Flower food product options (Ultra, Clear, Express Technology, and Specialty Flower Foods)
In part one of this series, we outlined the steps to choosing the right flower food product category to best meet your post-harvest needs: Hydration, Storage and Transport, or Feed. Next, we would like to help you choose the right flower food products options within each product category.
FloraLife® products with ‘Ultra’ on the label are more concentrated, meaning you mix a lower amount of the concentrate with water to get the same volume of use solution. For example, the dosing rate of FloraLife® Express Clear 200 Liquid is 10 ml/L of water, while the rate of FloraLife® Express Clear Ultra 200 Liquid is 5 ml/L of water. A 2-gallon (9-liter) container of Ultra will make twice the amount of use solution.
But ‘Ultra’ means more than just more concentrated. The Ultra concentration means the product is optimally concentrated to significantly reduce waste in water, packaging, and transport – an integral part of the FloraLife 2025 sustainability plan. If sustainability is important to you, FloraLife® Ultra products are the way to go.
FloraLife® products with Clear on the label indicate that the use solution will be clear like a glass of water. This may or may not be important to you depending on the channel in which your business operates and the type of container you use. For example, an event planner will want the vase solutions of dining table arrangements to be clear, but for a grower harvesting cut roses from the field directly into a hydration solution, solution clarity is not a concern.
A wholesaler that has a large retail cooler and relies heavily on walk in customers for their fresh cut flower sales may want to have their flowers processed into a clear solution as it may appear ‘cleaner’ to the customer. Alternatively, a wholesaler that primarily delivers dry packed flowers to their customer may not be concerned with solution clarity. It is important to recognize that both clear and non-clear solutions are equally effective, but non-clear products tend to be lower in cost.
Products with FloraLife® Express Technology
FloraLife® Express Technology has become a game changer for the cut flower industry. FloraLife® products with Express on the label indicates it contains FloraLife’s ‘no-cut’ technology, meaning that you can process flowers into these solutions without re-cutting the stems. The no-cut stems placed in FloraLife® Express solutions will show the same quality as re-cut stems placed in a conventional flower food without Express technology.
We know what you’re thinking – not re-cutting flower stems when processing flowers goes against everything we’ve been taught on proper care and handling of cut flowers, but please hear us out. If you are receiving flowers that have been cut within 2 weeks or less, the FloraLife® Express technology will allow you to process almost all flower types without re-cutting*. Imagine if you are a wholesaler and your processing team does not have to re-cut your roses, carnations, and chrysanthemum without sacrificing quality – that’s a huge labor savings and efficiency tool. Simply put, the FloraLife® Express technology is a tool to help you save money.
It is important to know that the FloraLife® Express technology is great for flowers even when you cut them – promoting hydration, increasing flower opening, color development, and longevity. FloraLife® products with Express technology are more expensive, so it is important to weigh the increased efficiency and labor savings against the additional cost. If you want to improve efficiency and reduce labor cost, give FloraLife® Express a try.
Specialty Flower Foods
Our final product option is specialty flower foods. Specialty hydration solutions and flower foods target specific crops or water qualities.
FloraLife® Hydrate Hydrangea and FloraLife® Bulb 100 are specialty hydration treatments formulated for use in the grower channel. FloraLife® Hydrate Hydrangea is formulated to hydrate and condition hydrangeas after harvest and dry storage, increasing flower quality and uniformity throughout the supply chain. FloraLife® Bulb 100 is a postharvest treatment for bulb flowers like lily, alstroemeria, iris, and tulip – helping to hydrate the flower and keep foliage looking green and healthy throughout the supply chain.
FloraLife® Clear Rose 200 is a specialty flower food formulated to condition and maintain freshness of roses during storage and transport. FloraLife® Rose Food Clear 300 and FloraLife® Bulb Food Clear 300 are formulated to provide the maximum consumer vase life experience for these crops.
Crop specific flower foods are more expensive than conventional flower foods; however, their value is realized by customers that deal in higher volumes of these crops relative to other cut flowers – giving them a step up in quality compared to their competitors. Another way to realize the value of these products to use them during high volume seasonal periods like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day holidays, while using more universal products during the rest of the year.
Lastly, we would like to discuss two specialty flower foods that are formulated for customers with extreme water types. Almost all FloraLife® products are mixed with water. As you know, water quality can vary greatly from one region to another so FloraLife’s objective is to formulate products for ‘average’ water types (medium alkalinity and hardness) that is representative of what is encountered by most customers. Sometimes a customer may utilize a water source that is on the extreme ends of the scale, either very hard water with high alkalinity or very pure water with low alkalinity. At these extremes, it may be difficult for a conventional flower food to work effectively. For this reason, FloraLife developed FloraLife® Special Blend 300 Hard and Pure flower foods. Your FloraLife representative can help you determine if you should be using a specialty blend flower food.
So Which Floralife Product is Right for you?
No two businesses in the cut flower industry are alike, each having different goals, philosophies, and challenges based on the channels they serve. We hope this dive into the FloraLife hydration and flower food product line was helpful. FloraLife would like to ‘Express’ our gratitude to all our customers for allowing us to service your post-harvest needs.
Have questions or need expert advice? Visit FloraLife.com or contact your local representative for an in-person consultation.
Product availability depends upon geographical region. Check here for more information.
*Difficult-to-hydrate crops, such as Hydrangea, may not fully hydrate with the Express products without re-cutting stem ends, depending on the storage and handling history of flowers. If the stem ends are cut, the Express products will provide best results with these crops. When unsure, we recommend that you do a quick in-house trial to confirm if re-cutting is needed to get the best benefits of this technology.
Although Floralife® Express Technology is amazing, it can’t work alone. Best practices yield best results. Express Technology performs at its optimum only when accompanied by good care and handling practices, such as properly mixing flower food according to label instructions, proper temperature management, ethylene control, sanitization of buckets and tools and much more.