Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

Flowers & Bees Communicate In Electric New Ways

Bumblebee ElectricityWe all know how bees use flowers to collect pollen for food and sustenance. You might even be aware of how bees see ultraviolet light, color and shape to determine different types of flowers. But, there’s more to pollination than just sight and smell — according to a very new study conducted by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Science, flowers actually communicate with bees through electric fields!

“This is a big finding,” says Daniel Robert, who led the study. “Nobody had postulated the idea that bees could be sensitive to the electric field of a flower.”

Flowers and plants tend to possess negative charges and are electrically connected to the ground, allowing them to conduct electricity very slowly. Bees, on the other hand, have a positive electrical charge because they fly in air. When the two connect, sparks may not fly, but pollen sure does. “We found some videos showing that pollen literally jumps from the flower to the bee, as the bee approaches… even before it has landed,” says Robert.

Now the electric side of pollination isn’t exactly new, as far back as the 1970s, botanists suggested that electric forces enhance the attraction between pollen and pollinators. But it wasn’t until now that we started asking the right questions, “Does the bee know anything about this process?”

[Read more…]

Garden Reminder: It’s Spring Bulb Planting Time

Fall Is The Time To Plant Your Spring Bulbs

As we move into the cooler seasons of winter and fall, we all will miss the beauty of nature’s colorful canvas, painting our landscapes and gardens. Yes, flowers will be gone soon, but by acting now, you can ensure your garden flowers will be first to show their flashy heads next spring!

So this is a reminder for those of you looking to enhance your garden for 2012 or are just starting from scratch, now is the time to get to planting your spring bulb plants. These include: daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, and many more! To learn more about bulb flowers, check out our article about planting spring bulbs.

Of course, colder months don’t have to be totally bleak. Order a cheery bouquet of colorful flowers from your favorite florist to enjoy inside while we wait for our bulbs to spring up next year!

If you have any questions, don’t forget our wonderful Ask The Plant Expert resource.


Rhododendron Better For Garden Than Wedding

Lavender Rhododendron

Lavender Rhododendron

Ask the Expert: What kind of flower is this?
My friend has this flower in her yard and doesn’t know what it’s called. I think it”s beautiful and I would love to use it in  my wedding but cannot find the name of it.
Thank you! Lindsey

Plant Expert Reply:

Your friend has a lavender Rhododendron.  This shrub is fantastic in the garden.  However probably not a good one for wedding flower use.  If you want to incorporate these into your wedding, you will probably need to use potted ones.  Of you will need to check with your local florist as to the availability of potted Rhododendron in your area and during the season of your wedding.  Your florist might be able to provide potted Azaleas which are part of the Rhododendron genus.

Bluish-Purple Flower Is A Spring Surprise

Grape Hyacinth on Left

Grape Hyacinth on Left

Ask the Expert: What is this flower?
Hello. I took this piece of flower (pictured on left of photo) from a friend’s house and have no idea what it is or how to care for it. It has slender leaves about 6″ long and bluish-purple flowers about 2″ long. Please help! Thanks.  Brianne


The lovely blue/purple flower is a Muscari also known as Grape Hyacinth.  This lovely bulb is planted the season before it blooms usually in the fall.  I usually plant these in September or October in full sun where my soil is moist and fertile.  They can tolerate partial shade and are great for natualizing an area.  Grape hyacinth bloom in the spring.  However, in some areas they will bloom in the fall.  I add bulb food the the soil when I plant them.  Every year in February, I add a little bone meal and blood meal to the area.  After they bloom, I remove the dead bloom stalks but leave the foliage.   When the foliage dries and turns brown I cut it off.  Basically that is all the care they need.

What Is Cineraria

Ask the Expert: What is a Cineraria
I was given one. It is beautiful. I want to know how to care for it.  Mrs. Culbreath


I need to know does your Cineraria have green leaves and brightly colored aster looking flowers?

Pericallis x Hybrida "Cineraria"

Pericallis x Hybrida

If so, you have Cineraria (Percallis x hybrida). Growers often force these plants to bloom so that florists can sell them Christmas through Easter. They prefer climates that don’t have extreme temperature changes. However, they prefer cooler temperatures. In the United States, this type of cineraria is treated as a summer annual or winter blooming indoor plant. Outside, in the summer, they need shady conditions and inside they need bright filtered light. They need humus-rich and well-drained soil. Indoors, watering is crucial. These plants are susceptible to fluctuations in watering, overwatering rots roots and underwatering decreases flowering. They need high humidity, but do not wet the leaves.

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

If your cineraria has dusty gray leaves it probably is dusty miller (Senecio cineraria). This garden plant loves sunny areas and will tolerate drought like conditions once established. It does not like to be soggy and will need a very well-drained soil mixture that contains a little sand.

Although this plant can be biennial and even perennial, it is grown as an annual in the in the garden.  It makes a good accent plant in outdoor containers as well.  It can produce mustard colored flowers  the second year if plants are overwintered.

Hopefully one of these plants is you cineraria.

What Is The Blue Flower Perennial?

Ask the Expert: Flower ID

Blue Linum

Blue Linum

A few years back, I purchased a mess of flower seeds..perennials I believe. The flower pictured was among them. I cannot find what it is anywhere, and I really enjoy them and would like to find more seeds. I hope you can help me out.
Connie Reffitt


It looks to me that you have Linum perenne also known as perennial flax.  The most common is a cultivar called Blue Saphir.   I would try your local garden center first.  They may have the plants already up and ready to plant in the ground or they may carry seed packets of blue flax.  You could also try garden seed companies online.  We sell Ferry Morse Seed at our garden center and I know that they carry blue flax seed.

Good luck!

Azaleas In Florida – Where Should They Be Planted

Ask the Expert: A friend gave me two azalea plants but I do not know where to plant them or how to take care of them in the Florida sunshine.  Help! Jan


In Florida, azaleas prefer a little shade from hot afternoon sun and can do well in dappled shade areas.  Keep in mind deep shade even in Florda will cause the azaleas to become thin.  Choose an area that contains moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil that is slightly acidic in ph.  You can create this type of soil by tilling humus into your existing soil and using an acidic fetilizer like miracid to correct any ph problems.  Plant your azalea shallow.  A good rule of thumb is to have the top of the root ball 1″ to 2″ above the soil line.  I also recommend muching your azleas.  Keep your area moist but not soogy during the growing season and a little drier during the dormant season.  Fetlizer your azaleas with a slow realease azlea fertilzer during the growing season.  I personally like to fertilze with Fertilome’s azalea food with systemic insecidie.  It serves two purposes – nutritional content and insect protection.   Check with your local nursery & garden center for a similar product.  Good luck and keep me posted.