Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 41

hellebores3 worlds end farm

                                                                                                                                                                            image via Worlds End 

The Question:

I grow hellebores to use as cut flowers but they always go limp. What is the trick to keep them from wilting once they have been cut?


The Answers:

The trick to this flower is to not cut it too young. These flowers last for weeks if they are in an almost antiqued state.  So be patient and wait for the flowers to mature before cutting. If you are not cutting from your own garden be prepared to fight with these blooms, I have always found quick dip works remarkably well.

-Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

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Once hellebores have formed their seed head, they are fine to use without any special treatment. Before that, you need to treat the stems. Plunge the bottom inch or so in boiling water for a minute or two. Then plunge the stems (or the entire flower) in cold water for five to ten minutes. The flowers will last a long time this way. Just be sure that if you are cutting the stems again, that you keep some of the seared part of the stem, otherwise it will wilt. 

-Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)

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-- ah, hellebores, I'm so obsessed with them!! I grow them, I buy them, I hunt for them. The thing is is that you have to pick the older blooms, the ones going to seed. The new hellebores will wilt almost immediately upon picking. (Don't even try to stick them in floral foam)  I pick the older blooms and they will hold up for days in my arrangements. Now two tricks I have heard of, but have not tried yet are: 1) submerge the stems up to the blossoms for 24 hours so they are thoroughly hydrated before designing with them. 2) cauterize the bottom of the stem. Again, I have not tried this myself, but plan to give it a try sometime soon and see if it really works.

-Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori and Flirty Fleurs)

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I've never had any problems with hellebores. Maybe I'm lucky, but here is what I do. I cut them from the plant the day before with a sharp knife (I always use a knife, never scissors) and place them directly in cold water. Hellebores open up quite quickly so I always keep them in a cooler. When the bouquet or arrangement is made, I try to keep it as long as possible in a cooler.

-Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar)

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Hellebores are a notoriously tricky flower. I make several insertions with a pin all the way up the stem. This helps them take up water and hopefully will stop them from going limp.

-Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)

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Thanks Nick, Emelie, Alicia, Clare & Holly!


Thought you might enjoy seeing hellebores used in some bouquets and arrangements. Let’s start off with a design from Expert Panel member Alicia (Bella Fiori)…

hellebores bella fiori unnamed

Bella Fiori

hellebore 261730_10151430676051657_1861944434_n Shannon Morse  Photographer  and botanica floral & event design

Botanica and Shannon Morse Photography

hellebore 563561_523179587726251_551808824_n frida & sophia floral design

Frida & Sophia Floral Design 

hellebore 923325_536141519765915_965345942_n botanique

Botanique 

hellebore 946845_609685805710581_1052363868_n sullivan owen for bhldn

Sullivan Owen 

hellebore 1098162_10151610763188634_19512352_n finch & thistle and  Ryan Flynn Photography

Finch & Thistle and Ryan Flynn Photography 

hellebore 1473007_658933400805265_76050002_n the arrangement company and allegra

The Arrangement Company

hellebores 156582_185548221570337_719094378_n  lindseymyra.com aka the liitle flower farm au

The Little Flower Farm 

hellebores 163503_561052827259990_511285110_n the arrangement company

The Arrangement Company

hellebores fleuropean lace-hellebores-1p

Fleuropean 

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

2 comments:

Alicia said...

I love this flower. Thank you for all your advice and tricks. I will try :)

Lindsey Myra said...

Oh wow thanks for picturing me Botanical Brouhaha!
I'd like to add my 2 cents on the hellebore front:
it's not just the age of the stem that's a factor but the age of the plant. I have noticed that if you pick from older, well established and naturalized patches of hellebore; the stems are much stronger and robust - often don't require any treatment. However, I planted a whole swathe of new, rarer species last year but when I picked these first year blooms they were incredibly tender and didn't respond well to any treatment. And one last thought, variety matters. H. caulescent and it's cousins, H.sternii are remarkably hardy, as are H. niger but H. hybridus (all the pretty delicate ones) are much more variable in their response to cutting.
So that's enough nerding out.
Thanks again,
Lindsey Myra {of The Little Flower Farm, Australia}