The Complete Guide to Choosing Fresh Cut Flowers

guide to choosing flowers - farm florist

For those who prefer to purchase fresh cut flowers from your local wholesaler to getting a ready made bouquet from your local florist, this article is for you! (Though FARM Florist does import and sell fresh cut flowers too)

Many of us enjoy having fresh flowers on display at our home or office spaces, and it’s hard to find someone who wouldn’t like fresh flowers as a gift! Fresh cut flowers are also perfect additions to our special occasions and decorations. There are many places you can purchase freshly cut flowers from, for example, florists, certain grocery stores, markets or sometimes even road-side stands in some countries. However, picking the right fresh cut flowers can be quite a task. That’s why we are here to help!

  1. Look at the underside of the petals on the flowers

    Withering roses - Something to avoid!
    How do i know if my roses are going to wither soon?

Use your fingers and slide gently over the bottom surface of the flower petals, all down through the stem up till the roots. The petals of fresh flowers and the stem would feel firm to your touch. If you feel like the petals are flimsy, then the flower is on its way to wilt. Also, if you feel the petals to be cold or moist, it means that the flower is approaching decomposition too!

  1. Look at the appearance of the flowers

Try not to get cut flowers which look pale, faded from their original colours, with petals that are getting “see-through” or translucent. Also reject flowers which are turning dull and brown, or if you already see petals wilting or dropping off.

  1. Any signs of reproduction?

If you see seeds, loose pollen or any of the reproductive structures swollen and peeking out of the flowers you are purchasing, then you are buying cuts which were removed from their parent plants way past their prime period. Fresh flowers which are meant to last long in your vases are supposed to be cut before their reproductive period.

  1. Pick the youngest flowers

    a tulip not yet opened
    a tulip not yet opened

Pick the flowers which look the youngest on your purchase. Younger flowers are often those that are just opening up from being a bud. If you can get buds and let them bloom with your own vase that would be fine as well! If you pick flowers which have already bloomed out then you are potentially losing the 3 or 4 days that they take to fully bloom from a bud stage.

Some flowers are more specific. For example, if you want to purchase Tulips, you have to get those which are fully closed. The colour of the Tulip should be seen at the tip of the buds you are purchasing but the bottom of the Tulip should still remain green – this is the freshest Tulips you can pick out!

  1. Check the stems of the flowers

Pick flowers which have the cleanest, most firm and strongest stems. The colour of the stems should be of a healthy green as well. If you see flowers with weak, flaccid and brown stems you should reject them. The colour change of the stems indicates that there is an accumulation of bacteria in the water tubes of the plant. These bacteria would easily move up to contaminate and ruin your flower in just a matter of hours after your purchase. Also note that even if you use bleach or apple cider vinegar in the water of your vase, most bacteria are able to multiply rapidly and progress upwards as long as there are enough of them to start with.

If you see slime on the stems or if the stems are broken, immediately reject those flowers too!

  1. Past the petals and stems, the leaves are important too

    Sagging Leaves - do these resemble the leaves on your flowers?
    Sagging Leaves – do these resemble the leaves on your flowers?

The leaves of the flowers are important to note too. The leaves should also be of a healthy green colour, with a firm consistency and a fresh appearance. If the leaves are sagging, it is a sure sign that the petals of the flower are going to wilt soon too. If the leaves are brown, dotted or yellow, it means that the plant is either contaminated with bacteria or that the plant is old.

If the leaves have clearly demarcated holes on them, reject those flowers too as it means that the plant was infested and eaten up by insects before they were cut.

  1. Finally, look at the water the flowers are sitting in before purchase

You have to have a keen eye and note if the water the fresh cut flowers are sitting in is clean or not. If the water is murky, brown or has sediments floating in it then it is a sign that the flower is contaminated with bacteria. This means the flower is not going to last you for very long!

The main goal is for you to pick out the freshest flowers so that they last you or your recipient as long as possible. We hope this guide was helpful to achieve that aim!

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