General Flower Care FAQ
There are flower care solutions readily available to assist in extending flower life and improve flower quality. The four basic types of flower care solutions are as follows:
1. Hydration Solutions – Keeps flower stems free flowing when taking solution, usually done prior to shipping to retail customers and consumers. Hydration solutions is typically used by wholesale florists as part of a two-step process—hydration solution for one to two hours followed by a flower food until the flowers are sold because hydration solutions do not contain any nutrients (sugar).
2. Flower Foods – Flowers need a source of energy once plucked from the earth, predominately in the form of sugars to maintain life. Flower foods were developed to help retailers and consumers increase the vase life and opening of their flowers.
3. Anti-ethylene Treatments – Ethylene is a plant hormone, which reduces the vase life of many cut flowers. Anti-ethylene treatments should be used by growers to ensure that flowers are protected immediately after harvest.
4. Specialized care solutions – A new process of flower care solutions that complements existing hydration, flower food and anti-ethylene substances.
- Flower Food Sachets & Liquids
- Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food
- Floralife Quick Dip
- Floralife Finishing Touch® Spray
Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food FAQ
Floralife Quick Dip FAQ
- What are the benefits of using flower food?
Flower food contains three key ingredients that help in maximizing the vase life of a flower: a mixture of sugars and carbohydrates, which is an energy source for the flowers, antibacterial agents which kills bacteria in the water and a pH regulator, which helps water travel faster through the stems. Overall, flower food in sachets and liquid form provides the necessary nutrients needed for optimum maintenance, development and colour for flowers, which water alone can’t provide.
- How do I use flower food?
Always read the instructions provided on the back of products before applying. Be careful of overdosing and underdosing.
- Can you overfeed or underfeed your flowers?
Yes, in some cases you can overfeed your flowers. This happens when there is too much sugar from the flower food in the water and causes bacteria to grow which harms the flowers. Underfeeding occurs when not enough flower food is provided and subsequently, your flowers will not have the extra energy to last longer. Note: follow the dosing instructions on the package.
- Is it okay to use only part of the powder or liquid in the consumer packet for the first water treatment and save the rest for when I need to change out the water?
It is best to always dissolve the entire packet of flower food into the properly measured amount of water indicated for use on the packet. If the packet says it treats 1 quart or 1 litre of water, make sure you add all the contents to this amount of water and mix.
- Does flower food work for all flowers?
Yes, you can use all flower foods with all types of flowers, but there are specially formulated flower foods for specific flowers. Roses, bulb flowers and Chrysanthemums and some varieties of orchids are some examples of flowers where specific solutions/sachets are available.
- Can I use flower food with floral foam?
Yes. It’s recommended to soak floral foam in a flower food solution rather than plain water. Never push/force floral foam underwater, let it sink on its own to prevent air bubbles.
- Should I give out sachets to customers?
It is recommended to provide flower food packets to consumers when they make their purchases. Vase life can double and quality will be maintained longer when flower foods are used by consumers (see our experiment here).
- Does it expire?
All Floralife® flower foods have consistent product quality which will positively perform for at least 2 years under ambient storage conditions.
- What are the main ingredients inside flower food?
There are three main ingredients in flower food – carbohydrates (sugar), an acidifier to the pH (citric acid) and a biocide (bleach) which helps diminish any bacteria and fungi.
- Does it matter if I use cold or warm water with flower food?
Yes, slightly. A warm solution increases the temperature of flowers, which is beneficial if you want your flowers to open faster. However, this method does not help the flowers last longer. A chilled solution allows your flowers to get properly nourished and hydrated, as the cool solution slows down flower metabolism – slowing down its life cycle, making the flowers last longer.
- Can you use flower food in vases that aren't clear?
Yes. Flower food becomes a clear solution in any type of vase, however we don’t recommend flower food to be used with metallic. The flower food could damage the metal over time and perhaps negatively affect the chemistry of the flower food.
- Are there any real benefits to using a dosing system to dispense flower food in my store?
Yes. Flower food needs to be diluted with water and needs to be mixed with the proper concentration to provide maximum benefit to flower longevity. Dosage dispensing systems accurately measure, mix and dispense flower food, providing consistency.
- How often should the water be changed?
The water in the vase needs to be changed every 2-4 days according to the water condition. If water discolouration begins to occur, change the water sooner rather than later.
- Can you top up the water, or does it need to be changed?
You should not top up the water. Instead, always make a new/fresh mixture for your flowers every 2-4 days.
- When do you use Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food?
This product is used during the transport and storage stage of cut flowers as a conditioner for increased freshness.
- What concentration solution to water ratio should be used for the final solution?
Dispense 2 tsps (10ml) per one quart (950mL) of water. Alternatively, use an automatic dosing system at the rate of 1:100 (1%).
- How long can I use Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food in the bucket before I need to replace it?
Replace the solution within a one week time period.
- How much increased flower life can I expect to achieve by using Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food?
On average, there is a 20% or more increase in vase life compared to using plain water with many cut flower types. There will be variability dependent upon flower type, variety, if any postharvest pre-treatments were used prior to using Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food plus how temperatures and diseases were controlled during the flower chain process.
- Should I use hot, cold, or warm water to mix the solution with the concentrated product?
There is no need to chill or warm up water when you use flower food.
- How do you dilute the concentrate with water?
It is best to utilise an automatic dosing injector system to accurately measure, mix and dispense the solution. Alternatively, follow the instructions on the product.
- What happens if I overdose or underdose my flowers with flower food solution?
Overdosing and underdosing could damage the flower stems, leaves and flowers, which decreases its life instead of increasing its longevity.
- How long can I store the flower food before it is out of date for use?
Floralife Clear Professional® Flower Food, as well as all other Floralife® flower foods, has consistent product quality which will positively perform for at least 2 years under ambient storage conditions.
- What is the best temperature range in which to store flower food?
It is best to keep flower food at temperatures between 5 to 20° C for greatest efficiency.
- Does it matter if the container of flower food is kept open at the top or is it better to keep covered?
Always keep the container closed as this reduces the risk of contamination and maintains the length of shelf life.
- Can Floralife Quick Dip® be used on all types of flowers?
Yes. Floralife Quick Dip can be used on all types of flowers, even premade bouquets.
- How do I mix and use the product?
Floralife Quick Dip is a ready-to-use product, therefore no dilution or mixing is required. Simply open the bottle and pour 2 inches worth of contents into a clean, shallow plastic or glass container. The container should be wide enough to dip several stems at a time.
- Is it okay if the flower stems are kept in the Floralife Quick Dip® Instant Hydrating Treatment Solution for longer than two seconds?
This is an acidic product, which can lead to discolouration of tissue if stems are left for too long.
- How long can I reuse the solution with dipping my flower stems before I need to replace it with new, fresh solution?
It’s not recommended to use the solution for more than two days in total. Use new solution from the original container once the solution is contaminated.
- Why use Floralife Quick Dip®?
Floralife Quick Dip is a hydration treatment which combats two postharvest issues to improve flower freshness. The solution lowers water pH and keeps the flower stems flowing freely for full hydration.
The first issue is when the flower capillaries becomes blocked and plugged from air bubbles or dirt particles. The second is when a flower is placed in a stressed environment, such as heat or lack of available moisture, causing air blockage in the plant’s waterway.
- If I use Floralife Quick Dip® Instant Hydratng Treatment Solution, can I do without using flower food?
The function of hydration solutions is to increase the ability for the flower stems to take up more food (liquids).
- Why is it so important to hydrate flowers?
It’s important to use a hydration solution for flowers after a period of dry transport. The solution improves the flow of liquids through the flower stems by clearing air and natural compounds blocking the stems.
- Can I add Floralife Quick Dip® Instant to my flower food solution?
No. Floralife® Quick Dip is intended to be applied to the flowers before flower food. Mixing the two products together throws the chemical formulation out of balance and could shorten vase life.
- What is Floralife Finishing Touch® Spray?
It is a scientifically engineered solution used to refresh, hydrate and protect fresh flowers, foliage and potted plants. The spray prevents premature flower petal drop, dehydration, wilting and browning. This is usually applied as the last step before arrangements leave the florist shop.
- How much do I use the product?
Floralife Finishing Touch® Spray is a ready-to-use product and doesn’t need to be diluted. Shake the bottle well before and during use.
- What can you use Floralife Finishing Touch® Spray on?
You can apply this spray on all plants and flowers and won’t damage flower petals that are already open.
- How much spray do I apply?
You only need to apply the product as a fine mist spray with light coverage.
- What happens if I see milky spots develop on my flowers after using the spray?
Allow the flower to completely dry after spraying before putting into a cooler or delivery. This reduces the chance of wet leaves and flowers encouraging fungal diseases in the cooler.