Flower Care and Handling: Fun with Science!

video 1Something fun appeared in the ol’ Floralife IN box the other day: a flower care and handling video produced by the American Chemical Society. They produce a series of brief how-to videos entitled “Reactions: This is Chemistry”, which explains the science behind everyday activities. And this one contains a little surprise, so let’s take a look!

You might think that a flower care and handling video produced by the American Chemical Society would be dry and clinical, but this one definitely is not. It’s fast-paced, has snappy graphics and a slightly nutty, irreverent (some might say Millennial) tone. It’s a fun piece!

Then, about a minute in, it gets even more fun – if you’re a Floralife fan. That’s when this image appears:

video 3

Having explained about flower biology and the importance of clean vases and clean water, we begin Step Three of flower care and handling: Feeding Your Flowers. Let’s go to the transcript…

“Step Three. Feed your flowers.  Add that little packet of flower food that comes from the florist.  What’s inside that thing anyway?

First, it has bleach, or some other kind of microbe killer.  The bleach helps the disinfecting process by killing any microorganisms that are trying to eat away at your flowers, and makes it harder for them to thrive.

Second, it has citric acid. This lemony goodness reduces the water’s pH, which in turn helps the water travel up the xylem faster and helps reduce wilting.

Third, it has sugar.  When carbohydrates are low, flowers wilt and petals become paler.  To prevent this, sucrose or glucose can be added from the packet to help the flowers regain strength and beauty.

But be careful: microorganisms and bacteria love sugar. So, that’s why you shouldn’t just dump table sugar into your vase.  You need ALL the ingredients in that little packet.”

video 4

After that, this fun little video goes on to explain the proper way to cut stems and deal with leaves. And it has a few words on storage temperature and avoiding ethylene. It’s pretty much the whole flower care and handling regimen compressed into 3 minutes, ending with a jaunty “Smell ya later!” You’ve got to check it out on YouTube!