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14 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Florists

Working with flowers sounds like a lovely way to make a living, but it's not all lollipops and roses. Or, at least not all lollipops. Making beautiful arrangements is the fun part, but running a business based on fragile, short-lived, emotionally-charged products can be quite stressful. But those who stick with it love the work. Here are some of the everyday facts about the floral business.


Because flowers only last so long before they wilt and die, florists are in a perpetual race against the clock. They must properly time purchases and deliveries, making sure that buds have bloomed by the time they arrive at a client’s door. To speed up or slow down the blooming process, florists use a variety of tricks. They may condition flowers (get them ready for display) by cutting or splitting the stems (trimming them at a 45-degree angle increases the surface area for water absorption) or dunking the blooms in cold water. Storing the blooms away from direct sunlight is also key. To ensure that flowers for weddings look fresh and open, Ghani keeps them in a refrigerated environment and makes the centerpieces the day before the event.


Whether they arrange and deliver flowers for weddings, funerals, births, anniversaries, or proms, florists often work with clients who are emotional about recent (or imminent) life changes. And florists aren't immune to the impact—conscious or subconscious—of the heightened emotions surrounding weddings and funerals. One florist writes about how creating floral arrangements for a funeral sparked a recurring dream: “In the dream, I woke up the woman that died to ask her if she liked the flowers. Her answer was no. She informed me that she had always hated flowers … I remember feeling silly and spooked at the same time.”

That's only a couple. Read more behind-the-scenes secrets of florists at mental_floss.

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