Flower ripeness | How to recognise fresh blooms?

‘Why would I buy flowers if they don’t last that long’ is a common question. But what if we tell you that there is a trick that enables you to enjoy flowers for as long as possible? Even though good flower care plays a big role, a long vase life starts with flower ripeness.

The stages of flower ripeness

Flowers are just like fruit and vegetables. What you can see on the banana pictures below happens with flowers too. Most of us would make the mistake in choosing the product that looks the most attractive at the time of purchase, in this case, the yellow banana in the middle. The green one, on the other hand, may look less attractive now, but will eventually enter the same ripeness stage as the banana in the middle. When it comes to flowers, though, you would have already enjoyed them longer. You have to buy flowers with a low ripeness value to get the long vase life the recipient would enjoy. Meaning you get better value for money too.

Flower ripeness

Recognising fresh florals

Flowers ripen at different levels and timescales per individual species. For example, a carnation lasts longer than a rose. But how do we recognise a good fresh rose or any other flower to start with?

Just like us, flowers need a beauty sleep to live a long life. Unfortunately, in places like supermarkets flowers are not allowed to sleep as they keep the lights on 24/7. This causes the flowers to move through the ripeness stages more quickly and therefore die a lot quicker.

This happens with plants too. Look at these orchid plants below (source: VBN). The plants on the left-hand side have lower ripeness values and many buds have yet to open. These lower ripeness flowers and plants are typically found in a flower shop. Those on the right-hand side have less life left in them and are therefore sold cheaply to supermarkets.

Flower ripeness
VBN: Phalaenopsis ripeness stages

The riper the flower, the shorter the vase life

When it comes to fresh flowers, we can see the ripeness appear differently. In the end it still adds to the same results: a great vase life or little to none. A common mistake made by the general buying public is to go for a higher ripeness as the flower heads are bigger. Obviously, these riper flowers will die much quicker than lower ripeness blooms. If you opt for lower ripeness flowers, you still get those big blooms but you will just have to a bit longer and in the meantime enjoy the florist’s flowers through all of nature’s stages.

ripeness rose
A few of the ripeness stages of a Rose

Independent florists, like our Florismart Florists, are fully focused on buying by the ripeness, so you can enjoy your flowers for much longer. Besides, florists let these flowers get their beauty sleep every night. Don’t just support your local florists for sentimental reasons, support them because you get a much longer vase life, which equates to far greater value too. 

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