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Mom’s Favorites Require Some TLC

Written by Gay Smith

Flowers push our sentimental buttons and make Moms smile.
Flowers drink more solution when it’s hot and mid-May is pushing right into summer.
Set up processing buckets a day ahead of delivery to pre-chill the solutions.
Prepare a back stock bucket of Chrysal Professional #2 and store in cooler.
Use cold solution to fill vases and top-up arrangements. Cold water travels faster than tepid in flower stems. Cold also reduces condensation forming on blooms (reducing Botrytis potential).

Hydrangeas: As the name implies, hydrangeas are big drinkers!

  • Allow plenty of time for blooms to fill completely
  • Process hydrangeas in Rose Pro Hydration for min. 6 hours up to 3 days then transfer blooms into Rose Pro Vase solution
  • If Hydrangeas arrive wet packed from the wholesaler, process blooms into Rose Pro Vase or Professional #2 solution (min 2 hours).
  • Check display buckets…daily! Hydrangeas can drink a bucket dry in a day!
  • Top up with fresh solution (Rose Pro or Professional #2) not tap water!
  • Display hydrangeas up high, in low-drip areas. Those round beauties suffer when the curious customer squeezes the heads or moisture drips on flowers.

Freesia: Display fragrant varieties on counter areas—the fragrance sells the bloom!

  • Treat freesia in Chrysal Bulb T-bag solution so the entire comp of florets open
  • Don’t feel compelled to give freesia stems a fresh cut unless the callous tissue on the stem end indicates flowers were dry for a long period. Freesia, like most bulb flowers, can drink just fine through the callous tissues on bottom of stem as long as it’s not too thick.

Gladiolas: Glads are super-sensitive to fluoride—if city tap water is fluorinated, consider using bottled water when making display solution. The cheapest brand works perfectly!

  • Cut stems and display in Bulb T-bag solution. Unlike freesia, these bulb flowers need a fresh cut every time they go into fresh solution!
  • Another big drinker, fill buckets at least 1/2 full and keep close watch
  • Remove an inch of the apical tip of stems to promote floret opening all the way to the top. Snap off tips in a way that doesn’t ruin the aesthetics of a “pointed” bloom spike. (No Bart Simpson flower spikes, please)

Snap Dragons: These tall spikes love to dance and lean toward light and away from gravity and as pretty as they are, snaps foul the water fast. Keep your eye on display buckets. Change the solution as needed—likely a day earlier than other bucket changes.

  • Clean that cutter blade at least 1 time every day! Spritz it with Chrysal Cleaner
  • Give snaps plenty of room. Allow air flow in buckets to prevent damage to florets
  • Top up buckets with fresh (cold) Professional #2 (NOT tap water)

Stock: Another big drinker! Stocks need flower food for that sweet fragrance.

  • Process into Chrysal Professional #2 display food. Bulb T-bags also give great results with stocks! (prevent yellowing leaves)
  • Absolutely critical to check solution level daily and top up with fresh Chrysal solutions, NOT tap water.
  • Give plenty of breathing room in display buckets so Botrytis doesn’t take hold of the dragon’s nose!

Roses: The dearest mother of all….

  • Work clean! Roses have very sensitive vascular systems–easily plugged with bacteria and air bubbles!
  • Use clean flower shears or knives—NOT paper or ribbon scissors!
  • Remove any petals showing signs of Botrytis. Avoid cross contamination by throwing infected tissue in trash, not on counter or floor
  • Remove ONLY foliage that falls below water line. Leaves are the plumbing system pulling solution into rose heads.

For dry-packed grower boxes of roses:

  • Process blooms in Chrysal Professional #1 or Rose Pro Hydrations hydration for 4hrs—3 days
  • After stems are filled, transfer roses into cold Rose Pro Vase or Professional #2 solution where they are happy imbibing for 5-6 days

For wet-packed roses or roses your wholesaler has processed:

  • Prepare buckets with cold Professional #2 or Rose Pro Vase solution.
  • Make sure every stem gets a fresh cut

Peonies: Mom’s favorite! Ants love these flowers, too. In fact there is a symbiotic relationship between the insect and the flower so take time to inspect buds when putting buckets out on display. Knock off any ants that may be hiding in petal folds before they scare off customers.

  • Take care not to cram too many bunches because the stems become a bit brittle as they harden up–snap off easily
  • Display in Professional #2 solution. Prepare with cold water or pre-chill solutions–peonies open fast in warm environments
  • What flower can drink a bucket dry fastest? I put my money on Peonies. Watch solution levels in buckets—these girls are BIG drinkers
  • Top up with (chilled) Professional # 2
  • ALWAYS provide customers with flower food packets to prepare vase at home. Peonies NEED sugar to hold in the vase