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The first cut … is the most important!


It may seem tedious but if you don’t cut and condition properly not only could you end up chucking flowers in the bin … total waste of money … but worse still end up with a customer complaint, refund and tarnished reputation. And all for the sake of a little TLC and a few pennies per order.


Because fact is flowers that haven’t been cut, watered and fed properly die faster.


Doesn’t matter if your flowers are only in your shop or studio for a couple of day or look great when they go out on delivery EVERYTHING should be properly conditioned to make sure they last as long as they should.


We bring you a dozen reasons why and how the right care and conditioning can make all the difference between profit and loss never mind a happy customer!


1. Use conditioning time as a chance to think and chat rather than as drudgery. It is not only part and parcel of the job but can be very therapeutic as well as beneficial to the bottom line!


2. Only use Level 2 flower food in your shop. Level 1 is for growers and wholesalers; Level 2 is for florists and ONLY Level 3 is for the consumer.


3. Don’t kill with kindness … get the measurement right. Under-dosing is as bad as over-dosing so even if you can’t afford a proper dosing unit invest in some cheap watering cans or measuring jugs to get it right. According to Chrysal, under-dosing by 20% or more can lead to stem dis-colouration, delayed flowering, limp petals and leaves and reduced colour whilst overdoing can result in burnt leaves.


4. Always use a sharp knife. Cutting with scissors may be quicker but it will destroy the capillary structure of the stem and result in poor water take up. Cut at least 2cm off the bottom at a sharp angle although 5cm is even better.


5. Keep vases and buckets scrupulously clean. Use proper bucket cleaner if possible and if not then make sure they are squeaky clean.


6. Never ever put flowers into an unlined metal container however trendy it looks as it will massively shorten the vase life. Buy acid free liners for them, protection and style!

7. Never allow foliage in the water … that way madness and bacteria lie! Stems MUST be clear and clean below the water line.


8. Never pull thorns off roses. It creates an open wound and allows infection in. Snip the tips off or use one the special strippers from Oasis that are specially designed for roses ... you can find out what sort of stripper you are here!


9. Remove any poor, weak or infected flowers from the wrap before you put it in the vase or bucket. Like Covid, infection can spread ... remove and isolate the offending bloom!


10. If roses are coming in from Africa or South America and haven’t been pre-conditioned by your wholesaler, treat them like you would yourself after a long-haul flight. Keep them in the packaging and re-hydrate in Level 2 for at least 12 hours and preferably 24 in a cool place before you even think of sending them out on an order. Once re-hydrated, remove packaging and put into fresh Level 2 treated water spaced out to avoid crowding the heads. Not only will they be better for it but you can check for any bad blooms.


11. Only remove guard petals once you have re-hydrated your roses.


12. ALWAYS give your customers proper care instructions and at least one sachet of food with every delivery … heck every purchase ... and on bigger bouquets at least 2 so that they can top up. You may think it’s another expense but every supermarket and online vendor does it as part of the purchase price and florist shops should be no different. It shows you care about their flower experience, that you are a professional and, as long as you include the right care instructions, can help protect you from complaint.



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