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Processing Cut Flowers: A Step-by-Step Guide for Florists

05 July 2024

The unique nature of the floral business lies in the perishable nature of its main product, which significantly affects the profitability of a flower shop. Flowers are a living commodity that requires special care to ensure their longevity. To achieve maximum flower longevity, it's crucial to know the nuances of care both when receiving a new batch and during storage in the refrigerator.

In this article, we will examine the proper processing of roses of a certain variety upon arrival at a flower shop (salon).

Unpacking the Flowers

The first thing to pay attention to is the packaging in which the flowers are transported. Roses are usually packed with a cardboard base and small paper inserts that ensure the preservation of flowers during transport. In our case, we will look at processing Ecuadorian roses.

First, carefully unpack the roses to avoid damaging the buds and stems. This is quite simple: remove the staples, gently unroll the packaging, and remove the paper inserts (they can be saved for future use when forming a wet base for the flowers). On the inside of the packaging, you can also find information about the rose variety, country of origin, unique batch identification number, quantity of flowers, and their length.

After unpacking the flowers, it is advisable to sort them by length, as roses are usually supplied in two sizes.

Processing Unpacked Flowers

The next step is the most crucial phase of flower processing. This can be done during sorting by inspecting each rose, but for convenience, we have highlighted this as a separate step. The most important things to pay attention to are the quality of the petals, stem, and leaves of the rose. If signs of wilting or rot are noticeable, the affected flower should be immediately removed, as it can spoil other flowers when placed in the same batch. Therefore, it is desirable to have good lighting or additional light sources (ring lamp, LED lamp with reflectors, spotlight lamps, etc.) in the flower salon to easily identify flaws and defects.

After inspecting all the flowers, it is necessary to properly trim the stems to ensure stable water supply to the flower. Roses (like most other flowers) are cut at a 45-degree angle. During peak times at the salon (for example, on holidays), a parallel cut is acceptable as it is significantly faster. Nevertheless, always aim for a 45-degree cut to reduce the risk of premature wilting and spoilage of the plants.

Further Flower Care

Once the flowers are successfully processed and trimmed, they just need to be bundled, tied together, and placed in the refrigerator until the first interested customer arrives. In our flower salons, we bundle roses, secure them with a rubber band, and additionally pack them in polyethylene bags.

Water quality plays a key role in maintaining the freshness of roses. Use clean, cool water at room temperature. Avoid hard water, as it can clog the vessels of the stem. To improve water quality, you can use special solutions for cut flowers that contain nutrients and antibacterial components.

Adding a small amount of citric acid or vinegar (1-2 drops per liter) will help lower the water pH, which is beneficial for roses. It is also effective to use special tablets or powders to extend the life of cut flowers, following the instructions on the packaging.

Congratulations! Now you know how to keep your flowers fresh and delight customers for a week or even two. It is important to note that there are different varieties of roses and different countries of origin, which also affects the durability of the flowers. For example, if you have a Dutch rose, even if the head droops, it can be revived by trimming the stem by 5-10 cm and placing it in fresh water.

Moreover, storage conditions play a key role in maintaining flower freshness. The following factors should be considered:

  • Protection from direct sunlight
  • Water quality
  • Optimal humidity
  • Proper storage temperature
  • Proximity to other plants in the refrigerator
  • Gentle handling of the flowers

To maintain the freshness of roses, it is important to regularly change the water and trim the stems. Water should be changed every 2-3 days or more often if it becomes cloudy. When changing the water, be sure to wash the vase or storage container to remove bacteria.

Stem trimming is recommended every 2-3 days, removing 1-2 cm at a 45-degree angle with a sharp knife or pruner. This ensures better water absorption and prolongs the life of the flowers. Trimming is best done underwater to prevent air from entering the stem vessels.

With proper care and regular water changes and stem trimming, roses can stay fresh for 7-14 days, depending on the variety and storage conditions.

To maintain these factors, it is essential to keep optimal parameters. We will discuss these aspects of flower care in more detail in subsequent articles.

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