Cut Flowers Last Longer When Stored in Cool Temperature

Fresh cut flowers on a sign with flowers around it

When stored in cool temperature, cut flowers live a longer vase life. The reason for this is simple – cooler temperature slows down the rate at which a cut flower uses up its food reserve. In nature, plants convert energy from the sun into sugar (plant food) via photosynthesis. Plants will then convert sugar and oxygen into energy to sustain the life of their cells. This food digestion process is called respiration. Once a flower is cut at the stem, it can no longer make food on its own and it survives solely by the food reserve it has stored in its leaves. Placing the cut flower in cool temperature will slow down the respiration rate, or the rate at which the flower uses up its food reserve, so it can live a longer life.

According to studies conducted in 2005 by Ceikel and Reid, a rose will use up two times the food reserve when it is stored at 45.5°F compared to 36.5°F. Cooler temperature not only slows down the rate at which a cut flower uses up its food reserve, it can also prevent the growth of microbes on the stems. For non-tropical cut flowers, it is generally best to keep them stored at just above freezing (33°F). But make sure the temperature does not drop to 32°F or lower, or freezing damage may occur. Floral industry leaders like FloraLife recommend florists to keep their cooler temperature set between 34°F (1.1°C) and 37°F (2.7°C).

As February slowly comes around, florists in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond will need to rent a walk in cooler to store their floral inventory for Valentine’s Day. Coolmate Rentals can provide florists with cooling fridge to rent on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Call Coolmate Rentals today to discuss mobile refrigeration solutions for your flower shop, and avoid being overwhelmed by Valentine’s Day traffic in February.