When you get wholesale flowers delivered to your home or business you need to take appropriate care of them the ensure a long vase life. A good rule of thumb for receiving wholesale flowers for an event is to get them 2 days before the event. This strategy is best because it gives the flowers time to rehydrate after they have been in transit and out of water for 2 days. Getting the flowers into their prime requires a little bit of work.
1. Prepare Buckets. You need to make sure all of your buckets are free of chemical residue, previous flower residue, or dirt. Previous flower residue produces bacteria from decay in the water that will clog the stems of flowers. This will not allow the proper flow of water into the stems and will shorten the vase life of the flowers. Rinse the buckets with dish soap then rinse well with water and dry before adding warm water for flowers. There is no need to use bleach or any other harsh chemicals. Dish soap will do the job and get rid of harmful bacteria and dirt. *Stay away from metal buckets if possible, metals can mix with floral preservative and harm flowers, use a liner if you must use metal buckets and preservatives.
2. Cut the Stems. Re-cut the Stems. Cut the stems on a diagonal under warm water. This is important because it will force open the bottom of the stem and prevent bacteria build-up by creating a seal against bubbles, allowing it to absorb more water. Warm water is always better than cold water when it comes to hydrating flowers. Warm water moves faster and therefore promotes the flow of water, forcing the water into flower stems! Coldwater moves more slowly and does not get soaked up by the flower at the right pace. Cut the stems every two days. Remember to use floral sheers or a very sharp knife! Scissors can fray and damage stems making it difficult for water to get to the flower bud.
3. Remove Bottom Leaves and Foliage. Bottom leaves and foliage need to be removed. When leaves and foliage touch the water and start to deteriorate they release bacteria that will clog the stems of the flowers. In order to give the flowers a long vase life, make sure all leaves and foliage are not in the water.
4. Change the Water. The water needs to be changed with each time you cut the stems. New water has more oxygen since the flowers already used up the previous water’s oxygen. Each time you change the water add a little floral preservative.
5. Alternatives to Floral Preservatives. People are constantly asking if they have to buy floral preservative. The truth is, it depends on how long you want the flowers to last. If it is for a wedding 2 days away then not really, a little sprite in the water will do (carbonation, sugar, and citric base are similar to what you find in floral preservative). If you are looking for your flowers to be on your table for 8 days then I would suggest some floral preservative.
Stay tuned for more Floral 101 tips that will really help you get the most out of your fresh cut flowers. Whether for a wedding or event it is the first step to learn how to store wholesale flowers before an event!
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