Best Temperature for Storing Cut Flowers

Cold Room Temperature For Cut Flowers

What customers want and how to provide them those wants and expectations are the two main questions that you should answer to ensure success in your retail florist business.

It is expected that customers want lasting flowers, but how to make that happen is another story.  In floristry, several factors affect the longevity, freshness, and quality of cut flowers. Exposure to ethylene gas, for example, is one of those factors, as well as the water supply, food supply, diseases, and temperature. Temperature control greatly affects the condition of fresh flowers, especially if they are arranged in bouquets or floral arrangements.

Why Need to Keep Temperature Low?

Fresh cut flowers make use of the food stored in the petals and leaves to keep its freshness and quality. The higher the temperature, the greater the flowers need moisture to prevent premature aging and drying. Storing fresh-cut flowers in a room with high temperature is not good for them.

To illustrate the effect of high temperature on fresh-cut flowers, Gerbera Daisy flowers were stored in different rooms with different temperatures. The vase life drastically decline when flowers are placed in rooms with high temperature.

Based on studies, a cut Gerbera Daisy placed on a flower vase is likely to stay fresh longer at room temperature of 33°F. This kind of low temperature brings down the flower’s respiration and dryness process.

For non-tropical cut flowers, the most suitable room or storage temperature should be from 33°F to 35°F. If temperature increases, the vase life decreases. However, for tropical flowers like Bird of Paradise, Anthurium, Orchids, and Ginger flowers, the most suitable room or storage temperature should be at 50°F to 55°F. Tropical blooms prefer a warmer temperature. But when exposed to a lower temperature, its quality decreases, cutting down the vase life.

Transport Temperature for Fresh Cut Flowers from Farm to Wholesale Florist

The vase life of cut flowers decreases as blooms are exposed to a higher temperature than 33°F to 35°F. Storing fresh-cut flowers and shipping them at a high temperature lowers down the longevity. It is best to have the flowers direct from the farm to the Wholesaler florist’s storage.

There is a varying temperature when flowers are transported from the farmer or grower’s farm to the Wholesaler florist’s hand. It is helpful to ensure that the temperature is properly controlled to keep the flowers in good condition. From transportation to shipment to the arrival of flowers from the growers’ place to the florists’, every detail should be inspected.

Upon the arrival of cut flowers from shipment or transportation, the inspection process is immediately applied to see whether the cut flowers suffer from temperature fluctuation. The sleeves are prone to heavy condensation and the leaves and petals typically are the place where molds and pests stay. Once these elements are seen, the flowers are no longer fresh and you can expect a shorter vase life.

In addition to immediate visual inspection upon arrival of flowers, a temperature check should also be applied. Simple temperature readings can be applied to determine the freshness of the flowers. If the temperature is higher than 33°F to 35°F, quality and freshness are compromised, thus the vase life is reduced.

Figure 2 shows the effect of high temperature on flowers while stored or transported. The higher the temperature, the lower the vase life of the flowers will be.

How to Monitor Temperature In a Flower Shop?

In the flower shop, the florists should also take responsibility for handling flowers to keep them fresh and to store them at a cool temperature to prolong the vase life. Storage temperature is a common mistake in handling flowers. Typically, flower coolers are used at flower shops. To guarantee freshness, florists use wall thermometers, which are checked every now and then. However, it is not enough. There are several warm and cool spots inside the cooler, and those spots can be determined by using digital thermometers. Interestingly, the florists take advantage of the bucket solutions, which help keep fresh-cut flowers in quality condition and cooler temperature.

Cut flowers, like Red Jewel Roses, tend to last longer and have twice the vase life at 35°F temperature or lower. Vase life, however, is reduced if flowers are exposed to a higher temperature.

Storing flowers in the flower shop requires a consistently cool temperature. The florists may need to check and ensure that the temperature is maintained at 33°F to 35°F at all times. Some flowers may tolerate lower temperatures but most of them will suffer from high temperatures. In addition, fluctuation and constant change of temperature inside the cooler will greatly affect the quality and freshness of the flowers. Thus, it is helpful if the florists will check the temperature and air circulation at least twice a day.

Cleanliness inside the cooler is also an important factor in keeping flowers fresh and long-lasting. Florists should clean and disinfect the cooler or storage room, from the floor to the wall, shelves, and containers.

What is Ideal Temperature for Fresh Cut Flowers?

Whether in string flowers or transporting them, improper temperature and poor flower handling have a great impact on the quality and longevity of fresh-cut flowers. Ideally, the most suitable temperature range for non-tropical flowers is from 33°F to 35°F and 50°F to 55°F for tropical flowers. If the temperature goes too hot or too cold, it will not only affect the quality of the flowers but will also reduce their vase life. In general, keeping flowers at cool temperature increases the vase life because the respiration rate is slowed down.

Impact on the Florist Industry

The florist industry will definitely boom if florists provide customers with outstanding products, quality flowers, and reliable services. It begins by closely monitoring the temperature in the coolers, including the professional flower handling and transportation from the farm to the flower shop and flower shop to the recipient of florist delivery.