Have you ever wondered what you should look for when buying flowers?
There are a few simple steps you should follow to ensure you get the best quality flowers. The main aim when buying flowers is simply to spot the bunch which is the freshest! By following these steps and our Cut Flower Care tips, you can ensure the flowers you buy last as long as possible.
Of course, if you buy from an experienced florist you can rely on them to provide you with good quality and freshness, making purchasing so much easier and reliable for you. We can also provide you with specific care advice at home relating to the type of arrangement and the variety of flower.
BUY ‘INSIDE’ FLOWERS
Many retailers place flowers outside to advertise that they sell flowers. Never buy these! Buy the flowers that are inside the shop, out of the sun and away from potentially harmful car fumes. To make sure they last, most flowers should be kept in the cool and out of the sun. Some flowers can also be harmed by car exhaust fumes which contain deadly (to flowers) ethylene gas. This gas accelerates the aging process, resulting in flowers wilting and dropping. Most affected are carnations, roses, orchids and waxflower so it’s best to choose flowers that are displayed inside, away from these harmful conditions.
CHECK THE STEM ENDS
Turn the bunch upside down and have a good look at the cut stem ends. They should be green or white and look freshly cut and on an angle. Don't buy bunches with dark stem ends, or where the ends have split and are curling back, as these are signs of old flowers.
CHECK THE WATER
The flowers you buy at any retail outlet should be in water. Check the cleanliness of the water and the container. Is the water clear? If you wouldn’t drink it, it needs changing. Is the container clean? If not don't buy the flowers. Dirty water and dirty containers will reduce the flowers' life.
CHECK THE LEAVES
In many types of cut flowers the leaves start to die before the flower. Check the leaves for signs of yellowing or blotching. If you see these signs don't buy. This is especially useful when buying lilies or chrysanthemums. If you are buying roses, don't buy bunches with dried leaves.
CHECK THE FLOWERS
Lastly, look at the flowers and buds. Many flower buds, like roses or lilies open well in the vase (with proper care) so choose the bunch with the fewest open flowers. On the other hand, don’t buy lilies unless some flowers are starting to crack. Other flowers like Gerbera need to be fully open but take care not to buy Gerberas with lots of pollen as they are already old. Look for bruises , creases, petal transparency, brown marks and signs of insect damage or disease. Buds should be tight but not too tight that they will fail to open, have strong necks and showing some colour. Hold the flower bunch upside down to see that no flowers fall off as can be the case with Singapore orchids.