How to Keep Your Flowers Fresh in Their Coolers
The smell of fresh flowers can easily transport anyone to a meadow or garden — and that’s precisely the experience that flower shops aim to provide. Florists work hard to keep flowers fresh, pleasantly scented, and colourful to delight clients.
The key to pulling this off is knowing the various blooms’ storage requirements so that you can ensure their temperature requirements are met. This is especially important for the most freshly cut flowers, which require cold temperatures to maintain their shape, texture, colour, and scent.
For utmost freshness and vibrancy, florists need commercial coolers they can trust to maintain clean and stable climate-controlled storage. Unlike regular refrigerators, commercial floral coolers are specially designed to store flowers of the same kind of similar variety and optimize temperatures for blooms with slightly different storage requirements. All you need to do is ensure that flowers are stored properly inside these coolers to maintain their freshness.
Know Your Blooms
Not all freshly cut flowers are the same — some require either cooler or warmer temperatures. While most flowers can be safely stored in commercial coolers and benefit from cold temperatures, tropical blooms like ginger blossoms, orchids, and anthuriums won’t do well in the cold. Instead, they require warmer room temperatures to mimic their natural environments.
A rule of thumb for all flowers is to keep them away from fruits and other vegetation. As much as possible, assign commercial coolers solely for flowers to prevent cross-contamination.
Use Vases with Cool Water
Once flowers are cut, they need a steady water supply to stay hydrated in time for their sale in a corsage, bouquet, or other floral arrangements. Before placing inside a commercial cooler, fill vases with cold water. Put loose flowers in these, or preserve them in their original packaging if delivered pre-arranged for corsages and bouquets.
Remember to only select vases made of safe materials — plastic containers are preferred over metal to avoid altering the crucial pH balance of the water and the preservative qualities of hydrating solutions.
Maintain Consistent Commercial Cooler Temperatures
Freshly cut flowers need to stay cool, and that means a lot colder than average room temperature. It’s why flowers — even when left in vases with water — eventually discolour, lose their shape and texture and wilt. And it’s also why florists only trust floral coolers to keep their precious merchandise in good condition.
Commercial coolers are set to ideal temperatures for storing flowers and maintaining their freshness. Flowers need to be stored at temperatures between 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit, maximize their shelf-life, and support a specially formulated hydrating solution to stay in excellent shape.
Depending on your commercial cooler and the types of flowers sold, temperatures can be set up to 38 degrees but nothing higher to prevent shortening the merchandise’s shelf life. And for flowers that have been removed from their hydrating mixture and placed in a preservative emulsion, refrigerator temperatures should be kept constant at 34 degrees. Meeting these ideal climate-controlled storage conditions will prevent flowers from losing their blooms.
Along with temperature, maintaining ideal humidity levels is crucial to keeping flowers at their freshest. Why is humidity so important? High humidity means high moisture, which keeps flowers well-hydrated and helps them preserve their shape, colour, and texture in time for deliveries, customer purchases, and made-to-order floral arrangements within the next few days or weeks. With high humidity and lots of hydration, flower shops can maximize this delicate merchandise’s shelf life and reduce costly inventory losses.
Clean Your Commercial Floral Cooler
Floral coolers are designed to store flowers at optimal temperatures and humidity conditions, but their long-term function is only possible with regular cleaning and maintenance. A clean, well-maintained commercial cooler is key to keeping flowers fresh and pleasantly scented, and on the outside, glass displays clear, vibrant, and highly attractive.
When should you clean your commercial cooler? Floral coolers require a light clean at least once a week and a deep clean monthly at a minimum. Simply wipe down all the interior surfaces, walls, shelving units, and dust off the interiors. Make sure to use a flower-safe cleaning solution — these non-toxic cleaners are specially formulated for flowers and prevent them from wilting prematurely or discolouring when placed back inside.
Weekly cleaning prevents dirt from building up, so much that stubborn stains from flower pigments and wilted petals are a lot tougher to scrub off. Plus, fingerprints can easily cloud an otherwise attractive display and impact visual merchandising crucial to walk-in customer sales and orders.
Deep Cleaning and Maintenance
The annual deep clean can coincide with your commercial cooler’s regular maintenance check-up and tune-up to make cleaning and maintenance more manageable. Yearly maintenance includes checking your commercial cooler’s function and addressing performance issues with preventive repairs or parts replacement.
Make sure to book your commercial cooler maintenance only with a certified refrigerator technician. Professional technicians are trained to assess issues with your cooler, calibrate temperature and humidity settings to optimal condition, and repair or replace damaged and worn-out parts.
During a maintenance session, they will also clean essential components like the condensing unit and coil, evaporator coil, drain lines, and door gaskets, and remove deposits and frost build-up to restore your commercial refrigerator to reliable function.
To learn more about keeping flowers at their freshest and maintaining optimal storage conditions in commercial coolers and refrigerators, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 866-711-5486, or contact us here.