Photo Courtesy Ardith Beveridge, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA,Koehler & Dramm's Institute of Floristry in Minneapolis, https://www.kdfloralinstitute.com/My 4-year-old grandson and I were walking through an inside public area that had many planters. He walked up to one plant with brown leaves, visibly in need of water. “This hurts my feelings,” he said. Seeing the plant in bad shape made him sad.

Research proves flowers and plants make us happy and benefit our emotional health. However, I had never considered the opposite emotional response to seeing flowers and plants in poor condition.

Just like my grandson’s reaction, it hurts my feelings to see plants turn brown from neglect. It hurts my feelings to see a floral design in a vase of dirty water with fuzzy stems or dead flowers.

The beauty and ephemeral nature of flowers make them special gifts. For maximum enjoyment, take care of them. When the water turns cloudy, empty the vase and refill with fresh water mixed with floral food. If possible, re-cut the stems with a sharp knife before placing them in the fresh water. When flowers start to fade, clip them. 

Most plants come with care instructions specified for the type of plant. In general, don’t let them dry out, avoid overwatering, and display them away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents.

Flowers and plants are positive forces in our lives. They boost our moods, enhance our homes and offices, and improve our health. A little extra care can make a big difference for any floral arrangement, bouquet, or green or blooming plant.