- Always use clean buckets or containers. Wash buckets with dish soap and a drop or two of bleach and rinse well.
- Remove all packaging including cellophane, cardboard and twist ties all rubber bands from your flower bunches. This allows flowers to breathe and have room to open.
- Remove all foliage and greenery that sits below the water line in your bucket. Hold the stem at the top with one hand and gently run your fingers down the stem with the other. You can also use a kitchen towel or garden gloves to strip away foliage. You may want to purchase a rose stripper from our supplies section to make your job easier if you have purchased a bulk of roses.
- Make sure your flowers are in clean water at all times. Every time you remove or transfer flowers from the water, re-cut the stems before you place them back into the water to allow them to hydrate. Cut one half inch to one inch off the stem length at an angle. Purchase a sharp floral knife or professional clippers from our supplies section for maximum success.
- Water temperature should be lukewarm or cold if the flowers are open. Use warmer water if you want to speed up the process of opening. Don’t forget to check the water levels in your buckets and refill the water often.
- All flowers are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Do not allow flowers to remain in high heat or extreme cold for very long. Do not put flowers in a standard refrigerator. A cool basement, garage or home is a perfect place for flowers to hydrate before you use them.
You can purchase Floralife Flower Food, HydraQuik and Crowning Glory from our supplies section. Each product is an aid to processing flowers and is very effective in warm weather. Floralife Flower Food is a powder that you mix into the buckets of water helping flowers stay fresh and to balance the pH of the water. HydraQuik formula allows flowers to quickly take up more water and is especially effective with hydrangeas. Cut the stems and place in the HydraQuik solution for a few seconds and then into water. Crowning Glory is a solution that slows deterioration and browning of petals. It is especially effective on bridal bouquets, and bouquets that will be outside. The solution is used in a spray bottle and dries clear. All three floral preservatives can be used together to maximize your success of flower processing. Purchase them in our supplies section.
Keep Gardenias and Stephanotis in the refrigerator in their original packaging until you are ready to use them. The petals on gardenias and stephanotis brown when touched, so make sure to handle them carefully. Special stephanotis stems will need to be purchased from our supplies section in order to fully use stephanotis in bridal bouquets and other personal flowers. Spray the flowers with Crowning Glory before you work with them and once you have them arranged for maximum life and beauty.
Cut hydrangeas can last a long time with proper conditioning. Cut an inch off your hydrangea stems at an angle and immediately place in water. If you are using the HydraQuik solution, place the stems in the solution for 2-3 seconds and then immediately into water. Mist hydrangeas with a spray bottle of water or Crowning Glory. Keep in a cool place. If hydrangeas appear wilted, repeat the process and allow them to hydrate again. If hydrangeas are being used in a bridal bouquet, cut the stems of the entire bouquet and place in the HydraQuik solution for 2-3 seconds and then put it into water.
Oriental, Asiatic and LA Hybrid lilies all require special care to allow them to open before your event. Take special care to strip leaves and foliage and cut stems at an angle before placing them in water. Provide warm water and plenty of overhead light to assist in flowers blooming. Repeat the process once per day if the flowers are tight.
Rose petals are a great addition to any floral event. Keep petals in a sealed plastic grocery or garbage bag in the refrigerator or cooler until you are ready to use them. Make sure they do not freeze against a refrigerator wall.
Tropical flowers like orchids are typically shipped in from warm, tropical regions. To hydrate and process tropical flowers, you will begin by soaking/submerging them in a large bucket or tub of lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. Orchids hydrate best when they can gather moisture through all surfaces of their plant. Once they have soaked, gently shake the excess water from the stems and cut and place in a clean vase of water. DO NOT USE floral preservative in the water. You can spray the tropical flowers with Crowning Glory if desired.