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  1. Conditioning and Storing Flowers
  2. Long lasting flowers important pleases customer happy customers return to the florist when they need flowers in the future
  3. Flower deterioration Low water absorption most flower stems are at least partially blocked when they arrive at the retail florist
  4. Causes of blockage cutting stems with dull tools cut with shears that pinch the xylem (water conducting tubes in the stem)
  5. Causes of blockage bacteria or minerals in the water clog the stem
  6. Loss of water transpiration process by which plants lose water through their leaves
  7. Transpiration gases and water vapor move from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration
  8. Loss of Water water vapor moves out of the plant through the stomata (stomates) tiny openings in the underside of the leaf
  9. Loss of Water flowers wilt when moisture is lost through transpiration quicker than it is taken in through the stems.
  10. Loss of Water occurs more rapidly at higher temperatures
  11. Loss of food flowers are still living and need a source of food
  12. Loss of food flowers continue to photosynthesize after they are cut must be given the proper light and a source of sugar
  13. Disease Botrytis a fungus which causes brown spots on petals
  14. Botrytis do not allow flowers to get wet before putting them in the cooler allow wet flowers to dry before putting in the cooler
  15. Ethylene Gas naturally occurring gas in flowers that speed maturity
  16. Ethylene Gas causes rapid deterioration of cut flowers many sources of ethylene gas
  17. Ethylene Gas fruit, especially apples diseased or injured flowers
  18. Ethylene Gas rotting foliage below the water line exhaust fumes from cars
  19. Symptoms of ethylene premature death flower and petal drop yellowing of foliage
  20. Symptoms of ethylene loss of foliage upward cupping of petals - known as sleepiness in carnations.
  21. pH pH of 3.2 - 4.5 maximizes hydration floral preservatives commonly added to prolong flower life lower the pH
  22. Conditioning flowers techniques of treating flowers to extend their life. Begins when flowers arrive from the wholesaler
  23. Unpacking as soon as they arrive loosen paper or plastic sleeves which they have been wrapped in
  24. Unpacking flowers will expand as they mature flowers will be crushed if the sleeves are not loosened.
  25. Unpacking do not loosen sleeves on roses customers prefer roses in the bud stage
  26. Unpacking check for signs of disease, damage or wilting remove damaged or diseased flowers from the bunch before storage
  27. Unpacking excessive damage should be reported to the wholesaler
  28. Re-cut the stems stems are cut with a knife rather than shears shears can pinch the xylem tubes causing partial blockage
  29. Re-cut the stems cut stems on a slant this helps them to absorb more water prevents the stems from sealing to the bottom of the container
  30. Re-cut the stems stems should be cut under warm water warm water contains less air than cold water
  31. Re-cut the stems stems that have a milky sap must be blackened over a flame or put the tips in boiling water for 10-30 seconds to seal the sap so water can be absorbed.
  32. Remove lower foliage remove all foliage from stems that would be underwater in the storage container foliage left underwater will decay and lead to bacterial growth
  33. Remove lower foliage rotting foliage clogs the stems and releases ethylene gas
  34. Clean Containers and Cooler containers for flower storage should be cleaned with hot detergent solution, disinfected with bleach and thoroughly rinsed
  35. Clean Containers and Cooler a 10% bleach solution is used for disinfecting the containers
  36. Metal Containers decrease the effectiveness of preservatives
  37. Preservatives Place a warm preservative solution in the container prior to adding flowers
  38. Preservatives temperature of the solution should be between 100 degrees and 110 degrees Farenheit
  39. Preservatives can be purchased in either liquid or powder form follow directions for mixing the preservative
  40. Preservatives Contain: –Acidifier –Sugar (food) –Bacterial Growth inhibitor