It’s an exciting sight (and smell!) when fresh wholesale flowers arrive at your doorstep! It’s important to unbox and prepare the flowers the right way in order to preserve their quality and extend their life. Here’s exactly how to take care of flowers, step by step. (We’ll also talk about how to transport flower arrangements!)
1. Get your flowers out of the box and into water
When your boxes arrive, it is important that you get your flowers in water as quickly as possible. Open your boxes and remove any protective packaging, such as foam or paper, and cut any straps inside the box. Pro tip: don’t throw the boxes away — they will come in handy if you plan on transporting the flowers later.
2. Place flowers in clean buckets with at least 4 inches of water
Gather buckets or containers to hold the flowers. Depending on the flower, you may need different sized buckets or containers (for example, shorter stemmed flowers such as ranunculus will need a shorter/smaller vessel, while roses and greens will fit great in 5 gallon buckets). Ensure that your buckets or containers are very clean by rinsing them out with warm water beforehand. Then, fill the containers with at least 4 inches of fresh, cool water.
3. Add flower food
Mix flower 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.
4. Remove foliage that will fall below waterline
Foliage below the waterline may cause bacteria to form, shortening the life of your flowers. Remove it with sharp, clean flower shears or scissors.
5. Cut the base of the stems
Cut stems at an angle about an inch off of each stem. An angled cut will allow for a larger surface area for water absorption and prevents the ends of your stems from sitting flat in the container blocking water absorption.
6. Place flowers in buckets
Immediately after cutting the stem, place the flower in the prepared water. Ensure that you have sufficient room in each bucket for the number of stems you will be storing — you never want to overcrowd your containers. Overcrowding may damage stems and blooms and effect the blooming process.
7. Let the flowers hydrate for 4-12 hours
Allow the flowers at least 4 hours to hydrate. It can take up to 8 to 12 hours to properly rehydrate them. Periodically check the water levels, as flowers drink a lot of water when they first arrive and the water may need to be refilled. Change water every 24 hours and re-cut stems every 24 to 48 hours to keep flowers fresh.
8. Properly store the flowers
Most flowers should be kept in a cool, dry area until ready to use (unless you are trying to speed up the blooming process, in which case you’ll want to introduce light and some warmth, but not direct sunlight).
Many people believe that they need to keep their flowers in a refrigerator, but for the most part, this is not needed! The average household refrigerator is kept much colder than a florist’ cooler, and therefore could damage flowers. In addition, most flowers are sensitive to ethylene gas, a gas that is emitted by fruits and vegetables, which makes the refrigerator a dangerous place for flowers. The exceptions are dahlias or peonies that are already cracking or opening too fast upon delivery.
Speaking of peonies, these flowers require special care, so check out our post on Peony Flower Care for more info.
VIDEO: How to Care for Flowers
How to Transport Flower Arrangements
If you need to transport flowers, that can be nerve-wracking. You’ve spent so much time making sure they are well taken care of and arranged beautifully — you want to make sure they don’t get damaged on the way to your venue!
Any arrangements that are already in a vase are good to go. For bouquets, place them in extra vases with just enough water to keep them hydrated with ruining the bouquet wrapping.
Now that all your flowers are in vases, you can grab your empty flower boxes and get all the flowers ready for transport — here’s how!
1. Grab your empty flower boxes
Start with your empty boxes. Shut the lids of the boxes, just like they were when they arrived before you opened your boxes. Use a sharpie to draw X’s into the box, just slightly larger than your vase.
2. Cut along the X’s
Mark an “x” to represent where each vase will later fit into the box. You can usually fit 4 to 6 vases in one box, depending on the size of vase and arrangement.
3. Punch through the x’s and place your vases inside
Punch through the “x” to reveal a space for your vase to fit securely. Place your vase inside and now you have a secure way to transport up to six vases per box!
4. Have Two People Transport the Box
You should have two people carry the box from each end, holding the bottom, to ensure your arrangements stay secure. When you arrive at the venue, just remove your vases and place where needed.
The box cutting method is one of favorite ways to transport flowers because it keeps them so secure. It’s not the only way, though.
You can also just use the bottom part of a sturdy box and simply place all your arrangements upright in the box, using towels, newspaper, etc. to protect the vases from bumping into each other and keep them secure. If you use this method, just make sure all your vases fit securely in the box, as you don’t want them to shift around.
Whichever method you choose, we always recommend someone sit near the flowers if possible, so that they can watch and make sure the vases and flowers are staying upright.
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Check out this video on how to safely transport your flowers.
The FiftyFlowers Experience: From Farm to Front Porch
FiftyFlowers’ blooms are always shipped directly from our partner farms to your doorstep. 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! Following the steps for how to care for flowers outlined above will help ensure pristine quality and extend their life.
If upon first inspection, you foresee a problem with your flowers, do not proceed processing your order. Leave the flowers intact in the box and call us immediately at 1-877-50 ROSES (507-6737) and we’ll resolve any issue you may have.