One way we show appreciation and celebrate motherhood is by giving flowers. If you’re unfamiliar with the language of flowers it may be difficult to choose the right type considering the many varieties and colors that are out there. The following is a small list of popular Mother’s Day flowers and their meanings to help you narrow down your choices.


Symbolizes pride and beauty. A red carnation symbolizes love, pride and admiration; pink carnations symbolizes love of a mother.


Although white lilies are associated with funerals, there are many other types lilies to pick from. Calla lilies signify beauty and Day lilies are the Chinese symbol for motherhood.


Orchids are exotic plants the symbolize refinement, thoughtfulness and mature charm. They also symbolize proud and glorious femininity.


Roses of various colors convey a number of different meanings. A bouquet of mature rose blooms sends a message of gratitude; white roses signify virtue, purity, and reverence. A rose symbolizes grace in a medium pink hue, gratitude in a dark pink color, and youthful joy in light pink.


These bright and cheerful flowers send a message of adoration and respect. Similarly gerbera daisies have a joyful look in their myriad colors. Daisies are traditionally a symbol of beauty, and gerbera daisies also signify cheerfulness and playfulness.


The general message of tulips is love. More specifically, pink tulips signify caring and red tulips suggest true love. Yellow tulips, as might be guessed from their appearance, bring a message of cheerful thoughts.


Violets signify faithfulness and devotion. The gift of a violet plant can provide a lasting reminder of your appreciation for a mother’s devotion.

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.

 Click here for a list of High Polluting Flowers!

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!

Nets and cups on gerberas, chrysanthemums, callas, sunflowers and roses serve to protect flowers during production and transport.

Bruising and creasing on petals diminishes commercial value as well as predisposing damaged tissues for Botrytis infection.

Take care when pulling stems out of flats. Scraping off bark as stem rubs against cardboard damages the sensitive area directly below bloom and predisposes flowers to Botrytis infection. Scraped stems are perfect entry portals for bacteria, too

Rose growers place nets on blooms during production to increase head size and reduce absorption of UV light that leads to petal blackening in some red varieties.

Netting allows blooms extra time on the bush—important since maximum bud height is achieved in the
final days before harvest. This is also the point at which energy generated in the photosynthetic process causes petal texture to become robust (almost thick) as tissues fill with carbohydrates.

Nets / cups on or off??
There are two reasons to remove nets and cups during processing:
1. Simple aesthetics. Netted blooms look weird on display. Any one in the food industry knows the hair net goes on as you clock in for a shift, NOT as catch the bus. Nets hide the beauty (and size) of blooms and make the display appear less than terrific.

2. Equally important reason to remove nets and cups is to allow condensation to evaporate from petal surface. Even a micro-film of condensation is sufficient for Botrytis spores to start germinating, so it makes sense to let the flowers dry out.