6 facts about Australian dried flowers

Author: Ader Broersen  Date Posted:6 June 2022 

Are you an Australian Florist, Stylist or Decorator? Do you get questions from your customers about dried & preserved flowers and don’t have all the answers? You are not the only one, but guess what? Next time you do! 

In this article, I will answer the following 6 questions.

  1. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS.

  2. WHY DO FLORISTS LOVE DRIED FLOWERS?

  3. WHY IS THERE LIMITED AVAILABILITY?

  4. ARE ALL DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS ALLOWED INTO AUSTRALIA?

  5. WHAT IS THE PRESERVING PROCESS?

  6. WHAT ABOUT AUSTRALIAN-GROWN DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS?

1)     OK, LET’S START WITH THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS.

In short; dried flowers are completely dehydrated and lose the original look and feel of the fresh flower while preserving flowers allows the flowers to maintain the natural look and feel of a fresh flower. Simple right?

Floral Daily, (an online meeting place for the international horticulture industry), wrote a great article in more detail about the differences here.

"Dried & preserved flowers improve your bottom line, as there is simply no waste."

2)     WHY DO FLORISTS LOVE DRIED FLOWERS?

Not only Australia is experiencing high demand, but worldwide (event) florists, stylists, and decorators are looking for everlasting dried and preserved flowers for 5 simple reasons;

1) They are long-lasting

2) therefore reducing waste

3) and improving your bottom line.

4) consumers like ‘no fuss’ flowers +

5) value for money, especially with current fresh flower prices at an all-time high.

In recent years the range, quality, and availability of dried and preserved flowers have improved enormously, making it the ‘must have’ flowers around the world.

3)     WHY IS THERE LIMITED AVAILABILITY?

OK, there are lots of dried & preserved flowers around, true. But the range is limited, especially compared to Europe or the USA. Australia is restricting what dried & preserved flowers are and aren’t allowed in our country for biosecurity reasons. While it’s great that strict measures are in place, it is affecting the range and availability of quality dried and preserved flowers.

The fact there are only limited suppliers around the world that are specialized in this niche market, in combination with worldwide increasing demand and ongoing COVID-related supply chain issues, (driving many importers from airfreight to sea freight causing longer lead times), are only some of the reasons behind the, sometimes, limited range & availability.

4)     ARE ALL DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS ALLOWED INTO AUSTRALIA?

No, certainly not! The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment plays a critical role in helping protect Australia’s unique environment from unwanted pests and diseases. They have a BICON list, (BICON stands for Biosecurity Import Conditions system) that is Australia’s Government’s Biosecurity import conditions database. This is a great guide to find out if and what potential import conditions might be and if an import permit is required.  

Australia also works with a permitted species list, specifically for dried and preserved flowers. Here you can find the common name, botanical name, and permitted parts for dried flowers and foliage that are allowed in Australia. This list changes regularly, so make sure you check regularly! 

5)     WHAT IS THE PRESERVING PROCESS?

There are many different ways to preserve flowers, all slightly different, but the main approved processes for Australia are;

- by completely immersing them in Glycerine or Alcohol,
- completely embedded in Resin, or
- by drying, (from 3 hours to sometimes up to a few days), dyeing and then treating them with Magnesium Chloride.

"Did you know, that not all Australian-grown dried flowers are allowed in all states and territories?"

 

6)     WHAT ABOUT AUSTRALIAN-GROWN DRIED FLOWERS?

Although Australian-grown dried flowers are in high demand, be aware that not all are allowed in all states or territories.

A few examples are;

  • Tea Tree is not allowed in Tasmania, 
  • Pampas Grass is not allowed in NSW, Tasmania & South Australia
  • Sorghum is not allowed in Western Australia

One of the main risks is the spreading of Myrtle Rust via members of the Family of the Myrtaceae. (Technically they can arrive in certain states and territories, but they would require treatment with an approved fungicide & be approved by a Plant Health Officer).

At the moment of writing this blog, this is the information we currently have available;

·        The Northern Territory confirmed that all dried & preserved flowers are allowed.

·        Queensland confirmed that “generally all Australian dried and preserved flowers are permitted in Queensland. However, there may be some species which may not come into Queensland from another State”.

·        Tasmania notified us that members of the Family Myrtaceae are prohibited due to Myrtle Rust. A list of their prohibited invasive species can be found here. A list of declared pests and diseases can be found here. Restrictions relating to weeds can be found here and environmental weeds here.

·        For Western Australia, all flowers must be listed as 'Permitted (s11)' to be allowed entry into Western Australia. To check the status of the organism please check the WA Organism List. The basic rule is when sending to W.A. you need to provide a Genus name for every line, if the flower or plant material has a seed, you will need to provide the full botanical name including Genus and Species names.

·        South Australia has confirmed, to have the same restrictions as Tasmania when it comes to members of the Family Myrtaceae.

·        Victoria’s lists of declared noxious weeds and pests can be found here.

·        New South Wales biosecurity officers confirmed that ‘provided the flowers are dried and stored indoors you may move the dried flowers into NSW with no further restrictions’.

·        Australian Capital Territory is at the moment of writing still to provide specific information. (Once received this publication will be updated.)

(!) Before you send anything interstate, I highly recommend doing your research as requirements differ between states and territories and can change frequently.

WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR TAKEAWAYS?

  1. COVID has caused significant supply chain issues, driving many importers from airfreight to sea freight causing longer lead times. This in combination with a worldwide increasing demand, limited suppliers, and the fact that dried flowers are seasonal, creates the supply shortage. 
  2. Only certain specific drying & preservation methods are approved by Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment.
  3. Requirements differ between states and territories and can change frequently. When sending Australian-grown dried and preserved flowers interstate, check with your local state or territory representative to make sure you are well informed and keep up to date with the latest changes.
  4. The key reason behind the increasing popularity of dried & preserved flowers is the increased range, improved quality and not least, it is improving your bottom line as there is simply now waste.

WHAT NEXT?

  • Click here to have a look at our current availability of dried & preserved flowers.
  • Or here if you are looking for availability regarding our only local Australian-grown dried & preserved flowers. 
  • Please do leave a comment! We would love to hear your thoughts on the Australian Dried & Preserved flower industry and if you found this information useful.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ader Broersen – Ader is Co-owner, Marketing & Sales Director at All InSeason Australia & New Zealand | 20+ years’ experience in the agricultural/flower industry both in Holland and Australia with a passion for flowers.

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