Why the Floral Industry Relies on Ice to Bloom

Flowers and plants that are shipped across the United States, rely heavily on ice and refrigeration products to keep the blooms at their peak. The way flowers are shipped is important. If flowers are shipped at temperatures that are too high, this results in flower and bloom shrinkage, as well as decreased profits. To keep their business in bloom, the floral industry relies on maintaining very specific temperatures for their flowers. 

  • Cut flowers and potted plants need to be cooled rapidly to between 33 and 35 F and maintained at temperatures no higher than 41 F. 
  • Day-ahead flower and plant ordering is recommended to ensure that adequate time is available to cool the products properly before transporting. 
  • Transportation companies need to pre-cool boxed flowers and plants at between 32 and 41 F.
  • Any products over 41 F should be returned to the shipper or cooled to the proper temperatures quickly.

Is There a Cold Chain Crisis in the Floral Industry?

Over the last 100 years, the floral industry in the United States has grown and changed significantly. No longer are cut flowers and plants harvested in close proximity to consumers. Instead, they are shipped across the country at all times of the year. These highly perishable products must be maintained in appropriate temperatures throughout the transportation process to ensure high-quality products for consumers. 

Every flower has an optimum storage temperature that needs to be maintained to ensure quality, a longer bloom time and vase life. 






Flower Species

Common Name

Storage Temperature 

Bellis perennis 

English Daisy

40°F (4°C)

Chrysanthemum frutescens          

Marguerite Daisy         

36°F (2°C)



41-46°F (5-8°C)

Dahlia hybrida


39°F (4°C)

Dianthus caryophyllus 


39°F (4°C)


Flame Lily 

39 - 45°F (4-7°C)



32-33°F (0-0.5°C)



33-37°F (0.5-3°C)

Paeonia hybrid


32-45°F (0-7°C)

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Calla Lily

39°F  (4°C)

When flowers are not properly cooled, this results in flowers and plants being sold to consumers with inadequate longevity. This results in a decline in consumer trends. Improving the cold chain has a direct impact on the growth of the floral industry. 

The problem in the cold chain often starts with the grower and shipper. Domestic cut flowers often arrive at the transportation centers at 10 to 40 degrees F above their ideal holding temperatures. This results in poor products and an increase in grey mold in flowers. 

How can the floral industry handle and improve proper temperature management? 

  • Forced air for cut flowers and vacuum for potted plants 
  • Refrigerated docks for the grower, trucker, receiver, etc
  • Refrigerated route and long-haul trucks
  • Refrigerated aircraft and/or thermal pallet shippers
  • Independent certification company recording and reporting data
  • Day-ahead flower and plant ordering and harvesting to allow adequate time to precool

Howe Helps Keep Florists in Bloom

At Howe,  we have one singular vision “to develop and deliver innovative solutions to refrigeration problems that improve global sustainability through energy efficiency, refrigerant selection, and novel design.” Our flake ice machines and other refrigeration products can help you keep your products cold, delivering the best bouquets in your industry. From initial harvest to bouquet - we have what you need to deliver the freshest flowers in your community. 

To learn more about how Howe Ice Corp can help you and your business during this difficult time, please contact us. You can also follow Howe Corp. on our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn for updates, news, and exciting advancements!