GENERAL CONDITIONING & THE 'COLD CHAIN'
Correct Conditioning = Hydration, Temperature, Clean Environment & Water = Healthy Flowers





Associated Cut Flower's offers the New York Flower Market the widest choice fresh cut flowers available. However.... Flowers are a perishable commodity!

This is why understanding the care and handling of flowers is so important, helping you to deliver better quality to your customers.


The Cold Chain

The 'cold chain' process is what makes the modern floral industry exciting. Flowers from everywhere, year round!
  • The 'cold chain' utilizes consistant temperature controls from the farm, through the shipping and handling process, to the wholesaler, to you from around the world.

  • It is this 'cold chain' process that allows us to import flowers from all over the world at affordable prices, with freshness and quality maintained.

  • The 'cold chain' process, keeps flowers at an optimal constant temperature of 33 - 38 degrees F to put them into 'hibernation'.

  • After being in 'hibernation' they need proper hydration and conditioning to refresh them.

Flower Hydration

A lot of our flowers are imported through the 'cold chain' process, where the flowers are kept at a constant temperature (33 - 38 degrees F) to put them into 'hibernation'. If your flowers look 'sleepy' or thirsty it is NORMAL.
After being in 'hibernation' they need proper hydration and conditioning to refresh them.
  • Remove any foliage that would be below the water line. Wet leaves can rot and create bacteria in the water and harm the flowers. Don't strip away all of the leaves, as they help drive water up to the flowers.
  • Use a knife or sharp shears to cut. (Scissors tends to 'mash' the stems).
  • Allow flowers at least 4 hours to hydrate in warm water (100F to 110F). Warm water helps dissolve food solutions, and enhances water uptake. Boiling water can kill stem tissue.
    Let the water sit for a few minutes, allowing the gasses that are normally trapped in water to escape.
  • Most flowers can take up to 8 - 12 hours to properly hydrate.
  • Change the water every 24 hours, and recut the stems every 24-48 hours to keep your flowers fresh as they develop prior to arranging.
  • We recommend using Chrysal Professional Solutions, a water soluble food for fresh cut flowers that stimulates water uptake and keeps stems free flowing.
  • Assure that your flowers have sufficient of water, because they drink a lot of water upon arrival.
  • Hydrated Flowers are happy flowers = Less waste

Temperature and Storage

Temperature has the most influence on vase-life as it effects the metabolism rate of the flower.
  • Exposing flowers to warm environments helps the flowers bloom, and storing the flowers in a cooler environment slows down the opening process.
  • The lower temperature slows the metabolism rate.
  • The optimum storage temperature for fresh cut flowers prior to sale is 33 - 38 degrees F.
  • Tropical Flowers should be stored between 56 - 60 degrees F.

Ethylene Gas

What is Ethylene & What does it do?
Ethylene is colorless, odorless gas plant hormone that exists in nature, and is created by man-made sources. In nature fruits and vegetables are common producers of ethylene.

The effects of ethylene gas on fresh cut flowers can include;
  • Accelerated Growth
  • Flower or Petal Drop
  • Leaf Yellowing
  • Premature Aging & Wilting
  • Loss of Petal Color
  • Accelerated Decay & Spoilage

  • Which flowers does Ethylene effect?
    Sensitivity to ethylene varies among different types of fresh cut flowers, even among species varieties. Generally flowers that are known to be ethylene sensitive are per-treated at the farm level with anti-ethylene products to ensure a longer life. Gypsophilia and carnations are good examples of pre treatment, extending the vase life by a factor of 3-4 times.

    Ethylene sensitivity is lessened at temperatures below 40 degrees F. This where the 'cold chain' in flower production plays a vital role, from farm to wholesaler.

    Ethylene Sensitive Flowers
    AconitumAgapanthus
    Allium
    AlstromeriaAsclepias
    AstilbeBouvardiaCampanulasCarnationsCelosia
    CymbidiumCrocosmiaDelphiniumDendrobiumEremerus
    FreesiaGladiolusGodetiaGypsophilliaGypsophillia
    LarkspurLilyLimoniumLisianthusLysimachia
    PhloxQueen Anne's Lace
    RanunculusRoses *
    Snapdragon
    SolidasterStockSweet Pea
    VeronicaWaxflower
    * Not all varieties  of these flowers are affected.

    Bacteria and Cleanliness

    Flowers are a living organism, and susceptible to germs just like us.
    • Fresh cut flowers generate bacteria in water. Kind of like 'poop' from the energy of the flower developing and blooming.
    • Floral buckets need to be kept clean, and scrubbed.
    • Over time dirty buckets clog the stems of newer flowers, which can lead to quality and hydration problems, and bent necks.
    • Proper hydration and clean buckets can eliminate this problem.

    High Bacteria Levels = Dead Flowers = Less Profit
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