Flower Care: Cut Flower (Part 1)



What are the best flower care tips?

We all know the feeling when a beautiful bouquet or plant withers too quickly. We totally understand your pain! To help you enjoy your flowers and plants for longer, we’ve compiled this list of care tips that you can implement at home. You will find that with a little effort you can keep your flowers and plants beautiful for a long time.

Flowers that were cut
  • Choose high quality flowers. Pay attention to the quality of the stem; check for strength, color and absence of injuries.
  • Choose a suitable vase and make sure it is clean.
  • Do not use metal or antique crystal vases, but if you must, use in combination with an acid-resistant seal.
  • Use fresh tap cold water.
  • Remove the leaves that are below the edge of the vase and cut 2-5 cm from the stem.
  • Avoid damaging the stem and remove thorns only if absolutely necessary.
  • Use a sharp, clean knife or florist’s shears and cut the stems at a 45 degree angle.
  • Do not use unprotected or contaminated organic bonding material.
  • Give flowers that have arrived wilted a chance to rehydrate in their packaging by placing them in water in a cool, dark place for a few hours.
  • Fill the vase with enough water and regularly check the amount of water in it.
  • Use food for cut flowers; make sure you follow the correct dosage.
  • No need to change the water if flower food is used – just top up with water and flower food when the water level drops to about 1/3 of the height of the vase.
  • Use the same flower food when supplementing.
  • Remove wilted or damaged flowers.
  • Do not spray the buds and flowers with water, as this increases the risk of Botrytis fungus development.
  • Flowers do not like drafts, direct sunlight, proximity to heating devices, smoke and proximity to ripening fruits.
Potted and perennial plants
  • Buy high quality plants. Pay attention to the quality of flowers, leaves and roots; check for strength, color and absence of injuries.
  • Pay attention to plant activity ie. whether young leaves and flowers are still developing.
  • Whenever possible, use rainwater for irrigation.
  • Regularly remove old or damaged flowers and leaves.
  • Do not spray the buds and flowers with water, as this increases the risk of Botrytis fungus development.
  • Plants do not like drafts, direct sunlight, near heating appliances, smoke and near ripening fruit.
  • Choose a suitable location so that the plants can develop their flowers and buds.
  • Growth processes slow down at lower temperatures, meaning they will stay beautiful for longer.
  • Make sure that the plant is provided with enough water, but not too much.
  • Avoid damaging the plant.

What factors determine the duration of life in a vase and of storage?

Keeping flowers and plants in top shape for as long as possible can be quite a challenge. Therefore, it is important to know which factors affect vase life and shelf life.

Physiological life expansion of plants and cut flowers

Color development is different for each plant species and culture. Providing insufficient care will cause the plant to wither faster. Care after plucking does not have the power to affect the genetic potential of the flower or plants, but is aimed at achieving the longest possible life.

Conditions for growing the plant

Conditions such as light, temperature, relative humidity, pollination and crop protection have a huge effect on post-harvest quality.

Conditions after picking

Temperature, and in particular humidity, determine whether the cut flower will be delivered to the consumer in good condition after picking. Higher temperatures encourage the development of flowers, while large temperature changes stimulate the growth of Botrytis fungi.


Lack of hygiene encourages the growth of microorganisms, which in turn makes the water in a vase cloudy, dirty and foul-smelling.


Cut flowers and plants come from all corners of the globe and are transported over vast distances. Climate control, good packaging, post-harvest care and speed are all very important to keeping flowers and plants in top shape.

Care after harvesting

Aftercare for any type of flower or plant is extremely important so that the flowers arrive intact.

What are the three main problems after cutting?

Cut flowers
  1. Violated water balance

In vases with contaminated water, the vascular connections are blocked by air bubbles, microorganisms or organic matter. The symptoms of impaired water balance are:

  • Fluttering petals.
  • Bloomed flower/ The plant turns its color down/.
  1. Disturbed balance of growth regulators

After plucking, many flowers produce either excessive or insufficient amounts of growth regulators that were previously naturally provided by the parent plant. The symptoms are:

  • Withered petals, drooping leaves and buds, which in turn leads to a shorter life in a vase.
  • Yellowing of leaves and inhibition of development.
  • Elongation of the stem.
  • Geotropism (growth influenced by gravity). When transported in a horizontal position, the heads of these plants tend to bend towards the light or in a direction opposite to gravity.
  1. Disturbed nutritional balance

Energy is needed for water absorption, production of plant hormones and natural flower development. Without energy, it would not be able to develop and would therefore wither much faster. Symptoms of nutritional imbalance are:

  • Inhibited development of flowers and buds.
  • Pale colors.
  • Little or no fragrance.
  • Inhibited inflorescence development.
Potted plants
  1. Lack of water
  • Make sure that there is enough water for the plant, but not too much.
  • In general, perennials need a lot of water. The amount of water in a pot, however, is limited. To help you with this, we developed Chrysal LeafShine & Seal. It prevents evaporation for a certain time without hindering growth. Please note that this preparation does not replace watering. A water buffer can also be created with Chrysal Aqua Pad or Chrysal Aquastick, thus extending storage time without the need for re-watering.
  1. Lack of light
  • Many plants are stored in carts and seedling pots. They are ideal for transport but are not suitable in the long term as they inhibit plant development.
  1. Temperature
  • The range of potted plants and perennials is huge and they all have different needs. Some plants prefer temperatures between 12-18°, while others can survive at 2-12°.
  • Growth processes slow down at lower temperatures, which means the flowers will stay beautiful for longer.
  • Keep in mind that some plants are sensitive to low temperatures. For perennials, however, low temperatures are preferable.

How to prevent the damage caused by the secretion that daffodils give off?

Daffodils with their bright and vibrant colors are everyone’s favorite, being a kind of harbinger of spring. That is why they are a popular choice and are offered in bouquets both independently and in combination with other flowers, such as tulips, anemonies, irises, freesias, etc. After cutting, the daffodil exudes a secretion from its stem. This secretion originates from the lattice tubes (phloem) and when the narcissus, for example, is mixed in a bouquet with other flowers, this secretion can harm them. If it is not cut again or kept separate from other flowers for a day after cutting, the problem is largely prevented. Cut the other flowers before the daffodils to prevent transfer of secretions.

Therapeutic Agents

In order to make possible the sale of mixed bouquets, Chrysal has developed 2 products:

  • For retailers and florists – Chrysal CVBN tablet. This tablet neutralizes this “toxic” secretion for other flowers.
  • For the end user we have developed Chrysal daffodil food which can also be used in a mixed bouquet

Why don’t the flowers in a mixed bouquet bloom at the same time?

Collecting the flowers

The flowers are picked at different stages of “maturity”, depending on the needs of the market. Gerberas and chrysanthemums look more blooming when they are in a mixed bouquet with carnations or lilies.

Requirements of nutrients

Flowers that are harvested while they are in the “bud stage”, such as roses, gladioli, eustoma, need more nutrients to develop fully.

Water quality in a vase

Lack of hygiene can lead to excessive growth of microorganisms. This is not good for water and nutrient uptake, which can slow down or stop flower development altogether. We recommend:

  • Hygiene; preventing the development of micro-organisms in the water and trimming the stem by 2-5 cm can contribute to a longer vase life and odor-free water.
  • Never mix old water from a vase with fresh water.
  • For professional use, we recommend Chrysal Professional 2 for bouquets and Professional 3 – for arrangements. Provide your customers with enough flower food with their bouquet.
  • Buy flowers as close to maturity as possible.

Why do cut flowers and plants not like to stay current?

At all stages of distribution, current can be a problem. It causes the moisture to evaporate faster, thus preventing the plant from absorbing it, and the end result is wilted flowers.

Stoma located from below side of the leaves, regulate the moisture and heat that the flower emits. If there is light air movement, the air layer around the leaves forms a protective cushion to prevent excessive evaporation. When there is strong air movement, for example due to a draft, this natural, protective layer disappears. Under such conditions, where the plant and flower evaporate more moisture than they can absorb, the result is invariably wilted leaves and withered flowers.

Our recommendations:
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible.
  • Use suitable packaging to prevent damage during transport and water evaporation through the leaves.
  • Do not place your flowers or plants near front doors, open windows, fans, heaters or air conditioners.


Follow our blog for more tips on how to care for flowers.