In preparing your flower arrangements, for example to be sent to your family or friend in hospitals like in Monash Medical Centre Clayton, I am going to give you some tips to cut fresh flowers you bought from a market or florist, to be put in the vase or your own arrangements.
1.When cutting your flowers pick sufficient stem for it to be trimmed and arranged comfortably in your vase, but try not to remove the whole stem from the plant. You need to leave some of the plant so that new stems and flowers can develop.
2. Always cut a flower stem above a leaf joint because this is where new growth and flowers will form. If you can midway down a stem it will die back to the leaf joint anyway and look unsightly. The one exception to this rule is Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria). For this plant, remove the whole flower stem by using your fingers to twist and pull the stem away from the base of the plant. If you were to cut the Peruvian lily flowers, the plant would not receive the chemical signals necessary to encourage further flower stems to grow.
3.Tools for picking. Secateurs of flower snips are essential when gathering flowers. Secateurs are probably more versatile , being able to cope with more substantial stems. It is really a matter of personal choice. I have a great pair of flower snips that cut through surprisingly chunky stems and twine, which makes them great multitaskers.
4.Whichever implement you use it is important to keep it clean and sharp. Sap from plants can be sticky and can build up on the blades of secateurs or snips. A rub with steel wool and a quick squirt and wipe with an alcohol hand spray will keep them clean, while a regular session with a steel will maintain the sharpness needed to cut through stems rather than crushing them to places. Stems absorb water much more easily through clean cuts.
5. You need to plunge your cut flower stems into water as soon as you cut them.
6. Now you are ready to put together the flowers and foliage in your vase… and ready to go to cheer up your sick friend or family in Monash Medical Centre in Clayton