Flowers for Valentines

In honor of Valentines Day here is an updated re-post of a post I did on Feb 8, 2012.  Here are some answers to some questions about flowers and arrangements.

Is it my imagination that the price of roses rose for Valentine’s day?

Nope.  From my experience in the industry the prices start to go up the first week in February and don’t come down until the first week of March.  Some reasons for this are:

  • The growers charge the wholesaler more, so the wholesaler charges the floral shop more, so the floral shop charges you more.
  • Supply and Demand: Demand for roses, specifically red ones, go up for Valentines.
  • Cost to produce red roses can change: price of gas, price of labor, price to ship the flowers.

For example the price of roses is expected to be higher this year due to the weather over the growing season, and rising transportation costs. If you are set on buying roses, or flowers, for valentines here are a few tips on how to save some money:

  • Shop around.
  • If you are going to utilize a floral shop, call them directly.
    • This can potentially save you money.
    • It also allows you to talk directly to someone, and/or a florist, in the shop who knows what flowers and any other merchandise, like container selection, that they have on hand.
    • You can also make sure that the shop actually delivers to the address you want the order to go.
  • Be flexible.  Just because it is Valentines doesn’t mean you have to buy flowers.

The flowers at the floral shop are higher quality and better arranged, right?

Not necessarily.  I have seen good and bad flowers sitting out for sale at floral shops and stores.  I have seen great and horrible arrangements at grocery stores and at floral shops.

Only a florist knows how to extend the life of a floral arrangement?

No.  Some tips for extending the life:

  • Clean the water daily.
  • Remove all debris from the water.
  • Water floral arrangements daily.
  • Re cut the stems of vase arrangements.  Cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch under water and immediately return to the vase with water inside.
  • Do not put the flowers in direct sun or on a heat source
  • Do not store flowers in a cold location such as a freezer or cold fridge.  This can freeze and/or burn the flowers.
  • Use floral preservative in the water
  • Add a pinch of sugar, few drops of clear soda, to the water.

Do Tulips Grow after being cut?

Yes.  There is some debate if it is toward light or just upward in direction.  It is not uncommon to do an arrangement and the next day have to re-do the tulips because they grew.  Putting a small slit mark at the base of the flower on the stem helps stop this.

Should I leave all the foliage on the flowers?

Only remove what might stick down into the water.  Otherwise the foliage cuts down on the need for “greens” to cover the container and stems.  Unless you like the look of the stems.

Can I cut the stems with scissors?

A sharp knife works best.  45 degree angle at a downward motion.  Do not put your thumb behind the stem with the blade on top.  Keep the thumb away from the blade.  This allows for quicker cutting and less cutting of fingers by the knife.  If you use scissors use ones that do not crush the stems.  Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle.  The 45 degree angle makes for a smaller insertion point into floral oasis.

Why do roses have wires sticking in them?

Keeps their heads pointed straight.  The process for wiring a rose varies with florists.  Some will twist the wire all the way down the stem.  Others will twist twice at the top and then loop at the bottom to keep the wire on the stem.  While some I have seen do something between the two.

How do you process flowers purchased in a bunch?

Cut the stems under water at a 45 degree angle.  Put into cool/room temp water that has floral preservative, a little sugar, or a little clear soda in it.  Make sure the stems remain wet.  If the water is hot it can burn the flowers.  Conversely cold water can do the same.

When I design with Oasis a.k.a floral foam my flowers die fast why?

When using oasis to design it is important to remember that oasis only sucks up water about an inch above the water line.  Your stems have to be inside that level or you have to make sure the oasis is watered often.

Another cause is from letting the stems sit out in the air and not cutting them prior to insertion into the foam or water.  When stems sit in the open air it causes air bubbles.  This requires about an inch of stem to be cut from the stem to cut out the bubble and then immediately insert into the oasis or water.

I wanted red/pink/purple/periwinkle/green carnations and all they had is white, what do I do?

Two choices:  Food Coloring.  Spray Paint.

  • For food coloring: mix the colors until you have the color you want.  Mix with water.  Add the carnations.  It will take time for them to draw the color up into the petals.  The color will usually be a bit lighter than the color in the bucket.
  • For Spray Paint:  Buy the color you want.  Hold the flower out in one hand and lightly spray the bottom and top.

Should I put the stem in my mouth like they do in the movies?

Only if you want to digest chemicals including Formaldehyde which is a common ingredient in the oasis, floral glues, and floral preservative.

Links in Article:

Flowers for Valentines (

Why roses cost more on Valentine’s Day (


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