Your guide to understanding the differences among types of sprays as well as when and how to use each.

Flowers are often a focal point for holidays and special events and celebrations. So how do you preserve all your floral design work, maintaining the quality and freshness, so that you can work in advance and keep things moving? The answer lies in finishing sprays.

What is a finishing spray, and how does it work?

“Finishing sprays,” as the name suggests, are just that – the final postharvest treatment that is applied to “finish” the product/arrangement before leaving with the customer from the retailer. There are different types of finishing sprays, each yielding different results, so it is important to understand what each product is designed to do before applying.

Among the most common product questions are, “What is the difference between finishing sprays,” and “When and how should each be used?” The biggest misconception is that they are all the same, but they’re not. For example, Floralife Crowning Glory and Floralife Finishing Touch are two types of finishing sprays that work in very different ways and should be used for different applications.

Exterior-coating sprays

Finishing sprays like Floralife Crowning Glory provide a clear polymer coating to the blooms, stems and foliage, and they’re all about reducing water loss. This protective clear coating effectively reduces water loss on floral arrangements and designs that have limited or no access to water (e.g., corsages, boutonnières, headpieces and hand-tied bouquets).

Cut flower foliage and, to a lesser extent, flower petals and stems contain microscopic pores called “stomata.” Functioning stomata are made of two guard cells that permit the stomate (pore) to open and close in response to changing environmental conditions. Stomata occur primarily on
the undersides of leaves. The pores allow for the exchange of gasses like carbon dioxide and oxygen, but they also serve as the primary means
of transporting water up the flower stems.

As water evaporates from a leaf surface via the open stomata, water is “pulled” up the stem’s “plumbing system,” or “xylem”; this process is called “transpiration.” Cut flowers like Hydrangea, which have high leaf surface area, are prone to wilting because they can potentially lose more water from their leaves than can be replenished by uptake through the stem. The relationship between the water loss from the stomata and uptake through the stem is called “water balance,” and when the cut flower is out of balance, it tends to expire very quickly. The protective coating provided by these types of finishing sprays reduces this water loss. After you’ve created your gorgeous design, simply apply the spray evenly, as directed, to the flower, stem and foliage of the finished arrangement, corsage, etc. Allow the spray to dry prior to placing the flowers in the flower cooler to hold prior to the event.

Cellular-level sprays

Finishing sprays such as Floralife Finishing Touch fortify finished arrangements and promote flower opening, color development, foliage quality and hydration. Perfect for wedding work, event work and commercial work like designs for hotels and offices, these sprays are formulated for use on finished arrangements that are utilized for longer durations and have access to a water source via a container or floral foam. For example, the active ingredients in Floralife Finishing Touch are absorbed by the flower petals and leaves and work to fortify the cut flower from the inside out, helping flowers to be their most vibrant and long lasting. These types of sprays should be evenly applied to the finished vase or floral-foam arrangement and allowed to dry before holding in the flower cooler.

How To?

Finishing sprays such as Floralife Crowning Glory and Floralife Finishing Touch work wonderfully, but they will produce the results you’re looking for only when used as intended. They may be related, but they are definitely not the same!
Take extra care when reaching for your spray when working on your next design. Here’s what you need to remember:

• Exterior-coating finishing sprays like Floralife Crowning Glory are for designs or products out of water (e.g., corsages and headpieces)
as well as event arrangements for which wilting and water loss might be an issue (e.g., an outdoor reception).

• Cellular-level finishing sprays like Floralife Finishing Touch are absorbed by flower petals and leaves, fortifying the flowers in designs by promoting flower opening, color development, foliage quality and hydration. They can be used on all arrangements that are designed for
extended use and have access to a water source via a container or floral foam.

No matter your design, using the proper finishing spray will give you peace of mind that the designs you pull out of the cooler before an
event will be just as fresh as the ones you put into the cooler.

Floralife, a division of Smithers-Oasis Company, is a worldwide leader in postharvest flower care and handling. Inventors of the first cut-flower food in 1938, Floralife has developed products to feed, hydrate, nourish and protect cut flowers at every level in the distribution chain.
To learn more about cut flower care and handling, visit