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.

CARNATIONS

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

LILIES

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

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

ROSES

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.

SUNFLOWERS & GERBERA DAISIES

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.

TULIPS

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

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


Having trouble selecting a flower for your Valentine?  Looking for the perfect flower that will send the right message? It’s important to know that every flower might express something just a little different. Understanding what certain flowers express can help you in choosing the perfect flower for your Valentine. Here are some popular flower choices and what they might convey on Valentine’s Day.

Roses

Red Rose– Love and romance. The obvious representation of love. Don’t be shy to shower your lover with red roses for Valentine’s.

White Rose– White roses can either be a sign of purity and innocence or often associated with sympathy and death. Might not be the wisest choice for this holiday.

Yellow Rose– Friendship and cheer. Good choice to give to a best friend this Valentine’s Day.

Pink Rose– True love. Might not express as much burning passion as a red rose. Good for newer relationships. Also associated with giving thanks and admiration.

Lavender Rose– Royalty. Good way to tell your loved one he/she is king/queen of your heart.

Orange Rose– A mix between red and yellow rose representing middle ground between friendship and love.

Black Rose– Represents the start of new things or major changes in ones life. Definitely a unique flower but not recommended for this holiday.

Daisies

Innocence and happiness.

Tulips

Relatively happy flower that can represent awakening. Meanings can change based on the shade; red means love, white forgiveness, pink caring and purple royalty.

Orchids

Delicate beauty and a flattering sentiment.

Carnations

Relatively happy flowers and meanings vary with the shade. Avoid striped carnations, those represent refusal.

Mums

Secret admirer or excitement. Great choice for a crush or a first date.

Daffodils

Represents chivalry. Great gift from a man to his best female friend.

Hydrangea

Perseverance. Great choice for long standing couples. Popular for weddings.

Peony

Riches and goodluck. Great choice for a newly engaged couple.


In preparing your displays for Valentine’s, it’s important to understand what items are impact items and whicharrangements draw attention.  Some flowers draw attention more than others, and it’s important to know when to use them in arrangements and where to display them for your customers.  For Valentine’s, of course roses are right up there with impact items that can lure the eyes of consumers, but lets look at some other items that can garner the attention of many customers.  Here are some helpful ideas for displaying Valentine’s impact items.

Orchids and Tulips are two flowers that draw attention for Valentine’s because they are a favorite to many and have natural beauty.  Tulips have a very elegant look to them and come in an array of beautiful and vibrant colors.  It’s important to take proper care while displaying your Tulips though because they continue to grow while in water (possibly 1-6 inches).

Tulips are a beautiful impact flower and would look great in a storefront designed to draw people into the store.  Keep in mind though that you do not want to store tulips in full sun, near heaters, or under lamps because heat shortens the life of blooming flowers.  The best environment is in cooler temperatures whenever possible.  Orchids are another delicate beauty that remain one of the more popular variety of flowers.  Orchids showcase such a natural beauty, that it’s common to display Orchids in unique ways.  For some display ideas, just look around your home or store for ordinary objects commonly used for other purposes, then transform them into a planter used  for displaying the Orchid. With Tulips, Orchids and other impact arrangements, it’s wise to make them part of your centerpiece that you plan to showcase for your store.  You want consumers to see unique and beautiful arrangements so they can pick and choose what they like and what they want for their loved one.  If you plan to offer candy, stuffed animals, or other goodies, you may want to display these items near your floral display so consumers understand the options they have.

When displaying impact items in your store, it’s important to display arrangements in areas of your store that is exposed to consumers.  You do not want your impact arrangements hidden or out of sight.  In the front of the store towards the window displays would be a nice place to display your beautiful arrangements because it can invite customers into the store.  Keep in mind that you do not want to store the flowers in full sun, near heaters, or under lamps because heat shortens the life of blooming flowers.

 


Flower fanatics, unite! Regardless whether you are a retail designer, a wholesale manager, buying flowers for bouquet production, or importing blooms from Latin America, every one agrees that quality matters. Why then is there so much confusion about the handling techniques that maximize quality at every step of the chain?

Let’s take a look at several common flower handling questions and try to slay a few sacred cows in the process. A good business mantra is “under-promise and over-deliver!” Americans demand value and come back for repeat purchases when they feel your product was worth the price. When it comes to appraising the value of flowers, vase-life performance is the bottom line. That’s why proper handling practices make good business sense. Handling flowers correctly makes all the difference in vase performance, not to mention reducing shrink.

Let’s start with sacred cows pertaining to Rose handling….

Will placing rose stems in hot water help hydrate them? NO! Hot water causes more harm than good. It is too aggressive for flower stems, including dahlias, snow on the mountain, poinsettia bracts and poppies. Super hot water damages stem cells, causing stem discoloration and subsequent cell collapse. Proper use of a hydration solution like Professional #1 or Professional Gerbera pills, slow release chlorine, will give far better results. Notice the emphasis on “proper”? That means the solution is mixed according to instructions and used for the appropriate time listed on label.

I like to clean my roses before arranging. Does it matter if I strip off most the foliage? Specialized cells, called stomata, are located on the underside of the leaves. These cells pump solution up the stem into blooms. Roses need ample foliage to hydrate. To avoid droopy heads, leave as much foliage in tact as possible. Strip only those leaves that fall below the water level when hydrating blooms to keep the solution clean.

Should you remove or dull rose thorns? Removing thorns may make handling easier, but those wounds serve as perfect entryways for bacteria and air bubbles to enter stems. Use a soft stripper from Chrysal to remove thorns. Avoid metal rose strippers for two reasons; it is super easy to nick or damage the stem bark. Secondly, it’s easy to go overboard and strip off too much foliage using those vice-like strippers.

Should you remove guard petals from roses? Refrain from grooming roses unless the guard petals are blemished or have Botrytis spots. Every petal removed loosens the overall bud composition thereby accelerating the opening rate. Remember, any wound (including the area where guard petals attach to the calyx) on a flower or flower stem is a conduit for bacterial invasion. Wounding blooms also triggers the internal production of ethylene. Ethylene shortens the vase life of all flowers!

How about myths surrounding tulips and other bulb flowers?

I pierce my tulip stems then add pennies to the water. Keep my glads in the dark, pour gin in the iris buckets and strip the foliage off my lilies to maximize vase performance on bulb flowers, right?
The chemistry of bulbous flowers (including tulips) goes crazy when the flowers are cut from their bulb, corm, rhizome or tuber. You recognize the symptoms, but may not know the cause. Poor vase life; Iris start to open, but instead turn brown and shrivel. Tulips goose-neck and drop petals, anemones, ranuculas and nerines lose color vibrancy. Alstroemeria and lilies suffer premature leaf yellowing. Freesia and glads stop opening after 1 or 2 florets.

All these conditions are symptoms of the hormonal imbalance that occurs when bulbous flowers are harvested. These types of flowers don’t need much sugar in flower foods, but vase life is greatly improved when hormone chemistry is rebalanced. Chrysal bulb t-bags are the product to use for bulb flowers.

Should I remove the anthers of lilies to eliminate the possibility of pollen stains? Yes, plucking off the anthers helps avoid pollen stains, but when pollen does stain clothing or tablecloths, use tape (masking or scotch both work) to lift the pollen off material. Avoid touching or brushing pollen with hands—that sets pollen grains into the texture of the material. Some feel that removing anthers slows down maturation, but it has never been scientifically proven.


What’s up with delphinium?
I love the beautiful blue tones, but they fall apart after 2-3 days. If your flowers suffer signs of premature ageing, ethylene may be the culprit. The entire delphinium family is highly sensitive to ethylene gas and needs to be treated at farm level with STS to prevent damning effects of ethylene exposure. Another alternative is treating ethylene sensitive flowers with Ethylene Buster (1-MCP gas) during transit.

Proper flower handling starts with variety selection and continues along every link of the chain. Every time consumers are polled on how long they think flowers last, they answer 2-3 days. When you exceed that vase-life expectation, you are planting seeds for repeat business!


Originating in one of the least hospitable environs on earth, the foothills where China and Tibet meet Russia and Afghanistan, early tulips were hardy and well-adapted to harsh winters and parched summers of central Asia. For nomads having survived another howling, freezing, Asian winter, tulips became a symbol of life and fertility; the heralds of spring. By the early 16th century, tulips had become one of the favorite motifs of artists in the Ottoman Empire.

In the autumn of 1562, tulips arrived to the Netherlands inside a Flemish merchant’s bale of fabrics shipped from Istanbul to Antwerp. History tells us that the merchant roasted, seasoned and ate most of the bulbs for dinner thinking they were some sort of Turkish onion. He tossed the remaining bulbs into his vegetable patch. The next spring, vibrant red and yellow flowers stood out among drab leaves of cabbages and kale. Much to the chagrin of the merchant, who was looking forward to another meal of Turkish onions, he realized there was something special about these brilliant flowers and contacted a friend with Horticultural savvy to come have a look. The spark of tulip interest was ignited in the Netherlands. Fortunes were made and lost as Tulipomania reached its peak less than 75 years later.

Information from Tulipomania by Mike Dash

Processing tulips…

Poking pins in stems or adding pennies in tulip buckets is so yesterday! To maximize vase life, experience vivid colors and vibrant green foliage to the end, process tulips in cold water and Chrysal Bulb T-Bags.

 

Isn’t plain water the best tulip treatment?

It’s true, bulb flowers need very little sugar to push open, but the formula is not about sugar. Bulb t-bags re-balance hormone levels disturbed at harvest, keep water pollution-free and drop the pH to dissolve air bubbles that block flow.

 

Chrysal Bulb T-bags are a balancing act

Bulb t-bags re-balance cell chemistry that gets out of whack when bulbous flowers are harvested, contain minimum amount of sugar to stabilize color, and are suitable for all flowers coming from bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers including iris, alstroe, anemones, alliums, freesia, nerines, ranuculas and lilies.

Off balance… results in symptoms of premature yellow foliage in lilies and alstroe. Iris petals curling in rather than unfurling; freesia flower combs with only one or two buds opening.

In tulips, the hormone imbalance causes foliage to rapidly loose color vibrancy — turning grey and yellowing. Super short vase life, and shriveling petals that soon appear transparent and look drab.

 

Easy to use: Fill tulip buckets with ½ gallon of cold water. Drop in Bulb T-bag and add tulips.

Solution will keep the water clean and flowing for 5-6 days on display.

 

Tulip Field Notes~

  • Unlike most flowers, tulips drink just fine through callous stem tissues as long as the flowers have not been held dry for longer than 3-4 days
  • Keep tulip sleeves in place until flowers have hardened up to insure upright stems
  • Never mix daffs with tulips. Daffodil sap kills tulips fast
  • Use Bulb T-bags and cold water to prep display buckets for all bulbous flowers