Do you always wonder why cut flowers are sold with flower food? Do you really need it? When you buy flowers from your favorite florist in the UAE, you get an extra package with flower food. You might think your flowers look fresh and healthy; your flowers will thank you for using flower food. It makes your flowers more vibrant and appealing. It is necessary to buy from a reputable flower shop where you get flower food with your delivery.
What is Flower Food?
What are those mysterious packages you get with your bouquet? You might think that they are useless because they don’t change the consistency or color of the water, but they keep the flowers vibrant.
Buying flowers from a reputable flower shop guarantees that you will get flower food. A professional florist knows which flower food is suitable for specific flowers and mixed bouquets. Although different flower food brands vary and are ideal for different uses, they have the same composition.
The main ingredients include acid to lower the water’s pH. It is a weak acid that’s harmless. Flower food is usually packed with nutrients in the form of sugars. Bleach is used to diminish fungi and bacteria.
Why Flower Food is Important
There are many reasons why florists recommend using flower food. Here are the reasons why you should consider using flower food;
Changing the flower’s water is important, but using flower food is more important. Bacteria destroy plants. Sometimes vases and containers can harbor bacteria; you can identify this by looking at the water. If the water in the vase smells or appears dirty or cloudy, it has bacteria. These microorganisms grow and multiply very fast.
They make the water dirty and smelly, but they also clog stems and generate ethylene gas which compromises the health of cut flowers. Bacteria enter the stem walls, clogs them, and causes the foliage and flowers to wilt. Buying your bouquet from a reputable florist will get you a packet of flower food to prolong the life of your cut flowers.
Do you get vibrant fresh flowers but notice the leaves turning yellow or flower heads falling in a few days? These are signs of botrytis cinerea, a grey fungus that affects cut flowers like roses, chrysanthemum, dahlia, violet, carnations, etc. This fungus appears as grey lesions on petals.
With time, this lesion spreads throughout the petals and the stems; this causes the flower head to drop and petal drop, thereby reducing vase life. Since flower food contains bleach, it diminishes fungi present in the vase and water and helps your flowers to thrive.
Ethylene gas, also known as the “ripening” or “death” hormone, is a colorless and odorless gas; it influences how plants grow and develop. You can tell whether your cut flowers are exposed to ethylene by observing various signs such as leaf yellowing, dullness, petal or flower drop, irregular opening, premature death, etc.
Although flowers produce ethylene, they are also exposed to it from other sources like other flowers, cigarette smoke, propane heaters, etc. It’s also produced by ripening vegetables and fruits. Different flowers show different signs when exposed to ethylene; for instance, in roses, symptoms vary based on the variety, but they mostly show bent neck, leaf drop, premature wilting, petal shattering, abnormal opening, and petal discoloration.
In carnations, buds fail to open, and petals roll in. Orchids exhibit bud drop, petal wilting, and translucent petals. In lilies, buds drop or fail to open. Flower food contains ethylene inhibitors that protect your bouquet from ethylene damage and also block it from being absorbed.
One of the benefits of using flower food for your bouquet is to regulate water pH. Although many factors affect your cut flowers, water quality matters the most. Several factors affect water quality: pH level, total dissolved solids, hardness, and alkalinity.
Cut flowers are perishable because they are severed from the root system that gives them life; this means that the water quality is critical for the blooms.
The proper water pH determines the health and longevity of your blooms. The pH scale is used to determine the alkalinity or acidity of an aqueous solution. A pH above 7 is considered alkaline, while below 7 is acidic.
Did you know that tap water is usually between a pH of 5-8? The optimum pH level is between 3 and 5; this is the best pH range to support the health of your blooms. Using flower food enables your water to remain at an optimum level.
Flower food contains carbohydrates that help the flower to remain healthy and fresh longer. Sucrose is the most popular type of sugar used for cut flowers to prolong life. Cut flowers have no direct source of food. Adding sucrose to water replaces the lost nutrients to maintain the health and longevity of your blooms.
Although you can use sugar to nourish your flowers, it promotes the growth of bacteria that make the water cloudy, smelly and block the stems leading to wilting. Flower food, on the other hand, improves your flowers and eliminates bacteria.
It is common sense that cut flowers need water to thrive. However, pathogens in the vase can hinder water uptake. Pathogens attack flowers and clog the stems; this makes it difficult to absorb water.
Although flower food does not provide hydration, it fights the pathogens and provides a conducive environment for your plants to thrive. Bacteria and fungi cannot survive in water that contains flower food. It also helps regulate an alkaline pH in the water.
Flowers that lack hydration looks dull and wilt after a little while. Buds might also not open because they need nutrients to grow; blocked stems cannot transport essential minerals and water.
Although you might not think that your bouquet needs flower food, it helps with the health and longevity of your flowers. It inhibits fungi and bacteria that can destroy your blooms, and it also contains carbohydrates that feed the bouquet. If you’re looking for quality services and advice, you will get it at BloomingBox.