Exposing flowers and plants to contamination and dirt
spreads disease and shortens life. Keep the place clean.
Poor sanitation is a dreadful risk. Wash buckets, coolers
and the like.
To check your sanitation procedures, ask the following
"Are the flower vases and buckets clean enough to drink
If the answer is "no," then the following sanitation
suggestions are for you.
- Flower buckets and vases: All buckets
used to store, ship and display fresh cut flowers
must be thoroughly washed after every use, which generally
means at least once per week. Never put new flowers
in with old and never put them in a bucket not previously
washed. Use cleaning agents developed for the floral
- Flower and plant coolers: Clean the
inside walls, floor and ceiling of coolers as often
as you would clean a bathroom. Mold growing on cooler
surfaces, as well as flower and plant debris, can
increase ethylene levels and the chance of disease
and insect spread.
- Old flowers and plants: Don't wait until
tomorrow to discard old, broken and otherwise unsalable
flowers and plants. These products, which were once
a source of revenue, are now a source of ethylene
and other unwanted "guests."
- Underwater cutters: Change the water
frequently, at least once per day.
- Fresh-flower solutions: Make sure fresh-flower
solutions are made according to label instructions.
Flower food solutions made too dilute invite microorganism
- Bedding plant trays: Do not display
bedding plants in the same trays repeatedly without
- Potted plant saucers: Never use the
same potted plant saucer to display more than one
plant. Clean between uses. Plant diseases can easily
spread from one plant to another.
- Hose watering: If plants are watered
with a hose, make sure water and soil particles are
not splashed from one pot to another. This is a fast
way to spread disease. Use a breaker nozzle attached
to the end of the hose to disperse the water and reduce
reprinted from SAF Flower and Plant Care Manual, (Society
of American Florists: Alexandria, VA, 1994), p 163.