I want to explain the difference between supermarket and discount store's flower "bunches" as compared with the grower's bunches that professional florists purchase from a wholesale flower distributor.
For example - I picked up this bunch of daisies to illustrate. This sleeve of daisies cost me $6.49 at the local Wal-Mart. They were fully opened, so I know that the flowers had already aged a few days. The sleeve only contained five stems. This means I paid approximately $1.30 per stem retail.
In contrast, buying dry packs directly from a wholesale source means the flowers are shipped to you as quickly as possible from the grow farm. (That's why it's important that you order enough in advance so your order can be reserved with the grower. If you shop at the last minute, you have to take what the wholesaler can find.)
Grower's bunches that we sell are packed ten stems to a bunch. At $8.99 per bunch, that works out to be $.90 per stem. Whenever a flower is already processed from dry pack (cut and put into a bucket of water) you can no longer tell how old the flower is. Dry pack flowers are still partially closed and are dormant. They need to be processed correctly.
Chrysanthemums have a hard, slightly woody stalk. Be careful when unpacking not to scar the stems if possible. This would allow bacteria into the stem and decrease the life of the blooms. Cut the rubber bands off, slit the plastic sleeve and gently untangle the flower heads apart.
There are many wholesale flower distributors online. Their products are excellent, except they sometimes ask that you buy 12 bunches or more at a time. I'm very skeptical of their claims that twelve bunches would retail for $299.00. That would make a single bunch of ten stems of daisies almost $25.00!! Wow!! Would somebody really pay $25.00 for a single bunch of daisies?
They then offer the bargain "wholesale" price of $99.00 - but you have to buy 12 bunches to get the price of $8.25 a bunch. That's fine if you need 12 bunches. But that is 120 stems of daisies (four big buckets) of flowers - enough to do 24 of these cascading bridal bouquets!
I'm selling single bunches retail for around $9.00 . . . but you only buy what you need. If you need one bunch - buy one bunch. If you need 12 bunches (you better be prepared to do a lot more than just a few bouquets and corsages) . . . I'll save you money by selling them for the $99.00 price.
Be sure to check out my Free Wedding Flower Calculator. This allows you figure out exactly how many flowers you need and calculates how many bunches you need to order. It is the same method I use when I calculate and estimate for a wedding. It will keep you on track and keep that flower budget under control.
A single stem generally has approximately three flower heads and a bud or two. One single stem could create three boutonnieres!
Realize and allow for some damaged heads. We are dealing with a live product that is packed on a field site and travels a long distance to land on our doorstep. Always treat your flowers gently when processing them, taking care not to bruise or damage petals.