DIY Flowers – Tools of the Trade

So what exactly does a florist use to prepare flowers for wedding arrangements and party flowers? Not the typical items you might find in the garage or kitchen, but easy to obtain once you know what you are after. Here are the basic tools and supplies you need to make it easy to work with wholesale flowers.

The first and most important tool you need in your DIY kit is a good pair of Floral Scissors. They might look like ordinary scissors, but they are not. They are specifically designed to cut stems without mashing the ends which would prohibit proper water take up. For proper re-hydration of all dry-shipped wholesale flowers you really need these!

The only sure thing you will find in every person’s pocket working in the wholesale flower market is a sharp floral knife. Used for opening boxes, cutting woody stems, or removing thorns, this tool is always on hand. They come in fixed blade and folding varieties. The maker’s of those famous Swiss Army Knifes also offer a single blade folding floral knife specifically designed for floral work.

Preparing wholesale roses can be a little intimidating at first because of the thorns. They are the only flower in the cooler ready to draw blood from a novice and expert alike. While the experts probably use a sharp floral knife, the thorn stripper is the DIY flower preper’s solution. Its a simple inexpensive device that removes all the thorns with one pass down the stem. The excess leaves come off as well, making it very fast to prep a 25 pack of roses.

Next in the bag of tricks are the floral solutions. Most people think you need to add flower food to the water of fresh cut flowers, but flowers don’t really need food. What they need is fresh clean water that stays fresh and clean. Products like Aquaplus power keep the water clean and bacteria free longer than untreated water and that keeps the stems from becoming clogged. While it comes in packets for single vase use, keeping a tub or pail of it on hand is more Economical. If you want your cut flowers to last as long as possible, use a water treatment product.

Another favorite solution for florists is leaf shine. Like waxing the car after a car wash, leaf shine adds the finishing professional touch on all the greens and leaves in the arrangement. Wholesale greens and flower leaves often arrive dirty, dull, or with water stains. Using a spray leaf shine after the center piece or bouquet is made only takes a few seconds and restores the greens to a bright shiny luster.

Green floral wire and green floral tape are basic staples for all professional designers. The floral wire can be used to support weak stem flowers like gerbera daises or to add support to corsages and boutonnieres. Green floral tape is used to wrap hand tied bouquets and as a final stem wrap on wedding boutonnieres. Both are essential for the DIY flower tool kit!

Last but not least is floral foam and floral adhesive. Most people have seen the green foam in arrangements but have never worked with it. It comes in brick size blocks and can be cut and shaped to fit the vase or container being used and works to hold the flowers and other arrangement components in place. As light as a feather when dry, cut flower foam absorbs a large volume of water when soaked which then is available to keep the stems hydrated. Note there is also a dry foam that does not absorb water and is only or silk or dried flower arrangements. Floral adhesive can be used anywhere where components need to be be glued in place. Also a must for foam bouquet holders to keep the stems in place.

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