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plantwest nreese at nrg.com.au
Sat Apr 11 19:58:03 EST 1998

scientific reason why:
    1) removing the leaves of plants after transplanting helps the plant to

This reduces the leaf area and therefore the amount of water that a plant
transpires. Transplanting usually results in the reduction of root area and
a corresponding reduction in leaf area helps reduce water demand and less
stress on the plant.

2) why experts in flower arranging advise recutting the stems of flowers
while holding them under water.

Because the xylem, the water carrying vessels of the plant, work best with a
continual column of water in them. If you cut flower stems in the open air
it may allow an air bubble, or embolism, into the xylem and therefore the
flower does not take water up as easily. This is like having air in the
intake side of a pump and having to reprime the pump. You can reprime
flowers by cutting say an inch of the stems off undert water in the vase.
This is recommended every 2 days if you want to keep you flowers looking
good as long as possible ( the xylem tend to get blocked over time also).

3) Why some florists add ordinary table sugar to the water in which cut
flowers are placed and why the flowers will subsequently remain fresh for
several weeks

The sugar ( which is readily soluble) provides the flowers with a
carbohydrate (plant food ) source. You can also add a couple of drops of
household bleach as the sugar tends to feed algae which will multiply and
block the xylem. Bleach will suppress this. Also change the water every
couple of days, add new sugar and bleach, and recut the stems.

Nick Reese

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