There are many benefits to using cut flower food. Tap water alone does not contain any of the natural food supplements that the cut flower needs for its development. The flower food supplements and the pH balancers in Chrysal cut flower foods restore the flower’s equilibrium and it’s resistance to cell and stem deterioration to what it was while the flower was on the plant. The accelerated aging caused by cutting the flower off the plant is slowed down. The flower develops in a natural way and the vase water does not get contaminated by the micro-organisms released in the decomposition process as it does in vases with just tap water.
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?
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.
Does supply a short-term bacteria control, but provides no nutrients for flower development and does not lower pH.
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.
Provides nutrients, but does not lower the pH and contains nothing to check bacteria.
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
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.
- 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.
To ensure longer vase life of your fresh cut flowers, it’s important to give them a fresh trim every once in a while. What many don’t know is that it’s very important to cut your stems quite frequently, we recommend every few days. Find out the benefits of cutting your stems often and why you should cut flower stems 1-2 inches.
Why should I cut stems frequently?
If you are transporting fresh cut flowers home and they are dry for a period of more than 30 minutes, you should cut the stem once you get home before arranging them in a vase. When a fresh cut flower is cut and kept dry, the cut off flower stem protects itself against infections and drying out through the cutting wound by sealing it, much like a wound on our skin. This means when cut flowers are put into a vase with solution, the water absorption is greatly decreased or even completely stopped, resulting in premature demise of the entire flower. This also happens when stems are in vase arrangements for long periods of time. Flower ends soon become waterlogged and mushy when in solution, making it important to re-cut stems every few days. If the end of the stem becomes too waterlogged, the flowers may begin to droop and lose their petals more quickly due to lack of hydration. It’s also worth noting that most of the germs and organic matter accumulate towards the bottom of stems, making this a portal for bacteria growth. Re-cutting each stem will ultimately keep your flowers alive and fresher for longer.
Why should I cut 1-2 inches?
Many industrialists will lend the advice of cutting your stems 1/4 to 1/2 inch in order to preserve the length of the stem. However, 75-85% of bacteria, organic matter and germs are lodged in the bottom 1-2 inches of stems. It’s important to open stem tissue by eliminating micro-organisms with a fresh cut so solution can flow freely through the stem towards the head of the flower for proper nourishment. In order to see the greatest effects, try to trim the stems 1-2 inches with an angled cut (if you have a shorter stem flower, try to stick with close to 1 inch). With a sharp knife or sharp floral cutter or scissor, make an angled on the stem. This will help ensure proper water uptake for the stem. If you fear trimming 1-2 inches will result in your arrangement not being tall enough for your vase, try using an opaque vase. This will allow you to use Chrysal Floral Foam at the bottom to add height to your arrangement that is lost with the cut stems. Also, as you are trimming the stems, be sure to trim foliage too so it does not get submerged in water.
Are you afraid that cutting stems will disturb the flower placement in a beautiful arrangement? A quick tip is to tie the stems with twine just above the vase’s edge before taking them out for a cut. Make sure to hold the tied arrangement firmly as you re-cut the stems. After you are finished, place the arrangement back into the clean vase (remove the twine) and refill with fresh water and Chrysal flower food.
If you really want to impress your customers this Valentine’s Day, be sure to show your flowers some love by treating them with the proper solution. Always remember that happy flowers lead to happy customers! Whether your looking for a solution for storing and transporting your flowers, or a solution for your beautiful floral arrangements you have on display, Chrysal offers many different solutions for different purposes. It’s important to understand what is the best solution for your flowers.
Dehydration is good for nobody, not even your flowers. It’s common for bacteria to clog stems, impeding water flow through the flowers plumbing system. Any treatment used must at least include a clarifier to keep bacteria under control. Water alone does not fit this profile. Chrysal Professional #1 is a conditioning product for all cut flowers that stimulates the rehydration of flowers after a period of dry transportation. It increases vase life by up to 30% versus water alone. For roses, Chrysal RosePro Hydration Solution really does the trick. This Valentine’s Day, treat your customers with the most beautiful roses by using RosePro Hydration solution. Any product that has been dry for an extended period of time benefits from a hydration boost (Gerberas, spray and garden roses, veronica, clematis, hydrangeas to name a few).
Transport and Holding Solution
For storing your Valentine’s flowers in floral buckets, keep them in optimum condition by using Chrysal Professional #2. Chrysal Professional #2 is great for transportation and holding purposes. It contains just enough nutrients for the natural development of the flowers, without stimulating a full development in this part of the chain. It stimulates water uptake and keeps flowers and foliage in an optimum condition.
Vase and Foam Solution
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s important to impress your customers with floral arrangements that keep their beauty and remain in optimal condition for as long as possible. This is what Chrysal Professional #3 helps to achieve. Chrysal Professional #3 is a solution designed to keep your flowers in peak condition so they stay as beautiful as ever in your arrangements. The solution prolongs vase life by up to 60% versus water alone and also allows the flowers to maintain their true colors while reducing fading. For your vases, be sure to use Chrysal Professional #3 solution for the best results. Your customers will notice.
Come Valentine’s Day, you may have many flowers that will be looking for a new home. When choosing the best vase for your flowers, it’s important to consider the make-up and size of the vase that will work best for your flower. Any kind of container may be used for displaying flowers, however some are more suitable than others for ensuring good flower development. Here is some information to consider when choosing the best vase for your flowers.
Choice of Vases
Let’s discuss a few vase materials, ranking them from the best to the worst.
An inert material, no reaction between the vase solution and the vase, easy to clean.
Older vases might have pores where micro-organisms can settle, more difficult to clean, risk of dull vases due to pollution.
Relatively neutral but polluting in the long run due to small scratches if used intensively, then becoming more difficult to clean properly.
If glazed: relatively neutral, when this protection is absent or damaged: micro-organisms might settle and this type of container becomes more difficult to clean.
Cut flower foods are generally acidic solutions and i not, the flower turns the vase solution into an acid environment. This increases the risk of exchange of ions from the metal vases into the solution. Most of these metals are toxic to the flower. It is therefore important to always use an inner vase i.e. plastic.
What size should the vase be?
The “Best Match” is the best-fitting combination of a bouquet and a vase. There is a logical relationship between the size, height and weight of a bouquet of cut flowers and the size, height and weight of the vase, which ensures that:
- the flowers stand up straight
- the vase can preferably hold enough water for at least one week
- the vase weighs enough not to fall over i.e. not “top heavy”
- the desired arrangement is achieved
- flower arrangers often have as a rule of thumb that the height of the vase should be between 40 and 60 % of the height of the bouquet
Quick Tip for Storing your Vases and Containers
The best way to store your vases and containers is storing them upside down. This prevents droplets of moisture from settling at the bottom of a vase after cleaning, which is the perfect environment for the development of bacteria. Also, storing vases upside down will prevent dust and dirt from settling at the bottom of the vase during storage. As a precaution, it is wise to scrub and rinse the vase well before filling it up with flower food, water, and flowers.
Chrysal works with some of the major glass manufacturers worldwide to stay up to date with the trends. Chrysal recently partnered with Hakbijl, to distribute a Euro-trendy line of glass in the U.S.
Images courtesy of the inspirational booklet by Hakbijl & Dekker Chrysanten with our Trend Selection flower food line
As a floral professional making that first impression count is key. Chrysal wants to help your customers enjoy their flowers to the fullest. Chrysal has all the solutions you need but following these tips can help as well.
The Invisible Enemy:
- Bacteria thrive on the sugary sap that leaks from all stems.
- They double every 20 mins and in 10 hrs. 100 bacteria cells can become more than 100 billion cells.
- They live in dirty buckets, unclean flower preparation tables, unclean cutting tools and they invade the flower through the cut ends and quickly block the water conducting vessels to the flower head. This causes flower wilting and a very short vase life.
- Bacteria can be detected by rubbing your fingers around the inside of your bucket or vase- a slippery feel indicates a presence of bacteria. Likewise if the vase or bucket water is smelly – then bacteria are actively growing.
How to manage this?
- Clean buckets inside and out with floral cleaner like Chrysal Cleaner. Soap and detergent will not kill bacteria.
- Let floral buckets dry before they are stacked.
- Clean your floral cutting tools and tables daily.
Flower foods are the key
- Chrysal has designed flower foods that manage the water environment by keeping it clean and adjust the water pH for the best uptake of water.
- Flower shops and Floral professionals who use Chrysal Professional 2 at the correct does will lower labor cost for cleaning vases and buckets. They will have longer lasting flowers and will have greater customer satisfaction. Importantly, if used correctly, profits will rise.
- Flower shop customers who use the Chrysal flower food packets will have longer lasting flowers and are more likely to return to your flower shop more often because they are happy with their flowers.
We asked the talented Deborah De la Flor to teach us techniques on how to arrange spiral hand tied bouquets. Click on the images to view Deborah’s techniques on video.
Here are a few tips:
- Always ask for the freshest flowers.
- Keep twisting in your hands and move around to see all angels
- Keep design CLEAN and focus on colors
- Use zip ties to help keep flowers in place, careful to snap flowers or to make it too loose
- DON’T forget to use FRESH FLOWER FOOD!
- For transportation use Arrive Alive by Chrysal
Flowers, leaves and buds drop basically to protect the flower i.e.from desiccation. The most well-known reason for flowers,leaves and buds to drop is the result of exposure to ethylene,from inside the flower or outside sources. As a reaction to cutting/harvesting, the process of aging starts in the flower. The aging plant growth regulator produced in th e flower is ethylene.In order to fulfill its task of continuation of the species, the flower regenerates as quickly as possible by producing higher concentrations of ethylene. Especially when circumstances become sub-optimal, which they do in the post-harvest period,the flower starts to produce excessive amounts of ethylene. If ethylene is supplied from an outside source, the process of aging is accelerated too. The flower absorbs this outside ethylene,which in its turn acts as an accelerator of the internal aging process. At high concentrations it becomes killing to the flower.In addition, petal drop, leaf drop and shrinking flowers are symptoms of exceeding the acceptable ethylene concentrations in the flower.
Ethylene sources are i.e.:
- ripening fruit
- exhaust from combustion engines
- smoke, industrial or from cigarettes
- yeast, bacteria and fungi
Ethylene-sensitive flowers showing flower, leaf and bud drop are i.e.:
How can you identify ethylene damage in flowers?
- Petal color appears bluish (obvious in roses, carnations)
- Shattering florets in delphiniums, wax flower, limonium or snap dragons. Lots of petals in bottom of sleeves:
- Buds and leaves fall off stems when flowers are handled
- Asiatic and LA hybrid lily buds appear crepe-y or shriveled. Immature buds fall off
- Stock blooms appear shriveled and transparent
- Alstro flowers appear transparent
- White spray Dendrobian orchids appear a weird color of chartreuse green
What can you do to prevent ethylene damage?
Products based on silver thiosulphate (STS), like Chrysal AVB,protect ethylene-sensitive flowers against the negative effects of ethylene. This product should be used at grower level. When correctly applied, the flowers are protected throughout the whole floral chain. Also important is the use of Chrysal Clear Professional at trade level and Chrysal Clear cut flower food at consumer level to keep the flowers in optimal condition and thus less susceptible to ethylene damage.