It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air and floral departments are getting ready for the rush. Getting all those gorgeous stems from the farm into the hands of their Valentine’s Day recipients takes superior care and handling, especially with the extended shipping and storage period needed to meet increased demand. And that superior care and handling is the topic of our latest for Super Floral: Post-harvest Valentine’s Day Tips For Longer Lasting Roses.
Here are the article highlights:
Flower suppliers face challenges of pathogen and ethylene control, temperature management, and correct care and handling. Increased Valentine’s Day demand for roses forces suppliers to extend harvest and storage periods. Additional days require greater vigilance and extra measures to preserve and care for roses along their journey.
Temperature management is critical to preserve rose quality, freshness, and longevity. Place roses into a 34°F to 38°F cooler, with 75 to 85 percent humidity. Maintain low temperature and high humidity to minimize water loss and maximize vase life.
GROWERS: Growers must follow proper sanitation, hydration principles, and control ethylene and pathogens. Properly dipping or spraying roses after harvest is always important but especially when preparing for the high rose volumes of Valentine’s Day. This protects against environmental extremes. Package roses leaving farms in Floralife® Transport Paper to limit the growth of pathogens.
BOUQUET OPERATIONS: Upon receipt, locations may wet-pack bouquets or manufacture pre-made arrangements. Maintain the cold chain and properly condition roses for storage and transport. And always ship with an ethylene blocker!
RETAILERS: The most critical juncture for Valentine roses! Once roses reach the stores, their journey has been longer than usual. It’s at this stage of the game roses need extra TLC, including:
1. Disease prevention
Monitor constantly to watch for botrytis, etc. Control measures include:
- Temperature management;
- Minimal temperature fluctuations;
- Proper sanitation;
- Gently removing all grower packaging from bunches when unpacking;
- Keep flower blooms dry;
- Don’t handle flowers by blooms;
- Don’t drop or throw flower boxes;
- Store roses away from ripening produce or other ethylene sources;
- Ensure supplier has treated flowers with an ethylene action inhibitor like EthylGuard.
Clean and sanitize buckets, tools, work surfaces, and cooler with Floralife® Floral Cleaner or D.C.D.® Cleaner. These is your best weapons to combat bacteria and minimize exposure to pathogens.
3. Hydrate and Nourish
Roses need proper hydration and feeding, especially when received dry pack. A flower food solution like FloraLife® Express will provide flowers with what they need to flourish. For best results when processing dry pack or re-processing roses, cut and dip in FloraLife® Quick Dip to jump-start hydration and ensure free-flowing stems. Use a dosing unit that is properly calibrated, or hand mix the solution according to label instructions.
5. Customer care
Time for your customer to take those roses home and make them last. Send them home with solid advice and tools as well! Caution them about placing flowers in direct sunlight, drafty places, or near heating and cooling vents. Remind them to change the flower-food solution every three days. And provide flower food sachets with every purchase and delivery—enough to last the roses’ vase life.
Happy customers, especially at Valentine’s Day, can become repeat customers. It is one of the biggest floral buying days of the year and a prime time to make those critical first impressions. Long lasting roses, solid advice, and useful tools will help your customers enjoy an amazing experience and bring them back when it’s time to buy roses (or other flowers) again!
This is the condensed version for the busy rose retailer on the go. We also invite you to check out the full article in this month’s Super Floral!