All About Oasis and Strass Floral Foam
What does floral foam do?
It makes arranging flowers easier and prolongs the life of fresh cut flowers while maintaining the structural integrity of the floral arrangement. OASIS ® Floral Foam performs both functions to a satisfactory level required by floral designers.
What are the benefits of wet floral foam?
You will be able to increase the life of your flowers by using floral foam. Floral foam holds water and allows it to easily flow up the flower stem. There is a delicate balance between foam cell structure, foam formula and water uptake maximises the life of fresh flowers arranged in foam. Add flower preservative to your water to extend plant life even more.
How long can I leave floral foam soaking before using it?
Avoid letting your floral foam dry out before using it. Leave foam soaking for up to 24 hours.
What is the importance of the PH level in water and floral foam?
Flowers re-hydrate best in acidic water with a pH level of 3.5 to 4.0. A lower pH helps prevent microbial growth. Floral foam has a pH level of 3.5. The pH of floral foam will increase in hard water and OASIS® and Strass foam is designed to maintain acidity in hard water.
What do I do when I get my bouquet of fresh flowers home?
Re-cut all the stems of your flowers to remove the ends as they may be damaged and not allow the flower to drink water. By doing this you immediately allow water to once again flow up the stem of the flower and reduce the chance of air bubbles blocking the stem. Be sure to cut the stems at an angle with a sharp knife. If using scissors, ensure not to crush the stem which will prevent the flow of water. Remove all foliage below the water line in your vase or container, as flower foliage carries bacteria.
What is the best way to look after my flower arrangement?
Direct sunlight, wind, and heat will dry out flowers and floral foam.
How much water do I need to put in my flower arrangement?
Adding water to your floral arrangements constantly is important. Oasis ® floral foam does not make water. Add water every day for greater enjoyment of their flower arrangement. To prolong the life of your arrangement add Oasis ® Floral Preservative to the water.
How should I insert my flower stems into floral foam?
Cut the stem of your flowers or foliage at a 45-degree angle to make a sharp point. Insert your flower stems at different angles ensuring you have enough floral foam to create your intended design.
How important is hygiene and cleanliness to floral foam and fresh flowers?
Bacterial growth on flower and foliage stems prevents the uptake of water rapidly increasing the decomposition process. Never use floral foam more than once. Soak foam in a non-chlorine based floral preservative solution such as Oasis ® Floral Preservative. Change soak water daily and wash tub with a good detergent. Disinfect knives, tools, and buckets daily. Remember ethylene gas given off by most vegetables is detrimental to flower life.
How To Soak Floral Foam - Step By Step Video Tutorial
What is the weight of a wet brick of floral foam?
A brick of wet floral foam will absorb between 1.8L-2.0L of water and weigh up to just over 2.0kg.
How to use wet floral foam bricks in hanging floral installation?
If you are making a hanging floral installation using fresh flowers and foliage, we would recommend using wet floral foam bricks in plastic cages. The cage structure will help hold flowers and foliage more efficiently. In some cases, you may need to wire large stemmed items to the cages. You will then need to calculate the weight of the arrangement (including the bricks) and pay special attention on how you secure this to your ceiling or structure. Some florist often use cable ties.
Depending on the weight, you might need to ask the help of professional install engineers who are used to secure such installations for weddings and events.
Is Floral Foam Toxic?
Floral foam contains formaldehyde, barium sulphates and carbon black. These elements contained in the base materials used to manufacture floral foam are considered carcinogenic. They toxicity of these elements is almost negligible once the product has been produced. In saying this, prolonged exposure may cause side effects.
What are the risks of exposure to floral foam?
Being continuously exposed to floral foam may cause skin, respiratory tract and eye irritation. By the time floral foam is delivered to you from the manufacturer/wholesaler, there are unlikely to be any harmful fumes. On the other hand, the dust from the floral foam (like any dust) should not be in hailed as it may cause respiratory issues. Frequently skin exposure to formaldehyde may possibly cause skin hypersensitivity or even dermatitis.
What safety precautions should I take handling floral foam?
It is important to ensure you are not in hailing dust from floral foam, so wearing a mask would be beneficial especially if you are using foam on a regular basis. Furthermore, to prevent eye irritation from dust, safety glasses would be a recommendation. With regards to regular skin contact, wear gloves or wash thoroughly after contact of floral foam or water that has been used with floral foam.
How should I dispose of my floral foam?
Floral foam is a plastic based product and is not biodegradable. At best it will degrade to dust. You may wish to consider recycling your floral foam as you would your plastics. Burning floral foam creates harmful chemical gasses and is should be avoided in all situations.
STRASS FLORAL FOAM
1. Water Absorption
Strass floral foam has a fine open-cell structure, which allows the flow of fluids through its pore spaces within 60 seconds and holds approximately 1.8L-2.0L of water per brick. This feature increases flowers’ ability to absorb water up to the stems (capillary action) and help keep flowers fresh, last longer and from wilting prematurely.
2. Water Retention
Water retention is one of Strass floral foam’s strongest features. It holds over 40 times its weight in water, with low leakage. Strass floral foam has extra-holding power to keep stems securely in any angle and feeds water to the flowers.
3. pH Controlled
Strass floral foam is manufactured at a controlled pH level of seven, which is most suitable for fresh cut flowers. A pH balance could prevent the stem from burns and maximises the life span of flowers.
4. Foam Colour
Strass floral foam is designed and made to maintain the freshness of the green colour. Other foam products may change to a moss green/brownish shade due to ageing and UV exposure.
5. Continuous Foaming Method
Strass floral foam uses the continuous foaming method, instead of the traditional block foaming method, which guarantees consistency in quality.
SMITHERS OASIS FLORAL FOAM
Who is Smithers Oasis?
Koch & Co has been distributing Oasis ® Floral foam products in Australia for many years. In 1954, at the age of 65, V.L. Smithers invented a water absorbing foam for flower arrangements knowN today as OASIS ® Floral Foam. While experimenting with plastic foams in his Smithers Laboratories business, V.L. thought, "if I could find a way to get water into foam, perhaps it would be used as a base for floral arrangements." And that's how OASIS ® foam emerged. Headquarters and manufacturing is in Cuyahoga Falls and Kent Ohio, USA.
What kind of products do Oasis produce?
Smithers-Oasis offers a selection of floral foams, both wet and dry for fresh and silk flowers. There are different shapes and sizes of floral foam. The brand also distributes a comprehensive range of floral aids and floral sundries for the retail florist. Furthermore, a variety of craft DIY products are available in various major retail chains. Under the Floralife ® Brand, the Smithers Oasis Company have developed a range of pre-harvest grower products for plant propagation products and wetting agent products for the commercial greenhouse industry. They are also actively developing post-harvest flower care products for the commercial florist and home use.
What types of floral foam are there?
- Wet floral foam - Oasis ® is a trademarked name for wet floral foam. It is soft phenolic foam used for arranging fresh flowers. This soft spongy, foliage green brick of foam supports flower arranging, soaks water to preserve and prolonging the life of fresh cut flowers. Oasis ® Wet floral foam has a cell structure similar to that found in flowers which allows water to flow from the foam brick up the stem of the flower.
- Dry floral foam - Dry floral foam produced by the Smithers-Oasis Company is used for supporting arrangements of artificial flowers.
- Coloured floral foam - Rainbow Foam is the trademarked name for coloured floral foam produced by the Smithers-Oasis. It is a WETABLE POLYURETHANE and does not contain the same formulation as regular wet foam.
Where can you find Oasis ® brand floral products?
Over many years, the Oasis ® brand floral foam has become a trusted name amongst floral, home crafter and commercial greenhouse grower markets. It is available in over 20 countries. The OASIS ® brand name is known around the world for quality, consistency and derives over 65% of all sales from floral foam bricks. In South East Asia, the Oasis ® floral products are distributed in the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. Koch & Co is a leading distributor of Oasis ® floral foam products in these countries.
What is the chemical name for Oasis® brand floral foam?
The chemical name for floral foam is EXPANDED THERMOSET POLYMER. Floral foam is made of phenol, formaldehyde polymers, surfactants, and wetting agents. Floral foam can cause eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation. The official Smithers Oasis Material Safety Data Sheet of OASIS ® Floral Foam is here.
How was Oasis ® Floral Foam formulated?
Our 20-year history in providing growing media and post-harvest products provides a foundation of knowledge about the life cycle of flowers from birth to death. This wealth of knowledge is used not in the development of the foam formulation and in the design of the specialised polymer resin used to make the foam.
What types of floral foam manufacturing processes exist?
You can produce floral foam by using the “continuous line closed mould” method or the “open mould” method. The former is the most efficient and cost effective.
How many qualities of wet floral foam does Oasis ® produce?
- Premium – dense firm foam suited to larger stemmed flowers
- Ideal – standard density and suited for everyday use on most floral arrangements.
- Advantage – soft density economy foam that is soft. This will suit small super market style arrangements.
What is open cell structure floral foam?
Wet Oasis ® floral foam is open-celled phenolic foam hence it absorbs and holds over 40 times its weight of water i.e. about 2 liters of water. The cell structure of OASIS® Floral Foam resembles the biological make-up of plant stem cell structure. OASIS® Floral Foam has wicking or capillary action, which draws water to the top of the foam. Due to its unique structure, it retains water in the cells.
What is closed cell floral foam?
Dry Oasis ® Foam is polyurethane closed cell foam. This type of foam is used mainly for dry and artificial flower arrangements. It is available in many shapes and sizes such as bricks, cones, spheres and wreath-shapes.
How do I soak OASIS® floral foam?
- Allow the foam to free float in a tub of clean water or water that contains fresh flower foods and nutrients.
- Allow the brick to sink just below the surface of the water.
- Do not force the brick to sink. By forcing the foam under water all surfaces become sealed preventing the escape of air and the foam cannot fully saturate
- Air pockets mean dry foam. Dry foam means no water for your flowers to drink.
- This should take 50 to 60 seconds per brick.
How do I store OASIS ® Floral Foam?
Store OASIS ® Floral Foam at normal room temperature and away from direct sunlight. High heat affects the soaking and drainage properties of foam. Due to the chemical composition of floral foam, exposing floral foam to direct light for extended periods may brown the foam. Brown foam will not affect the water holding properties of the foam. Avoid damaging the foam as you damage the cell structure that allows water to flow to the fresh flowers in your arrangement.
What is the shelf life of OASIS ® Floral Foam?
If foam is stored under the correct conditions, it should maintain a very long shelf life.
How do I soak OASIS ® RAINBOW ® floral foam?
Soaking rainbow coloured floral foam by using the same “float and soak” method of green floral foam. It does however take up to 5 minutes to soak.
Health and safety floral foam tips.
Oasis ® is not Non-toxic. Observe normal safety measures when in a dusty environment. Oasis ® brand floral foam is not compostable, but is degradable which can be environmentally friendly. Oasis ® brand foam is accepted at most land fill sites. Many cemeteries are refusing to accept sympathy tributes made from floral foam or Styrofoam.
General tips for handling floral foam.
- Store in dry and cool place, avoid direct sunlight.
- Clean hands after handling foam.
- Do not inhale dust.
- Do not swallow foam.
- Store in low area to avoid eye contact.