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Preparing Bird Of Paradise For the Long Haul

Flower Arrangement with Bird Of Paradise

Ask the Expert: How do I successfully “open” Birds of Paradise?

Twice a year I install flowers on the high altar and in the Lady Chapel in memory of my mother. Once on or about September 13 and again on or about April 7, or Resurrection Day depending on Lent.

My mother adored yellow roses and Birds of Paradise. When she died the only floral work was a huge (double) cascade casket piece made up of the aforementioned roses, birds and greens.

I have tried ever since to use the two when I install the flowers. I find the combination perfect in April for the Resurrection and in September as Fall approaches.

I tend to tear the pod. The “petals” seem very delicate and I lose a lot of them. At least 2-3 out of ten never thrive. They look dead. I normally pick up the flowers on Friday afternoon and install them before 02:00 PM on Saturday.

Like funeral work, the flowers do not have to look good for very long. The goal is they last through noon day prayer on Wednesday. Nit a huge problem if they do not.

I am purchasing the flowers through a wholesale florist. We have done business with them as long as I can remember with no problems whatsoever. It’s me, not the flowers. Edward

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Reply:
Correctly prepping the flowers is the key. When you pick the flowers up run lukewarm water over the flower heads. Then manually open the bracts and gently pull florets up. In our Elements of Design: Preparing Birds of Paradise, we demonstrate how to do this.

I also recut the stems of the Birds of Paradise. Another big factor is to make sure the Birds are stored at a temperature above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

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