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15 Hot Summer Flowers

Summer begins Saturday June 21st. If you enjoy having seasonal blooms on your table or in your home, check out this list of some of the most popular summer flowers available June through August. Your florist may not have all of these on-hand every day, but they should be available if you give her a couple days notice.

Rainbow of BloomsSavannah StyleCelebrate the Day

Sensational Summer Flowers

  1. Begonia – These are beautiful flowers that come in large variety of colors. They are native to tropical climates, but can be grown in colder regions of the world during the summer months. This flower traditionally means, beware or be cautious. Sound advice if you are planning on giving these flowers as a gift to your significant other.
  2. Chrysanthemum – These flowers have a long and storied history dating back to before the 15th Century BCE. So if you’re looking for blooms with a little gravitas, these are the flowers for you. They traditionally mean joy or optimism.
  3. Orchid – These delicate blooms represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. They have long been coveted flowers because of their fragile beauty and long lives.
  4. Gardenia  The perfect choice for the secret admirer or the smitten would-be lover. This flower traditionally means secret love and is a wonderful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
  5. Gerbera – A popular choice, this flower means innocence, purity and cheerfulness. For more information about the Gerbera, check out our March Flower Spotlight!
  6. Hyacinth – A wonderful flower for professing your devotion, the hyacinth traditionally means constancy. Its name comes from an unsurprisingly tragic tale from Greek Mythology, but then what Greek Myth doesn’t end in tragedy?
  7. Hydrangea – These make a wonderful gift to give after you’ve had a sincere apology accepted. The traditional meaning of hydrangea is heartfelt emotion and gratitude for being understood.
  8. Iris – The iris is another flower whose name hails from the Greeks. It stands for faith, hope, wisdom, courage and admiration.
  9. Lily – The lily may be a flower that has grown alongside mankind as long as there has been a thing such as mankind. As such, it has many different meanings depending on the culture you’re coming from. For detailed information on the lily, check out our April Flower Spotlight!
  10. Lilac – Oh, those flower loving Greeks, they named another one! It should come as no surprise that so many summer flowers have names that come from the Greek isles. After all, the Mediterranean climate is sort of … summery. The lilac is perfect as a gift from a student to a teacher or from you to your child as the flower traditionally means youthful innocence.
  11. Magnolia – The magnolia tree is a common site throughout most of the South during the summer. It is a gorgeous white blossom that means splendid beauty and dignity and is perfect for that singular love of your life.
  12. Marigold – The marigold is a gorgeous flower that comes in bright, vibrant oranges and reds. It should then come as no surprise that it traditionally means passion and creativity. This makes it the perfect gift for that relationship in the heat of its life.
  13. Peony – The peony is lovely flower that means good fortune and a happy marriage. It is generally considered synonymous with the 12th wedding anniversary. For more information on peonies, check out the May Flower Spotlight!
  14. Poppy – The poppy has a gorgeous bloom and means beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. It makes a good gift for many different situations, and its versatility makes it popular.
  15. Rose – I’m sure you’re more than familiar with this extremely popular flower, but it is a summer flower and it’s popularity makes it impossible to leave off this list. Roses have many different meanings based on their color, but the most commonly known is red which means romantic love. For more information on roses, check out our February Flower Spotlight.

Sweet Georgia PeachSun-Drenched ColorHooray For Summer

Summer is definitely the season for flowers, and as always, the best place to get those flowers is from your local florist. Don’t neglect yourself this warm summer season, buy some flowers for you or a loved one and enjoy the best that nature has to offer!

Orchids and Allergy Sufferers – The Perfect Arrangement

Everyone adores a fresh cut bouquet in their home or office but the sight of big blooming flowers can cause a few to be apprehensive. Seasonal allergies are to blame. The body’s immune system overreacts to airborne particles that generally fail to bother others. But with a little help from a thoughtful and skilled florist, everyone can enjoy the beauty of a fresh arrangement.

Pollen Forecast

Flowers that produce airborne pollen are the main culprits for allergies suffers, but not all flowers pollinate this way. Many, like orchids roses and tulips, rely on insects to carry pollen from bloom to bloom. In these varieties, the pollen is too heavy and large to be carried by the wind. Creating stunning arrangements with these flowers are not likely to trigger any sneezing fits.

 

Orchids – No Sniffles Here

Orchids produce very little pollen, come in many different vibrant colors and are the safest flower for sensitive individuals. Not sure about a particular flower? Keep in mind that the more scent present in a flower, the more pollen it contains. Think those gorgeous lilies are going to make your eyes water? Not if the pollen-covered stamen in the center of the flower is removed.

 

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Flowers Imitating Monkeys

Flowers Imitating Monkeys

I saw this photo floating around the internet this week and had to share with our readers. We’ve all seen mimicry in nature, mostly with insects, but have you ever seen it this clear? At first glance, you might think these are little baby monkeys! I was blown away by the incredible characteristics these orchids share with primates.

The orchids above with the little monkey faces are Dracula simia, which translates to Little Dragon Monkey. The flowers are fragrant with the scent of a ripe orange. They are native to the cloud forests of southeast Ecuador, and as such not many people throughout history have seen them.

The flowers above that look like little dancing monkeys are called Orchis simia. They are found in Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia, Asia Minor and Iran. These you might not want in your garden since they smell strongly of feces.

While these exotic flowers may not be readily available, stop by your local florist to preview your local selection of orchid house plants.

Images spotted on Beware of Images

Anything But Ordinary – Inspiring & Unique Flowers

As a gardener and as an artist and photographer, I have long been attracted to more unusual plants — those that are showy, quirky, alien-like, and over-the-top — anything but ordinary. Any plant or flower that makes me ask, “what in the world is that?” has a place in my garden! Many of these flowers can also be used in bouquets, adding a touch of the exotic and unusual to any arrangement.

Unusual Flower Types & Photos

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Globe Thistle

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Globe Thistle is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial with coarse, prickly leaves with 1-2 ball-shaped silvery-lavender-blue or dark blue flowerheads blooming in early to late summer on rigid branching stems 24-48 inches tall. These beautiful ornamentals grow best in full sun to mostly sunny areas and attract bees and butterflies. In the garden, they will tolerate heat and are deer-resistant. They make excellent cut flowers as well as great additions to dried bouquets.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Allium Bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum siculum)
Allium Bulgaricum

Allium Bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum siculum)
This ornamental allium is easy to grow, deer-resistant, and hardy to zone 4. They thrive in sunlight and bloom in May and June. Also known as Mediterranean Bells, Sicilian Honey Lily, Ornamental Onion and Sicilian Garlic, they are native to the Mediterranean. The individual florettes begin in an upright position and gradually relax to a cluster of tricolored bells and begin to drape like a floral chandelier. They make an interesting addition to flower arrangements.

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Bat Face Cuphea

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Also known as St. Peter’s plant, Tiny Mice and Bunny Ears, Bat Face Cuphea is a tender tropical evergreen perennial native to Mexico. Bat Face Cuphea prefer partial to full sun and its distinctive red and purple flowers blooms from March through October. Attractive to hummingbirds and bees, the plant is low maintenance, drought-tolerant and makes a great plant for pots, planters, and beds. The plants will grow 2-3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. In early summer, pinch growth off to encourage branching.

Cat’s Whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)
Cat’s Whiskers

Cat’s Whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)
Part of the mint family, Cat’s Whiskers are herbaceous perennial flowering plants originating in tropical East Asia. They grow up to two feel tall and three to four feet wide. The flowers have an orchid-like appearance and are white or lavender, sprouting long stamens that resemble cat’s whiskers. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds and can be harvested to use in herbal teas.

Family Jewels Milkweed Tree (Asclepias physocarpa)
Family Jewels Milkweed

Family Jewels Milkweed Tree (Asclepias physocarpa)
This species of milkweed is also known as White Butterfly Weed or Swan Plant. Native to Jamaica and South America, this perennial herb can grow to over six feet and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is a food source for caterpillars and is a food and habitat plant for the Monarch Butterfly. The small flowers are creamy white and orchid-like, followed by translucent, inflated 2″ green balls covered with soft bristles that are the resulting seedpods. It is a fast-growing tender perennial and grows best in Zones 7-10.

Firecracker Vine or Spanish Flag (Mina lobata)
Spanish Flag

Firecracker Vine or Spanish Flag (Mina lobata)
A tender perennial grown as an annual, this fast climber can grow 10 to 20 feet tall. The incredibly intense-colored 1.5″ blooms are reddish-orange fading to orange yellow and white flowers from mid-summer to fall. Two cultivars include Citronella (cream flowers and red buds) and Mexican Fiesta (red and yellow flowers). A member of the morning glory family, Spanish Flag can be grown in sun to partial shade and is best grown on a lattice.

Red or Yellow Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Hot Poker

Red or Yellow Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) and Yellow Hot Poker plants are grown from bulbs, and are heat and drought tolerant. They can grow 36″ tall. This variety is ‘Sally’s Comet’ Yellow Hot Poker. Native to Africa, they are known as Torch Lilies. Upright, rocket-shaped blooms produce ample nectar during blooming and are hummingbird magnets. They must be grown in full sun and require good drainage to prevent crown rot. They may spread up to three feet wide. Hardy to zones 5-10.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Liatris or Blazing Star (Liatris)
Liatris

Liatris or Blazing Star (Liatris)
Hardy perennials White Liatris (Liatris spicata ‘Alba’) and Purple Blazing Star Liatris (Liatris spicata purple), are also known as Gayfeather and Button Snakeroot, and are a member of the Aster family. They bloom from the top down, which is unusual with flowering plants. Each spike is comprised of tiny flowers that are a magnet for pollinators. Ranging from 2-4′ tall, they add height to flower beds and are a popular cut flower in summer floral arrangements with a long vase life.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)
Love-in-a-Mist

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)
Love-in-a-Mist is a beautiful Victorian garden annual blooming in soft shades of blue, pink, white, and lavender. Because its fern-like leaves look similar to fennel, it has also been called fennel flower. This annual herbaceous plant is in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), readily self-seeds, and is common in old-fashioned cottage gardens. It grows in full sun to partial shade and blooms from late spring through fall. Nigella is short-lived, so for continuous bloom, repeat sowing every four weeks. You can cut and deadhead this plant to keep it flowering longer.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

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Got An Orchid As A Gift, Now How Do I Take Care Of It?

Ask The Expert: Sent an orchid to a friend who would like information about how to care for it.

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Joy,

It depends do you know what kind of orchid was sent? Phalaenopsis or oncidium?  Phelaenopsis have large blooms. If this is the type your friend received, our Phalaenopsis Orchid Care post will be very helpful. As for Oncidium orchids, they need very filtered or subdued light and must be kept moist but not soggy. It is okay to let them become slightly dry between watering.

I hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

What Is This Yellow Blooming Orchid

Oncidium Orchid

Oncidium Orchid

Oncidium Bloom

Oncidium Bloom

Ask the Expert: What kind of Orchid do I have?

I bought this orchid in Key West 3 years ago. It keeps growing new psuedobulbs and flowers this time of year.  I am just very curious what classification of orchid it is so I can better care for it and ask advice.  Thanks Yellow Blooms

Plant Expert Reply:

It looks like an Oncidium. Depending on which species of Oncidium you have the orchid will need any where from bright to nearly full direct sun.  They need 30 to 60% humidity and 80 to 85 degree day temps with 55 to 60 at night. Water thoroughly, but allow the medium to dry half way between waterings. 

What Is This Purple Flower Found on Capt Cook Island Hawaii?

Malasian Orchid - Spathoglottis plicata

Malasian Orchid - Spathoglottis plicata

Ask the Expert: flower identification
Would appreciate your assistance identifying the common and scientific name of this flower. It is growing in in my mother-in-law’s front yard on the Big Island of Hawaii at about 1500 ft altitude.  Wally

Plant Expert Reply:

I believe it is a Malasian Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata).  It is a terrestrial (ground) orchid that naturalizes quite easily and it sometimes referred to as a garden orchid.  It can be found in Hawaii, Australia and tropical Asia.

Phalaeopsis Orchid Care

Ask the Expert: When will my Phalaenopsis Orchid Bloom? I bought a (indoor) Phalaenopsis Orchid plant that looked rather sad with its’ droopy leaves and no flowers on a Lowe’s discount table for a $1. Took it home and with some TLC it has perked up quite a bit. It has a long brown stem (like a skinny branch) growing out of the plant base. No blooms whatsoever, so do I cut the stem off and would another one grow in its’ place? When would I expect some flowers? Also, does this plant get root bound? I can see through the clear plastic (small) pot all these green thick “roots” seem crowded.

Never owned a Orchid before as I have heard they are hard plants to take care of. Thank you in advance for your help. Would a photo help? If so I can send one to you. Thanks – JD

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Phalaeopsis orchids are not too difficult to grow.  In fact at the nursery, we basically ignore them.

Blooming Plant OrchidHowever there are a few things you will want to do:

Proper Light: Phalaeopsis need bright indirect light.  Directly across from a south facing window is the best.  You can also exposed it to 12 hours of fluorescent light if natural light isn’t available. Your orchid will have bright green leaves if it is getting adequate light.

Adequate Water & Nutrients: As for water, you will need to let it dry almost completely before you water it.  You will need to fertilize it once a month with a fertilizer specially blended for orchids.

Proper Orchid Maintainence: Bloom stalks are normally pruned.  If the plant has healthy thick green leaves that are not wrinkled or drooping, you cut the bloom stalk just below the lowest bloom.  The plant should then send out a new flowering branch.  If you stalk is not healthy, cut the stalk all the way down and be sure to water and fertilize properly as the plant recovers. When an orchid is this damaged, it can take up to a year before it will bloom again.

Oh as for the roots – it is perfectly acceptable for the roots to show.

Hopefully this information will help you bring your Phalaeopsis orchid back to it’s glory.

Tropical Flowers The Wow Factor

Weddings And A Touch Of The Tropics

Many brides and grooms are looking for the unusual and the exotic in flowers for their wedding. They desire something that strikes their wedding guests as exceptional. Tropical flowers bring the WOW to weddings. As I think back on all the weddings I’ve attended over the years, it is only the Hawaiian themed wedding that I remember vividly. In fact, the red ginger flowers made a huge impression on me. So much that I thought to myself, “Why did I go with the beautiful red roses for my wedding instead of these gorgeous tropical flowers.” I could kick myself for not going bold and exotic. After all, the tropical flowers at this particular wedding were outstanding.

Tropical Flower Arrangment Deisgned By Aloha Island
We often think that tropical flowers are difficult to obtain or maybe not traditional enough for a customary wedding, but tropical flowers can and do work with other conventional flowers. A rose of any color mixed with coordinating cattleya orchids, makes a traditional bridal rose bouquet extraordinary. No one should be afraid to experiment with traditionally known wedding flowers such as carnations, roses, gerberas and babies breath mixed with Bird of Paradise or anthuriums. Even the foliage of tropical plants mixes well with traditional flowers. Think of the exquisite tropical centerpiece arrangements that can adorn your wedding reception tables.

Summer weddings especially lend themselves to the tropical flower theme. With the vibrant strong colors that almost all tropical flowers possess, they won’t hide in the corner. Passion and beauty is what they will announce as a key component of summer wedding bouquets. Tropical Flowers easily transition into wonderful fall wedding flowers options. Orchids especially work wonderfully with other fall flowers to add a little exotic flare.

Tropical Flower Ideas For Weddings

The best aspect of tropical flowers is the unusual shape. The Bird of Paradise with its unusual flower works well for a groom’s and groomsmen’s boutonnières. If you find the standard Bird of Paradise to be too large you can get a mini (dwarf) Bird of Paradise. Unconventional use? Certainly but it works well. For the guys who don’t want to wear a flower, this is the answer.

Pineapples, bromeliads and protea are excellent candidates for reception table centerpieces. For example, position a few proteas at the base of the pineapple stem as it lay on a bed of tropical foliage. Create an unusual wedding centerpiece with clean and crisp lines. Although this tropical flower arrangement is very simplistic in design, it will have a strong visual impact without obstructing any viewpoints. Any combination of these tropical flowers is a wonderful and unique way to really bring the tropical feel to your wedding receptions. While bromeliads are often used as a potted plant they can easily be incorporated into your wedding decorations. The colorful bloom and striking foliage produce an amazing visual display. Florists can design floral arrangements that incorporate the potted bromeliad. Potted bromeliads can be neatly decorated on wedding reception tables and later given as wedding favors.

Orchid Lei from Aloha Island Lei & Floral
Choose a lei instead of traditional flowers for the bridesmaids, or even go all the way and give your guest small leis called kupe’e that are to be worn on the wrist or around the ankle if at an informal wedding. The kupe’e can be your wedding gift favors. Traditionally lei’s are made from orchids, but you can use roses, ginger, maile, or any other flowers or a mixture of flowers you can string together.

The use of anthuriums “Haitian pink” in a wedding bouquet makes a stunning non-traditional but elegant brides bouquet. The anthuriums’ heart shaped flowers, and the beautiful light pink color will coordinate with any color wedding dress the bride wears or even the bridesmaids’ dresses. If you dislike pink choose any of the other anthuriums. They come in red, white or even a tropical color that lightly fades from pink in the middle to green on the outer most of the flower. Any choice of a tropical flower or a concept of an arrangements or bouquets can be done, it’s all in the creative way florist do their work.

Tropical Flower For Parties and Just Because

One thing we know about tropical flowers is that they are unusual, exotic and used infrequently. We all tend to opt for traditional. Tried-and-true works well, but we have to admit that it is easy. It’s time we all think out side the tried-and-true box and go with the exotic, the remarkable, the extraordinary, tropical flower arrangements. Just as I was mesmerized by the red ginger at the wedding, tropical flowers captivate us because they are new to us. Though I didn’t know what they were at the time, I took the time to find out because they caught my eye. Putting a tropical flower arrangement of anthuriums, orchids, and Birds of Paradise will not only look grand, but will certainly make for great conversation pieces at any party. Guests will be curious as to the type of flower or that and who did the arrangements. That is the WOW factor of tropical plants.

Tropical Flowers - Birds of Paradise - Protea - heliconias
Choosing a tropical arrangement of orchids mixed with other exotic flowers and giving them just because will be well received and talked about for months on end. Maybe you want a plant and not just a flower arrangement. In that case, tropical plants are another wonderful gift to send. A gloriosa lily, a striking plant that has a flower that has gold based flowers with crimson tipped ends, is an absolute tropical beauty. The gloriosa plant is best suited to mild climates for outdoor planting or it can be gown inside as a potted plant.

The use of tropical flowers for a party, wedding or flower arrangement will bring a WOW factor to any occasion and will brighten up any décor. Everyone should explore the world of tropical flowers and plants. Why not celebrate their uniqueness and exotic looks? Not ready to move completely out of the tried-and-true box? Well spice up a traditional styled arrangement with tropicals. Come on. You know that you want to. Just a few here and there and you’ll be exploring the ever-growing world of tropical flower arrangements.

Contributor Leigh Morrisett

Photos Provided by Aloha Flower Leis – One of Flower Shop Network’s Honolulu Florists.

Need to send a tropical flower arrangement to someone? Check out the following: Tropical Getaway flower basket arrangement Tropical Flair. Tropical Tribute

Cascading Orchid Bouquet – Designing Without A Water Source

Ask the Expert: orchid question

I am helping a friend with her wedding flowers. She wants to have phalaeonpsis orchids in a cascade bouquet. If I make a cascade bouquet and have to wire in some flowers (they would have no water source) how long can she expect them to last. She needs to have it made on a Friday to transport 1 1/2 hours to another town. Then the wedding is not until 4:00pm Saturday. Will the bouquet hold up for this amount of time? Thanks! Shellie

Shellie,

With the time and transportation issues, I would not take a chance on using Phalaenopsis orchids without a water source. However, there maybe one or two solutions to your problem. You can soak chenelle stems (pipe cleaners) in water and insert them in the [Read more…]