How Does Temperature Impact Cut Flowers?
As we move into summer, our gardens and homes inevitably become awash with cut flowers. Whether you’re someone who fills vases every week or a professional florist who hails this season as their busiest, there is a need for cut flowers to stay at their freshest. This is where temperature-controlled transportation comes into play. Anyone who has visited a florist will notice a moderate temperature. Its purpose is to create the ideal environment for cut flowers to stay at their freshest. Maintaining a consistent environment allows professional florists to transport freshly cut blooms to the desired location confidently, whether this is for sale or presentation.
Why Does Temperature Have an Impact?
Flowers are, by nature, delicate. They are highly dependent on their environments to both grow and thrive. This is why certain flowers and plants cannot grow in certain areas across the world. Depending on their individual needs, each species needs to have access to optimal conditions when they are planted and when they are cut. Flowers react with their environment. They drink in the moisture in the air, they react to fluctuating temperature and they are heavily impacted by humidity. They wilt, grey and mould in reaction to a lack of moisture. Once a flower is cut, it also begins to use up the food resources that it has already stored in its leaves and petals. This process quickens in warmer conditions and slows in lower temperatures.
There is much research to suggest a direct correlation between fresh-cut flowers and low temperatures. Studies into the gerbera and the sunflower found that lower temperatures reduce the ‘bent neck’ appearance of flowers stored in warmer environments. When flowers are exposed to lower temperatures quickly and when these conditions are maintained, this ‘ageing’ process can be significantly delayed.
Optimal Temperature for Cut Flower Transportation
The needs of each individual flower vary depending on their requirements. However, it is generally accepted that cut flowers should be transported at a consistent temperature of between 0 – 8°c – depending on the species. Rapid cooling, actioned by standing cut flowers in buckets of preservation solution in cold rooms) allows field heat to be removed as quickly as possible once picked. This prolongs their lifespan and reduces the risk of disease development.
In other environments, vacuum cooling can be used to reduce the temperature of flowers with a high surface-area-to-volume ratio. Or, pressure cooling (forced air-cooling) passes a stream of cold air through cartons of flowers offering one of the cheapest and more flexible methods in the industry to date.
Here at Iceotemp, we specialize in temperature-controlled courier services for the floral industry. Our converted vehicles have the highest standards of equipment and machinery, ensuring we can maintain specific temperature and environments during shipment. Let us support you during your next early morning shipment or for this year’s displays. Get in contact with our team today for more information.