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Published byPeyton Ellman
Modified over 4 years ago
Conditioning and Storing Cut Flowers and Greens
Long lasting flowers n important n pleases customer n happy customers return to the florist when they need flowers in the future
Chain of Life n developed by the Society of American Florists n Helps growers, wholesalers, and retailers lengthen the life of flowers
Chain of Life n provide information on proper care and handling throughout the marketing chain n proper care and handling results in longer lasting flowers
Flower deterioration n Low water absorption n most flower stems are at least partially blocked when they arrive at the retail florist
Causes of blockage n cutting stems with dull tools n cut with shears that pinch the xylem (water conducting tubes in the stem)
Causes of blockage n bacteria or minerals in the water clog the stem
Causes of blockage n air can enter the stems at the time of cutting and partially block the stem n can become so severe that flowers wilt in their container
Loss of water n transpiration n process by which plants lose water through their leaves
Transpiration n gases and water vapor move from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration
Loss of Water n water vapor moves out of the plant through the stomata (stomates) n tiny openings in the underside of the leaf
Loss of Water n flowers wilt when moisture is lost through transpiration quicker than it is taken in through the stems.
Loss of Water n occurs more rapidly at higher temperatures
Loss of food n flowers are still living and need a source of food
Loss of food n flowers continue to photosynthesize after they are cut n must be given the proper light and a source of sugar
Disease n Botrytis n a fungus which causes brown spots on petals
Botrytis n do not allow flowers to get wet before putting them in the cooler n allow wet flowers to dry before putting in the cooler
Ethylene Gas n naturally occurring gas in flowers that speed maturity
Ethylene Gas n causes rapid deterioration of cut flowers n many sources of ethylene gas
Ethylene Gas n fruit, especially apples n diseased or injured flowers
Ethylene Gas n rotting foliage below the water line n exhaust fumes from cars
Symptoms of ethylene n premature death n flower and petal drop n yellowing of foliage
Symptoms of ethylene n loss of foliage n upward cupping of petals - known as sleepiness in carnations.
Water quality n hydration, process where flowers draw water and nutrients up their stems to the leaves and flowers through capillaries
Water Quality n pH n measure of acidity or alkalinity on a scale from 0- 14 with 7 being neutral
pH n pH of 3.2 - 4.5 maximizes hydration n floral preservatives commonly added to prolong flower life lower the pH
Total Dissolved Solids n TDS n measure of the dissolved salt and minerals
TDS n some minerals are beneficial to flowers n floral preservatives are formulated for varying water types and pHs
Conditioning flowers n techniques of treating flowers to extend their life. n Begins when flowers arrive from the wholesaler
Unpacking n as soon as they arrive n loosen paper or plastic sleeves which they have been wrapped in
Unpacking n flowers will expand as they mature n flowers will be crushed if the sleeves are not loosened.
Unpacking n check for signs of disease, damage or wilting n remove damaged or diseased flowers from the bunch before storage
Unpacking n excessive damage should be reported to the wholesaler
Re-cut the stems n cut stems on a slant n this helps them to absorb more water n prevents the stems from sealing to the bottom of the container
Re-cut the stems n stems should be cut under warm water n warm water contains less air than cold water
Remove lower foliage n remove all foliage from stems that would be underwater in the storage container n foliage left underwater will decay and lead to bacterial growth
Remove lower foliage n rotting foliage clogs the stems and releases ethylene gas
Remove lower foliage n use de-thorners to pull the leaves off quickly down the stem n remove outside or damaged petals on roses
Clean Containers and Cooler n containers for flower storage should be cleaned with hot detergent solution, disinfected with bleach and thoroughly rinsed
Clean Containers and Cooler n a 10% bleach solution is used for disinfecting the containers
Clean Containers and Cooler n there are commercial products available that disinfect, clean and deodorize in one step n Non-metallic containers should be used
Metal Containers n decrease the effectiveness of preservatives
Containers n should be short enough so that the flowers do not come in contact with the sides of the container
Preservatives n Place a warm preservative solution in the container prior to adding flowers
Preservatives n temperature of the solution should be between 100 degrees and 110 degrees Farenheit
Preservatives n They extend the life of flowers in three ways n They provide a food source needed for respiration
Preservatives n They contain sugar which flowers use to manufacture food to replace that lost through respiration
Preservatives n They provide an acidifier which lowers the pH of the water n water moves through the vascular system of the flower at a pH of 3.5
Preservatives n Acidic solution reduces bacterial action n They contain a bactericide which kills bacteria
Preservatives n They can be purchased in either liquid or powder form n follow directions for mixing the preservative
Preservatives n too much preservative can burn the flower n too little will not be enough to keep flowers fresh
Preservatives n home made preservative can be made using 50% Sprite or 7Up, or similar drink containing citric acid
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