If you buy wedding flowers at a shop and do not know the florist well, it is as well to condition all flowers when you get home or to the church. The very best florist may have a junior who has a lapse and skips the conditioning which she has been taught to do.


This is a substance which is put into water to make flowers last, and it certainly does help enormously. I have used it for press shows when flowers have been put on display after coming straight from the airport, with no chance of normal conditioning: but it is expensive.


Some flowers, for example, poinsettias, bleed when cut and therefore do not last well. If, however, they are taken out of a pot roots and all, and carefully put into a polythene bag tied at the top of the root, they can be used in flower decorating. This is a good way of using any kind of potted plant material, such as Begonia rex, ivy, chlorophytum, etc, mixed with cut flowers. When the flowers are dead the plants can be re-potted. When flowers are needed at a height, they can be lashed to the tops of sticks.


If several flowers in an arrangement wilt, take them out; in most cases the boiling water treatment will revive them. Put them in a bucket and give them a further drink for an hour or so. Then place them back in the arrangement.

If heads of roses droop, take them out, cut them a little shorter, slice them up the stem for half an inch, and plunge them into warm water for an hour or two.

If hellebores wilt, take them out, cut their ends, and float them in water for an hour. They are best used in low bowls with their stems not too long.

If tulips wilt, take them out and recondition by putting them in a bucket of deep water with sugar .

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