For the Orchid Enthusiast…

A double stemmed purple phaleonopsis orchid

Orchids give us so much majesty and beauty that they sometimes are intimidating and we feel that we cannot take proper care of them, or that we do not have a “green enough thumb” to be able to care for an orchid.  We shy away from the most majestic flowering plant simply because we do not feel competent or capable of caring for it.   Well for all the glory that orchids give, they do not ask for very much in return.  Here is a primer on orchids to help you over the initial fear…

FIRST – Come to Starbright (or any other reputable florist in your area) and purchase a Phaleonopsis orchid plant.  They come in a variety of colors but the most basic white or pink will do.  Remember that you are not buying this orchid as an expert or as a connoisseur, but rather as a novice trying to learn and to gain confidence that the plant can actually survive around YOU!

When you go home, place your orchid plant in a brightly lit room, but away from direct sunlight.  The orchid loves to bask in the sun but the more sun you give it the faster the blooms will open and eventually lose their petals.  You want a room that has sunlight but where the rays of the sun never hit directly on the plant.  Room temperature is fine.  In most cases if you are comfortable so is your plant.  This holds true for ANY plant (for the most part).   Also try to keep you plant away from sudden drafts.  A burst of cold air or hot air will certainly not help the orchid at all.

So far it is pretty simple, right?

Now make sure (at least for your first orchid) that you have a pot with good drainage.  Most orchids (phaleonopsis for certain) do not live in a swamp and if the water sits in the pot and does not drain, you are killing your plant.   So make sure that your pot allows excess moisture to escape.

Lastly – do not bother your plant.  The less you do for your orchid the more it will give back.  This is because there is not much that you can really do to care for the plant and in reality the plant requires very little care.  Water is about the only thing that it needs.

My advice to folks is instead of water; give your orchid ice cubes.  That is right – ICE CUBES.  Why?  Well for one, because when ice melts it becomes water.  It is a slow watering process because the ice melts slowly and it allows for the roots of the orchid to drink the water as opposed to the water running through the plant.  You also do not run the risk of the water ever building that swamp I mentioned earlier at the bottom of the pot.  So your orchid will get the water it needs and it will never be too much.  In most cases if the environment is not too hot or too dry, a handful of ice cubes a week will do.

Eventually the blooms on the plant will begin to wilt.  As they do, clip them off because they are unsightly.  As time goes on all the blooms will have opened and they will all have wilted. Eventually there will be nothing left but a bare stem.  Depending on what stage you had purchased your orchid in (how many blooms were open already, etc), this process should take no less than three weeks and in many cases an orchid will last over two months.

At the end of that period you should feel confident that orchids can in fact survive around you!  Hopefully you found enjoyment in caring for a live plant that gave beauty every day.  Now it is time to experiment!  No time to lose…

What do I do with that long stem that is bare and just sticking out of my pot?

Can I get my orchid to re-bloom?

What other orchid varieties are there?

What colors can I get?

Where do orchids come from?

There is a whole new world out there ready for you to explore!  It is a lot of fun and you can delve into it as much or as little as you want to.  Short of being a professional “orchidologist”, there are orchid clubs you can join, websites and books you can read from and there are even artists and photographers who have become known around the world simply because of their love for this magnificent plant.

You can go as far as you want to, or you can stay close to home.  Either way, it is a relaxing and enjoyable journey or hobby – depending on how you define it.

Here are two orchid websites that you should consider visiting:

The Orchid Board

American Orchid Society

I have found them to be informative and worthy of your interest.

Do you have a question? Send me a note at nic@starflor.com.  I will always be happy to hear from you and share some thoughts.  You can even visit our website (www.starflor.com) or call us at our store at 800-520-8999.  Reach out to us any way you would like to.  We will always be happy to hear from you and to help however we can.

A little bit about Starbright Floral Design – We are a full service florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District (on 28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues).  We are open every day and most evenings till 8PM (Sunday until 6PM).  We deliver all over the world and can help you in selecting your gift to fit any taste design or budget.

Starbright was voted on Citysearch.com as the Best Florist of New York City in 2009.  We are the most reviewed and highest rated florist in New York.

TheKnot.com has also rated us as The Best Florist in New York City to partner with for wedding and bridal Florals.

We thank you for your support and look forward to hearing from you!

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A Favor & A Reward….

A tight nosegay of yellow gerbera daisies presented in a geometric vase.  Catalog item SQ043, by Starbright Floral Design
A tight nosegay of yellow gerbera daisies presented in a geometric vase. Catalog item SQ043, by Starbright Floral Design

Over the years we have had many opportunities to meet many of our clients and to be of service in many different ways.  For all that we have been able to do and for all that you have helped us accomplish, we will always be grateful.  Thank you for helping top put Starbright Floral Design on the map as one of the premier florists in New York City and for making us your “go to florist” for all your floral and gift giving requests… We have always  said that if there is something that is an issue that has come up with our service, we want to know about it so that we  can make it right for you – no matter what it takes.  If you are pleased with our service we want you to tell the whole world about us!

So here is the favor.. for those of you who know us, for everyone that has ever experienced the Starbright Standard:  We have been nominated by Citysearch as a contender in the Best of Citysearch poll to be voted The Best Florist in New York City.  This is quite an honor!  An even greater honor is to know how many of our friends and clients are supporting us with their votes on Citysearch right now.

If you would like to vote for us and if you truly believe that we deserve to be called the Best Florist in New York City in 2009, then please go to this link:

http://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/nominees/2009/florist and vote for us.  If you would like to share some thoughts and comments about your experiences with us, we would all be very grateful!

And now the reward!  You will not see this posted anywhere else! THIS IS AN OFFER THAT IS EXCLUSIVELY POSTED FOR THOSE WHO READ OUR BLOG… Give us a call at any time in the month of September and mention that you have read this blog entry – we will in turn give you a 50% discount, that is right – half price, for any floral request that you may have to deliver flowers anywhere in Manhattan.  Yes, mention that you have read our blog and get your flowers HALF PRICE in September!

We are very grateful for all that we get to do together.  Thank you from all of us at Starbright Floral Design…. (www.starflor.com)

A Man’s Guide to Sending Flowers – the truth about roses…

Red tulips in a modern cylindrical vase with leaf wrap treatment
Red tulips in a modern cylindrical vase with leaf wrap treatment

All too often men (mostly) do not know what to send to their romantic interest, their partner, wife or significant other.   Often the “safe choice” is a dozen roses.  If we are in trouble then the safer choice is to two dozen roses!  It seems that we (men) have this philosophy that the bigger the problem that we are trying to overcome, the more roses we tend to send!

In many instances the thought goes something like – “Eh, I don’t know a thing about flowers, all women like roses, don’t they?”  That looks like a safe choice!  Well the truth is that everyone loves receiving flowers and nobody will ever doubt the sincerity of the thought that goes along with a bouquet of roses.  You thought about her!  What could possibly be wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with it!  You can, however, do much better!  Often times, for less money and with more of an emotional impact and with a deeper display of emotion and sensitivity.  Take the time to educate yourself about flowers.  Learn about different varieties and what is in season.

With time, if you send flowers often (and you should!), you will not be as boring!  The question, the anticipation becomes “what flowers did he send me this time?”.  When you surprise her a few times a year with a bouquet of red roses (in between other flowers), the flower has a deeper impact.  You are no longer the guy that does not know a thing about flowers, you sent roses for a reason and they will mean so much more!

Take the time to learn about flowers.  You don’t need to spend a whole long of time doing it.  A few moments here and there on our website (www.starflor.com) will give you a great visual impact of what you may or may not like.  Reading our blog from time to time will spring an idea forward.

What colors different flowers come in and what their seasons are… There are tulips, orchids, amaryllis, sunflowers, hydrangea, peonies and so much more… Learn about these blooms and send a surprise!  Go to our website (www.starflor.com) and click on FLOWER ENCYCLOPDIA. You will not be the same old boring guy!  You will be sensitive, understanding, interesting and a real hero!  Try it once!

Here are a few more hints – now that I have your attention:  Talk to the florist who will make the arrangement.  Ask him/her for advice.  Ask what came in today, what is really fresh.

Never send a “contrived” arrangement that looks like grandma’s favorite in a cute but overpriced container!  Keep it simple.  Only send flowers, stems, vase and water (nothing else).  Make sure that you don’t mix too many colors and too many varieties in one arrangement.  It becomes more expensive but “cheapens” the presentation.  Mixed flowers are never as dramatic.

I have nothing against roses – they are an amazing bloom and you should keep them in your repertoire.  Just don’t send them exclusively!  If you sent roses last time, send a vase of purple orchids this time!  Get creative with the message on the card and watch what happens!  Let me know!!!!!