A customer complaining about the quality of your flowers is the last thing your shop needs to deal with right now. Make sure you and your team are trained to spot and address some of the most common flower disorders with help from a recent column in Floral Management magazine.
In the April/May issue, Terril A. Nell, Ph.D., AAF, a former president of the Society of American Florists and the current research coordinator of the American Floral Endowment, wrote that retail florists should develop their detective skills to identify problems early and develop strategies for avoiding them in the future.
“The causes of flower disorders can occur anywhere along their journey from production to retail settings,” he explained. “Fortunately, in many cases, the solutions are inexpensive or even free.”
One symptom to be on the lookout for? Wilting, shattering and dropping of petals and leaves.
“Wilting of petals happens whenever water fails to move into them,” Nell explained. “Water is needed to keep the cells functioning properly.”
Another likely suspect is ethylene — a naturally occurring hormone that kills flowers.
“Ethylene is given off by aging flowers, fruits and vegetables, along with combustion engines (for example, gas-powered delivery vehicles, propane heaters, or propane-powered floor buffers). In these cases, ethylene gas in the air will damage flowers,” Nell wrote.
“Flowers can produce ethylene internally, causing petal wilting, shattering and dropping of leaves and buds,” he added. “Ethylene is called the wound hormone, because it is generated by flowers as a result of stress from drying out, high temperatures, or vibration during transport. In these cases, ethylene is not measurable in the air.”
Read the full column in the April/May issue of the magazine.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management magazine.