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Flower Care & Preparation

Our flowers are shipped directly from our Ecuadorian, Colombian, Flordian or Californian partner farms. Before shipping your flowers, we prepare them for their journey with proper hydration methods. If your flowers appear sleepy and thirsty after their journey, it is absolutely NORMAL. Simply follow the instructions below and your flowers will bloom delightfully. While most flowers require basic care, some need special attention. If your flower requires additional care instruction, we’ve listed them below.

Click on the type of flower below to be taken directly to the part of this page with details for the flower type. If you do not see your specific flower type, then you may either use some of the general guidelines below (i.e. GENERAL FLOWER CARE), or also you may visit the specific product detail page of the flower, which also has care guidelines.


GENERAL FLOWER CARE

  • Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps. Do not remove the rubber bands holding the flowers together in a bunch.
  • Fill containers with at least 4 inches of fresh, cool water.
  • Mix floral food in the water to prevent bacteria and give added nutrients to the flowers. If you do not have flower food, it can be purchased at any local florist.
  • Remove any leaves that fall below the water line. Wet leaves will mold or rot and cause bacteria to form and shorten the flower’s vase life.
  • Using sharp scissors or a knife, cut stems diagonally under running water approximately an inch from each stem's bottom edge. This will create a fresh surface to absorb water.
  • Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared water.
  • Allow flowers at least 4 hours to hydrate well. Most flowers will take up to 8 to 12 hours to properly hydrate.
  • Keep flowers in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat. Flowers should be kept at a temperature between 35-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Change water every 24 hours and re-cut stems every 24 to 48 hours to keep flowers fresh. Assure that your flowers have sufficient water. The flowers will drink an exceptionally large amount of water upon arrival.

Remember that exposing flowers to warm environments (outside, a hot room, etc) will help the flowers bloom, and storing your flowers in a cooler environment will slow down the opening process.

Also, keep flowers away from fruits, vegetables and/or plants which produce ethylene gas. Ethylene in the surrounding area could cause your flowers to wilt.

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Roses

  • Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps. Do not remove the cardboard sleeve or the rubber bands holding the flowers together in a bunch. It is recommended to leave the cardboard sleeve on for 4 to 8 hours. This will allow the Rose sufficient time to hydrate properly.
  • Fill containers with at least 4 inches of fresh, cool water.
  • Add floral food to prevent bacteria from forming in the water and to give added nutrients to the roses. If you do not have flower food, it can be purchased at any local florist.
  • Remove any leaves that fall below the water line. Not removing the leaves may cause bacteria to form and shorten the rose’s life. Wear gloves while preparing the flowers, as the tint for any tinted variety may seep from the stem and temporarily stain hands and/or permanently stain clothing.
  • Using sharp scissors or a knife, cut the stems diagonally under running water approximately one inch from each stem’s bottom edge.
  • Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared water.
  • Allow flowers at least 4 hours to hydrate well. Roses may take up to 12 hours to properly hydrate.
  • Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.
  • To keep the roses fresh, change the water every 24 to 48 hours or when the water becomes cloudy. The water color will change if this is a tinted product. Simply change water as directed. Assure that your flowers have sufficient water. The flowers will drink an exceptionally large amount of water upon arrival.

We ship our roses with guard petals in order to protect the rose during shipping. Upon removal of the protective packaging, remove any brown or discolored guard petals. It is not uncommon to remove an average of 5-10 petals per rose.

Remember that exposing roses to heat will help the flower to bloom, and storing your roses in a cooler environment will slow down the opening process.

Time is extremely important!! When you receive your flowers you will need to care for them immediately. Your roses will arrive thirsty after their international journey. If petals are drooping or the flowers look wilted, DO NOT BE ALARMED! You are going to provide care for the flowers just like a professional florist!

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Step 1:
Please open the box as soon as you receive it! Check to make sure you received the correct amount of flowers.

**Note: Our roses are packed 25 stems per bunch..The picture on the left, is a top view of 1 bunch of roses. At this angle it looks like there are only 12 roses. Our roses are packed in layers to insure protection during shipping. Below this layer is a second layer which hold the other 13 rose stems. Count the stems and you will see there are 25 per bunch. All of our flowers are standardized packed 25 per bunch.


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Step 2:
Carefully remove all plastic and rubber bands. Be sure to always treat your flowers with care!


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Step 3:
Fill a container with fresh, cool water to the desired level.


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Step 4:
Remove any foliage from the flowers that fall below the water line of your vase. In removing foliage, care should be taken not to damage the stem. The reason for removing any foliage below the water line is to prevent growth of bacteria which would result in premature wilting.


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Step 5:
Using a sharp knife or scissors cut your flowers at an angle which will allow for a larger surface for water absorption and prevent the ends of your stems from sitting flat in the container blocking water absorption. If possible, you should cut your flowers underwater which will prevent any air bubbles, which can cause blockages in the stems.


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Step 6:
Immediately after cutting your flowers, place them in the prepared container. Make sure to cut every stem. If possible, place your flowers in a cool dark corner overnight before arranging them - out of direct sunlight and direct drafts. If you see that some flowers are still drooping after 3-4 hours, it's possible an air bubble has formed, re-cut following the above directions.

See Specific Care for Different Flowers Here.


Rose Petals

  • Upon arrival, please open the box and inspect the rose petals.
  • If you are going to be using the rose petals in the next 48 to 72 hours, put the rose petals back in the box and store them in a cool dry place. There is no need to store them in the refrigerator, but if you choose to do so, please remove all fruits and vegetables first, as they emit gases that may damage the flowers. However, our rose petals will last over 72 hours without refrigeration when kept in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.
  • Open each bag and arrange as desired.

Amaranthus: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • It is completely normal if your Amaranthus sheds. Simply follow the care instructions as outlined above.

Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria flowers are shipped directly from our Ecuadorian or Colombian Farms with no water tubes. Before shipping your flowers, we prepare them for their journey with proper hydration methods. If your flowers appear sleepy and thirsty after their journey it is absolutely NORMAL. Just follow these simple steps (included on the flower care instruction card with your shipment) and your flowers will bloom delightfully.

  • Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps and also remove all paper and plastic packaging.
  • Fill your vase with fresh, cool water to the desired level and add flower food according to the package.
  • Remove any foliage that would fall below the water line.
  • Cut stems diagonally approximately one inch from bottom under running water with sharp scissors or knife.
  • Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared vase and arrange accordingly.
  • Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat. Every 2 to 3 days, be sure to re-cut the stems repeating the steps above to maximize the life and beauty of your flowers.

Birds of Paradise: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • If the petals are not showing or if the showing petals begin to brown, you will need to assist the remaining petals emerge from the spathe. Simply use your thumbnail or tweezers to gently enter the spathe and pull the petals outward.

Bonsai Trees: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • Carefully remove the stretch wrap holding the tree, rocks and soil in place.
  • Check the soil. It should still feel moist to the touch. Yet, if it is dry, gently apply some water from the top of the plant with very low pressure so not to disturb the decorative rocks.
  • Place on the tray, and enjoy!

Carnations

Bulk carnations are shipped directly from our Ecuadorian or Colombian Farms with no water tubes. Before shipping your flowers, we prepared them for their journey with proper hydration methods. If your flowers appear sleepy and thirsty after their journey it is absolutely NORMAL. Just follow these simple steps (included on the flower care instruction card with your shipment) and your carnations will bloom delightfully.

  • Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps and also remove all paper and plastic packaging
  • Fill your container with fresh, cool water to the desired level and add flower food according to the package.
  • Cut stems diagonally approximately one inch from bottom under running water with sharp scissors or knife.
  • Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared container.
  • Allow your flowers 1 day to properly hydrate before arranging.
  • Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat. Every 2 to 3 days, be sure to re-cut the stems repeating the steps above to maximize the life and beauty of your flowers

Daffodil: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Daffodil flowers will pop open once cut and placed in water.
  • If you receive your flowers several days in advance, we suggest you dry store the flowers in a refrigerator until 2 days before the event, then follow the care and handling instructions as outlined above. These flowers are sensitive to ethylene gas emitted by fresh fruits and vegetables, so be sure to remove all fruits and veggies from the fridge before storing your flowers!

Delphinium: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Delphinium flowers have a natural tendency to shed. Do not be alarmed if some buds fall off the stem upon arrival, as this is completely normal.

Calla Lilies: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Fill the vase with only 2 to 2.5 inches of fresh, cool water. Too much water may damage the stem.
  • Calla lilies retain sufficient amounts of water in their stems for long periods of time. However, if they are left in bacteria contaminated water, starting from the bottom of the stem, the stem will become mushy. Just be sure to change the water daily, maintaining a water level of only 2 to 2.5 inches.
  • Calla stems tend to split and curl up on the end. You will need to re-cut the stems every 24 hours to keep the flowers fresh, so be sure to save as much stem length as possible by cutting only the affected area.

Garlands: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • If the garland starts to look dry, mist with water. It is normal for the garland to shed.

Gardenia: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • They will arrive in a plastic container with a special paper wrap.
  • Leave your flowers in the packaging until the day of the event. Place the box in the refrigerator. These flowers are sensitive to ethylene gas emitted by fresh fruits and vegetables, so be sure to remove all fruits and veggies from the fridge before storing your flowers!
  • When ready to decorate, simply open the packaging and arrange as desired. Be aware that Gardenias do not have a stem, and must be wired or glued while arranging.

Gerbera Daisies: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Gerberas may or may not be shipped with tubes around each stem and nets around each head. If your gerberas ARE shipped with nets and tubes, remove the netting after 4 hours of hydrating, but leave the tubes on the stems until ready to arrange. The tubes prevent the stems from bending. Be sure to position each tube at the uppermost part of the stem, near the flower’s head to prevent bending.
  • Gerbera stems have a tendency to get blocked with bacteria which causes flowers to wilt prematurely. To prevent premature wilting, make sure to change water every 12 hours.

Gladiolus: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Please call our customer service team if you have any additional questions regarding your Gladiolus.

Greens: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • Your bulk greens are shipped in vacuum sealed packs. Upon receiving your greens, remove the vacuum sealed bunches from the box, but keep the bunches in their plastic packaging.
  • Do not open the packaging until you are ready to use the greens. Until you’re ready to use them, be sure to keep them in an air-conditioned room, away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.

Hydrangea: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Special instructions for reviving wilted Hydrangeas can be found at this link How to Revive Wilted Hydrangeas
  • Cooler temperatures will prolong the hydrangea’s vase life. You may choose to use a floral refrigerator, but it is not necessary as long as the flower is placed in a cool location away from sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.
  • Remove any dark or fading petals. It is normal to find several unattractive dark or fading petals, all of which can be easily removed without damaging the flower.
  • To refresh the flower, dunk the entire flower head in cool water for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Hydrangeas are also great for dried arrangements. To dry them, simply hang them upside down, preferably in a warm place for a few days. Hydrangeas may lose a little color in the process but the dried flowers will last for an average of eight months or longer.

Hypericum Berry

Hypericum Berries are shipped directly from our Ecuadorian or Colombian Farms with no water tubes. Before shipping your flowers, we prepared them for their journey with proper hydration methods. If your flowers appear sleepy and thirsty after their journey it is absolutely NORMAL. Just follow these simple steps (included on the flower care instruction card with your shipment) and your flowers will bloom delightfully.

  • Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps and also remove all paper and plastic packaging
  • Fill your vase with fresh, cool water to the desired level and add flower food according to the package.
  • Cut stems diagonally approximately one inch from bottom under running water with sharp scissors or knife.
  • Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared vase and arrange accordingly.
  • Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.? Every 2 to 3 days, be sure to re-cut the stems repeating the steps above to maximize the life and beauty of your flowers

Leis: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • Upon arrival, please open the box and inspect the flowers
  • If you are going to be using the leis in the next 48 to 72 hours, put the flowers back in the box and store them in a cool dry place. There is no need to store them in the refrigerator, but if you choose to do so, please remove all fruits and vegetables first, as they emit gases that may damage the flowers. However, our leis will last over 72 hours without refrigeration when kept in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.
  • Remove from package and wear as desired.

Lilies: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Lilies have two parts to their stamen: the stalk and the anther. It is important for you to gently pull off the anthers from the stalk as the flower is opening. If you leave the anthers attached to the stalk, then yellow pollen will form. This yellow pollen will stain everything it touches! It will stain your hands, the flower, and any dress that it touches. If pollen stains your bloom, remove with a pipe cleaner. If pollen stains occur on clothing or material, remove with sticky tape (DO NOT APPLY WATER).
  • Lilies are sensitive to ethylene gas which comes from fresh vegetables and fruits, especially bananas. Please place lilies them away from or near fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • After having your Lilies in a vase with water for approximately 1 day, you may need to assist the lilies to open. Take the bloom and roll between your hands, applying LIGHT PRESSURE. (This is similar to rolling a pen between your hands.) You should continue to do this until you begin to see the bloom open. Once you see the slightest bit of the flower begin to open STOP rolling and leave the flower to open naturally.

Lilies of the Valley: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • Your flowers will arrive in a plastic container with a special paper wrap.
  • Leave your flowers in the packaging until the day of the event. Place the box in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. These flowers are sensitive to ethylene gas emitted by fresh fruits and vegetables, so be sure to remove all fruits and veggies from the fridge before storing your flowers!
  • When ready to decorate, simply open the package and arrange as desired.

Limonium: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Some limonium flowers can have a very unpleasant smell to them. It is recommended that you put a cap full of bleach in the water when the flowers arrive.

Lisianthus: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Lisianthus naturally has larger and smaller buds. The buds that show color may open fully. The smaller buds may not open; however, they will accent the larger blooms and the foliage.
  • Leaves will wilt before flowers. It is recommended to remove all foliage before placing into an arrangement, or to remove the foliage as it droops and discolors.

Orchids: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Your orchids may or may not arrive with water tubes. If they do not have water tubes, please follow the instructions as outlined above.
  • If your orchids are packaged with tubes, simply prop them upright and let them stand until you are ready to arrange the flowers. There is no immediate need to cut and put them in water, but if you wish to place them in water, please follow the care instructions outlined above.
  • Orchids do not like refrigeration and it may damage them. The optimal temperature for your orchids is 65 degrees F. Anything cooler than this could potentially be harmful and damage your flowers.

Peony: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Within 12-36 hours of cutting and hydrating the flowers, the flower bud will pop open and last an average of 5 to 10 days.  For the bud to fully bloom it may take several days.  Please watch the time lapse video below to get an understanding of the evolution of the bloom of the peonies.  This video was taken over a 5 to 6 day period. These are general guidelines which you may need to adjust to the specific flowers that you receive.  Some flowers may need more encouragement to open while others might need less encouragement. 
  • A refrigerator is not necessary, but if one must be used, wrap bunched stems in clear plastic and seal the ends. This will prevent frost from destroying the flower bud. With refrigeration, the flower’s vase life will be shorter.

Ranunculus: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Ranunculus are tricky flowers to open and require special attention. FiftyFlowers will not be held responsible for flowers that do not open in time for your event. It is your responsibility to properly care for the flowers after they have arrived.

Snapdragon: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Snapdragons require special care upon arrival. It is imperative that you care for your snapdragons properly upon arrival. FiftyFlowers will not refund or reship for flowers that arrive crooked or that do not straighten. It is a risk accepted upon ordering.
  • If your Snapdragons have been shipped laying down, it is normal for them to arrive curled over. Snapdragons are phototropism, meaning that they follow the light, so place a lamp over the top of them, and they will straighten out as they hydrate.

Stephanotis: Do not follow the care instructions above! Instead, please follow these steps:

  • Remove flowers from the green stem and insert an extender pick. This serves two purposes. First, it acts as a water source, and secondly it gives you a stem to work with.
  • Display in a cool location, out of direct sunlight and away from air vents. Avoid excessively hot or cold areas.
  • Mist with water daily.

Sunflowers: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Sunflowers follow the sun and may not have a perfectly straight stem. So please take this into account when arranging your bulk flowers.
  • If your Sunflowers are still not opening after 24 hours in water, please contact our flower experts at 1-877 50 ROSES (507-6737), and they will give you some added tips on caring for your Sunflowers.

Tulips: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • The ideal date to have your Tulips delivered is 1 to 2 days prior to your event. If you choose to receive them earlier, please dry store them in a flower refrigerator until two days before the event. Two days prior to your event, just follow the steps above and your flowers will bloom delightfully.
  • Your tulips will arrived closed, but once placed in water the stem will continue growing and the head will bloom substantially. Tulips also have a natural bend.
  • If Tulip stems are slightly bowed, trim stem tips and roll the tulips in newspaper with the paper extending above the flower tops, but not covering the lower third of the stems. Place them upright in water with a source of light directly above them. Tulip heads naturally follow the light, so placing a light directly above them will help to straighten a bent stem.
  • Tulips are sensitive to ethylene (which is a gas emitted from fruits and vegetables, especially bananas), which makes them open faster, but also age faster. Depending on your preference, place them away from or near fresh fruits and veggies. Do not put Tulips close to a television.

Wax: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Wax flowers have a tendency to shed. Do not be alarmed if several blooms fall off, as this is completely natural and expected.

Tinted products: In addition to the care instructions above, please note that:

  • Wear gloves while preparing the flowers, as the tint may seep from the stem and temporarily stain hands and/or permanently stain clothing.
  • Expect the water color to change because of the tint. This is normal. Simply change the water as directed.
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