Do artificial flowers have a place in floristry?

Do artificial flowers have a place in floristry?

Just for the record, over the years artificial flowers are known by many names such as silk flowers, fake flowers, plastic flowers, faux flowers and even permanent botanicals.

It is important to state for this article, that in my opinion, artificial flowers cannot replace fresh flowers or the passion a florist has for fresh flowers and foliage. This article is to highlight what has changed in the world of artificial flowers and to highlight the possible opportunity that may exist for the florist.

Artificial flowers, foliage and blooms are so realistic that the untrained eye cannot tell they are fake flowers anymore. Today, the colours, detail and varieties of artificial flowers available even confuse Mother Nature. Certainly this improvement in quality has created a divide between professional quality and consumer quality artificial flowers.

There are many reasons why artificial flowers should at least be considered as a growing opportunity by the florist. First and foremost, the consumer market is well aware of the quality and home styling attributes of faux flowers and greenery. They are aware that their DIY skills can take them only so far. They need a florist.

The realistic touch and feel of artificial flowers has become so good, that it often can trick the most professional eye. The colours are also very close to nature. In saying that, there are also many home décor colours that can be found in artificial flowers which can create amazing interior deco experiences that really only the skills of a professional florist can bring to life. Of late, with the dramatic improvement in flower quality, certain florists have realised the marketing opportunity that exist with artificial flowers and engage their skills to create bespoke long lasting artificial arrangements and displays.

Artificial flowers do not have a use-by date. They last a long time. A florist can stock and display fake flowers and not have to run to the markets two or three times a week to restock and they can even be ordered online with confidence. Another positive about artificial flowers is that they help fill the retail space with a permanent flower display, ensuring colour and displays are always bountiful. The long life of artificial flowers means low maintenance which is great for such situations like a corporate office.

There are situations whereby the consumer needs a long-lasting artificial floral tribute. A bride may wish to have a lasting memory of her bridal bouquet and ask the florist to replicate the special day by making an artificial bouquet. Artificial wedding flowers have become popular because the florist can prepare these well in advance of the wedding and most likely sell them for more than one event by reusing them or hiring their artificial flower displays. This is not only the case for weddings but also for corporate functions and events, where artificial greenery walls and artificial flower walls are very popular for that corporate photo opportunity.

There are other practical issues that a florist will consider as advantages of selling artificial flowers such as climate, transport and health. Unlike real flowers, artificial flowers are not affected by temperature, climate and seasons. Artificial flowers are easier to source and transport from your vendor to store and from store to your customer. Also, you do not have to consider allergies, mess or handling of vases.

Last but not least, artificial flowers are very cost effective. As quality has improved out of sight, the price compared to quality has also become impressive. The florist has been working with artificial greenery and flowers for years. It goes without saying that their skills are above those skills of the DIY artificial flower enthusiast.

These ideas are not something that a florist is not aware of. It remains that a florist’s first choice and passion will always be directed towards fresh flowers. However, it is worth being aware of the opportunities that might be provided by other products. Most likely, the florist may even be approached from the consumer requesting their work and styling be used for artificial flowers. So for many practical reasons, a florist might want to consider artificial flowers as a part of their business model.

This article was published in the June 2019 issue of Flowers magazine, an award-winning Australian publication focusing on the whole of the flower supply chain from breeders to retailers.

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