On this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave, and Yvonne answer your questions about flower product availability, Valentine's Day flowers, proteas, floral installations, and more. Save the date for January 22nd at 10 am EST for our next show and keep on sending in your floral questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
- Flower show and tell:
- Japanese sweet peas, leucadendron, Arena Red lisianthus, Butterfly ranunculus from California, Clooney Pompon Ranunculus,
- Preserved gardenia colors
- Cherry Blossom
- New Flower 411 update from Mayesh’s purchasing department: https://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-december-2018/
- Heidi: I would love to have a list of flowers and when they’re available throughout the year. I totally know that it would be nearly impossible to have an accurate list of flower availability through a year, but something that’s pretty general I think would be really helpful. Like ranunculus, for example, it seems like they’re pretty much a year-round bloom, but in May they tend to get kind of spotty with their availability. Some sort of reference guide that indicated what months to expect to have trouble getting them would be dreamy. Or like peonies, I know they start showing up for real in March, but they seem to make cameos in November/December…. You know, that sort of thing. Is that possible?
- We have a year-round availability list that you can download from our website but it’s meant more as a general reference guide. There are so many intricacies in growing flowers and timing harvests that you should always reach out to a Mayesh professional when planning your special events. This is especially true if the item is currently not in season locally in the USA. We import from all over the world when local crops are not available and there are usually other floral options. If a particular item is gapping or cost-prohibitive, we can offer alternative florals that work with your texture & color palette.
- **FAVORITE** -- Tiffany: How do you determine what new product you will begin to incorporate into your yearly offerings? Do you trial new varieties and gauge them on various levels of stability?
- Yes, absolutely. Our mission statement says it all. Providing the floral professional with the highest quality, most unusual products sourced from around the world. That being said, not only do we ourselves seek out the next cool thing, but our close relationship with our growers ensures they are showing us their next cool things too! We regularly receive, vase test and photograph new varieties and try to get as much client feedback as possible, we want to know what you think! We also keep a very close eye on color trends in the industry.
- Jasmine: What are some other popular flowers to order other than roses for Valentine’s Day?
- The world of flower fashion is constantly in flux and depending on your local demographics just about anything goes! Popular higher end flowers we sell for Valentine's day include cymbidium & Phalaenopsis orchids, garden roses, blooming branches like quince & forsythia, and a staple of most modern floral design are hydrangeas. Many designers are moving away from typical fillers using interesting things like astrantia & astilbe. Being in Arizona we get a lot of “desert theme” floral design, so items like pincushion protea & succulents are high on our list here. It’s really about defining your own style, marketing your brand and staying true to yourself.
- Claudia: What's the best time of the season to buy protea?
- Proteas are grown in several countries and are available almost all year round depending on the variety you want. Their popularity has increased so much in the past few years that some varieties have become hard to get in large quantities, like the coveted King protea. King protea from California growers are readily available from March through May then the plants slow down and bloom randomly throughout the summer & fall. We also import King protea from places like South Africa and Australia. It’s important to talk to a Mayesh rep when planning an event with King proteas. Their availability can be intermittent as the plant produces blooms sporadically throughout the year. If there is a large demand that wipes out a growers crop, it can take many weeks for the next blooms to be ready for harvest.
- Mischa: What is the best way to hold the wet foam in a container to prevent it from falling apart once the flowers are put in the container? Is there a type of tape that is best to use more than another over of the foam.
- Oasis green or clear waterproof floral tape works best. Also, make sure you are cutting your piece of foam to fit snugly in the container. You can also use chicken wire wedged in the top of the container. This will help eliminate using so much foam as well.
- Roger: Also, what is your advice on soaking oasis and mossing it for events that are a couple of hours away from the shop? Should you soak and moss a few days prior and transport in totes?
- You can soak oasis up to several days in advance as long as it is submerged. Are you referring to a mossed ball? Or moss on top of Oasis in an arrangement? The moss will help retain water but make sure you soak moss separately and then apply to Oasis or it will act like a sponge and leech the water out of the foam.
- Tiffany: What are the hardiest flowers for installations, I.e. what flowers hold up best and longest either out of water or with limited water (picks). Can you recommend two for each season?
- Roses, orchids, tropicals, carnations, alliums, hypericum, pods, preserved greens, and most foliages will hold up well. It’s probably easier to tell you what doesn’t: gerbs, some hydrangeas, lilies, tulips, freesia, dahlias, sweet peas and delicate flowers that don’t have a high water content.
- Roses, tropicals, and carns can stay out of water for hours without showing signs of stress. Cooler to warmer months you can use most anything in the hardier category. Stay away from the delicate category in the heat of summer.
- Flower Care Guide:
- **FAVORITE** Claudia: Would like to know care and handling for the king protea and the protea family.
- Protea are also known as “sugar bushes” and true to their name they need to be hydrated in a floral food to replace their glucose. Plain water just won't do with these! Protea are fairly easy to care for & can be stored in your floral cooler for a couple weeks. Their foliage has a natural tendency to brown after a while but they can simply be removed and this has no negative effect on the flower head.
- Barbara: How do you get different Protea to open up, when purchased closed, or do they continue to open up at all?
- Proteas are slow openers and usually remain at ~ or close to the aperture at which they are cut. When selecting protea you should purchase them at the stage you want for your finished design. By the time they have any significant opening they seem to already be at the end of their lives.
- Can one of your experts talk about processing poinsettia for use in arrangements? They have milky sap, also do they last very long off the plant?
- Poinsettias are in the euphorbia family hence the milky sap. I find cutting them the rinsing and wiping off the sap with a paper towel and then singeing with a lighter or match will help cauterize them. They actually hold up quite well in designs this way. Or you can purchase mini single 2” plants and use them intact in the design...soil and all. your client has a keepsake for afterward.
- Please talk about care tips for flowers for those of us who are in areas that can experience extremely cold temperatures outside. Also if there are flowers that are extremely vulnerable and flowers that are tolerable of the cold?
- Having had to deliver in freezing cold temperatures and ice storms myself I find that boxing and wrapping in cellophane does the trick. It also can be a nice presentation if done well. Phalaenopsis plants (and most orchids) and poinsettias do not like extreme temperatures and wind can be a problem for them as well.
- April: I'm specializing in just a few avenues...bouquet subscription, holiday centerpieces and want to get into wedding flowers. I'm using Instagram, Facebook and a website but not getting much traffic or orders. I could use some marketing advice. How can I really capture attention and make people feel like they need a flower subscription?
- First of all, I just want to say that whenever I come across sites that offer flower subscriptions I just adore the idea. It is a gift that keeps on giving and is perfect for that person who loves flowers in their lives.
- Marketing to Millennials - Approximately 44% of millennial consumers are interested in a floral subscription service.
- Make it easy to register and sign up for the subscription service
- Show lifestyle images that fit your brand and design to help sell the service
- Consider offering giveaways or a free trial of sorts to increase awareness of your flower subscriptions.
- Offer free subscriptions to micro-influencers.
- Homework!! Research and DM micro-influencers in your community to use in your 2019 Marketing Plan. Try it and let us know how it goes!
If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments below!