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flower care instructions
Customers have the right to expect healthy, strong flowers with a good vase life. But the responsibility in delivering on this expectation does not only lie with the grower, but also with the supplier and the customer.

General points
  • Buy from a reputable grower

    As it is with humans, hygiene is essential to healthy, strong flowers with a good vase life. This means that you need to buy from a reputable grower who maintains a clean growing environment and a clean processing environment, and who invests in a good post-harvest mixture and provides flowers with a chance to drink and stabilise.

    It’s easy to claim to be the best in adverts, but how do the grower’s flowers look and perform? Are the flowers being grown professionally and with care? If not, you as the customer will pay for the grower’s shortcuts in the end.
     
  •  Handle flowers gently

    Check how your supplier’s staff, or your own staff, handles the flowers. Flowers bruise or are weakened by rough handling. So the flowers may have left the grower in good condition, but somewhere in the process they may get badly handled. This can result in stems being bent, or petals falling out.
     
  • Use clean containers and clean water

    Suppliers and customers need to maintain the hygiene process by regularly washing or sterilising containers and replacing dirty water. When water is dirty, the flower’s arteries can become blocked and then it can’t take up more water or food and subsequently starts to wilt or droop.  Using a plant food can help maintain clean water and prolong vase life.
     
  • Cut the stems

    When receiving your flowers, if they have been out of water for a while, the stem tips could have become dry and sealed up making it difficult for them to take up water. Cut a bit off the base of the stem so as to ‘open their mouths’ again enabling them to drink.
     
  • Remove leaves from vase water

    Any part of the stem that will stand in vase water should be stripped of leaves.
     
  • Keep flowers in optimum conditions to prolong vase life

    Factors like standing in the sun, being left in a hot car, being allowed to stand in the wind, being in a smoke-filled environment will all shorten the vase life of your flowers. Even air-conditioning will affect flowers badly as this dries out the air.  Growers usually have cold-rooms and if so, will store flowers at 4o. If you are transporting flowers to a wedding for instance, try and keep them cool.
     
  • Oasis can clog arteries

    With certain soft-stemmed flowers, e.g. gerberas, if you poke the flower stem directly into oasis, you could clog the flower’s arteries with bits of oasis, thereby preventing the flower from taking up water from the oasis and therefore shortening vase life.  Use something else, such as a pencil, to make the hole in the oasis and then insert the flower stem into the ready-made hole.
     
  • Keep flowers away from fruit and vegetables
     

    Fruit and vegetables release a gas that shortens the vase life of flowers. So, for instance, when flowers are displayed close to the fruit and vegetable department in supermarkets, those flowers are disadvantaged by the gasses released in their proximity.