What Floral Designers Do
Floral designers order flowers from wholesalers and suppliers to ensure an adequate supply to meet customer needs.
Floral designers, also called florists, arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers and containers, ribbons, and other accessories.
Floral designers typically do the following:
- Buy flowers and other products from wholesalers and suppliers to ensure that an adequate supply meets customers’ needs
- Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
- Recommend plants or flowers and greenery for each arrangement in accordance with the customer’s budget
- Design floral displays that evoke a particular sentiment or style
- Answer telephones, take orders, and wrap arrangements
Floral designers may create a single arrangement for a specific purpose or multiple displays for special occasions, such as weddings or funerals. They use artistry and their knowledge of different types of blooms to choose appropriate flowers or plants for each occasion. Floral designers need to know when flowers and plants are in season and available.
Floral designers also need to know the properties of flowers and other plants. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are delicate and wilt more quickly. Some plants are poisonous to certain types of animals. For example, lilies are toxic to cats.
Floral designers must know the color varieties and average size of each flower and plant they sell. They may need to calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals cover a space, such as the length of a walkway for a wedding procession.
Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend plants or flowers, greenery, and designs to customers. If the customer selects flowers, the designer uses that type of flower to arrange a visually appealing display. The designer may include items, such as stuffed animals or balloons, or use a decorative basket or vase when creating an arrangement.
Plants typically are showcased in attractive containers and are available for immediate sale. Although more complex floral displays must be ordered in advance, floral designers often create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for multiple arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or funeral, floral designers usually create and set up these decorations just before the event, then remove them afterward. Some floral designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for these types of occasions.
Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers and plants, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For plants or cut flowers, floral designers often provide plant or flower food as part of the sale.
Floral designers also order new flowers, greenery, and plants from suppliers. They process newly arrived shipments by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. Floral designers cut new flowers, transplant plants, mix plant or flower food solutions, fill containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers and plants in cool display cases so that the products stay fresh and live longer.
Some floral designers have formal agreements with the managers of hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers or plants with new ones on a recurring schedule—usually daily, weekly, or monthly—to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. They may work with interior designers in creating displays.
Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks, such as advertising, pricing, inventory, and taxes. Some designers hire and supervise staff to help with these tasks.