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Here’s how to get a week or more out of your Valentine’s Day roses

Valentine’s Day often is described as the flower industry’s version of the Super Bowl.

It’s the No. 1 holiday for florists, similar in size to the Christmas season but playing out in a much shorter schedule.

In 2022, 22 percent of Americans bought fresh flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine’s Day, according to the Society of American Florists. Roses comprised 83 percent of those purchases, with red roses the top seller by far.

Just as the victorious football team’s most devoted fans will celebrate for days after the big game, the recipient of Valentine’s Day roses reasonably can expect to get a week or longer out of them by taking some simple steps.

KEEP ROSES COOL

Keep them away from a heat source, such as a vent or direct sunlight. While you are sleeping, you can place them in an unheated room or garage before putting them back on display in the morning.

KEEP ROSES WATERED

If roses arrive in a vase:

  • They will use more water than you think, so add water pretty much daily.
  • If after five days or so the water is getting dirty, pull the roses out, re-cut the stems and put them back in the vase with fresh water. Add a packet of floral preservative, available from your florist.
  • If the water is relatively clean, leave it alone as it will have some preservative left in it.

If roses arrive loose or in a box:

  • If the roses came with tubes on the stems, remove the tubes and re-cut the stems about 1 inch from the bottom. It is best to cut at an angle, which creates more surface area for water intake.
  • Place the roses in a vase with water that is room temperature to a little warm.
  • Add floral preservative to the water; you should have received a packet with the delivery.
  • Only change the water if it becomes noticeably dirty.

IF ROSES DON’T OPEN

  • Within a day or two, your roses should begin to open. If not, remove them from the vase, re-cut the stems at an angle, and return them to the vase.
  • If they still do not begin to open, re-cut the stems but this time also float the flowers in a bath of water for an hour or two to rehydrate them. Then return them to the vase. Most times, this will bring the roses around.

In one significant way, the Valentine’s Day/Super Bowl analogy falls short of the goal line.

Because unlike the football game, the best outcome for Valentine’s Day is when everyone – florist, giver and recipient alike – emerges a winner because those beautiful flowers lasted so long.

15 houseplants that will improve your indoor air quality

Spider plant
Spider plant

For all of its exploration of the galaxy, the space program has accrued many benefits right here on earth. Thanks to NASA, we know that houseplants can purify the air in our homes and workplaces.
NASA originally focused on finding ways to purify the air in orbiting space stations. A 1973 space mission identified 107 volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that were emitted by the synthetic materials inside the spacecraft. It was clear that tightly sealed buildings, whether orbiting in space or on the ground, could cause health problems.

Sick building syndrome

Back on earth, spurred by the energy crisis of the 1970s, the building industry focused on making old and new structures more energy efficient. Without intending to, they also paved the way for trapping pollutants – or what is often called “sick building syndrome.”
Three of the pollutants found in spacecraft – benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene – also are present in homes and offices, emitted by everything from building materials to furnishings to office equipment. Air-tight buildings conserve energy and reduce heating and cooling costs, but they also trap these pollutants.

NASA found that certain houseplants, because they are good at absorbing gases, could remove indoor pollutants. Researchers suggested using one potted plant per 100 square feet of home or office space to improve indoor air quality. One study found that philodendron, spider plant and golden pothos removed 80 percent of the formaldehyde that was introduced into a sealed chamber.

If you want to improve the air quality of your space, you might consider bringing home some of these commonly recommended plants:
1. Heartleaf philodendron
2. Elephant ear philodendron
3. Cornstalk dracaena
4. English ivy
5. Spider plant
6. Janet Craig dracaena
7.Warneckii dracaena
8.Weeping fig
9. Golden pothos
10. Peace lily
11. Selloum philodendron
12. Chinese evergreen
13. Bamboo or reed palm
14. Snake plant
15. Red-edged dracaena
Sources: sunsethillsfoliage.com, coopext.colostate.edu
 

To make your Christmas wreath last longer, hairspray is a perfect holiday hack

You can seal in the wreath’s moisture with hairspray.

For the holidays, the song says, you can’t beat home sweet home.

But while the sunshine of a friendly gaze can warm your heart, home also is where you can find practical solutions to Christmas complications.

Take hairspray, for instance.

You can spray it on nail polish to make it dry faster as you get ready for the office party, or on wrapped presents to make them glossy and stand out.

Our favorite holiday hack, however, is the power and punch hairspray can give to your Christmas wreath.

A wreath’s round shape and evergreen composition are why it is a symbol of eternal life. Evergreen trees have long been revered for their ability to survive winter.

Of course, even a fresh wreath will become dry over time. A cut Christmas tree will lose needles, but you can slow the process by giving it daily drinks of water.

That’s not possible with a wreath. Instead, you can seal in the wreath’s moisture with hairspray. It acts like glue and holds the needles on.

For best results and to avoid messes, spray the wreath outdoors before you hang it on a door, window or wall. Hang it on the outside of a door (it can get cooked if placed behind glass) and out of direct sunlight.

If you want to be happy in a million ways, the song says, for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home.

Or hairspray.

POINSETTIA FACTS & TIPS FOR THIS CHRISTMAS AND NEXT

We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.

Did You Know?

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

POINSETTIA CARE

Keeping your poinsettia looking great this Christmas takes two easy steps, but did you know with a few more steps you can have a wonderful poinsettia next Christmas as well?

THIS CHRISTMAS

  • When the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant.
  • Keep the poinsettia in a room with temperatures between 60 and 72 degrees. Keep the plant out of hot and cold drafts, such as those from a heating vent or open door.

NEXT CHRISTMAS

  • When leaves begin to drop, let dry slightly between watering.
  • In late spring (early May) cut back plant to 6 inches, shake free of soil and repot in new potting soil, then resume regular watering. Fertilize with a 30-10-10 fertilizer twice monthly. Stop fertilizing November 1st until December 30th.
  • Place outdoors in a warm sunny location when the temperatures are consistently over 60 degrees.
  • Pinch the tips of new shoots when they reach 6 to 8 inches long until late July. Continue to fertilize every two weeks.
  • Bring indoors before cold nights (early September) and place indoors in full sun. Three to six hours of sunlight is needed.
  • In order for poinsettias to bloom, they must have 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day for 40 days (late September through October). Place in a dark place such as a closet or cover with a bag from early evening and remove the next morning so that the plant is in total darkness.
  • When #6 is followed, your poinsettia will bloom at Christmas, but remember, it only takes 10 minutes of light per day during the time it was dark and your plant won’t bloom until January or February.

Connells Maple Lee shows ‘Admiration’ with donation to YWCA Columbus

From left, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has donated $980 to YWCA Columbus. Brian Rogers, volunteer and donations manager, YWCA Columbus, and Andrew Royer, vice president of Ohio operations, Connells Maple Lee.

Connells Maple Lee has donated $980 to YWCA Columbus.

Family-owned Connells Maple Lee earmarks $10 from every sale of its Admiration arrangement for women’s causes.

“Our loyal customers make these contributions possible, for which we are grateful,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of Connells Maple Lee. “Congratulations to YWCA Columbus for the meaningful work it does.”

Connells Maple Lee Flowers thanking veterans Nov. 11 with free red, white and blue bouquets

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts will show its appreciation to military veterans by giving them free patriotic bouquets on Nov. 11.

The bouquets – featuring a red carnation, a white carnation and a blue bow – will be available in-store only at any of Connells Maple Lee’s stores: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.

“We’re grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Connells Maple Lee. “It’s our honor to recognize veterans in this way.”

Non-veterans may purchase the bouquets for $2.20 each.

For more information about Connells Maple Lee, including store hours, visit cmlflowers.com.

Columbus resident runner-up in Connells Maple Lee name-the-arrangement contest


 
Janet Adams of Columbus said irises are her favorite flower.
But it was carnations and daisy poms that prompted her to enter Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ name-the-arrangement contest.
“Just a whim,” she said about her entry, “Blooming Pumpkin,” which was selected as the runner-up among nearly 900 online submissions to Connells Maple Lee and sister company Royer’s Flowers & Gifts in central Pennsylvania.
The winning entry, “Harvest Beauty,” was submitted by Karen Good of Mount Joy, Pa.
As their prizes, Adams and Good each will receive one of the all-around arrangements, which features a ceramic pumpkin, measures 12 inches high and 10 inches wide, and comprises carnations and daisy poms in fall colors.
 

Connells Maple Lee Flowers contest asks customers to name new pumpkin arrangement


Candy corn is so popular that it seems to arrive in grocery stores earlier every year.
Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ annual name-the-arrangement contest is getting a head start on fall, too.
The new all-around arrangement features a ceramic pumpkin, measures 12 inches high and 10 inches wide and comprises carnations and daisy poms in fall colors.
To view the arrangement and enter the contest, visit cmlflowers.com/contest. Limit one entry daily per email address, through Aug. 12.
One winner and one runner-up will be selected from entries received by Connells Maple Lee and its sister company in Pennsylvania. Both the winner and runner-up will receive one of the arrangements (retail value $36.99) as their prize.

One child will win a flower delivery in Connells Maple Lee’s birthday card contest

Last year’s winning entry

Just in time for summer vacation, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has a challenge for children ages 5 to 12.
The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club is looking for its next birthday card design, one that all kids club members will receive in the year ahead.
As a reward, the designer of the winning entry will receive a free bouquet delivery on his or her birthday.
To enter the contest, download an entry form here or pick up one at your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.
Entries must be dropped off at a Connells Maple Lee store by July 15.
Good luck to everyone!

Purchasing these arrangements supports local animal shelters


The needs of animal shelters are diverse, from pet food to cleaning supplies, toys to towels. And they are costly to address, especially for non-profit organizations.
To help, Connells Maple Lee donates a portion of the profits from the sale of its Puppy in a Basket and Kitten in a Basket arrangements to animal shelters in its seven-county market area.
To kick off the program in 2021, Connells Maple Lee sent $100 checks to four area animal organizations: CHA Animal Shelter, Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center, Columbus Humane and Pets Without Parents.
“Plants and pets bring great joy to our lives and add warmth to our homes,” said Tom Royer, CEO of family-owned Connells Maple Lee. “We’re eager to support local animal shelters and the great service they provide in our communities.”
Available year-round, the arrangements comprise a seven-inch plush dog or cat surrounded by a three-quarter round arrangement in a basket with carnations, daisy and button poms, statice and babies breath.
Each of the arrangements is 10 inches high and 10 inches wide and retails for $44.99.