Sunday, December 30, 2012

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 56-60

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 56 - Lilies can be used as food or for their medicinal qualities. The Chinese use lily buds in cookery to flavor stir fries. They also use it as a medicine for respiratory problems. Native Americans have used lily roots boiled as a tea for stomach problems and as a wash for bruises. They also used it to relieve the pain from insect bites.

Day 57 – Liatris, also known as Blazing star, Gay-feather, and Button snakeroot, are a classic favorite around flower shops. They have a vase life of 6-14 days and work well in many bouquets with their slender, 6-10” tall spikes with needlelike petals. Their stems can grow as long as 32” and though we typically see them in beautiful purple hues, they are also grown in whites, lavenders and pinks.

Day 58 – Unlike pink, red and white roses that originate from Britian, yellow roses derive from the Middle East and were only first noted in the 1700’s. They have since been cross bred to create stunning hybrids, creating stronger and varied shades of yellow, as well as, the beautiful scent that yellow roses are now synonymous with. The variety pictured here is called Gold Strike.

Day 59 - From the Latin "delphis" meaning dolphin, from the shape of the buds, Delphiniums are a genus of around 300 species in the ranunculaceae family. These blossoms traditionally come in bright, creamy white, dainty pink, blue and a marvelous purple blue combination; however, some of the highbred flowers can be seen in shocking reds, oranges and yellows.

Day 60 - Anemone is a genus of approximately 120 species of flowering plants of the ranunculaceae family. The name anemone comes from the Greek word for "windflower." According to Greek mythology, the anemone sprang from Aphrodite's tears as she mourned the death of Adonis. Thought to bring luck and protect against evil, legend has it that when the anemone closes its petals, it's a signal that rain is approaching. Still other mythology connects the anemone to magical fairies, who were believed to sleep under the petals after they closed at sunset. Perhaps it's because of this magical and prophetic tales that today in the language of flowers, anemones represent anticipation.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 51-55

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Jingle Bell Poinsettia
Day 51 – Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the U.S. & Canada, with California being the top U.S. Poinsettia-producing state. Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant, with most of them being sold with a six-week perios leading up to the holiday. It is estimated that women account for 80% of Poinsettia sales.

Purple Poinsettias
Day 52 – Blue and purple poinsettias have been all the rage at our shops this year and many have asked how they are available in these nontraditional hues. To color their holiday crop, growers use colorants not toxic to plants and a fast-drying solvent that won't burn or discolor the poinsettia bracts. Sometimes glitter is added before the solvent evaporates for a bit of holiday sparkle.

Poinsettia bracts turning white

Day 53 - Poinsettias are one the most difficult plants to reflower after the initial display when purchased. Poinsettias need a period of uninterrupted long, light-free nights for about two months in early spring in order to develop flowers.

Pink Poinsettia

Day 54 – In Nahuatl , the language of the Aztecs, the Poinsettia was called Cuitlaxochitl (from cuitlatl, for residue, and xochitl, for flower), meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil." The Aztecs used the poinsettia leaves to dye fabric and the sap for medicinal purposes.

Christmas Eve Miracle Poinsettias

Day 55 - A Mexican legend explains how Poinsettias came to be associated with Christmas. Apparently, a child who could not afford a gift to offer to Christ on Christmas Eve picked some weeds from the side of a road. The child was told that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God's eyes. When brought into the church, the weeds bloomed into red and green Poinsettia flowers and the congregation felt that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today is the 200th Anniversary of the brothers Grimm’s fairytales. We love their whimsical stories! They’ve inspired so many of our themed designs and photo shoots, like this one, Stein’s version of “Snow White.”

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 46-50

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Poinsettia Greenhouse
Day 46 - The colors of Poinsettia bracts are created through "photoperiodism", meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change color. On the other hand, once Poinsettias finish that process, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color.

Monet Twilight Poinsettia
Day 47 - There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias available. Though once only available in red, there are now Poinsettias in pink, white, yellow, purple, salmon, and multi-colors. They have names like 'Premium Picasso', 'Monet Twilight', 'Shimmer', and 'Surprise'. The red Poinsettia still dominates over other color options. 'Prestige Red' ranks among the best-selling hybrids.

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Day 48 - Poinsettias received their name in the United States in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1828. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. He sent cuttings of the plant he had discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it is named after a person.
Poinsettia Sap

Day 49 - Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family. Botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima. Many plants in the Euphorbiaceae family ooze a milky sap. Some people with latex allergies have had a skin reaction (most likely to the sap) after touching the leaves.

Day 50 - Paul Ecke Jr. is considered the father of the Poinsettia industry due to his discovery of a technique which caused seedlings to branch. This technique allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish. The Paul Ecke Ranch in California grows over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and about 50% of the world-wide sales of Poinsettias. As of August 2012, the Ecke Ranch, which was family-owned and operated for nearly 100 years, announced that it had been acquired by the Dutch-based Agribio Group.

Branched Poinsettias

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nutcracker Christmas Stein Style

We love the Christmas holiday season here at Stein Your Florist, one of our favorite times of the year! The store is filled with beautiful poinsettias, the scent of pine fills the air, the ribbons and bows (and staff) are covered in glitter and everyone seems to be filled with the spirit of the season!

Changing up our window display for the holiday was a fun little project… Using our beloved dress form and some inspiration from “The Nutcracker” we created a pair of sugarplum fairy dancers. One is wearing a bodice of white poinsettias with shimmering green fabric and a tutu of Christmassy pine.

The other is dressed in lace and sparkles with a tutu of pine that is covered in poinsettias, sparkling twigs and Christmas ornaments.

We finished our display with boxes of presents, shimmering trees and sticks, hanging icicles and, of course, a few nutcrackers.

Our nutcracker inspiration didn’t stop with our window display. Stein’s administrative professional Johanna donned a tutu of her own and pranced to the “Waltz of the Flowers” in our YouTube video Afterhours at the Flower Shop, Nutcracker Christmas. Just a little something to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas from Stein Your Florist Co.


Monday, December 17, 2012

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 41-45

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Hemiparasitic Mistletoe
Day 41 - Mistletoe is especially interesting botanically because it is a partial parasite (a "hemiparasite"). As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree and actually sends out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. But mistletoe is also capable for growing on its own; like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis; however, it is more commonly found growing as a parasitic plant.

Day 42 - Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed that the dung from which the mistletoe would also possess "life-giving" power. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. Later, the eighteenth-century English credited with a certain magical

appeal called a kissing ball. At Christmas time a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe, brightly trimmed with evergreens, ribbons, and ornaments, cannot refuse to be kissed. Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and goodwill. If the girl remained unkissed, she cannot expect not to marry the following year. In some parts of England the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the twelfth night lest all the boys and girls who have kissed under it never marry. Whether we believe it or not, it always makes for fun and frolic at Christmas celebrations.

Red Poinsettia
Day 43 - The showy colored parts of Poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). The yellow flowers, or cyathia, are in the center of the colorful bracts. The plant drops its bracts and leaves soon after those flowers shed their pollen, so for the longest-lasting Poinsettias, choose plants with little or no yellow pollen showing.

Poinsettias are NOT poisonous
Day 44 - Despite rumors to the contrary, Poinsettias are not poisonous. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of Poinsettia leaves (500 to 600 leaves) to have any side effects. The most common side effects that have been reported from Poinsettia ingestions are upset stomach and vomiting. The leaves are reportedly not very tasty, so it's highly unlikely that kids or even pets would be able to eat that many! But be aware that the leaves can still be a choking hazard for children and pets.

Day 45 - In nature, Poinsettias are perennial
flowering shrubs that were once considered weeds. Poinsettias are not frost-tolerant. They will grow outdoors in temperate coastal climates, such as Southern California beach communities. In the ground, they can reach 10 feet tall.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 36-40

An Annual, Bells of Ireland
As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 36 - Flowers for gardening can be divided into two types, annuals and perennials. Annuals (like these Bells of Ireland) are flowers that have to be replanted with new seeds every year. Perennials are flowers that should return every year without replanting. Special attention must be paid to bulbous and tuber flowers, which require extra care. Bulbs and tubers such as tulips and begonias often must be dug up and stored in a warmer environment for winter, then replanted in the spring.

Edible Carnations

Day 37 - Carnations are an edible flower. The petals of carnations have been used since the 1600s to make a French liqueur known as Chartreuse. Today, you can steep carnation petals in wine and use them as candy or as decorations on cakes and desserts. The miniature dianthus petals taste like nutmeg and clove. These can be added to salads to add spice and color.

Egyptian Plant Collectors

Day 38 – The first recorded plant collectors were the soldiers in the army of Thothmes III, Pharoh of Egypt, 3,500 years ago. In the temple of Karnak thses soldiers are depicted bringing back 300 plants as booty from Syria.

Types of Cacti
Day 39 – The cactus family is divided into more than 100 genera. For simplicity North American cacti are placed into five groups:  the prickly pears, the saguaro cactus group, the hedgehog cacti, the barrel cacti and the fishhook pin-cushion cacti.

Chrysanthemum Bonsai
Day 40 – Chrysanthemums are big in the US, but even more so in Japan. Japan has a national chrysanthemum festival every year on September 9th. The flower is also portrayed on their imperial flags and weapons. Feng shui buffs believe that chrysanthemums will bring happiness and laughter to any room and chrysanthemums are one of the few flowers that can be cultivated bonsai style, their bloom can be as small as 1 cm or as large as 25 cm.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Philadelphia Florist Shows Their Swag, Listening to the Language of Flowers and Following Their (Dub)steps

PHILADELPHIA FLORIST SHOWS THEIR SWAG, LISTENING TO THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS AND FOLLOWING THEIR (DUB)STEPS – Stein Your Florist Co. Keeps Current by Dancing Dubstep While Celebrating Their Milestone 125th Anniversary

Belardo shows some smooth moves
listening to the language of flowers.
December 9, 2012 (Philadelphia, PA) Stein Your Florist Co. may be as old as an antique, celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, but they are definitely keeping up with the times with a new hit YouTube video featuring Stein’s employee and popper Marc Belardo in a dubstep freestyle to the tune of “Saxon” by Chase and Status.


Belardo asks his boss, Stein’s owener/operator Patrick Kelly, “is it true flowers speak a language of their own?” to which he replies “Sure, all you have to do is listen,” the beat hits and Belardo shows off some smooth moves and fancy footwork across the slate floors of Stein’s Burlington, NJ location, Steins at Sunset Florist.

Belardo asks his boss, Patrick Kelly, if it's true that
flowers speak a language of their own.
Stein’s drew their inspiration for their latest video, following their hit Gangnam Style and Chanel No. 5 parodies as well as a poignant anti-bullying PSA, from the music and dance craze Dubstep. Dubstep is a type of electronic dance music described by Allmusic as "tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals." It has become wildly popular in the US in the last few years, heard in collaborations with mainstream artists such as Cee Lo Green and Rihanna and paired with amazing dances on shows like So You Think You Can Dance.

Kelly and his staff are always keeping their eyes on the latest trends in music, dance, fashion, and all of pop culture, and then they pair those trends with flowers. “Flowers are an amazing and wonderful part of our world and we love to couple them with whatever is trending to keep them top-of-mind, introduce them to people in a fun and innovative way, and make them relatable to all people,” Kelly says. “We’re receiving great responses, especially from younger generations that appreciate our fresh perspectives on the traditions of floral gifting.”

View Stein Your Florist Co.’s latest video “Dubstep Stein Style” and others on their YouTube channel.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Florist Counteracts Bullying

Florists' Review Magazine - December 2012
A Philadelphia florist has found an unconventional way to tackle a problematic social issue. Stein Your Florist Co. created a public-service announcement video featuring employees, family, friends and neighbors to draw attention to the issue of bullying and to commemorate National Bullying Prevention Month in October.

Using a traditional technique for designing floral set pieces, owner Patrick Kelly created a floral plaque to convey their message: Stop bullying. Participants were invited to hold the floral sign and say something inspirational in the video, which was posted on YouTube and sparked an outpour of emotion from the community.

“All of the responses have been positive, supportive and inspirational,” says Jennifer Kelly, operations manager at Stein Your Florist Co. “We are honored to have touched people with our simple message, spoken with flowers, and delighted to share our love, acceptance and optimism with the world.”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Videos Build The Philly Shop's Star(dom)

SAF’s Floral Management – December 2012
Hands On – Tips, Trends and Tactics for the Savvy Retailer
First Hand Account

Videos Build The Philly Shop's Star(dom)

WORK IT - Jennifer Kelly picked up an “Elvis”
 wig to transform her father, Patrick Kelly,
into PSY, the South Korean pop star behind
the surprise international hit “Gangnam Style,”
for a YouTube video that’s gotten more
than 5,400 views.
When Jennifer Kelly sees that latest sensation on morning TV or hears about a cause that needs support, she takes action… with a video camera. Kelly, whose family owns Stein Your Florist, is one of the masterminds behind an impressive and growing catalog of videos – some of them poignant and other hold-your-sides funny – starring staff members from the 125-year-old business’ two shops in Philadelphia and Burlington, NJ.

In recent months, the prolific florists-turned-filmmakers have produced an anti-bullying public service announcement, a timely update about shop operations during Super Storm Sandy and spot-on parodies of both the South Korean hit “Gangnam Style” and a Brad Pitt commercial for Chanel No. 5. (You can see these videos, and many more, on the shop’s YouTube channel,

                The videos, Kelly said, help define Stein Your Florist as a local business with personality, and keep the shop top-of-mind among customers year-round, rather than just during the holidays. For the lighthearted “Gangnam Style” video, Kelly’s father, Patrick, donned a black wig and danced alongside his designers, sales staff and family members. The video was shot at Stein’s shops and at a family member’s house over the course of a few days. And thanks to some savvy thrift-store finds, the total cost, including costumes and flowers, was less than $300. After a quick edit, Kelly posted the parody to YouTube, the shop’s website and social media pages; she even created a “Gangnam Style” board on Pinterest with hilarious behind-the-scenes pics.

PERFUME PARODY - Stein Your Florist was on the same
comedic wavelengths as Saturday Night Live in October. Both
the flower shop and the late night show created parodies of
Chanel No. 5 commercials that feature a rugged and
rambling Brad Pitt.
At press time, “Oppa Stein Your Florist Style” had racked up more than 5,400 views on YouTube, but that figure isn’t the only return on investment that the shop is tracking. By jumping on fast-moving topics of conversation, promoting causes that matter to their staff and encouraging people to have a little fun, the Kelly family has created a professional team that’s not only open to new ideas, but ready to act on them quickly – before a trend moves from hot to ho-hum. And that environment, Jennifer and Patrick Kelly said, is good for business.

                “Keeping our name in front of our customers and potential customers is key, and when we can do that in a fun, different or innovative way, it really generates a great positive buzz and helps us stand out,” Kelly said. “There aren’t too many people these days who want another piece of junk in their mailbox from a company attempting to hawk their wares, but they seem to love when we put on some wacky costumes and dance like fools out on the street corner in front of our stores for the camera.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 31-35

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Ficus Tree
Day 31 - Ficus plants are wonderful, but can be a little temperamental while adjusting to a new home (or even a space within your home should you choose to move it). While adjusting it may drop a noticeable amount of leaves. This is normal, and with proper care, it will begin to thrive again in no time. Just pick up the fallen leaves, remove the yellow ones still on the plant, and cut off dead and dry twigs. This will help the light penetrate to the inside foliage and promote new growth. Be careful not to over water your ficus. Feel the soil with your finger tip, and if it feels dry to the touch one inch below the surface, it's time to water it – but if the soil feels moist, hold off for a day or two. Keep in mind that your ficus will need less water during the winter. When your ficus is new, mist it daily as well. To provide proper humidity and prevent the roots from standing in water, place the planter on a plant tray or saucer filled with gravel. Display your ficus in a bright spot with indirect light, away from drafts and large windows that change temperature throughout the day. Use plant fertilizer monthly throughout the growing season, but not during the winter months.

Day 32 - Native to Central and South America, bromeliads are a large family of plants – all with a similar rosette of stiff leaves and some kind of bright central flower spike or colored leaf area. They're tough, easy-going plants, preferring bright, indirect light or direct sun. Keep their soil moist to dry, and pour the water in the center of the plant where the leaves join together, allowing it to drain into the soil. Avoid letting the plant sit in water. If you live in a hard water area, use rainwater or distilled water whenever possible, as bromeliads are very sensitive to salts, which may cause their leaves to turn brown at the tips.

Day 33 - Dandelions might seem like weeds, but the flowers and leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and potassium. One cup of dandelion greens provides 7,000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin A.

Tulip Bulbs

Day 34 - It’s a good thing we are not living in 17th century Holland, as the tulip was considered a true exotic and used as currency during the era known as "tulipomania” (search tulipomania on Wikipedia, it’s an actual time in history, we can’t make this stuff up!). Tulips were worth more than gold! Anyone got change for a tulip?? Today in the 21st century the tulip is still highly valued for its simple, yet elegant beauty.

Double-Flowered Rose
Day 35 - Ornamental roses have been cultivated for millennia, with the earliest known cultivation known to date from at least 500 BC in Mediterranean countries, Persia, and China. Many thousands of rose hybrids and cultivars have been bred and selected for garden use as flowering plants. Most are double-flowered with many or all of the stamens having mutated into additional petals.