Flower quality, including vase life (which means how long your flowers will last once you receive them) varies greatly between wholesale flowers suppliers. If you know what to ask, you can get a good idea of the kind of quality any particular wholesaler peddles before you buy.
What Affects Flower Quality?
Vase life is determined by many things. Some of these things you can control once you get the flowers, but many of these factors come into play before you receive the goods.
While many factors come into play, there are four vitally important factors that determine how long your flowers last. These are:
- Age of the flowers
- Hygiene factors
The catch all phrase for these factors is "cold chain integrity". The cold chain is the chain of (ideally) temperature controlled environments that the flowers are moved through from grower to your door.
Here are 4 simple questions you should ask when you order wholesale flowers from any supplier.
1. How Old Are The Flowers?
Over the last few decades, flower breeders have been able to develop flower varieties that last longer than ever once cut. The rationale is that this will make for happier customers at the user end because the length of time your flowers last is seen is being very important and of great value to customers.
However, what often happens is that wholesale flower suppliers will instead use this capacity, this extra time, to hold on to the perishable goods for longer. They do this because they do not have sophisticated systems that enable them to order very accurately, so they just order a good guesstimate amount and then hope to sell them before the flowers die.
If the flowers are set to expire in a couple or a few days, they still look fine until the last minute, so some wholesalers will sell them even though they know that the flowers will not last long for the end customer.
So the longer life of the flowers ends up being wasted, because the end customer does not enjoy the benefit of the new longer lasting varieties and therefore this hurts the entire industry.
Always ask your wholesale for honest information as to how long the flowers you are buying have been in storage or transit since being picked.
2. How Hygienic Are The Flowers?
By "hygiene" when talking about flowers, we mean the containers and the water that flowers are stored in. If the buckets have not been properly treated, fungal and bacterial properties can attack the flowers, compromising on the appearance and quality of the flowers, plus how long they last.
You need to ask your flower wholesaler if they treat their buckets with chlorine and include anti-fungal agents and anti-ethylene preservatives in the water.
3. What Temperature Have The Flowers Been Stored and Transported At?
The rate at which cut flowers age when too warm is remarkable. While temperatures below 8 degrees Celsius do not affect the vase life of cut flowers, temperatures higher than this do.
It surprises people to learn that gerberas at 30 degrees age 40 times faster than at 8 degrees!
Ideally your flowers will remain in temperature controlled environments from grower, through wholesaler, to retail store or to your door via refrigerated trucks. Sadly, this is not often the case.
While delivery in refrigerated trucks is not always possible across the entire cold chain, if the flowers are pallated in buckets of cold water (2-4 degrees), the laws of physics come into play, keeping the heat out and the cold in for great distances, effectively extending the life and condition of your flowers.
4. Will You Deliver My Flowers In Water?
While it would seem like a no-brainer that cut flowers should be stored and transported in water, often this is not the case. This is because it’s just not as easy to truck flowers in buckets of water across the country than it is to simply place them in cardboard boxes.
However, as the three points above all clearly elucidate, the magic ingredient in the transport and storage of wholesale flowers is good old fashioned water.
The majority of flowers delivered by Tesselaar Flowers are in water.
Bucket hygiene is followed, with all buckets treated with Chlorine before dispatch.
We also add a specially imported ‘tea bag’ to each bucket that slows down the aging effect while the flowers are in transit
We go to great measures to deliver in refrigerated trucks - but where this is impossible, we have developed optimal packing techniques using specially designed, stackable buckets with protective cardboard additions to protect the flowers. (The stacking up on big pallets keeps the water and flowers cooler longer.)
This means your flowers get to you in perfect condition and will last longer than if we hadn't taken such extreme care with your flowers from ordering, through storing, to delivery.
It goes without saying that once the flowers are received, buyers also need to maintain optimal conditions so their customers receive the benefit of all this effort!
And of course, we guarantee your satisfaction, any problems, just call and we will sort it out for you.
Next time you order wholesale flowers from anyone, ask them if they can match that! Even better, if you're based in Australia and looking for flowers for your florist shop or for events, weddings or business uses - get in contact with us today.