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Flower Care, Seasonal Flowers

Why we don’t use flower foods and preservatives

We are often asked by our customers for flower food sachets to add to the water when they take their flowers home, however here at Blooms we believe that these products do not benefit our customers and therefore we do not stock them. Here’s a little insight into how they work and why we no longer use them.

Many sundry companies in the floral industry have some variant on a flower food or preservatives product. These are designed to help extend the life of your flowers, they come in many forms, but most commonly a powder or liquid which is added to the water in the vase. These are marketed as products which will increase the life of flowers, however we have found that this is not the case. The product is usually made-up of two well-known practices for keeping your flowers fresh, such as:

  • A cleaning agent – You may have heard old wives tales of adding bleach to the water in your vase. The basis of this method is that the bleach keeps the water clean and free of the grime and bacteria that is present when the stems of flowers begin to rot in the stagnant water.
  • A food source – Similarly, sugar added to the water is another method used for the preservation of flowers. It creates a food source for the flowers helping them become their fullest potential bloom quickly. This is the main element of the flower foods and preservatives marketed, and to us, the most problematic.

We find that the main issues with the flower food products are that this food source component promotes the bloom of the flower too quickly. The flower drinks up this sugary food source and it accelerates the blooming process shortening the expected lifespan of  your flower. As an example, here at Blooms we aim to sell flowers such as lilies closed and in bud, this means that you can expect your flowers to last up to two weeks as they open fully and begin to decay. However, when the flower food is added to the water, you can expect your lilies to last only a week as they will open almost straight away. This could be effective if you needed your flowers looking their best immediately, but in our experience generally customers prefer their flowers to last as long as possible.

As for the cleaning agent, this is a perfectly reasonable and effective method of prolonging the life of your flowers, the less bacteria present in the vase the better for your blooms so keeping the water clean is a must. You can easily achieve this though by regularly changing the water in your vase and cleaning the vase thoroughly afterwards and when it is not in use. Also trimming the stems regularly to prevent build up of grime and blockage on the stem is a great option. In our opinion, this is the best method for preserving your flowers, and this is what we recommend.

Overall, we believe that our customer’s flowers benefit more if they are left to bloom naturally, while making sure to care for the hygiene of your vase. We think it is a waste of effort and time to introduce flower food to your bunch, as you can achieve a much more pleasing result naturally. If you have previously used these products and are not sure where to start, just ask! We are always happy to give you some suggestions on how to help you enjoy your flowers longer.