The Ideal Temperature for Storing Cut Flowers: A Guide for Wholesale Florists

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Refrigeration

For wholesale florists, the preservation of cut flowers’ quality and freshness is of utmost importance. Temperature regulation is a pivotal aspect of this endeavor. The comprehension of the ideal temperature for cut flowers goes beyond mere preservation; it is a cornerstone of customer satisfaction and the overall prosperity of your floral enterprise.

Cut flowers are living organisms even after harvesting, with respiration continuing as they take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. The temperature at which these flowers are stored directly influences this vital process. Failure to maintain the right temperature can lead to premature wilting, shortened shelf life, and customer dissatisfaction.

The Science Behind Temperature

Flowers, often perceived as fragile and fleeting, possess a hidden resilience that persists even after they’re plucked from their natural habitat. This vitality resides within their intricate respiration process, a biological ballet where they gracefully inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Remarkably, this metabolic dance endures beyond the harvest, casting a profound influence on the flowers’ enduring beauty and freshness. 

The temperature takes center stage as the unspoken maestro in this botanical symphony. The ideal storage temperature for cut flowers becomes the conductor’s baton, with the power to either lead a slow, harmonious tempo or a brisk, accelerated cadence in the respiration process. It’s the silent orchestrator of floral longevity and freshness, shaping the very essence of these natural wonders.

Floral Symphony for Prolonged Freshness

When cut flowers find their abode in the sweet spot of temperature, what temperature should flowers be stored at typically between 34°F to 38°F (1°C to 3°C), their respiration adopts a poetic rhythm, elegantly extending their vibrancy and allure? However, should they be subjected to the whims of extreme temperatures, this delicate harmony is disrupted, leaving them to wilt prematurely and their vase life dramatically curtailed.

Mastering the intricate interplay between temperature and respiration is a pursuit that unites florists and flower aficionados alike. It is the key that unlocks the boundless potential of nature’s most enchanting and beloved marvels – flowers.

Ideal Temperature Range

1. Refrigeration

A refrigerator for flowers is the go-to sanctuary for safeguarding the splendor of freshly cut flowers. Answers to what temperature should flowers be stored at? Within its icy embrace, a precise temperature range emerges as the hero: 32°F to 38°F (1°C to 3°C). This therapeutic climate orchestrates a graceful deceleration in the flowers’ respiration, akin to a gentle lullaby, ultimately preserving their vibrant allure like Aconitum, Belladonna, Daisy, Baby’s Breath, Cornflower, Goldenrod, Iris, Pink Lady’s Slipper, Rockcress, and Forget-Me-Not. Additionally, it also marks an ideal temperature for cut roses’ perseverance.

Yet, in this frigid haven, there exists a caveat—a warning to heed. While the chill slows the dance of life within the petals, one must tread carefully, avoiding the icy grip of freezing temperatures. This ideal storage temperature ensures that items remain crisp and flavorful for a duration of 5 to 7 days. Within this controlled environment, the growth of bacteria and spoilage is slowed. It’s essential to maintain these conditions to extend the shelf life of these items and make the most of their freshness.

2. Walk-In Cooler

A floral walk-in cooler is a sanctuary where the magic of floristry is preserved. It’s not just a refrigerator; it’s a haven where artistry meets science. This temperature-controlled chamber is meticulously set to the ideal temperature for storing cut flowers, often ranging from 35-41°F (2°C to 5°C), creating an environment that slows the flowers’ respiration, akin to a gentle lullaby for flowers like Agapanthus, Heuchera, Hosta, Nandina, Kangaroo Paw, Ninebark, Physalis, Salvia, Tulip Tree, and Pachysandra.

Florists rely on these coolers not just for preservation but for inspiration. Here, they curate their masterpieces, selecting from an array of perfectly chilled flowers, each one a palette of nature’s finest hues. Maintaining a storage temperature within the range of 35°F to 41°F proves ideal for significantly prolonging the freshness of a variety of perishable items, stretching their shelf life to a commendable 2 to 3 weeks.

3. Tropical Flowers

Exotic flowers, such as Calla Lily, Coleus, Echeveria, Geranium, Night-Blooming Cereus, Poinsettia, Upright Elephant Ear, Dendrobium Orchid, Yucca, and Pineapple, possess a distinct temperament when it comes to temperature. These floral divas demand a bit of pampering, preferring a slightly warmer abode in the floral realm. Within the gentle embrace ideal temperature for storing cut flowers is 50°F to 55°F (10°C to 13°C), they bloom in all their glory, vibrant and healthy.

In this snug warmth, these flowers reveal their true splendor, unfurling petals of unparalleled beauty. Nestling your perishable treasures in the embrace of a temperature range between 50°F to 55°F offers them an extended lease on freshness, spanning a generous 2 to 3 weeks. This temperature, a tad warmer than the conventional chill of refrigeration, plays the role of a vigilant guardian. Storing them within this temperature range is akin to orchestrating a tropical paradise within the cooler’s walls, where every bloom stands as a testament to the wonders of nature.

So, for these exotic wonders, it’s not just about preservation but about creating an environment where they can flourish and express their fullest potential, casting an enchanting spell on all who behold their exotic charm.

To Know More Check Below

Wholesale florists, are you ready to elevate your flower storage game?  Click below and discover the ideal temperature and days to keep your flowers fresh and blooming. 

Benefits of Proper Temperature Control

1. Extended Shelf Life

Preserving the ideal temperature for cut flowers substantially prolongs their shelf life. This extension allows wholesalers to retain inventory for more extended periods, effectively minimizing waste and enhancing profitability. 

By ensuring the right temperature conditions, the unsold blooms maintain their freshness and appeal, translating into reduced losses and an opportunity to cater to a broader range of clients. Temperature control becomes a strategic asset, enabling floral businesses to not only deliver quality but also maximize their economic sustainability.

2. Quality Assurance

Customer expectations revolve around fresh, premium flowers. Maintaining the correct storage temperature ensures flowers arrive in peak condition, bolstering your reputation as a trusted wholesale florist. It’s a commitment to quality that solidifies your standing in the floral industry

3. Reduced Costs

Reducing spoilage and waste equates to decreased operational expenses. Investing in temperature-controlled storage facilities not only preserves flower quality but also secures long-term savings. This strategic investment ensures that resources are used efficiently, allowing wholesale florists to thrive economically while delivering superior products to their clientele.


The perfect temperature for storing cut flowers isn’t a universal answer. Each flower variety has its unique needs, but nailing the correct temperature is a cornerstone for preserving their beauty and charm. For wholesale florists, it goes beyond merely delighting customers; it’s an absolute business imperative. By putting resources into top-notch, temperature-controlled storage and embracing industry best practices, you can significantly stretch the lifespan of your cut flowers, curbing waste, and positioning yourself to thrive in the demanding floral market. This dedication to both quality and sustainability is the very path that leads to long-lasting success in this fiercely competitive industry.



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