Mother’s Day is one of the biggest floral holidays and it’s less than two weeks away (May 8th). It’s very important to be prepared for a holiday as big as this one. If you haven’t started to prepare, here is a list of things to get you through the holiday and ensure the freshest blooms for your clients.
Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, that means put on your marketing caps and PROMOTE, PROMOTE & PREPARE WISELY.
Here is a survival countdown for Valentine’s Day that can help you optimize your flowers, staff and most importantly your cost & sales.
Week of January 25—29
- a) Prepare work schedules. Identify which non-floral associates will help in floral
- b) Decorate Floral Department
- c) Complete candy arrangements
- d) Fill water tubes with Chrysal Professional #2 or save money & time and use Arrive Alive. Every stem gets hydrated!
- e) Indentify incremental display location(s)
- f)Send out a $5 off coupon to customers & remind them to order the flowers early in order to get the best flowers!
- g) Post “at a glance” instructions for prepping flowers
INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDE–Mix ALL solutions with COLD H2O
o Right solution for the job: Chyrsal Prof #2 for buckets. Pro #3 for vases.
o How deep to fill buckets (1/3—1/2)
o How much to cut off stems (1-2inches)
o How many bunches per bucket
o NOT to strip foliage from stems
o What cooler to store finished products
Week of January 30—Feb 5
- a) Make sure ALL floral supplies are in. No supply orders during VD week (glass, nutrients, wire, Arrive Alive, Transporters)
- b) Review VD work schedule / make changes. Staff heaviest for the 14th
- c) Balloon set-up
- d) Determine display area for impact items (orchids , tulip pots, etc)
- e) Upgrade potted. Dust off last year’s left over bows and pouffs
- f) Make sure wire catalogues are out and everyone knows how to use
Week of February 6—12
- a) Create balloon bouquets
- b) Begin fresh arrangement production
- c) Start pre-greening rose vases. Fill vases with Chrysal Professional #2 or Pro #3.
- d) Spray pre-green vases with Chrysal leafshine to avoid dehydration.
- e) Identify space allotments in dairy and produce coolers for arrangements
- f) Create a coupon for Mother’s Day & make sure it goes out the door with every flower!
- a) Communicate to receiving manager and GM how large your in-bound load will be
- b) Identify where it is to be stored
- c) Staff heavy to process entire load of dry-pack blooms. Leave NOTHING in boxes!
- 2 REASONS WHY: 1. So you can inspect the product. 2. Allow time for flowers to hydrate 100%
- d) Prepare processing buckets using cold water and Chrysal Professional #2
- e) Teach extra help how to wrap flowers & how to up-sale with Arrive Alive water wrap
- a) Mass-produce rose arrangements
- b) Build displays
- c) Create a special section for vase-less bouquets, use Arrive Alive to wrap the bouquets and get water out of the buckets! Wet floors are dangerous!
- a) Arrange to have all displays completed by noon
- b) Expand ALL fresh cut displays—get every stem out on the floor
- a) Floral managers help customers, NOT run registers!
- b) Assign someone to refill arrangements with freshly-made Chrysal Pro #2 or Pro#3
- c) Set up Cupid check out lane at end of day. Prep location with floral wrapping paper & Arrive Alive
- d) Remind the register people that the holiday is UPC-driven!
- e) Buy lunch for the entire staff, it doesn’t have to be expensive but it should reflect appreciation and keep everyone in the store
- a) Instruct all staff to up-sell EVERYTHING!! Remember–everything in a vase SELLS!
- b) Remind the customers to use the flower food in order to maximize the vase life of their flowers.
- CELEBRATE & BEGIN TO PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR, take notes of what went well & what went wrong. This is the best time to make notes since the big event is fresh in your memory!
- If you have any left over flowers donate them to local hospitals or even give them to your staff as an extra token of appreciation!
Lilies are considered to be one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. However, the one big problem with Lilies is the pollen from their stamens which can easily be knocked off onto clothing.
TIPS TO REMOVE POLLEN FROM CLOTHING:
- Do not brush or rub with your hands. Human skin contains oils that will help attach the pollen to the fibers.
- Let pollen dry and remove it with a soft brush.
- Take a piece of tape and press this onto pollen. It will adhere to the tape and can then be removed.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove from clothing.
- If some pollen stains are stubborn, hang the garment in the sun to dry. The stain and the pollen in it will dry up and can then be removed by one of the above-mentioned methods.
A simple way to prevent pollen from getting on your clothes is to remove the anthers (tips of stamens) as soon as you get the flowers home. Keep repeating this with every bud that opens or cut off the stamens. For those of you that love Lilies but do not want to deal with stains on your clothing, you can purchase pollen-free Lilies.
To achieve a long vase life, removing the thorns is not recommended. Every wound on the stem leads to deterioration of the stem bark and the loss of cell moisture, resulting in major container/vase contamination. This results in wilted leaves, very little or no flower development and turbid, smelly containers and vases. With Rosa it can even lead to the manifestation of bent-neck.
VASE LIFE TESTS
Roses with thorns last longer in the vase than roses without thorns. When flower food is added to the vase water, the differences disappear. However, the vase water of roses without thorns does remain turbid.
VASE LIFE KILLERS
The only excuse for removing thorns is to make arranging easier and protect the hands if no gloves are used. If you have to, remove the thorns with as little damage to the tissue as possible. The consumer can best remove them by breaking them off by hand, pushing them aside. All other methods of using knives and thorn removers are harmful to the flower.
- After the grower has cut the flower off its mother plant, the stem immediately begins to heal itself, much like a wound on our skin. The scab on human skin protects against infections from outside sources and stops the bleeding. The stem protects itself in a similar way against infections and drying out through the cutting wound by sealing it. This means that when cut flowers are put into a container or vase solution, the water absorption is greatly decreased or even completely stopped, resulting in limp, weak flowers and ultimately the wilting and premature demise of the entire flower.
- Micro-organisms can be found everywhere, on flower stems and leaves, the cut surface, containers, vases tools and work tables. Wounds on the stem bark are an excellent food source for micro-organisms. They only grow if they have something to feed on in the container or vase. Large amounts can cause loss of quality in some cut flowers, because they can partially plug the bottom of the stem. This is one of the main reasons to cut off a piece of the stem after a ‘dry’ period and it also prevents contamination of the container or vase.
- Contaminated and organic materials plug up the cut surface, just like air-bubbles in a dried out stem-end. This also causes the premature wilting of the cut flowers. By cutting the bottom of the stem (by at least 2-5 cm) these blockages are removed. No flower food will remove this kind of infection from the stems.
If cut flowers have been dry for more than 30 minutes, cut off a part of the stem before placing them in a container or vase. This applies to all phases of the flower’s life.
Working in a clean environment, removing contamination and avoiding stem damage all help to prevent waste, save money and ensure normal flower development as well as a satisfied customer.
Removing all contamination and blockages often requires cutting 5-10 cm off the stem. Remember that no flower food can remove infections in the stem.
- Do not drop boxes on pallet or floor in order to avoid impact damage and internal bruising
- Stack boxes on top of pallets in cooler to maximize air flow and also prevent soggy bottoms
- Allow roses to drink water 1 – 2 hours before sales display
- Place roses to top shelves away from drip areas to lessen the chance of Botrytis
- Soak foam, fill vases with Chrysal Rose Pro Vase so flowers stand tall to the end
DRY PACK PROCESSING
- Store boxes at 34 – 38F. Avoid fluctuating temperatures in order to reduce excessive condensation
- Remove ONLY as many boxes as you can process within 30 – 60 minutes
- Fill buckets with Chrysal Professional #1 or Professional #2
- Measure when mixing solutions
- Clean buckets, clean cutters, clean solution
- Let bunches sit outside cooler (in sleeves) for 30 minutes to allow condensation to evaporate
- Remove only foliage and thorns below water level
- Hydrate roses for a minimum of 2 – 4 hours before displaying or designing
WET PACK PROCESSING
CUT ROSE CARE TIPS
Flower preparation is just as important as the flower handling itself. Here are 12 flower care tips for Valentine’s, that will ensure longer vase life…
- Start off with a clean work space and clean materials (buckets, cutters, vases, etc).
- Always measure out your solutions correctly. Overdosing or under-dosing wastes time and money.
- Prep your buckets with COLD water. Pre-chilling buckets a day ahead will work even better.
- Fill bucket 1/3 full. During holidays, mark bucket with tape for quick filling.
- Do not use ice since it dilutes the dosage.
- Use sharp, clean tools to prevent contamination and maximize solution efficacy.
- Get stems into solution quickly to reduce air bubbles entering the system.
- Never combine the old solution with the fresh new solution.
- Top-up with flower food solution and not water.
- Give a fresh cut when you prepare fresh bucket solutions.
- Keep leaves out of vase water.
- Avoid dripping any solution or water on petals and flowers. Try to keep them as dry as possible.
Why and when to clean flower vases?
Decomposing pieces of leaves and thorns, dust and other pollutants from the air, contaminate the vase water. All these decomposition products, organic matter, moulds and dead bacteria can be a food source for micro-organisms. The vascular bundles in the stem, required for absorbing water, can become plugged by this contamination. That is why it is a good habit to clean the containers and vases immediately after use. Chlorine-based or ‘softer’ products can be used for this, such as washing-up liquid or Chrysal Cleaner. Let it soak for a while before scrubbing and rinsing.
What is inside flower food packets?
Cut flower food needs to replace the mother plant’s nutrients. A common question asked is what is inside flower food packets? The following ingredients are found in flower food packets:
– water softeners
– pH regulators
– water absorption promoters
The nutrients and pH regulators in the Chrysal flower food packets restore the balance of the flower and return the resistance against cell and stem deterioration to the natural level. This slows down the rapid aging caused by cutting the flower off the plant. The flower develops according to the natural ways of an intact plant and the vase water is not contaminated by the decomposing stem, as it would be in vases with only tap water.
The benefits of using flower food packets versus only using water, can be seen below.
The leaves are changing, the smell of pumpkin spiced lattes is in the air and everyone wants to decorate for fall. Fall designs tend to include lots of non-flower botanicals like pumpkins on a stick, leaves and sprigs of wheat. Add the sunflowers and gerberas and the water quality is compromised. The sugar in flower food, so important for flower color and longevity is not too important for leaves and grasses, but super-clean water is. Here is how to care for fall flowers.
Why use Flower Food this Autumn?
One of the beauties of grasses, wheat, twigs, wheat, and millet is that they do not require special treatment. Studies conducted by Chrysal UK technicians for a large chain found that bucket water exploded with bacteria and pollutants when bouquets included “autumn” items. Tests showed Professional Gerbera solutions gave the best pollution control when these non-flowering items were pretreated to rid stems of dust, bacteria and germs before elements were placed in mixed bouquets. The pills are a one-time use solution and are active up to 3 days.
If berried branches are part of your autumn and winter flower program, avoid exposing the product to sources of ethylene gas which includes exhaust from combustion engines, cigarette and BBQ smoke, rotting green trash (both bacteria and Botrytis produce ethylene). Always store sphagnum moss (another source of ethylene gas) apart from flowers and berries. Empty and wash out trash cans regularly.
Use flower food when soaking foam, it will keep the water fresh and provide extra vase life to your arrangements.
Here are some fall delights brought to you by Dos Gringos in California.