Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
The difference between detailing a sprouting stem for a floral design and pruning a stem
Pruning is a rather controversial issue, just like the conditioning of plant material. But for the purpose of this Tutorial I will focus on the cut and not the finer details of the techniques
Detailing is the process of refining and completing the design, whether it is the composition or snipping off imperfections on the stems to look perfect.
Prune As a rule, we prune plants to give them a better shape and to allow it to grow more vigorously and flower better.
Use strong, sharp secateurs that is capable of cutting the stem without crushing it. Angle the cut so that is slopes away from the new bud so that any moisture can drain away.
Detailing a stem for a floral design
The goal is to allow for as little as possible visible cuts to show, making the stems look as natural and unspoiled as possible.
Ugly stems should be cut short so that they are not visible in the design. Carefully lift the foliage away and cut the stem as short as possible to conceal the cut.
Because you are cutting closer to the bud as when you are pruning you need to take extra care not to damage the bud. If you cut too high up on the stem, far away from the bud, it will cause the stem to die back leaving a shriveled stem visible which can give the impression that the design is already dying.
Cut at a sharper angle as when pruning so that the bud appears to be at the end of the stem
Always cut the stem away without crushing it. Use good quality scissors, secateurs or a very sharp knife. (See my Tool bag for suggestions) If you find that you tend to crush the stem when cutting try to figure out where you place the most weight. Angle your stem and scissors so that the side that you crush is the side you plan to discard anyway.
Clean your tools with a wet cloth and lightly oil if needed to prevent rust.
Conditioning new growth and sprouts are difficult because the little sprouts have not had time to fully develop its cellular structure to survive being cut and taking up water on...