You want to give a lasting gift and touch the heart of your treasured relationships. Perhaps you might be wavering on sending them. Possibly in the past, some of the flowers you experienced only lasted a few days. You’re also not sure if there are varietals that can last longer. Does the length of their life depend on the season? You may not know the factors that can extend the life of your flowers.
Or perhaps, you just received the most heart touching beautiful arrangement from someone special and you want to lengthen the beauty of your arrangements.
Or you just sent an arrangement to one of your most treasured relationships and you want to maximize the value of the flowers by ensuring they’re longer lasting.
In the 15 years of being a florist, One of the most common questions I am asked by people I meet at networking events, or when I’m asked to speak as a florist, is how do you get the flowers to last longer?
Part 1: Tips for buying flowers in a retail setting
What you need to know to increase your chances of getting good quality flowers from the beginning.
The first thing to think about is where you’re buying them. There are a couple reasons why your source is critical. One is whether the flowers are kept cold and in water throughout the whole process of getting from the field to you or your loved one. In the florist industry we call it a ‘cold chain’, like in the food and beverage industry. While they are in transit, how are they treated? Do they sit out in a retail space for hours, even days, before you purchase them? Or are they kept at a nippy 40 degrees that keeps them happy and dormant until they are on your table?
Below are a few tips. Of course, you probably expect me to say purchase your flowers from us, or at least from at a reputable florist. And yes, that’s definitely going to help. For example, we keep our flowers tucked away in our cooler except for when we’re either hydrating them properly (that needs to happen for a little while at room temperature), or designing your amazing bouquet, or letting them sit out to open up so when your client receives them they’re not super tight buds with no color.
The different stages of maturity for different experiences.
These amazing, beautiful, growing creatures open and grow over time. Do you want people to have a ‘Wow-Factor’ amazing experience initially, where it doesn’t matter how long they last - it’s about the moment? Or do you want the flowers to last 7-10 days (or even longer especially with tropical flowers) in their home or office. Different events require different stages of maturity for the occasion. For example, at a business event, funeral or party, you want the flowers fully open and glorious. In the home or office, you might want to sent an arrangement with a mixture of mature, slightly open, and budded blossoms for an incredibly long-lasting experience.
So here are your tips when buying flowers in a retail setting:
When you’re purchasing at the grocery store, ask the team member there when the flowers arrived. And ask them to teach you how to read their ‘expiration date’ (usually hidden in some kind of way that only they know - ask for the inside scoop)
Learn what flowers that are more mature look, feel or act like. For example, do you know the Rose ‘hip test’ for example? When you squeeze the ‘hip’ of a rose, it will be firm when it’s more fresh, no matter how open the petals might look.
At a grocery store or retail outlet, do they have an enclosed cooler, an open-sided cooler for the flowers, or are they sitting out in the main store not in cold storage?
Learn what varietals of flowers last longer.
Part 2: Tips once you get the flowers home
What you need to know to lengthen the longevity of the flowers
My favorite saying about the water the flowers are in is ‘If you don’t want to drink the water, neither do the flowers!’
Here are a few things you can do, proven to lengthen the life of flowers effectively and easily.
#1 Understand what causes flowers to die quickly.
First step, if you know why the flowers deteriorate quickly, then you’ll understand the overall concept for how to prolong their life.
Flowers deteriorate as bacteria forms in the water making the water cloudy.
Cloudy water with bacteria will cause your flowers to die at a faster pace .
Knowing this will help you become more cognizant of a few little things you can do to prevent the bacteria spreading
#2 Change your water and wash the stems
Second step, change your water when it gets murky and wash the stems off so that the bacteria doesn’t do damage. That will give them more time.
#3 Don’t forget to use your flower food
Third step, your florist should have given you a couple packets of flower food. The flower food is a scientific balanced antibacterial food for flowers designed to help your flowers last 50% to 70% longer.
#4 Give them a fresh cut at an angle after they open
Fourth step, cutting your stems at an angle helps the new cells draw up water. You can also cut them shorter to rest on the lip of the vase or put them in a shorter vase and that will support the new stem length so they get the water they need. Here’s a link to a video of me showing you how to do that on Channel 3’s Your Life A to Z 8 years ago - our clothes might be out of style, but our tips never do!!
Long-lasting flowers amp up the connection with your most treasured relationships.
And for business connections, sometimes that's the least of the worries
You send flowers and want them to last a long time because you want to connect… and there are challengesto the gifting process for your clients and business connections
Many of you are sending flowers to clients because you do want to express appreciation and build long-lasting relationships that lead to more referralsand happy long-term customers who become friends.
Relationships are the building blocks to profitable business developmentand standing out from the competition. Often business owners and sales professionals struggle thinking of ideas for how to build those tighter bonds.
You might struggle with ideas of how to reach out, or maybe it’s just the time to execute it. You also aren’t sure what to say and how to make a lasting impression. And you might be the kind of person who wants to send something different than the last time and aren’t sure what creative ideas or trends there are. Or you’re wracking your brain to connect in intangible ways. And then there’s the issue of having so many connections and clients, and not being sure you can do the same thing for all of them. The concerns go on and on, and time gets shorter and shorter. What to do??!!
Watch for our next email where we share tips about how to build tighter bonds, show you go above and beyond for your clients, and create those long lasting referral relationshipsyou’ve always wanted, including tips from one of my favorite marketing experts!
Until next time, flower on...
P.S. Heres a link to my Facebook Live video introducing you to a flower you haven't met, sharing the buying tips above, and a bonus, the Rose 'hip test'
Read more flower care tips here.