Leaves contaminate the vase water, just like stems do. The stem has to be in water; the leaf, however serves no purpose in the water, in fact, it has a negative impact. Therefore, it is recommended to remove the leaves right up to the water level. Leaves take much longer to become limp and there is less stress on the flower, which already has to put out enough effort to keep its equilibrium.

Flowers are grown, shipped and sold over the world. The flower stems as well as leaves carry micro-flora with them all the way to the customer’s vase. The conditions before harvest also influence the flower development in the vase.

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Flower food home remedies…Do they work?

If your looking to care for your flowers using simple home remedies, you should understand the full truth about them. Sure, home remedies can supply some nourishment to a flower, but that doesn’t mean it is a good supplement for flower food. Fresh cut flowers are like babies—they need food and water to survive and attention from harvest to final vase.  Proper conditioning involves providing a balance of 3 basic ingredients: nutrients to feed the blooms, pH corrector to get the water into the zone flowers drink most efficiently and clarifiers to keep pollution and bacteria under control. Without conditioning, flowers have a significantly shorter vase life (50% shorter!). Home remedies are based on bits and pieces of truth and flower needs, but commercial formulations provide a balanced combination of the “right stuff”. Flower food home remedies…Do they work?

Soda

Provides sugar to feed the blooms, but also feed bacteria actively developing in the solution.  Bacteria will ultimately clog stems and stop water uptake leading to poor hydration.

Bleach

Does supply a short-term bacteria control, but provides no nutrients for flower development and does not lower pH.

Pennies

Copper was a common fungicide years ago, but since 1942, there has not been enough copper in pennies to provide any residual effect.

Pin in the necks of tulips

No scientific proven effect and results in a wound by which bacteria and Botrytis can enter.

Vodka

Provides nutrients, but does not lower the pH and contains nothing to check bacteria.

Aspirin

Lowers the pH of the solution, but provides no nutrients to feed the flower and does not control bacteria.

 

While home remedies do have some potential benefits, they should NOT be viewed as an effective replacement for flower food. Floral nutrients provide flowers and plants with the proper mix of nutrients, pH correctors, and clarifiers they need to keep fresher longer.

 


As Valentine’s Day passes, most of us will be finding new vases for lovely floral arrangements. Keeping the flowers fresh and lasting longer is paramount for anybody receiving Valentine’s flowers from a loved one. Valentine’s flowers  represent a deeper meaning and carry more sentimental value, making vase life a top priority. Their are proper precautions for increasing the vase life of your flowers after Valentine’s Day.  Here is some useful care and handling information that you should know to keep your Valentine’s flowers looking as beautiful as ever.

Start clean; use a clean vase

Make sure the vase or display container you use is clean! Any dirt or dust left in the vase upon filling with water can lead to bacteria formation which can be harmful to the flowers, thus affecting the vase life.Use tap water (the colder the better!

Use tap water (the colder the better!)

For post Valentine’s, it’s important to use very cold water to keep your beautiful arrangements lasting as long as possible. Cold water will keep your flowers looking fresher longer. Warm or hot water is recommended if you want your blooms to open faster. Also, be sure to change the water quite frequently, possibly every day or every other day.

Remove leaves which will fall below the water level

It’s important that no leaves come in contact with the vase water. Leaves that fall below the water level will increase the chance that bacteria forms. Again, the presence of bacteria is very harmful to the flower and will affect the longevity of the flowers life.

Cut the stems 1-2 inches

At the bottom of each flower, the stem can become clogged or mushy making water uptake difficult for proper hydration. Therefore, it’s important to cut your stems frequently to allow for efficient hydration. Chrysal recommends to cut stems 1-2 inches, but stay closer to 1 inch if you have a shorter stemmed flower. Also,  be sure to cut the stems at an angle to allow the best water uptake and to prevent damaging and flatting the stem. Click here for more info.

Don’t Forget the Flower Food!

Along with the care and handling tips above, you might also want to consider using a flower care treatment. Treating your flowers to some Chrysal will keep your flowers lasting longer and looking as beautiful as ever! Chrysal offers many treatment options for many different flower types, allowing you to make your Valentine’s flowers last.


With Valentine’s being weeks away, Chrysal wants to make sure you have all of the information regarding your Valentine’s flowers at your fingertips!  To continue our countdown to February 14th, here is all you need to know about roses!  Below are two very important things you must know and don’t forget to share with your customers.

1.  Correct cut point timing ensures proper bloom development

Rose buds attain maximum bud size in the final 3-7 days before harvest

  • Buds accumulate carbohydrate stores to ensure bloom opening
  • Bud size increases.  Customers love those larger heads!
  • Foliage tissues are actively storing sugars, water and hormones to guard against harvest stress
  • Varieties with a high petal count require an open cut stage to develop
  • Roses must arrive to stores at stage 3-4 for 100% development
  • Rose blooms cut too tight mean buds will never open

Do customers know…?

Don’t expect customers to know about changes in rose cut point.  For years, we diligently trained them to accept bullet tight, over-peeled roses as “fresh”.  Now they are confused on how to judge flower quality.  As a flower expert, it is your privilege and responsibility to educate your customers!

Where’s the fragrance?

The sweeter the fragrance the shorter the vase life.  Breeders choose varieties with long vase life so don’t be alarmed if the fragrance isn’t as sweet.

2.  Resist the urge to peel guard petals and foliage if you want your roses to last longer

Groom guard petals if needed, otherwise leave intact.

Why shouldn’t I peel guard petals?

  • Removing guard petals loosens the bud and promotes opening
  • Peeling guard petals triggers the onset of ethylene production.  Ethylene reduces vase life and hastens death in flowers.
  • Ethylene production starts at the point where the petal attaches to the Calyx

When should I peel guard petals?

Peel ONLY if guard petals show blemishes or disease problems.

  • Guard petals with damaged spots, creases, streaks or tears
  • Guards petals that are excessively black—so much so, it impairs salability
  • Guard petals with raised blister look of Botrytis

Why should I keep foliage?

Specialized cells on the underside of foliage pull solution up to the stem into the bloom.  Remove only those leaves underwater (to control solution pollution).  See our previous blog piece “Should you strip your roses?” about the effects of stripping roses of thorns and foliage.


Flower stems are bound together with an elastic band or other type of binding material. Although it is common practice, some binding materials can have a
negative effect on the vase life. The same is true for Gerbera when it is supported or pierced by a metal wire.

Elastic bands are no problem; they are made of inert material. Natural fibers, such as raffia, rope etc., cause problems if they are biologically contaminated. In addition, they can serve as food for bacteria that may be present, particularly in vases only containing tap water i.e. no flower food.

Uncovered / protected metals are corrosive in the acidic vase water (pH 4-5) and release metal particles that are “toxic” for flowers. This can lead to stem, leaf and flower damage. Gerbera is often reinforced with a wire. In the vase, this wire can begin to rust, which shortens the vase life of the Gerbera. Keeping  the vases and the vase water clean, using flower food and correct dosing will help to keep the Gerbera stems straight.

Tips:
• Purchase Gerbera varieties with
strong stems that do not require the support of a wire.
• Use Chrysal CVBN to condition
Gerbera and help them “stand strong”.
• If you must use binding material,
only use completely plasticized wire or aluminum wire.
• Use inert, non organic binding
materials.


Leaves contaminate the vase water, just like stems do.  The stems have to be in the water, the leaf, however serves no purpose in the water.  Chrysal recommends to remove leaves right up to the water level.  The additional positive effect of this is that it decreases the amount of evaporation because the total leaf surface is decreased.

All of the contamination, plant protection products and remnants of  fertilizers contaminate the vase water.  Hygiene and prevention of infection of the vase water provide the best contribution to a long vase life and vase water that has no foul odor.

Advice:

  • Always clean your vases & cutting tools.
  • Remove thorns carefully, if you have to do it at all.
  • Make sure to use cut flower food.
  • If your design has a leaf at the bottom of the vase, use faux foliage ribbon available at your local Floral wholesaler