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Help! I Can’t Get Stephanotis Stems To Stay Fresh!

Stephanotis StemAsk The Expert:

Hi, I can’t get stephanotis stay fresh stems in the UK, so wondered if you could tell me either how to make them or how to wire one. Would cotton wool soaked work at the end? And what gauge wire to use! Thanks so much,

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

For the best possible answer, we asked our florists on Facebook. Here is a great reply:

“Upon arrival, open box & make sure cotton/tissue in base is damp. If they’re looking wilty spray them with water or Crowning Glory, recover, close box & into cooler. Upon using, we use the packaged “stephanotis stems” & spray them good with Crowning Glory, been doing this 30+ years & never a problem.” via Janet Frye of The Enchanted Florist in Asheville, NC.

You might also check out this post: How To Keep Stephanotis Fresh In A Bridal Bouquet

Tips For Stephanotis And Heat

Ask The Plant Expert: My stephanotis always fails in the heat. Help? – Bobbi

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: If you are growing your Stephanotis outside there are a few factors that can make a difference:

  • Exposure to sun
  • Protection from wind and moisture.
  • Sun exposure

Although Stephanotis like to grow in full-sun conditions, it really needs a little relief from the hot, mid-day sun. Place your plant in an area where they get some mid-day shade. Hot winds can also compromise Stephanotis; keep them protected from hot winds. During the growing season these plants also need to be kept moist. Misting the plants every so often will help as well.

If you are using Stephanotis in flower arrangements, proper care and handling will help the flowers last. When you receive Stephanotis from your wholesaler, prep your flowers carefully to avoid bruising. Begin by lightly misting the flowers with clean water, and store them in their original packaging in a cooler set at  39° F or 4° C.

In the cooler, place the flowers where they will receive the least amount of light, and are out of any draft patterns. Remember these flowers only have a 7 day shelf-life.

Stephanotis require constant moisture so another handling tip comes when actually working with the flower. Keep your hands wet while working with the flower. This will ensure that your hands do not wick the moisture away from the flower.

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


Why Aren’t Stephanotis and Lily Of The Valley Used in Bridal Bouquets?

Ask the Expert: Are lily of the valley used in bridal bouquets. Back when I was married (in the 50s) lily of the valley and also stephanotis were often used in bridal bouquets and they are beautiful but I never see them anymore. Any reason? Carolyn

Rose and Stephanotis Bridal Bouquet

Flower Shop Network‘s Flower Expert Reply:
Every generation has it’s favorite flowers. In the 50’s, it was most likely stephanotis and lily of the valley. ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies or callas are probably the flower of choice for today’s brides.

That doesn’t mean stephanotis and lily of the valley aren’t or can’t be used in wedding bouquets. The rose and stephanotis bridal bouquet in the picture was a recent creation by MaryJane’s Flowers for a wedding in Berlin NJ.

Now that wedding flower options are not necessarily contingent upon seasonal availability, brides have more choices. They are no longer bound by what is considered a “wedding flower”.  Today’s brides have the freedom to choose any flower (depending on their budget) for their bridal bouquets and wedding flowers. As a result, brides are interjecting their personalities into their wedding flower choices and designs.

So it just maybe that the brides whom weddings you are attending are choosing more trendy flowers. However, I am confident that stephanotis and lily of the valley are still being used in wedding bouquets. They really are beautiful flowers and should be considered a wedding flower option.

What Flowers Should I Use In A 1905 Crystal Glass Vase?

Crystal Flower Vase cr. 1905

Crystal Flower Vase cr. 1905

Ask the Expert: How to use a flower center


I recently acquired this beautiful cut glass flower center ca. 1905 and would like to know what type of flowers from that era would have been used.  The vase measures 5″ in height and has a base diameter of 8″.  Thanks for your help. Michael

Flower Expert Reply:

What a beautiful vase. Take your lead from the Victorian Era.  During the Victorian Era (Romantic Age), the growing and arranging of flowers was very popular. Popular flowers at the time were streaked carnations or tulips, anemones, dahlias, freesias, gardenias, salvia, stephanotis, sweet pea, sweet William, verbena and roses. The use of foliage was popular as well. So, you could use fern or plumed grasses in your vase.  Strong colors like dark purple, magenta, red, orange and mustard yellow were often the popular choice for flower arrangements.

Any flower you choose will compliment your beautiful vase.  Please send a picture of the vase filled with flowers. I’d love to see it.

Pittsburgh florists like this flower question.

How To Keep Stephanotis Fresh In A Bridal Bouquet

Ask the Expert: How to keep stephanotis fresh in bridal boquets
Tips For keeping cut stephanotis fresh. thanks Theda


Although I am not well versed on stephanotis, I do know this:

1. Stephanotis is a short lived cut flower and should be arranged as close to the time period needed as possible.

2. The oil on your finer tips can and will turn the blooms brown. So limit your touching or wear gloves when arranging stephanotis.

3. Bridal bouquet with stephanotis need to be misted frequently and have a damp tissue placed over the blooms.

4. Keep stephanotis bridal bouquets very cool. Warm air with accelerate the decline of the blooms.

I believe there is a special way to prep the stephanotis blooms by inserting something in the stem I will research this and discuss it with some of the designers I know and get back to you.


Cotton Tipped Wire

Cotton Tipped Wire

I spoke with Regina Berryman an AIFD floral designer about the this issue. Regina told me that Stephanotis blooms have to be prepared with a cotton tipped wire called a Stephanotis Stem.

I am attaching a picture of one that was used in a Stephanotis arrangement.
Regina said insert it into the base of the Stephanotis bloom. ***Once this is done, you take a small container filled with water and take the flower and turn it upside down and dunk it into the water. This will keep the stephanotis hydrated and the wire will allow you to place the bloom in your arrangement.  If you need to hide the white of the stem wrap it with floral tape. *** The cotton and the wire can be trimmed on an as need basis.

You should be able to find this type of wire at one of your floral suppliers. You can also create your own with cotton and regular floral wire. I hope this helps.

If any florist has pictures of how to do this I would love to post them on this blog.

Stephanotis Stem

Stephanotis Stem

**** I spoke with Regina who clarified my explanation above. (See *** section).  She said that trying to make your own Stephanotis Stem is not easy and buying the Stepahnotis Stems is much easier and more cost effective.  Stemson’s has a product called Stephanotis Stems.  The stems come in white or green. The picture to left shows the Stephanotis stem as it is inserted into the Stephanotis bloom. 

What Flowers Are In This Bridal Bouquet?

Ask the Expert: What type of flowers are these?

Could you please tell me what type of flowers you think these are?
Bridal Bouquet With Stephanotis, Delphinium, Eucalyptus