How to Transport Cut Flowers

Written by susan walworth
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How to Transport Cut Flowers
Maintaining the correct temperature and controlling the growth of bacteria are important considerations when transporting flowers. (rose bouquets image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from

One key to cut flower longevity is how the flowers are transported. This is an important consideration for growers as well as consumers who buy flowers wholesale for weddings and other special events. One option for transporting cut flowers is to place them in buckets of water. This method is best for short distances. For long distances, the best method is often dry packing the flowers. Cleanliness and maintaining the correct temperature are important for both methods.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Buckets
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Flower preservative
  • Paper towel
  • Ice or dry ice
  • Ice chest
  • Bubble wrap

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  1. 1

    Disinfect buckets with a bleach solution of one part bleach mixed with nine parts water. Rinse buckets.

  2. 2

    Fill buckets with fresh water to a depth that will allow stems to be in water, but not the leaves. Mix in a flower preservative solution that contains a biocide to control bacteria and fungus. Flower preservative is available at most florists and home and garden centres.

  3. 3

    Secure buckets to prevent tipping. Transport flowers in a refrigerated vehicle or keep flowers as cool as possible. The ideal temperature for transporting flowers is between 0 and 3.33 degrees Celsius.

  1. 1

    Pulse freshly cut flowers by placing them in water containing a flower preservative for several hours.

  2. 2

    Remove flowers from water and dry stems with paper towels.

  3. 3

    Pack ice chips or dry ice in the bottom of a waterproof box or ice chest. Cover ice with bubble wrap or other waterproof packing material.

  4. 4

    Place flowers on top of packing material, taking care to protect blossoms.

Tips and warnings

  • Protect flowers from ethylene, which speeds flower decay. Ethylene sources include fruits and vegetables, decaying flowers, cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust.

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