Transporting fresh-cut flowers can get extremely tricky, especially if you want them to arrive looking as gorgeous as when they were first cut. Even if you’re not a professional florist, you can take steps to ensure your blooms don’t get damaged en route to their destination. With some simple preparation and care, your flowers will make it from point A to point B looking fabulous.
Prep Properly After Purchase
First things first—you need to properly prep your flowers for transport right after purchasing them. Start by cutting the stems on an angle with a sharp, clean knife or garden shears. This opens up the stem to allow more water intake. Remove any leaves that will sit below the water line in the vase, as they will cause bacterial growth.
Hydrate Stems Before Transport
Next, it’s important to hydrate your flowers. Submerge the stems in room temperature water for at least 30 minutes before transporting. For best results, use floral preservative powder in the water. This provides nutrients and prevents bacterial growth. Make sure no leaves remain underwater when hydrating. Your local Ventura CA florist can provide variety-specific advice if you’re unsure how best to transport a certain bloom.
Prevent Shifting and Damage in Transit
Okay, flowers prepped—now let’s get to the actual transportation. The key here is to prevent the flowers from slipping, leaning, or rubbing together in transit. This can easily crush delicate petals and bruise stems. Start by laying flowers carefully in a sturdy box or crate, ensuring they won’t slide around. If needed, gently wrap the stems with paper or cloth to keep them from leaning and crossing over each other.
Regulate Temperature During Transport
For ultimate protection, wrap each flower head in tissue or florist wrap. Be sure not to wrap too tightly around the buds or you may damage them. Nursing homes often require individually wrapped flowers to prevent contamination. A wrap is available at most craft stores or flower shops in Ventura.
Protect from Sun and Wind Exposure
If transporting a large bouquet or arrangement, securely anchor it in a sturdy vase or foam base so it stays upright and doesn’t tip over. Pay special attention to delicate flowers like orchids—consider transporting these separately if at all possible.
Temperature during transport is also critical. The ideal temperature range is 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid keeping flowers in extreme heat or cold, as this accelerates wilting and decay. A cooler or insulated tote bag helps regulate temperature.
Keep Stems Hydrated When Carrying Bouquets
Ventura County residents: remember our coastal climate! Protect your flowers from direct sun exposure and wind, which can quickly dehydrate. Cover the flowers or keep arrangements in the foot space of your passenger seat rather than the rear window ledge.
When carrying individual stems or small bouquets, wrap the flower heads in paper and group the stems. Hold them vertically with the heads up and the stems immersed in water. Use a tall drinking glass or water bottle on the drive. This will keep the stems hydrated. For large bouquets too big for a vase, lay them carefully on the seat and drive steadily over smooth roads.
Store Properly if Delaying Transport
If you can’t transport your flowers right away, store them properly until you’re ready. Recut the stems and place them in fresh water with floral preservatives. Refrigerate bouquets loosely wrapped in breathable plastic or paper. Mist orchids and gardenias occasionally—they don’t like to dry out. Avoid storing flowers near ripening fruit, as the ethylene gas will shorten their vase life.
Caring for Flowers After Transport
Your transportation precautions don’t stop once you’ve reached your destination. To sustain longevity, re-cut stems and immediately place flowers in a clean vase filled with fresh water and floral preservatives. Remove any leaves or petals damaged in transit. Gently shape arrangements back into form if needed. Display flowers out of direct sunlight to prevent premature wilting. And remember to change the water and re-cut stems every few days for maximum vase life.
Special Considerations for Tropical Varieties
Transporting tropical varieties like orchids, anthurium, bromeliads or gingers requires extra TLC as these plants are accustomed to warm, humid environments. Prevent exposure to drafts or temperature fluctuations that could shock the plants. Cushion the pot or mount it securely to prevent shifting and root damage. Maintain hydration and use breathable packaging like organza bags. Upon arrival, unpack immediately and water if necessary before displaying. Acclimate the plants to their new indoor environment gradually, and confirm optimal light and humidity conditions for each variety.
Emergency Flower Transport Repairs
Even with proper preparation, flower damage can still occur during transport. Don’t panic! Gently reshape or prune any crushed petals or leaves. Recut bruised or bent stems diagonally and immerse in warm water immediately upon arrival. For wilted flowers, immerse the entire flower underwater for 10-30 minutes to allow stems to rehydrate. Remove any damaged petals or leaves and display flowers promptly in a vase.
Follow these tips and your flowers should arrive in spectacular shape, ready to grace a dining table, brighten a hospital room, or express your sentiments beautifully. Also, ask your local florist for recommendations on transport materials based on the types of flowers you are moving. For gorgeous flowers delivered in peak condition, order your floral gifts from Secret Garden Florist.