Fall is a time of year that is simply magical! As temperatures cool off and leaves turn, Mother Nature begins to sing her sweet lullaby lulling the world to sleep for a long winter’s nap. The outdoors are not only magnificent during this time of year, but inspirational! Bringing the outside in with seasonal accents is a great way to shake up your flower arrangements and home decor. When incorporating elements that are not the usual though, you should give extra attention and consideration to your care and handling to make sure you’re getting the longest vase life possible.

Branch out!

Branches are so wild and fun, really giving a unique look 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.

Fall Bounty

Using hallowed out pumpkins or gourds as containers or incorporating produce like apples and pomegranates is a popular choice because let’s face it, it looks fabulous! However, it is suggested that you wait until the last possible moment to add these goodies to your fresh cut flower arrangement if you want it 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.

Keep it Cool

Evergreens can last in dry storage for several weeks when stored at the right temperature and humidity. Store in 34 to 38-degree F cooler until ready to use.


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 hold moisture in) really boosts evergreens ability to retain water and stay hydrated.

Location, location, location

Especially with the blustering wind blowing in, be 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.

Best Practices

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 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.