Whether you are a grower, a wholesaler or a retailer of flowers, there’ll always be need of your flowers looking and smelling as fresh as when they were harvested, for the longest time possible.
Getting the best out of your Cold room for flower storage
Everything that operates on earth has rules and principles. You might have the best cold room for your flower storage, but if you don’t keep the simple rules involved, you might not get maximum results from your cold room.
Store at most favorable temperature and humidity
Make sure you store the flowers in a cool room that has an adjustable temperature system and a humidifier. Most types of flowers remain fresh longer when stored at roughly 1 degree Celsius.
Optimum qualified humidity for most types of cut flowers is normally 90%-95%.
Re-cut the stems
The majority of flowers brought by retailers have stems that are partially blocked by minerals, and bacteria that are usually caused by cutting tools which sometimes squash the xylem (water conducting tube in the stem) This reduces the ability of the flowers to absorb water which leads to earlier deterioration.
To lengthen the life of freshly cut flowers it is advisable to re-cut the stems with a sharp knife at a slanted angle. The angled cut enhances water absorption hence, preventing the stems from fastening to the base of the container.
Use a reefer for the freshest stored flowers
An affordable option to keep your flowers at the correct temperature is by use of a refrigerated shipping container which is also known as a reefer.
Advantages of using a reefer for cold storing your flowers are that:
- A reefer can be fully modified with shelving, ventilation, a humidifier, light sources, partitions, and anything else that’s needed.
- You can operate on rented reefer for seasonal or temporary flower storage needs. For example before Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and other holidays.
- The steel lining of a reefer makes it easy to disinfect – This is an important consideration for shielding cut flowers and protecting them from fungal infections especially the Botrytis cinerea which is the common fungi affecting florists. You as well protect your flowers from bacterial infections.
- Renting or buying a reefer makes it easy for you to immediately add cold storage space when need be. Therefore, it saves you the hustle of investing money and time in the building of a permanent cold storage facility.
- A reefer is highly durable, tamper-proof, and is portable. These qualities make it perfect for outdoor use especially during harsh climates.
Use the right preservatives
It is important to add a flower stabilizer to the water in your storage container as it has myriad advantages driven by its life support system which include:
- sugar – essential for the production of food
- essential minerals – support longevity.
- acidifier – lowers the water’s PH
- bactericide – reduces bacterial activity
Only store dry blooms
Damp flowers are more vulnerable to fungal growth. In fact, Botrytis has become the highly commonly known enemy of cut roses, lisianthus and gerberas.
Botrytis is a grey mildew that spreads very fast, and like other fungi, it relies on moisture to grow. Once your flowers get infected by this fungus, they have to be disposed of.
A basic rule is to store dry blooms only that have no dark splotches which are usually a sign of Botrytis infection.
Be aware of pH
The optimal PH in storage water should be between 3. 5 and 5.0 for better conservation of your cut flowers. The low pH slows down the growth of microbes which block or hamper the ability of the plant to absorb water.