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Tips
Cutting Flowers Montauk Daisy Care
Amaryllis Care Cymbidium Orchid
Paperwhite Narcissus Care Annuals
Phalaenopsis Orchid Care Perennials

 



 

 

Tips For Watering Containers & Hanging Baskets
 

Cutting Flowers

  • Add a floral preservative such Crysal or Floralife to a clean vase and fill half way with tepid water. If you don’t have any make your own 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp bleach, 2 tsps. lemon juice to 1 qt. of lukewarm water.
  • Hydrangea, Lilac, Viburnum, and all woody stemmed flowers. Re-cut on an angle, put in hot water with floral preservative. Repeat as often as possible to prevent wilting. Do not crush Lilac stems with a hammer.
  • Take pollen out of of the lilies. It prolongs the life of the bloom and does not stain furniture when it drops.
  • Do not use floral preservative on any tropical flowers.
  • Only put Calla Lillies and Hyacinth in about 2-3” of water to prevent the stems from getting slimy.
  • Put a drop of bleach or Dawn detergent in water with sunflowers to prevent water from turning brown and oily.
  • Always re-cut fresh flowers on an angle before you put them in fresh water.
  • Avoid cutting with scissors or clippers that pinch the stalks. A sharp knife is best unless cutting large branches.
  • Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. Change the water in the vases daily if possible to reduce bacteria count.
  • Flowers shouldn’t be refrigerated with fruit as fruit emits ethylene gas that speeds flower maturity.
  • To hold flowers for a few days, put them in a container of water in a cool, dark place. The optimum holding temperature is 33 degrees, however, refrigerator temperatures will also slow the maturity. Allow 2-3 days for tight buds to open. To hasten opening, place the stems in warm water in a warm place with good light.

Amaryllis Care:

Amaryllis will provide you with the largest exotic bulb flowers you can have in your home.  Flowers are from 6” to 8” across and available in a large variety of colors.  You can prolong flowering by placing your Amaryllis in a cool window or a cooler room.  Keep in bright light.

FUTURE FLOWERING:
If you would like to try to get more years out of your Amaryllis, it is important to fertilize regularly and keep in a sunny area indoors.  Most Amaryllis bulbs will have two flowering spikes per bulb.  When all of the flowers have faded cut the flower spike off 3” above the bulb making sure to leave the foliage on the bulb.  Continue to water and fertilize till July.  Then, stop watering the bulb.  The foliage will wither away slowly.  Eventually remove the old foliage and let the bulb rest for at least 2-3 months.  (Basement or closet will do.)  In October start watering as needed.  New Foliage and flower spikes should appear in November or December. 


Paperwhite Narcissus Care:

For a longer flowering period, keep plants in a cool location. (60 degrees or cooler).  Warmer locations will shorten the blooming period. Paperwhite bulbs normally do not re-flower.  Discard plant after blooming is done.

WATER & LIGHTING:
The soil of each plant should be maintained on the moist side but not wet.  
Part sun is best to open tight buds.  Once the flowers are fully open, bright indirect light is best.

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care:

WATERING:
Phalaenopsis orchids require a moist medium with exceptional drainage. Your orchid may be planted in bark chips or sphagnum moss.  Provide a thorough and even watering when bark or moss becomes fairly dry (approximately once a week). If there is a top covering of moss you can water through it.   Make sure the pot drains throughly before placing it back in saucer.

FEEDING:
Use of a fertilizer that is specifically for an orchid is best, but an all purpose house plant food is ok.

LIGHT:
Requires a location with bright light, not direct sun.

TEMPERATURE:
Ideal temperature range from 50 degrees-70 degrees.

RE-FLOWERING:
Phalaenopsis Orchids will re-flower yearly. Do not remove the flower spike completely.  After the flowers fade cut the upper part of the flower spike back to the first node.  It will then sprout a flower spike from the remaining node.


Montauk Daisy Care:
(Arctic Daisy)

EARLY FALL:
You should plant in an area with half a day of sunlight or more.  The soil should be well draining and should be kept moist but not wet.

LATE FALL:
After the plant has finished flowering, cut off old blooms.  In a few weeks cut foliage back to three inches above soil level.  This will be at the end of the growing season.  You may start to see next year’s growth at the base of the plant.  It will then go dormant for the winter.

NEXT SPRING:
Your Montauk daisy will grow vigorously during May and June.  During this time you should feed your plant an all purpose fertilizer such as Plant-Tone or 5-10-5.  When it is ten or twelve inches in height cut it back to six inches or so. This will promote branching, which will make for a fuller plant.  You can pinch back the growing tips in early July to encourage additional branching.  Not cutting back will make a tall, wide-open plant.  Cutting back the plant takes little effort and is well worth the time.   

LATE SUMMER:
You will see small flower buds developing. By mid to late September your Montauk Daisy will be blooming again.          
                                              

Cymbidium Orchid:

TEMPERATURE:
Cymbidium will tolerate considerable summer heat as long as they get cool, mild night temperatures (between 50-65 degrees F.). Cold weather, even down to 28 degrees F. for a few hours each night, will not damage an acclimatized plant, but once the plant spikes or flowers, it should be protected from temperatures below 35 degrees F. Regardless, plants should always be kept free of frost.

LIGHT:
Your Cymbidium enjoys the morning and afternoon sun most, yet should be protected from the hot mid-day sun. A light green leaf with just a hint of yellow indicates the maximum amount of sun the plant can take, and a dark green leaf indicates not enough sun.

WATER:
Watering of Cymbidium is a delicate balancing act. They should not be allowed to go dry, yet they don't care for a soggy environment either. Watering once every seven to ten days is about right. As with everything else, special consideration must be given for the drying effects of varying ambient air temperature and humidity.

FEEDING:
High nitrogen fertilizers (25-9-9) should be used from February until July, while low nitrogen fertilizers (6-25-25) should be used from August until January. Feed one teaspoon to a gallon of water once a month.

REPOT: Repot every two to three years from February to June with a well-draining medium. Fine bark is suitable in mild summer climates, while a finer medium Orchid Mix works well in warmer summer areas.


Annuals: 

  • Remove spent flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Keep the garden clean by removing dead or diseased plants.
  • It is important to fertilize your annuals throughout the summer to encourage vigorous growth and flowering. Once or twice a month should be sufficient. Make sure that plants are well watered prior to applying a liquid fertilizer to prevent burning.
  • Pinch back leggy impatiens to encourage bushier growth later in the season.
  •  Keep an eye out for insect problems, the earlier you discover these little pests, the easier they are to treat.

Tips For Watering Containers & Hanging Baskets:

  • Make sure your pots have drain holes! Buildup of water in a pot will cause your plants to decline and roots to rot.
  • Always check to see if your containers need water. Sometimes plants can wilt due to hot sun, excessive moisture and may not need more water. You can check the soil moisture in your containers using your finger if you are unsure whether your plant needs water.
  • Give the plants enough water that the water runs out through the drain holes. This way the entire root system has received a good, thorough soaking.
  • Resist the urge to “water everything, especially if your plants don’t need it.

Perennials:

  • Fertilize daylilies and clematis during July. Other perennials may benefit from a boost with a liquid fertilizer.
  • Divide daylilies and cut back seed heads and old flower stalks.
  • Watch for insects. Aphids will be seen first on new growth. Treat at first signs to control as the multiply quickly.
  • Dead head blooms as they fade to encourage new blooms and to improve the overall appearance of your plants.
  • Enjoy your perennials coming into bloom! Fertilize every 2-4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer.
  • Keep beds weeded and deadhead once a week to keep things blooming and be sure to stop and smell the flowers.
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