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What Do Florists Do with Flowers They Can’t Sell?

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What Florists Do With Unsold Flowers

We teamed up with Gail and Rebecca from Rosie in the Garden Florist to discuss what happens with flowers which can’t be used and how wastage is kept as low as possible.

At Sal’s Forever Flowers, we work very closely with Gail and Rebecca, and we love receiving blooms from them. Here are some of the things we discussed with them about wastage. It is important to note that different florists have various ways to reduce waste, including flower preservation.

Ways to Reduce Flower Waste

Ordering Long Lasting Flowers

This is a great option to reduce waste and enhance flower preservation, as they last well, especially in the summer months. For example limonium, gypsophila, thistle, grasses, carnations, chrysanthemum blooms and sprays, lisianthus, and many more.  Some of these flowers can dry out nicely so they can be used in dry arrangements thus reducing waste.


Rosie in the Garden likes to order prior to their busiest days. They do a preorder twice a week to come on a selected date. If necessary, they top up on a flower order midweek. This way their flowers are always as fresh as possible.

Ordering in Small Quantities

They do not encounter much wastage because they do not order in large amounts, to curb excess stock. They only order in stock for preorders and then make an allowance for any additional daily sales each week. They explained that as florists, they have a minimum order quantity. So, they are always careful about what is selected, for it to ensure cost-effectiveness for their business.

Quality Care

Before being declared unusable, Rosie in the Garden noted that the duration of a flower’s lifespan in the shop is variable and largely dependent on the type of flower. They explained that they care for the flowers throughout the week to ensure that their quality and freshness are maintained to a professional high standard and only send out good quality flowers.

They make sure to put flower food in all floral arrangements and encourage customers to care for their flowers by doing the same with the one they provide, and using fresh clean water. This helps in flower preservation by keeping the bacteria at bay in the water. Keeping flowers away from direct heat sources such as radiators and from cold drafts can also help their lifespan.

Stock Rotation

Another element to reduce stock waste is stock rotation, which is important so flowers are not left for long periods unused. With older stock, Gail and Rebecca will make some smaller arrangements at a discounted rate for their customers.

With flowers they can’t sell, Gail and Rebecca have been learning how to make confetti.  This is not something they are selling yet as it is in the very early stages but hopefully will be available at some point soon. We love this idea because many venues require biodegradable confetti, so petal confetti is the perfect solution.

A tip for roses preservation is if the flower head droops down at the neck this can indicate that water is not flowing through the stem to the head correctly as it has developed an air lock. If you catch it early enough you can revive the rose by doing the following;

  • Put boiling water into a suitable container 
  • Cut the rose stem at an angle
  • Place the tip of the stem by not more than an inch into the boiling water for 60 seconds, which releases the airlock and allows the water to flow up the stem 
  • Recut the stem and replace it in the fresh flower food water mixture

It’s been interesting learning about what florists do with flowers they can’t sell. We hope you enjoyed reading our blog, and have learnt something. Do hesitate to contact us for your tailor-made flower preservation service that is personalised to your taste today!

flower preservation

Also, we say a massive thank you to Gail and Rebecca for taking the time to talk to us. You can check their work and gifts on their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook as well; 


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