Flower Care 101
- Climate Control
Receiving and Handling Fresh Flowers
The key to managing quality consistently with fresh cut flowers is to adopt a postharvest care and handling system and keep it simple! With a few expectations, you can process most flowers in the same manner and achieve excellent results.
Great care starts when the flowers arrive. The care and attention flowers are given while in your possession up until your event date will directly reflect how long they last after the event.
DO NOT store flowers in a hot car (above 80 degrees) or a cold freezer (under 32 degrees).
The optimal temperature storage for fresh flowers is 34-35 degrees. If you don’t have a cooler, keep them in a cool place until your event later that day. DO NOT keep your flowers in grower boxes longer than 8-10 hours as a rule.
When storing or stocking flowers for your next event, you will need to cut and hydrate them overnight in water buckets. Be careful when handling dry bunches of flowers as they may bruise. This damage might not show up in the store. Bruising comes through later on when the customer has them at home.
For a wet pack boxes (in water), please open the side so you can take out the bucket easily (with less risk of damage).
Flowers are usually kept in cold storage before use. Storage must have optimal conditions. The stock should be held in a cooled atmosphere away from drafts. Ideal temperatures are between 34 -38℉, or as near as possible. NEVER put them in a freezer as they will freeze within minutes.
Flowers react to temperature:
- Too cold leads to frost damage.
- Too hot leads to flowers fully opening too quickly.
- Too long in dry boxes leads to shorter vase life.
General steps to fresh flowers
- Inspect the flowers upon arrival.
If you detect any quality issues, please photograph the flowers, AND the outside box label and email them to email@example.com for credit and replacement. This needs to be reported as fast as possible to ensure we have enough time to ship you a replacement. Flower farms will NOT honor any credit requests after 24 hours from arrival time.
- Flowers should be stored in a cooler with a temperature of between 34℉ – 38℉, whenever possible. In the absence of a cooler, try and find the coolest place possible.
- Remove any fallen petals from the stem of the flowers (leave that may have become dislodged during shipping).
- Make sure all containers (buckets) have been cleaned with hot water and bleach to kill any bacteria.
- You may choose to mix cold water with flower food (if available) for each bucket.
- Using clean clippers, carefully cut ½ inch / 1.2 cm off the base of all stems and immediately place in prepared bucket.
If you have cut and hydrated your flowers, you should transport them to your event location in the same buckets.
Nurturing Fresh Flowers
Flowers need to be nourished with fresh flower food to maximize their enjoyment for the end user.
Flower foods generally contain:
- An acid to lower the pH of the solution. Flowers like a pH of 3.0 – 5.0 depending on water quality.
- Ingredients to keep the stems vascular bundle free flowing.
- An energy source (sugar) to nourish the flowers.
It is important to measure any flower food correctly to maximize results. Proper measuring for proper feeding is a must. Please be sure to read and follow the correct dosing for each product.
Properly soak floral foam bricks and shapes in a flower food solution before using. This can help counteract the harmful by-products inherent to all floral foams. Also, flowers need to be hydrated and nourished in foam just as they do in a glass vase.
If you want your flowers to open, let flowers stand at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours. If you are concerned about flowers opening too quickly, process them and refrigerate immediately.
Give a Flower Food packet (10 grams) to each guest. This will help educate the consumer on the care and handling of their flowers after they get it home.
- You may use clean disposable plastic bags (bucket liners) to avoid washing buckets. This can be a big time saver.
- Do NOT wait until your event to open your flower boxes! The last thing you want is surprises. Open and inspect each box upon arrival.
- You may take delivery up to 2 days before your event as long as you properly cut, hydrate and keep your flowers cool. The day before is best.
- Keep water clean! Like humans, flowers become ill if the water is not clean. Make sure the water is clean to maximize the vase life.
- Adopting a system of professional fresh flower care, you can help maximize your customer’s enjoyment of their fresh flowers and encourage repeat customers!
Adopting a system of professional fresh flower care, you can help maximize your customer’s enjoyment of their fresh flowers and encourage repeat customers!
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