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Fresh Flower Care

The most critical time of the fresh flower chain of life is the first few hours when your bulk flowers arrive.  If they are not properly cared for from the beginning your beautiful flowers will not last though the design process or your event.  If you are not prepared to take the necessary steps, time and money to purchase the correct product, there is a possibility that designing your own flowers may not be the answer for you.  However if you decide to take on this labor of love it will be a fulfilling experience.

Things to do BEFORE your flowers arrive: 1. Clean buckets with bleach to disinfect. Rinse thoroughly and make sure this is no bleach residue left in buckets that can kill flowers. Improperly cleaned surfaces expose fresh flowers to disease and greatly limits their longevity. Bacteria can clog stems, causing premature wilting. Have enough buckets on hand so your flowers are not crowded in the buckets. They will need breathing space. All buckets used should be non-metallic and shorter than your flowers.

2. You will need the following items:
  • Florist knife, sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Quick Dip - Instant Flower Hydration
  • Crystal Clear Fresh Flower Food
  • Finishing Touch Floral Mist or Crowning Glory
  • Plenty of warm water. If water is hard in your area, you may need to use bottled water. If in doubt check with your water company.
  • Working space that can be used to spread out flowers and work.
  • Read and study the steps for care so you know exactly what to do when your flowers arrive. Remember time is of the essence! By the time they arrive they have went without water for about 24 hours and they are thirsty. Some drooping and wilted looks may scare you but don't be, you are going to give them the care and nutrients they need just as a professional florist would do.
  • Read "Three Days to Beautiful Designs" so you know what to expect before arrival.


  • Things to do WHEN your flowers arrive: 1. Open box immediately! Verify the right amount of packs of flowers. Group with color and type of flowers. Roses in a group and so on. Also separate according to ethylene sensitivity. The following is a list of flowers that are sensitive: alstroemeria, carnation, orchid, rose, Asiatic lilies, anemones, asters, boxwood, daffodils, delphinium, freesia, gerbera, marguerite daisies, babysbreath, heather, iris, larkspur and wax flower. What is Ethylene? Is a natural gaseous hormone produced by flowers, fruits and plants. It accelerates the aging and ripening process of fresh flowers.

    How to protect my flowers:
  • Never place flowers in a cooler or refrigerator with fresh fruits or vegetables.
  • Do not stuff flowers in the buckets, give them room to breath.
  • Keep the ethylene flowers in separate bucket from the rest until design time.
  • Keep workspace and buckets clean.
    2. Fill your first bucket with very warm water and flower food solution about 1/3 full. It is imperative to mix the solution according to directions. Incorrect measurement can decrease life of flowers. Also make sure your sink is clean and sanitized to fill water to be able to cut the stems underwater. Pour 2 inches of Quick Dip directly into a clean shallow plastic container. The plastic container should be wide enough to dip several stems at once.
    3. Remove outside wrapper carefully on your first bunch of flowers. Always treat your flowers carefully. Don't be mean to them!
    4. In removing foliage, care should be taken not to damage the stem or scrape the bark. If this happens, it can cause stem rot by allowing microorganisms to grow. All foliage must be removed under the water line. Foliage under the water line increases chance of bacteria growth resulting in premature wilting.
    5. Using a sharp knife or pruning shears each flower will need to be recut. Scissors will crush the ends so the flower cannot drink. You will notice that the stem ends are dried out, once you cut the flowers will take a gulp of water. Cutting underwater will prevent a gulp of air which causes air blockage in the stems. Always cut on an angle to provide a larger surface for water absorption and to keep the ends from sitting flat in the container and hinder their drinking. Make sure that the flower stems remain under water while you finish the pack.
    6. Dip the stems of the pack all at one time into Quick Dip to hydrate the flower. This will clear stems of blockage and initiates water uptake to the flower head. Dip the bottom 1-2" of each stem into the Quick Dip solution for ONE SECOND and then place in the very warm floral food solution. Care must be taken that the Quick Dip stem area is below the liquid level in the final solution.
    Why Hydrate? It has been proven to increase flower longevity, eliminating bent necks.
    7. Continue until all your flowers are prepped. Let your flowers drink and rest in a cool dark place overnight. If you see that some flowers are still drooping after 3-4 hours recut following the above directions, sometimes a little air bubble occurred. If your flowers need to be forced to open you can do this with very warm water and re-cutting the stems every 2 hours until they are opening to your satisfaction on the second day.
    8. After designs are complete spray with the Finishing Touch Floral Mist or Crowning Glory to refresh, hydrate and protect your flowers. The last step for longest life and a fresh look throughout your event.

  • Special Tips:
  • Never place daffodils together with any other flower. These should be placed in a separate container. The sap will kill other flower in the same bucket with them.
  • Tulips should not be in a bucket with floral food. Just use fresh water with them.
  • To keep tulips from opening a thin wire should be pushed carefully through the stem just below the head and removed. Do this twice in a crisscross design.
  • Keep fresh flowers away from engine exhaust, cigarette smoke, gas heaters, drafts, cold outside temperatures, sunlight, warm to hot temperatures.
  • Flowers love to be misted with warm water. If humidity is dry where you are living, you may want to mist occasionally. Want ivy? Buy a plant at your local nursery and snip away!