- The flower distribution chain has to be carefully managed to ensure the correct care of fresh-cut roses.
- Growers need to take key sanitation and hydration steps before the flowers leave the farm, or they will not survive the trip to the florist.
- Once delivered to the florist, key hydration and nourishment steps are needed to ensure the quality of the flowers.
- When designing bouquets, florists need to be properly conditioning the flowers for further storage and transport.
- Good florists should provide consistent flower care advice and support to customers after they have purchased their product.
Fresh cut roses are one of the world’s most popular flowers and often take the spotlight on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. During these special occasions, the demand for fresh cut roses skyrockets and superior care is required to get them from the farm to the customer, while still looking their best.
During peak demand periods, flower farms, rose distributors, and wholesalers are faced with managing large volumes of orders, extended harvests, storage, and shipping issues to meet the needs of customers. The distribution chain has to be carefully managed to ensure the correct care and handling of the fresh cut roses.
So, what are the critical steps florists need to take to make sure fresh cut roses arrive alive and well?
1. Distribution Chain Management
Once roses are ready to be harvested, the grower needs to harvest, pack, and deliver the roses as quickly as they can. To do this effectively, the grower needs to follow steps that involve proper flower chain management processes, these include:
- Sanitation – keeping things clean to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Hydration – keep flowers drinking the required amount of water.
- Flower food and preservatives – after harvest FloraLife® Shield protects roses from external environmental factors. Roses leaving farms should also be packaged in transport paper, such as FloraLife® Transport Paper.
2. Hydration & Nourishment
By this stage, the journey for the fresh cut roses to the florist’s door has been long. Unless your fresh flower wholesaler has delivered your roses hydrated in water, freshly harvested roses require nourishment and hydration. Best practises for hydrating and nourishing roses are:
- Use FloraLife® Quick Dip to jump-start hydration and food flow up the stems.
- Cut your roses about 2cm from the end, then put the cut flower stems immediately into water with flower food such as Floralife® Clear Professional Ultra.
- If you have a high volume of flowers and buckets to treat, then it is a good investment to buy a dosing unit that properly mixes the solution according to label instructions.
3. Retail Operations
It is then up to the retailers to make sure the last steps of the care journey are maintained. The final key steps a florist must take to ensure fresh cut roses are cared for are:
- Managing cool room temperatures and humidity. It is key to keep fresh cut roses cool at all times. Low temperature and high humidity ensure water loss is minimised and vase life is extended.
- Minimising temperature fluctuations. You should always try and minimise the time you process roses outside of your cool room. Your cool room should be set between 1 to 4 degrees. If you can manage the humidity in your cool room, try and keep it around 75% to 85%, anything over 90% encourages disease to develop.
- Sanitise and keep your buckets clean. We recommend using floral cleaners such as Floralife® 1 Cleaner Solution. Floral cleaners work differently from bleach as the residual effect of the liquids helps keep items sanitized for days after.
- Try to avoid getting the rose heads wet whilst handling them.
4. Bouquet Creation
Mass market or large wholesale flower merchants usually add value to their roses by making bouquets, wet wrapping, and designing custom arrangements. The key to making these arrangements look their best is to continue to keep the roses cool at the correct temperatures and properly condition the roses for further storage and transport. During this process, we recommend using an ethylene inhibitor such as EthylBloc™. This product will help preserve the quality of the roses whilst they are being stored and used by the florist.
5. Delivery Protection
The roses now need to make it home or get delivered. This often takes a little longer than desired. Products are available to help protect, refresh, and hydrate flowers on their final journey. We recommend using professional finishing sprays such as FloraLife® Finishing Touch to help with the flower’s durability during delivery.
6. Consumer Support
Good florists are always open to offering advice to their customers on how to take care of their fresh cut flowers once they have received them. Some consistent advice to give your customers is:
- Avoid placing flowers in direct sunlight, in extreme heat, or near strong drafts.
- Use the sachet of flower food provided with the flowers in your vase to ensure flowers last longer.
- Keep your vases clean at all times and replace the water regularly.
As we can see, fresh cut roses have a long journey to make before they arrive at a customer’s home. Good professional growers, wholesalers and florists take these measures very seriously because they know that best practices ensure customers remain happy and satisfied. For more information on how to care for fresh cut flowers, read our other Koch Blog articles How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer and What is Flower Food And How Much Is Too Much?.