico State University provides videos on everything from bio intensive gardening to identifying pests
- Flower Growing Guides for 269 Species from Cornell University: Includes botanical and common names and includes growing instructions, varieties and soil requirements
- Wildflowers of New England from Brandeis University: Guide to wildflowers that may be used in flower arrangements, includes a section on different leaf patterns
- Organic Gardening: University of Idaho Extension: A guide to organic gardening including gardening equipment, composting, and irrigation
- Flowers for Mountain Communities: Colorado State University: Tips for those gardening in mountain regions
- Getting Started in the Production of Field-grown Cut Flowers: Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension: A guide for those considering the cut flower market
- 22 Page Book on Flower Arranging by the University of Illinois in PDF: E-book from the University of Illinois and the USDA that discusses flower arranging and care for cut flowers
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