Tag Archives: Flowers

Poinsettia – The Flower of Christmas

Poinsettias are a popular favorite around Christmastime. Seeing red poinsettias with Poinsettia flowertheir pots wrapped in shiny green foil makes us feel festive at this time of year. But have you ever wondered how this distinctive plant became so closely connected with the Christmas season? Took a closer look at the poinsettia and its interesting history.

A Practical Plant

Poinsettias are native to Central America. These plants, called “cuetlaxochitl,” meaning “brilliant flower,” were used by ancient Aztecs to make purple dye for clothing and makeup. Also, the sap of a poinsettia was used to treat fevers.

A Mexican Treasure

In southern Mexico, poinsettias flower for a short amount of time in the winter. In 1828, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, visited southern Mexico and became enchanted with the poinsettias he saw there. He brought some of the plants back to his greenhouses in South Carolina, and he nurtured his poinsettias and shared them with friends as well as botanical gardens. These plants got their English name from Poinsett.

Poinsettias and Christmas

There are many connections between poinsettias and Christmas. For one, the poinsettia plant has a similar shape to the star of Bethlehem. Also, the plant is red and green, which are colors associated with Christmas.

Caring for Your Poinsettia

Do you want your poinsettia to last beyond Christmas? If so, there are some care tips to remember. For one, water your plant only when its soil is dry. Gently stick your finger about an inch down into the soil to make sure it’s dry before watering. Also, keep it in a cool room (about 55 degrees) in the evening so it will bloom longer. With the right care, you can even get your poinsettia to rebloom!poinsettia-2-787x399

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fascinating Facts About the Flower of Christmas

  • Along with using the poinsettia as medicine for fevers, the Aztecs believed the plant had magical properties like causing a baby to be born crosswise.
  • Poinsettias grow as shrubs in southern Mexico. They can sometimes grow up to 12 feet tall!
  • Poinsettias are the national emblem of Madagascar.
  • At least $200 million worth of poinsettias are sold each year during the Christmas season.
  • The red petals of a poinsettia are really its leaves, or bracts, while its small yellow bulbs are its flowers.
  • Though the bracts of a poinsettia are not deadly to people or animals, they can make you sick.

 

Your friends at George Thomas Florist will help you find the right Poinsettia and delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

Persian cat and Yorkshire TerrierWe all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their wonderful aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable, but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices
Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful
According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options
When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants, and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. For a more comprehensive list, visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants, or contact us for more information.

Brief list of “pet-friendly” flowers and plants:
– African daisy
– African violet.
– Alyssum
– Bachelor’s buttons
– Celosia
– Common Snapdragon
– Easter Daisy
– Orchids
– Peruvian lily
– Brazilian lily
– Rose

Toxic to both cats and dogs are:
– Tulips
– Azalea
– Bird of Paradise
– Aloe
– Begonias
– Baby’s Breath
– Amaryllis.
– Easter and stargazer lilies can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats

Discover the Incredible Mood Power of Flowers

Beautiful blonde girl among the wildflowers in summerEveryone knows that flowers make people happy and enhance people’s moods, but the mood power of flowers may be even greater than we realize. Science has proven time and again that flowers play a powerful role in our lives, but their positive effect on our mental health is nothing short of incredible.

A study conducted by Rutgers University found that every single one of its 150 test participants expressed happiness upon receiving even one flower. The reaction was universal throughout all age groups and included both men and women. The study confirmed the possibility that flowers may, in fact, affect brain chemistry.

Be Happy Bouquet with Roses by George Thomas

Studies show that besides making us happy, flowers are also proven to:
– fuel creativity and quick thinking
– make employees more productive
– help with stress reduction
– increase focus
– feed compassion
– lower blood pressure
– trigger memory
– boost energy levels

Giving is receiving

What really sets flowers apart from other gifts is that the act of giving may actually be more beneficial than receiving. A study by Texas A&M concluded that givers were perceived as caring, successful and emotionally intelligent people who possess the ability to not only express their own feelings but to take the time to understand the feelings of others.

Sweet as Sugar by George Thomas

Sweet as Sugar by George Thomas

Studies have also shown that a person can actually influence and change what others think of them in a significant way through the gifts they give, and perhaps no other gifts have the ability to evoke such positive feelings and perceptions as flowers.

Find the right mood

When a person sends flowers – or purchases them for their own enjoyment – the types of flowers they choose may play a significant role in enhancing a particular mood. Warm color flowers in reds, yellows and oranges boost energy and stimulate the brain, making people more alert and creative. On the other end of the spectrum, cool color flowers and plants in greens and blues tend to create a more soothing effect by slowing the production of stress hormones to aid in relaxation.

No matter what the occasion, flowers are indeed the perfect gift of happiness and positive vibes – they are a potent mood elevator and a natural source of pleasure. Call George Thomas today and let us help you experience for yourself – the incredible mood power of flowers.