Ornamental Horticulture Mimeo Report OH 65-1
CUT FLOWERS IN MASS MARKET OUTLETS
SJ. Sheehan and C. N. Smith
Agcultural Experiment Stations
SUniversity of Florida
/ Gainesville, Florida
Success in marketing cut flowers in supermarkets, variety stores and other self-
service outlets depends largely on methods store personnel employ in handling and merchan-
dising these products. Research and operating experience indicate that the practices lis-
ted below should help maintain top quality flowers. Maintaining top quality improves cus-
tomer relationship and results in more flower sales.
Step 3 Place the freshly cut stem ends
immediately into containers with 4 to 5 in-
ches of warm (1000F.) water. Cut flowers
are living organisms and warm water will
move into their tissues faster than cold
water. Containers of flowers should then
be stored at lower temperatures to slow
down respiration and transpiration.
Step 1 Flowers should be removed from
boxes or hampers immediately on arrival.
Although they may be wilted, this is usu-
ally a temporary condition. Such flowers
will revive if properly handled.
Step 2 Cut off lower 1 inch of stem with
a knife to enable the tissues to absorb wa-
ter more readily and therefore live longer.
Step 4 Flowers should be stored at 40-450F. for 4 to 6 hours to "harden" or condition
them before they are put on display. Flowers can be stored in the refrigerator in cans,
plastic water buckets or similar containers until placed in a cart or other display de-
vice. The use of floral preservatives (e.g., Bloomlife, Petalife and Floralife) in all
containers will, in many cases, add several days to the shelf life of the cut flowers.
Step 5 All unsold bunches should be re-
turned to the refrigerator at the end of the
day. Storing the flowers overnight in the
WO .refrigerator prolongs their life. If refri-
gerated display areas are available, flowers
can be left on display overnight without
A well-planned display, properly placed in the store, will help increase flower
sales. A wide selection of flowers should be on display at all times. This enables
customers to choose the color and variety of flowers which best suit their needs.
Step 7 Flowers are highly perishable
and only top quality flowers should be
displayed. Flowers past their prime
should be discarded.
Step 9 The flower display area should
be readily visible to customers. An ideal
location is at the end of an aisle. Al-
though attractive displays will do much to
stimulate cut flower sales, the enthusiasm
of the produce manager is extremely impor-
tant. A manager who shows an interest in
flowers and keeps his display in order can
do more towards selling flowers than numer-
ous signs and other merchandising aids.
Step 6 Flowers should not be over-
crowded in display containers because
they are easily bruised. This is espec-
ially true of gladiolus as the florets
start to open while on display in the
Step 8 Flowers should not be displayed
near hot air registers or blower type heat-
ers. Excessive drafts over flowers will de-
crease shelf life and may cause premature
Successful mass marketing of cut flowers can be accomplished by:
1. Removing cut flowers from boxes on arrival.
2. Cutting lower 1 inch from stems.
3. Placing in warm water for reconditioning.
4. Storing at 40-450F. until needed for display.
5. Displaying away from hot air registers or drafts.
6. Keeping displays in good condition and readily visible to customers.