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TLC Tips for Selling Fresher Valentine Flowers

TLC Tips for Selling Fresher Valentine Flowers

Flower longevity is the consumer’s No. 1 buying objection to buying flowers. How can you deliver fresher Valentine flowers?

Flowers that wilt too soon can hurt your reputation, decrease your profits, and deter customers from buying flowers in the future.

Good, better, best suggestions for Valentine's Day arrangements.

Flower freshness is the key to customer satisfaction and repeat sales.

How can you keep holiday blooms from fading fast?

Give TLC for flower longevity.

The TLC you give to cut flowers has a significant impact on how long the flowers stay fresh for your customers.

Red rose with heart-shaped center.

To ensure flower freshness, give your flowers tender-loving-care as soon as they arrive at your floral business.

What shortens the life of a cut flower?

Flower Senescence

Flowers begin to wilt and die the moment a bloom is cut. This aging process is called senescence and means that a flower’s cells can no longer divide and grow.

Mixed cut flower arrangement with flowers and a tillandsia.

A cut flower will fade and wilt faster unless you take steps to preserve its vitality once it’s in your care.

How can you ensure greater customer satisfaction this Valentine’s Day?

Give extra love to your holiday blooms using the fresh flower care steps and products below.

Start with the basics

Remove lids from flower boxes as soon as they arrive. Opening the boxes allows flower-aging ethylene gas to escape rather than damaging blooms.

Buckets of fresh flowers.
  Photo: True Expressions Photography

For fresher flowers, always begin with a clean bucket, vase or container.

Why sanitize your buckets? Because bacteria clog stems and produce ethylene, both are detrimental to flower health.

Follow the florist’s adage – “Your flower buckets and containers should be clean enough to drink from yourself!”

  • Buckets should be washed after each use. FloraLife DCD (disinfectant, cleaner, deodorizer) is designed specifically to clean all surfaces in flower preparation.
  • After scrubbing with DCD, there’s no need to rinse. A protective coating remains to help to keep surfaces cleaner longer.
  • Place washed buckets upside down to dry or place them on a disinfected surface. Sitting clean bucket bottoms on an un-sanitized floor and then stacking them when dry add bacteria back into the buckets.

Frank Feysa AIFD, PFCI offers some helpful tips in this video on how to sanitize your buckets, tools and work area.

  • Floral Cleaner Wipes can be helpful for keeping your work table and tools clean during use.
  • When processing flowers, remove all foliage below the water line to prevent decay in the water. Clean, bacteria-free water keeps the waterways inside stems flowing freely.
  • Fully saturate floral foam with flower-food-filled water in advance.
White ranunculus and hypericum in Clayton grey box.

Design tip: Midnight (black) floral foam is a great companion to this grey Clayrton’s Simply container. Any exposed foam becomes an element of the design.

Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI offers tips on - How to soak floral foam?

Keep track of temps

  • Temperature greatly affects the vase life of flowers. Lower temps reduce flower metabolism (respiration and transpiration), similar to hibernation in some mammals.
  • Store fresh flowers in a 34 – 38° F cooler with 80 – 90 % relative humidity and tropical flowers at 55 - 60° F or room temperature.
  • Use fresh, cold water with flower food to rejuvenate travel stressed flowers.
  • Sodium can decrease the life of some flowers so use water without added softeners.
  • For crisper fresh flowers - pre-chill your buckets and flowers in the cooler.
  • Place flower stems into cold water with flower food added.

Feed your flowers

  • Cut flowers need proper nutrition, including sugary drinks! Sugar is the carbohydrate energy source that keeps flowers fresher longer.
Orange gerbera daisies and peach carnations in mug with a Valentine heart.
  • Follow packet or label directions of Floralife® flower foods to hydrate, nourish, promote optimal growth, decrease bent neck and increase bud opening in many varieties.
  • A well-designed flower food includes sugar, acidifiers, and stem un-pluggers. Acidifiers lower water pH to increase water and nutrient uptake. Stem un-pluggers are a special mix of ingredients that lower pH to help eliminate stem plugging.

Frank offers suggestions for flower hydration in this video.

  • When flowers are quick-dipped and held in a properly mixed flower food solution, waterways inside the stems open to absorb more water.
  • Research has proven that homemade solutions are not as effective as a complete flower food. 
  • Flower food is most beneficial at the correct concentration. The easiest way to always deliver the correct amount is with an automatic proportioner (or dosing unit).
Fresh Valentine flower arrangement in a red oval tin.
  • Contact - (800) 323-3689, for a free water sample kit. Floralife will analyze your water to tell you which flower food is best for your water. Questions? Ask Christy Carter at (843) 539-1680.
  • To ensure hydration, give flower stems a fresh, sharp cut before placing them into flower food solution - unless using Express flower food.
  • Express eliminates the need to recut rose stems before putting them in water for storage. Simply strip foliage from the stems and drop the flowers into the water without cutting.
  • As with all new products - if you haven’t tried Express, experiment in advance - not during the holiday rush.

Frank shares how Express products nourish your flowers.

Extra TLC

Give your flower friends a little extra TLC.

Fresh flower arrangement of pink carnations and baby's breath.

Frank covers protecting flowers in this video.

Frank talks about the importance of customer care in this video.

Plan, prepare, prep

The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is a well-organized plan for the week’s increased volume of work and offering very fresh flowers!

Red Valentine flower vase of hydrangea, tulips, and seeded eucalyptus.

Many manufacturers and wholesale suppliers offer special January pricing for items ordered in advance.

Make plans now to get ahead of the game. Concise planning, advance ordering, container prep, and employee flower-care training all add up to more profitable holiday sales.

Sharon offers container prep tips – Building a Foundation for Floral Designs.

Menu holiday designs now so you can plan your inventory of key supplies. Assess floral foam, flower food, vases, and decorative accessories.

Prep containers, bows, planters, and gift baskets in advance to save time during the holiday rush.

Create a plan for fine-tuning tasks needed closer to Valentine’s Day like cleaning, organizing and preparing the shop for shopping ease.

Make a clear and concise duty list for each person so they know exactly how they can best assist the team on V-Day.

For fresher flowers, stock up on flower care products and develop a daily plan for using them.

What TLC tips can you share for keeping your Valentine’s Day flowers fresh?

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