The ‘Bouquet Boot Camp’

This year for Mother’s Day, Michigan State University professor Bridget Behe is offering basic training in the lives of cut flowers through the “Bouquet Boot Camp,” found online at

“Every mom loves flowers for Mother’s Day, even if she doesn’t know the names of the various varieties,” Behe says. “Once you learn about flowers, you grow to appreciate and love them even more.”

Behe’s expert advice and answers to consumer questions can be found online along with a flower encyclopedia, downloadable care and handling tip sheets and design recipes for those who might want to personalize their Mother’s Day gift by creating personalized bouquets.

First, though, here are a few basic tips from Behe:

• When choosing flowers, opt for those with upright, firm petals and buds just beginning to open. If the leaves are yellow, spotted or drooping, they’re old.

• The water in which stems are stored should smell fresh and clean, and stems should be clean – not slimy.

• Store your bouquet in a cool place before giving it.

• Use the right size vase: A vase that’s too large will distract from the beauty of the bouquet, and a container that’s too small will cramp the flowers and lead to quicker decay.

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