The idea of purchasing your flowers wholesale directly online can be a little overwhelming at first. There are so many decisions to make and you have no idea what to expect. Where do you even start? And without being able to physically touch and examine the flowers, how can you be sure you are purchasing a high quality product at a reasonable price?
Fear not! The experts at FMI Farms are here to break down the process and walk you through the flower wholesale buying experience so you know exactly what to expect when you buy wholesale flowers online.
Let’s start with the basics.
How do I place an order?
First things first, considering your clientele, location, and facilities, choose the varieties of flowers that are best suited for your shop. FMI Farms offers over 500 varieties of Dutch flowers to choose from giving you virtual access to the entire Dutch flower market.
Once you know which varieties you want and are ready to place your order, our webshop is your best option. With FMI Farms flower webshop, you have access to up-to- date inventory 24/7 so ordering the varieties and quantities you need is a snap. This option is super quick and convenient for repeat customers and those who do not need the assistance of floral sales professionals.
For those who have questions about colors, availability, and pricing or who are just more comfortable speaking with a person, you can order through one of our expert floral sales professionals. We are happy to offer advice on extending the life of your stock, the best times to buy, floral trends, and finding solutions to fit every budget. We can also help you get started using the webshop for future purchasing. Simply contact us during business hours and we’ll answer your questions and assist with any of your floral needs.
What should I expect when I receive my wholesale flowers?
At FMI Farms, our experienced warehouse staff is your eyes and ears on the ground. We carefully inspect every shipment we receive from Holland before delivering to your shop in order to make sure you get the quality supply you depend on. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Growers almost always package wholesale flowers in bunches (you order by the bunch). Each bunch is wrapped or the stems are tied together. Depending on the grower, the number of stems might be exact (for example, bunches of 5 or 10 stems), but you may see slight variations.
Most wholesale flowers are dry-shipped (without any water). During this time, the plants are kept cool and in a dormant state, which temporarily suspends visible growth until you are ready to stock your shelves. A few varieties, though, are kept in water and stored in carefully controlled floral coolers before being packed for final delivery.
Over the years, experts working in the Dutch flower market have perfected different packaging methods for different varieties. Some flowers, like classic Holland Tulips, are relatively tough and easy to ship before the blooms have opened fully. Once they open, they could never make the trip. Because of this, most wholesale flowers are cut and shipped before the heads have fully opened. It’s important for you to factor in some lead-time when ordering to allow different varieties to reach peak bloom. This is especially true of all varieties of Lilies, which have mostly closed blooms when shipped. Though it requires a little extra planning during inventory time, this process ensures that your retail customers experience your flowers at the height of their beauty.
When you receive your flower wholesale shipment, you will see that the flowers are packed very tightly together in each box. This prevents your flowers from sliding around inside of the box and getting damaged during shipping. The tighter the flowers, the safer they are.
Bonus: tighter packaging means fewer boxes needed, which saves you money.
Besides compact packaging, certain more delicate varieties, like the Pin Cushion, need additional protection. The ever-popular White Calla Lily, one of the most delicate blooms, comes with a protective sleeve over the flower and is secured in the box with a strap to prevent even the slightest movement.
If Mother Nature had it her way, some varieties, like these gorgeous Gerbera Daisies, would never leave the garden. Growers must harvest them when their blooms are fully opened, which makes them really delicate. Also, their stems are weak. Because of this they must be packaged in unique boxes that support the large flowers and protect the stems. Some growers even ship Gerbers with clear plastic tubes around the stems and suspended in specially-designed buckets of water for added protection.
What is the best way to care for my flower wholesale purchase?
Once you receive your online flowers, there are steps you can take to keep your stock looking fresh and smelling fragrant longer:
- Starting with the most expensive and finicky varieties, unpack and process your flowers immediately.
- Begin by removing foliage below the water level to prevent rotting.
- To ensure proper hydration, give all flower stems a fresh cut.
- Place flowers in a flower food solution. Make the solution yourself or buy a reliable pre-made solution. Flower food generally contains:
- An acid to lower the pH of the solution. Flowers prefer a pH of 3-4.5, depending on water quality.
- Ingredients to keep the stems free flowing.
- An energy source (e.g., sugar) to nourish the flowers.
- Measure the proportion of flower food to water correctly to maximize results. For quick reference, mark gallon levels on the side of your stock buckets.
- Place in a 34-38° cooler with 80-90% humidity. This is crucial. Maintaining low temperature and high humidity is important to reduce water loss and maximize shelf life.
- Clean buckets and coolers well before restocking. This will help prevent bacteria problems.
Now that you know what to expect when you purchase wholesale flowers, you know that with a little preparation, ordering online is the easiest way to provide your customers with fresh-cut flowers from anywhere around the globe.