One of the toughest jobs florists face every day is mammoth task of keeping cut flowers and plants fresh. Whilst most botanicals love to bask in the sun when growing, once cut, the treatment that they need to stay fresh and beautiful changes dramatically.
These botanical do’s and don’ts will help you to keep your plants like-new for longer.
Do chill for preservation
Once cut, botanicals must be kept cool if they have any chance of surviving. Whilst this isn’t the only step you need to take to preserve your plants and flowers, it’s certainly the most important. Flowers stored 5°c can deteriorate three times faster than those stored at 1°c, proving just how important temperature is.
Don’t allow flowers to dry out
Flowers need a degree of moisture to keep them from drying up and dying out and the humidity of your chosen storage can affect this. The level of humidity needed will usually depend on the type of botanical in storage, so ensure you’re aware of a flowers specific needs.
Do protect botanicals from bad bacteria
Bad bacteria, both in the water and in the environment, will speed up the deterioration of plants and flowers. With this in mind, it’s important to always thoroughly clean your chosen chilled storage regularly with bleach and water.
Don’t mix flowers with fruits
Ethylene is a natural gas that speeds up the ‘ripening’ of fruits, vegetables and plant life. Like fruit, flowers can fall victim to ethylene, which is why the two should never be stored together. If you’re serious about keeping your flowers fresh, investing in a botanical cold storage unit will give your plants the best chance of survival.
Do regularly check and prune flowers
Dead buds and leaves can have the same effect on fresh botanicals as over ripe fruit. To keep your flowers and plants in tip top condition, regularly check for and remove old leaves or petals.
Don’t mix dying flowers with fresh ones
Much like food storage, your flowers should be rotated using the first in, first out method where possible. Avoid storing older, dying flowers and plants with new ones, as this can again result in the rapid deterioration of fresh stock.
Do use pallets to keep flowers dry
Fresh flowers need adequate air circulation for optimum freshness, consider storing your botanicals on separate pallets to keep them cool and dry.
Don’t over pack flowers in cold storage
Over packing can damage your flowers in many ways. Firstly, over packing a refrigeration unit will cause the temperature to drop, causing flowers to wilt. Secondly, flowers than are tightly packed on top of each other can succumb to damage more easily.
Do use a temperature controlled environment
Whilst regular commercial fridges do have temperature controls, they cannot offer the same level of accuracy as storage units specifically designed for botanicals. Cold storage units are designed to stay at a set temperature for the entire duration of use.
Don’t allow temperatures to fluctuate
Just like food, flowers and plants will deteriorate more rapidly when temperatures fluctuate. It is imperative to maintain a strict temperature throughout the plants time in storage if it’s to be at its best when it reaches your customers.