Ripe or Raw Flowers?

Why some flowers are better sold riper

written by: Arnold Wittkamp | 10-06-2020

Ripe or Raw - on Thursd - Peonies - Header

The ‘Markets’ Say Raw

The vase life and flower performance for some flowers like spray roses, Alstroemerias, Peonies, and Freesias, is just way better when they are being left on the plant for a longer time. Meaning that they are being sold riper. But still, the ‘markets’ prefer to have the flowers rawer.

A plea for riper flowers

Frustration at Breeder and Grower Level

The frustration that some breeders and growers have: knowing that their flowers will perform better at people’s homes, but still the market demand for a different quality of flowers. A quality which is less than the quality they can provide. The markets demand raw, the breeders and growers say riper.

Only one bucket in the right flower stage.

How difficult that must be for the breeder of a variety and the grower who is growing it, knowing that your product is performing less than it could? For many rose varieties, and then especially the sprays, it is been known for a very long time that the flower performance is at its best when the flowers are being harvested riper, with more open flowers than you see at the markets nowadays. This is the same for many Alstroemerias, Peonies, and Freesias.

Roses sold more open

Spread the Message

The only thing that you can do about it is to keep on informing the buyers that it is better to buy those for varieties in a more open flower stage. And a lot of effort is being put into this already. A rose breeder made a video about more ripe flowers, specifically for its spray roses selection. Peony growers and a big Peony trader in the Netherlands are continuously saying to select flowers with more open buds to all their customers. Also, alstroemeria growers are delivering this message wherever they can.

Know that for some flowers the vase life can be up to twice as long, and with bigger flowers. When comparing it to the same flowers you buy that are being harvested rawer.

Read about riper Peonies here: Many Peonies systematically sold too raw.

Spray rose Aerobic
Spray rose Aerobic

Riper Flowers are More Difficult to Sell

But it is true that for many customers raw flowers look fresher. Mini florists are very focal about that their customers are not willing to buy flowers with more open blooms, and that it is easier for them to sell the flowers in closed buds. This is truly a case of where the industry needs a combined effort to educate the buyers throughout all the chains in floriculture. And not only within the flower industry, but it is also necessary that florists and floral designers educate consumers as well, and taking the time to actually inform them in their businesses that some flower varieties perform better in a more open stage.

Raw sunflowers often sell easier in the trade

In the end, it’s the consumer experience that should define how products should be offered. And when this consumer experience is going to be influenced by having better performing flowers, the industry can be confident that more open flowers are being valued better than they are now.

Peonies Sold Too Raw - the right stage 01
The perfect flower stage for this variety of Peonies



Arnold Wittkamp

Arnold Wittkamp is a true plant & flower lover with 25 years of experience in the flower industry. He owned a flower shop for over 10 years and worked as a freelancer with top florists. He also did wholesale and import & export of cut flowers and potted plants. Now specialized in (online) marketing and communication strategies Arnold loves to write not only about beautiful flowers but also about marketing & communication strategies for horticultural companies.

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