The DOs and DON’Ts of Fresh Cut Flower Care & Handling
Check your flower care and handling knowledge with the DOs and the DON’Ts of fresh cut flower care and handling checklist.
- Disinfect all surfaces that the flowers are in contact with: tools, vases, containers, processing stations, counters, shelves, cooler walls, etc.
- Always use flower food to process fresh cut flowers.
- Cut stems with a sharp utensil.
- Remove all foliage that would be below the water level in a vase.
- Use a dosing unit that is properly calibrated, or hand mix the solution according to label instructions.
- Store flowers in a 34-38°F (1-3°C) environment with a 75-85% humidity. Tropical flowers should be stored at 55-65°F (13-18°C).
- Immediately remove flowers that show signs of diseases.
- Keep temperature constant to avoid condensation on packaging.
- Always give flower bunches enough breathing room in the buckets.
- Rotate your fresh cut flower inventory using the FIFO method (first in, first out).
- Always keep wet pack boxes upright.
- Free float floral foam, imprint side up, until the foam is completely saturated.
- Handle flowers with care to avoid physical damage.
- Give your suppliers feedback when flowers do not meet vase life or performance expectations.
- Check your floral displays several times daily to insure that bunches are in the solution.
- Do not use softened water to process flowers.
- Do not display flowers in direct sunlight, heat, freezing temperatures, and drafts.
- Do not handle flowers by their blooms.
- Do not wet flower blooms.
- Do not display near ripening produce or smoke as both produce ethylene gas which will shorten flower life.
- Do not crush stems while trying to cut them.
- Do not leave leaves below the water level in a vase.
- Do not mix Daffodils with other flowers.
- Do not throw flowers abruptly onto any surfaces, even if soft.
- Do not use old or dirty flower food solution to process fresh flowers.
- Do not use homemade substitute for flower food such as aspirin, soda pop, bleach, or copper coins.
- Do not remove all foliage from the stem. Remove only the ones that will fall below the water level.
- Do not use flower food in crystal or metal containers.
- Do not display flowers in galvanized buckets without using a liner.
- Do not overstuff bunches in buckets.
- Do not lay wet pack boxes sideway.
- Do not forcibly submerge or plunge floral foam.