We bet you’re not the only one who likes this flower with its wide variety of shapes and colors! There are two types of hydrangea, the spring/summer variation and the classic variation, which blooms from summer through to autumn. If you treat them right, Hydrangeas are very rewarding flowers and they can last for over 3 weeks in an arrangement or a bouquet.

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The creative part we leave up to you, but here are some tips to enjoy the Hydrangea as long as possible.

1. Hydrangeas have a high energy and water need

Hydrangeas have a very strong transpiration and also need a lot of energy to maintain color and strength. Due to the enormous flower surface and thinness of their petals, the flower will wilt if there is not enough liquid available. If this happens, cut off about 3-4 cm of the stem with a sharp knife and place the flower in a cool, fresh and clean Chrysal Clear Universal flower food solution. This solution quickly hydrates the flower and boosts the energy level of the flower, which is vital for good vase life.

2. Outdoor grown Hydrangeas sometimes have a very wooden stem end

Dutch hydrangeas are produced in greenhouses, and their peak production is in spring until late fall. Abroad they can be grown outdoors and depending on the climate they will be available year-round. Outdoor grown Hydrangeas sometimes have a very wooden stem end. In case the flower starts to wilt, cut off that part of the stem.

3. White Hydrangeas can turn blueish

This is a real nightmare for every florist. White Hydrangeas – most of the time used for weddings – can turn blueish in the centre of the flower when you use a post-harvest product containing Aluminium sulphate. Therefore make sure the flower food or storage solution contains the word “Clear” as in Chrysal Clear Professional 2 for the storage period and Chrysal Clear Universal flower food or Chrysal Clear Professional 3 for the consumer phase.

About the different variations Hydrangeas
The Hydrangeas that are available in spring/summer are mostly uniform in colour and are not left on the plant to mature, instead they are harvested when fully opened. The classic variation, available in summer and autumn, can even last for months: these flowers change color and become papery. The pictures show how the color of a pink variety changes from fresh (2) to classic (4). Picture 1 shows the least vase and is not recommended to use.
 

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.

Watch the difference that Chrysal cut flower food makes…


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.


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.

Quick Tip

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.


Should you strip your roses is a common question that many ask during Valentine’s Day prep.  This popular Valentine’s Day topic comes with many varying opinions.  Many feel that stripping roses of thorns and foliage creates a cleaner product for the end customer.  While this might be true, removing thorns and foliage does have its disadvantages.  Consider these truths about stem stripping roses before deciding to get rid of thorns and foliage.

Things to consider

When you remove thorns, wounds and holes are created which can become disease entry ports for bacteria.  This can be extremely damaging for the life of your roses.  Removing foliage has its advantages and disadvantages.  Foliage helps with the hydration process so many argue you should not strip foliage from a rose.  Specialized cells on the undersurface of rose foliage help pull solution up into the flower head, allowing for efficient hydration.  However, foliage that is submerged in water is susceptible to bacteria growth.  So you must be careful with your foliage if you plan to leave it on the stem.  We recommend to leave foliage on the stem but out of the water.  Removing only the foliage from the portion of stems that will be submerged in water will lead to both longer vase life and effective hydration.

If you are planning to strip your roses this year, Chrysal’s Flower Stem Stripper is the perfect tool because it removes the foliage without damaging the stem.  It also helps to remove the sharp tip of the thorn without completely removing the entire thorn (preventing the creation of wounds and holes that can develop bacteria).

 


Ethylene

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.:

  • Aconitum
  • Agapanthus
  • Alstroemeria
  • Antirrhinum
  • Asclepias
  • Bouvardia
  • Cattleya
  • Chelone
  • Crocosmia
  • Cymbidium
  • Delphinium
  • Dendrobium
  • Dianthus
  • Euphorbia
  • Freesia
  • Iris
  • Kniphofia
  • Lathyrus
  • Lilium (Asiatic)
  • Paphilopedium
  • Phalenopsis
  • Phlox
  • Physostegia
  • Tritelaria

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.

Chrysal also has several products that help with Ethylene at the transportation level as well as at the Wholesale/ Retail level.  Click here for a video about Chrysal Ethylene Buster.