What Do Florists Do With Unsold Or Leftover Flowers?

What do Florists do With Unsold or Leftover Flowers?
What do Florists do With Unsold or Leftover Flowers?

Local flower shops and online florists often have excess flowers in their store that they couldn’t manage to sell. Do you wonder what they do with all those extra bunches? Leaving them unattended in the storage is surely not an option because that way, their workload will double up when the flowers will start to rot. Luckily, little shops of flowers don’t let things reach that stage. Most of them adapt to some useful techniques to get rid of them.

Some of the things that florists do with leftover flowers:

Things that florists do with leftover flowers
Things that florists do with leftover flowers

Save for the next-day selling

Did you know that florists often store flowers for a whole week or so? Most local flower shops stock up only on Sundays or Mondays and then sell the flowers throughout the week. As they are more knowledgeable about how to save flowers for longer, you can still get to buy almost-fresh flowers on the latter days of a week. From stocking them up in cold storage to making special cuts and putting on flower foods in the water, local flower shops do all sorts of things to keep the unsold flowers as fresh as possible.

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Sell on discount

Flowers that bloom in spring or summer stay fresh for longer than the flowers that grow in winter, or flowers that bloom in snow. When florists notice even little warning signs of the flower going bad (like dropping off a few outer petals, or browning of the stem), they try to get rid of them as fast as possible while making the best possible profit out of them.

This is when discounting comes in handy. Offer a 50% discount on slightly older flowers, and most customers won’t mind a reduced vase life by a couple of days. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Training students

Florists who have interns or students learning Floriography and flower decorations might use old flowers to teach and train them. New florists and interns are supposed to make mistakes during the training. So, using valuable and fresh flowers can sometimes lead to wastage. With old and unsold flowers, the loss is significantly less. Besides, the students get the hands-on training that they need to become experts in their jobs.


This might come as a surprise, but local flower shops also give the unsold flowers away for free. They might send bunches of flowers to local hospitals, NGOs, or old-age homes as donations. Florists might also give away some of them to their regular customers in order to improve the business relations even more. When customers get free bunches of beautiful flowers, they don’t complain about the longevity.


When none of the above-mentioned things are possible, the florists try and ensure to recycle most of them in different ways rather than seeing them going to waste.

Also Read: Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Alive Longer

How to recycle flowers?

Create potpourri

Create potpourri

Creating potpourri with dry flowers is one of the best and most beautiful ways to recycle. When flowers start to wilt, the florist removes most of the stems of the flowers and sun-dry them or dehydrates them in a machine. The dried flowers are then turned into potpourri. The dried petals are usually mixed with dried fruit slices like lemons and oranges, fragrant spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise, peppercorns, vanilla, etc., and fillers like dried pine cones and leaves. After assembling all of the ingredients in a bowl, a few drops of floral and/or fruity essential oils are added to them and mixed thoroughly. Finally, the whole thing is transferred into a jar and left to cure for several days or weeks. After 5-6 weeks, the potpourri gets ready for use. The florists might then transfer them to beautiful pouches and hang them around their houses, or sell them in the market.

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Preserve in acrylic

Another beautiful and profitable way of recycling unsold flowers can be to turn them into everlasting showpieces. When a florist creates a beautiful and elaborate bouquet of flowers, and then it goes unsold, it’s really difficult for him to just throw it away. Instead, if they encase the flowers in resin or acrylic, they will be preserved forever. Although this process is a bit lengthy, but it ultimately pays off if the florist can secure a good deal selling these pieces of art.

Turn into compost

Turn flower into compost

If anything else fails, the flowers are turned into compost and used for cultivation.

Also Read: How to Dry Flowers Quickly at Home

Flowers you can eat

There are a few types of flowers that you can eat too. So, if these kinds of flowers go unsold, the florist can recycle them as gourmet food. Most of these flowers make a great addition to salads, like Chive blossoms, Nasturtiums, Calendula petals, Honeysuckle, etc. Some flowers are used in desserts and cakes such as Pansies and Bee Balm. More popularly, a variety of flowers go with tea, such as Chamomile, Jasmine, and Mint. Some flowers can also be made into fritters or stir-fries such as Daylily and Pumpkin flowers.


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