‘Tis the season to celebrate, and a large part of the beauty of these celebrations? The stunning decorations of course! From rich reds, crisp whites, and fresh greens to the less traditional whimsical elfish palettes of pink and lavender, even the ultra chic black Christmas tree, one thing is for certain – no matter what your style, you want it to last through the season! When incorporating elements into your floral designs that are not the usual though, such as Christmas greens or natural branches, giving a little extra love and attention to your care and handling can make all the difference in being sure you’re getting the longest vase life possible and your stems last through the duration of the festivities.
When it comes to Christmas greens like pine or cedar, buy local when possible and always buy as close to the time you will actually need the greens for design to be sure stems are at their freshest before and can last well after the party.
Keep it Cool!
Did you know evergreens can last in dry storage for several weeks prior to use when stored at the right temperature and humidity? Store in 34 to 38-degree F cooler until you are ready to use in your design for best results.
Mist greens as much and often as possible to keep them fresh and vibrant. If your Christmas green designs include other fresh cut flowers be sure to spray water closer to greens base. Avoid misting flower blooms to prevent botrytis from developing.
Using an anti-transpiration or a protectant spray such as Crowning Glory® from Floralife® (a ready-to-use solution that is sprayed onto foliage to provide a waxy moisture barrier that holds moisture in) really boosts evergreens ability to retain water and stay hydrated.
Branches add a distinctive seasonal flair to any holiday arrangement. If using in a vase, be sure to thoroughly clean stems that will be below the water line stripping away as much bark as possible. Use pruning shears to give a fresh cut before placing in your vase prepared with flower food such as Floralife® Express.
Persimmons, Pomegranates, and Produce
Incorporating produce like pomegranates, persimmons, or citrus to name just a few is a popular choice because let’s face it, it looks absolutely stunning! However, it is suggested that you wait until the last possible moment to add these accents to your fresh cut flower arrangement if you want them to last through the party. Produce gives off a natural gas called ethylene which acts as a ripening agent, good for produce but bad for cut flowers. Ask that your suppliers ship your flowers from their origin with an ethylene action inhibitor such as EthylBoc™ to help protect your fresh cut flowers.
Baby, it’s cold outside!
Winter winds are howling, with temperatures plummeting and forceful winds to be reckoned with. So be very mindful of where you build your cut flower displays. Keep all cut flowers away from extreme heat, cold and drafts. This will help flowers not have to work as hard to stay hydrated.
No matter what time of year it is you are always on the journey to fresh! Maintaining your best practices checklist always guarantees the longest possible vase life:
1. Sanitation – Your best weapon against pathogens. Use Floralife® Floral Cleaner on every single surface, tool and work area every time you clean.
2. Hydrate – For best results when processing dry pack or re-processing flowers, cut and dip in an instant hydrating treatment such as Floralife® Quick Dip to jump-start hydration and ensure free-flowing stems. This is a must for roses and Gerberas to help prevent bent necks.
3. Nourish – After such a long journey from field to vase, flowers really need to be nourished and fed. Using a flower food solution such as Floralife® Express 300 will provide flowers with what they need to thrive.
4. Protect – Use a professional finishing spray such as Floralife® Finishing Touch to refresh, hydrate and protect your flowers. Quick and easy to apply, this is a final step before your arrangements go out the door. A simple fine-mist spray is all it takes to maximize customer satisfaction and extend the enjoyment of receiving flowers.
5. Customer care – You’ve done everything right, now it’s up to your customer to take these flowers home and make them last. Buying flowers can be intimidating to some. As the flower expert, offer lots of advice on the steps to follow at home. Educate your customers or the recipients of your flowers on how to care for the flowers. Caution them about placing flowers in direct sunlight, drafty places, or near heating and cooling vents. Remind them to change the flower-food solution every 3 days. And provide flower food packets with every purchase and delivery – enough to enable consumers to change the solution throughout the life of the arrangement or bouquet. This is your best insurance policy to guarantee that the freshness will continue.
To learn more about best practices from the experts in flower care, visit www.floralife.com
Floralife®, a division of Smithers-Oasis, is a worldwide leader in postharvest flower care and handling. Floralife® has been for 80 years and counting, the flower care experts. Inventors of the first flower food in 1938, since then we’ve continued to partner with our clients to address specific quality concerns and create a line of floral care products suitable to feed, hydrate, nourish and protect at every level in the distribution chain. As a globally positioned company, we are proud to offer our expertise, consultation and education to anyone in the floral industry seeking knowledge and the tools necessary to provide only the freshest, long-lasting flowers to their customers.