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Essential Tips for Harvesting Flowers

Say "NO" to wilted flowers and say"YES" to longer stem lengths and flowers that last!

When it comes to harvesting flowers, having optimal and consistent harvesting practices is essential. In order for blooms to perform well, it is important to not only reduce shock to your blooms during the harvesting process, but also for them to maintain osmosis -a.k.a. their ability to drink water.

Rule #1: Use clean buckets and clean snips

Sanitation is a must. We use hot soap and water (+/- a drop of bleach) to clean our buckets and disinfect our snips with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Bacterial contamination can affect the ability of flowers to drink water, thus effecting vase life. There are commercial products such as Floralife D.C.D. Cleaner which are effective in disinfecting vessels and tools. This product specifically doesn't require rinsing which can help save water and time.

Rule #2: Harvest early in the morning

Flowers have the most water content in the early morning and have been naturally "chilled out" by Mother Nature overnight.

Rule #3: Use outdoor faucet water (clean water source)

The temperature of the water that leaves an outdoor spigot is going to be similar to outdoor temperatures, especially in the early morning. Avoid shocking your blooms with vastly hotter or colder water temperatures.

*Don’t forget that hoses can heat up quickly, even with the morning sun.  Be sure to flush the hose if it is exposed to the sun.

Rule #4: Rest your blooms in a dark and cool spot for at least 2-3 hours

Allow your blooms ample time to acclimate before handling them or using them for design.

Rule #5: Harvest at the appropriate stage of flower development.

By harvesting blooms at their optimal stage, flowers will open at a steady, predictable rate. They will also be more consistent in how they perform and last.

Suggested harvesting stages:

Spring flowers:

Peonies, Ranunculus, and Anemone: loose bud/marshmallow stage

Daffodils: "gooseneck" stage

Tulips: when color appears on the bud

Summer blooms:

Dahlias: when heads are 3/4 open

Zinnias: when stems are sturdy and not wiggly

Cosmos: loose bud stage


Additives designed for hydration and storage/transport

When it comes to stems and drinking water, we like to add a product to our water called Floralife Express Clear 200.  This product is designed to keep stems open after harvest, feed a slow drip of nutrition, and also help keep the water clean.  What this means is that after we have let our blooms rest, stems do not need to be re-trimmed! (YES TO LONGER STEM LENGTHS!)

This product has been an absolute game changer for us as we can maintain stem length of our flowers and they perform better as they never stop drinking water!

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