What To Do When You Get Your Flowers
Author: Tiffany Thomas
5 Quick Tips for Nailing Your Flower Prep
You've got the goods, now what?
1. COUNT THE BUNCHES
So the FedEx driver drops off your box, or you just got home from the air cargo location or wholesaler with your blooms. Now what?
If your order was shipped overnight, you'll cut open that box and start inventorying your flowers. If you picked up from a wholesaler, you can do a quick once over of the packing list, but you should check your blooms at the location so you don't have to go back for anything. Have your buckets and trash cans of water ready to go.
Remember: NO 5 GALLON BUCKETS FROM THE HARDWARE STORE.
2. TRIM, SNIP, CUT
Give your flowers a trim so they have a fresh drinking surface. This removes all the dried out bits of the stem that may have trouble taking in the water. Plus if your booms are wilted after a long trip in the back of a FedEx truck, trimming the stems will lessen the distance that the water needs to travel to reach the boom itself.
When you give those guys a cut, do it at a 45º angle like shown below so you create more surface area for the water. Make sure to leave the cardboard and/or plastic wrappings on for ONE HOUR while they drink.
After one hour, remove all cardboard wrappings AND plastic wrap. Leaving it on beyond this timeframe invites mold and rot which can damage your blooms.
The exception to this rule is Scabiosa. Did they arrive with little clear straws around the stems? Leave 'em on for support! (If no straws are there and they're a little droopy, you can wire them just like ranunculus!)
3. FRESH WATER ONLY, PLEASE
You may be asking any of the following questions after consulting the internet for hacks to make your flowers last:
Can I put pennies in the water?
Do my flowers need food?
Can I put bleach in the water?
Does sugar make flowers last longer? The Internet said it does.
The simple answer, dear reader, is no. Please DO NOT add anything to your water. Test after test show that for event florals (which is what you have – wedding florals), fresh, clean water is by far the best way to keep your flowers looking gorgeous.
4. REMOVE ALL FOLIAGE BELOW THE WATER LINE
One thing that will really ruin your day is bacteria. If that's a yeast infection or salmonella, you're in trouble.
When it comes to flowers, you should also be wary of bacteria, which can come from leaf-ing (see what I did there??) leaves submerged in the water.
You need to make sure that each you remove all foliage that falls beneath the water line. Also be sure to fish out any leaves floating in the water. And be sure to change out your water every two days.
5. LEAVE THE 5 GALLON BUCKETS IN THE GARAGE
You will need to place your blooms in the correct sized vase. Those big orange or blue buckets from the hardware store? Great for mixing concrete, bad for prepping flowers. These buckets a far too tall and are better left out of your flower prep.
Cart your heavenly booty to Walmart or The Dollar Store and buy cheap, plastic, bathroom trash cans. Anything between 2.5 to 3.5 gallons should work well!
Sometimes ranunculus and scabiosa need a helping hand in the way of wiring. You can run 20-22 gauge wire up through the stem, until it hits the head, for added support.
Examples of correctly prepped delicate flowers, including scabiosa, garden roses, and ranunculus. Notice that there is no crowding, no tall vases, and everything is evenly spaced.
Too many flowers at the party. This is an example of overcrowding. Too many stems in a vase that is too tall.
About the Author
Tiffany Thomas is the true crime loving logistic + artistic powerhouse behind Flower Moxie. When she's not ogling photos of protea, she can be found running her incredible online jewelry store, Stella Grey Studio.