How temperatures affect cut flowers

When you visit your local florist, you will most likely notice all the lovely fresh flowers, the beautiful aroma, and the moderate temperature of the flower shop itself. Florists know just how important it is to maintain a certain type of environment in order to ensure a long life for their cut flowers and potted plants. That said, not everyone understands just how different temperatures and conditions can affect flowers.


Most flowers are fairly delicate and sensitive to their environment. Even the most hardy of all flowers will wilt prematurely if not kept at the right temperature and in the appropriate conditions. It’s also important to understand that not all flowers are the same. Some enjoy cooler conditions while others thrive in a more humid atmosphere.


Firstly, let’s consider heat. During the summer months, it is best to look for flowers that are naturally in bloom during this time of year. These flowers will be quite comfortable in the warmer weather and they won’t wilt as a direct result of the heat. That said, if you purchase these kinds of flowers in the winter, don’t try to keep them warm by placing them near a heater or fireplace! The intense heat provided by these sources is enough to dry out the air surrounding the flowers and, in addition to this, the flowers will also dry out. Even if you ensure that they never run out of fresh water in the vase, dry hot air will still negatively affect the flowers.


As for the cold, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Tropical or exotic flowers will not enjoy particularly cold conditions. They require somewhat warmer temperatures as well as a fair amount of humidity in order to thrive. In winter, you need to avoid placing any kind of flower too close to a window. If any of the flowers or foliage comes into direct contact with the cold glass of the window, it will cause the plant material to die. Think of the effects of frostbite. A similar fate awaits flowers that are pressed up against a cold surface. In fact, it’s best to keep your flowers a fair distance away from the window since the air surrounding the window is also usually substantially colder than that in the rest of the room. You want to let your flowers enjoy a moderate climate rather than a cold one.


The water temperature is also important. Most flowers enjoy water that is slightly warm. Avoid using hot water or cold water or this will cause more harm than good. There are, however, some flowers that prefer cold water. Flowers grown from bulbs (like Tulips) often do better in colder water. Particularly in the summer months.