How creative can you get with $7.50? Here is a great summer floral solution.

Is “one size fits all” your MO for processing cuts as they reach your shop? Using one solution for everything may simplify flower prep, but is it efficient? No, not when working with asclepias, ammi majus, calendula, callas, celosia, cockscomb, dahlias, echinacea, echinops, fever few, frittilaria, lavender, salvia, sedum, sunflowers, zinnias —cool summer flowers with attitude.

Botany brush up:

Blooms sag because something is blocking the plumbing system (botanically know as xylem) in stems. That something is generally bacteria exploding in the organic juices and enzymes blooms exude when cut. Xylem consists of vessel elements, which are short tubes with pits regulating solution flow.

Size matters!

The size of these tubes varies among flower types. The smaller the tubes, the more difficult it is to boost flow through the stem. Hydration is all about jump-starting flow–flushing the lines, so to speak.  Summer flowers are prone to “bleeding” when cut. Bacteria explodes in this juice bar and effectively blocks the plumbing system.

The Cure: Give summer flowers a first drink of solution made with Professional Gerbera pills. It’s easy to use: prep buckets using one pill per 1 gallon cold water. Allow blooms to drink 8—48 hours so stem tissues are clean inside and out, ready for design magic.

A solution that costs less than a dime per gallon effectively reduces flower waste. Fine-tuning processing procedures makes sense because less waste means more $$$ to the bottom line. Happy summer sales!

Having trouble hydrating these beauties? Alum stem dip not giving consistent results? Do you use warm water to fill vases?

Maybe pounding is your preferred method of stem prep. Perhaps you submerge the entire flower head…  Here are a few tips on how to care for fresh cut hydrangeas.   

HYDRANGEA Processing for Consistent Results

1. Prepare bucket solution with cold water–cold moves faster through stems than warm

2. Start with a hydration solution to boost flow   and turn on the vascular system. Use Chrysal Professional #1 or Rose Pro hydration. Mix according to directions.

3. Using a clean, sharp knife or flower cutters– cut above old tissues (above any brown stem tissue).  Cut an inch off to remove all the gunk lodged in bottom of stem that stops flow. Let blooms drink hydration solution for at least 4 hours–overnight even better.

4. After 4-12 hours, transfer blooms into Chrysal Professional #2 or Rose Pro Vase flower food.  OK to leave in either solution up to 6 days

5. If designing blooms without a water source, prep as listed about, design and then wrap stems with Arrive Alive.  Dip Arrive Alive sponge in Chrysal Professional #3 or Rose Pro Vase food for 1-10 seconds and add the outer plastic bag. Secure rubber band above foam to prevent leaks

6. When temps soar–spray bloom and foliage with Hawaiian Floral mist (a light spray 1 x a day is adequate). Allow blooms to dry completely before placing in cooler.


Rehydrating the stems
















Same day, after the top photo was taken, the dehydrated stem was placed in Chrysal Professional #1 and fully recovered in 6 hrs