Rudbeckia Pricing & Cutting +others

susiq(NW AR 6B)June 5, 2005

Any idea how to price Rudbeckia's for a florist? I probably have Triloba growing with abandon (aka "Wild") at my field. It's gorgeous, healthy, beautiful, needs to bring me some money.

It's 3-4' tall, lots of clusters of branching blooms. Do I cut individual stems from one cluster to bunch as 10's, or do I sell 1-10 "clusters" as a "bunch"? Need pricing for whichever way(s) I should sell them.

I'm thinking I might ought to cut individual stems. I was working w/ it last night for a quick hostess gift bouquet, and untangling all those stems was frustrating. So either I or the florist gets to untangle: if I do it, do I get to charge her more? Serious AND LOL!

Also....

Prices needed for various other things:

Drumstick Allium

Echinacea, common and/or Magnus

Victoria Salvia Blue

Asiatic & Oriental Lilies

Need Post-Harvest Care for lilies--can they be refrigerated like tulips/iris/roses to hold them until it's time to sell them? I think I'm going to be a little too late to get to use any of my few lilies, but at least I'll know for next year.

Thanks

Susi.

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flowerfarmer

I don't know anything about pricing on the others; but, I checked last year's prices, and Stargazer Lilies were $3.50/stem to the florist. Sometimes they are sold single. Sometimes as 5/bunch. The 5/bunch were $15.50; but, the florist had to purchase 12 bunches. Otherwise the price was $17.00 per bunch. Remember these stems are long. Growers sacrifice the bulb for stem length. Also, the florist may prefer lily stems without open buds.

Speaking of refrigerating lilies -- we moved 100 pots of lilies into the cooler because they decided to really color up today one day after our market. We wanted to hold them for a day or two. We have another market on Wednesday. We did, however, cut about 100 stems of Manhattan that were just colored up. None were open. They were beautiful just like that if I do say so myself! We put a lily stem with a hosta leaf, and a fern leaf. They all sold.

I wish our blue salvia was in bloom. But, alas, the plugs were just planted. You will have to condition the cuttings.

Good luck with your florist run. We don't do florists, subscriptions, weddings or whatever else. We have more than we can handle with our markets. We try to keep the craziness around here to a minimum.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:51PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)

flowerfarmer, thanks for your reply! I undercut your $3.50 by a dollar, then had to come down to $2.00, but for a "good reason". I had 11 random, short stemmed lilies, most in bloom w/ 1-2 buds on them, but I wasn't sure about the quality. My florist took all 11, so I made $22.00 on them. Hooray for me!

Of course it isn't a big sale, and I did have to cave a little, but a sale is a sale. I also sold my aliums for 6.00 a bunch (USDA in Boston has them at 7-8.50), and thus made $18.00! $40.00 for the day. I was VERY happy.

I took a bunch of rudbeckias, was planning to charge $3.00 per 10 stem bunch, plus 4-5 for bunched 5's of the cluster, but they didn't really consider any of the rudbeckias. And BIG sigh, the rudbeckias decided to go limp and ragged looking on me as I went into the next two florists. I KNEW I shouldn't have even bothered. I think rudbeckias must need a LONG soak in floralife, instead of the 2-3 hours I gave them yesterday. I noticed that this weekend when I made a hurry-up-quick bouquet for a hostess gift. I was worried about their state when we arrived, but fortunately, everyone just noticed "a pretty bouquet", instead of starting-to-be-limp flowers. One neat thing I did w/ that bouquet was add 3 lilies in the center. Was a neat contrast.

I've started selling to this one florist because (A), they buy!!!!!, and (B), I don't have enough flowers for a farmer's market, plus I work on Saturdays when most markets around here are. There's maybe 2 I could go to mid-week, but I don't think there's much traffic at either, just a few vegie sellers at one, and possibly Nobody at the other. I'd be all by my lonesome! Maybe I could get rid of some rudbeckias that way! LOL!

I also have one subscription--which I delivered yesterday, also. NEAT little bouquet in smallish clear dark blue vase: 2 Peter Mayle deep/hot pink & great smelling roses, then some salmon & hot pink zinnias and some purple gomphrena. NEAT colors! Recipient wasn't there, but I'm sure she'll like it. The other ladies there said it was pretty. Gotta track her down and present a bill!

Back to the lily pricing. The florist asked me to go down to the $2.00 because THEY only charge $5.00 per lily in a bouquet, and it would cut into their profit. (The penny drops a little late in my head--DANG, that reduced price cuts into MY profit, too!) I guess if I get better lilies with what's left of my crop, or next year, I can feel better about charging more; but, I wonder how LONG stemmed lilies in the $3.50-17.00 range would work w/ their price range? Hmmm... Maybe if the lilies are FABULOUS they'll have to raise their prices too!

I shouldhave/couldhave charged more for the alliums--I could see the calculator going in her head trying to figure their cost(s) vs. my costs, and she probably would still have come out ahead if I'd asked the extra dollar more. She wasn't the lady I usually deal with, that one was on her lunch hour, but she said that "the head designer" (my usual contact) would really LOVE the Aliums!

You quoted me sell-to-florist prices, but then later you said you DON'T sell to florists. Were the lilies an exception?

Again, thanks for your help!

Susi.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:41AM
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flowerfarmer

Susi,
You didn't undercut me. I'm retail at the farmers market. Two dollars wholesale was probably a good price for your short stem Asiatics.

We sell to florists when they come down to market, which they do often during the season. We don't go looking for the business. Usually they buy the dahlias, zinnias and sunflowers. Sometimes other unique flowers. They're mostly happy to pay the going rate at market.

Last fall we purchased some seeded eucalyptus and pepperberries from the wholesale florist. Since we have a cooler, they will deliver to us if we are in need of something special that we do not or cannot grow here. We always have the opportunity to call and ask for their price sheet which contains specials for the following week.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 10:05PM
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flowerfarmer

Susi,
PS. My computer messed up on me. Anyway, I meant to add congratulations on the sale to the florist........

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 10:10PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)

Thanks, flowerfarmer, I appreciate your help AND compliment.

Due to poor crop management, husband in the hospital, daughter graduating, and other misc. Murphy's Law things, I hadn't been to the florist in several weeks, til I showed up 3 or 4 weeks ago w/ my larkspur. The head designer said, "We haven't seen you in a while--we were wondering where you were."

I thought THAT was nice, AND a rather LARGE endorsement for consistancy (one of my "areas that need improvement"), AND a realization that even w/ small sales, I AM building a tiny rapport with this shop & its designers.

But OHHHHHH, did I have to FORCE myself out of the house and to town! This flower isn't perfect,-- that one is great, but will they see IT, -- I'm going to town too late-- the whole "sky is falling" self doubt scenarios.

And the old "Toyota commercial" of the guy jumping in air and clicking his heels was me when I left the florist! Yippee!

I just hope I didn't "ruin" my rep by showing up w/ the sad rudbeckias at the other two florists. Oh well, live and learn! And show up w/ better flowers next time! At least I walked in their doors--that's a BIG step!

Susi.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 11:48PM
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FlowerPower_NC(z6)

Susi,

Well done on the florist sales! I'm paying close attention to your prices, I'm about a month behind you growing wise...at least, I hope only a month (HA!)

Valerie

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 2:19AM
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