Picking the perfect flowers for Valentine’s Day, making them last

Local News

Valentine’s Day is this Thursday and flowers are the most popular gesture of affection. If you don’t order ahead, the price of roses, for example, are usually at their highest around the holiday. The price of a dozen roses this year will vary from $45 to more than $100.

Many people complain about how expensive roses are around Valentine’s Day compared to what they pay at any other time of the year. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand that affects pricing around February 14. If you ordered roses three or four weeks ago to be delivered this week, you’d pay less. However, if you are going to make the buy this week, you’re going to pay more.

Activity has picked up at Tennessee Florist Supply in Knoxville. Over the last 10 days, close to 200,000 individual flowers have arrived. Hundreds of orders are being placed daily here. The wholesale supply company delivers flower to shops in North Carolina, Southeast Kentucky and throughout all of East Tennessee.  

“From the time a flower is cut in South America, California, Holland, wherever we get it from, it’s about four days until it arrives in our door,” said Tammy Holsapple.

Holsapple is an expert in the world of flowers. She says at this time of the year the staff here comes in early and stays late and the quick delivery of flowers is critical to maintaining their quality.

“From the time it goes out of our coolers and gets to the florists, it’s just a few hours. Then they cut it and it begins to drink water,” she said.

At this time of the year, we generally think of roses as the traditional Valentine’s Day flower. Red ones represent an unmistakable expression of love, while other colors communicate different types of love. 

“The pink is usually grace or elegance. Yellow friendship, white is purity. Lavender is a special rose. The meaning for it is love at first sight, so that is unique and special,” said Holsapple.

Flowers are kept fresh in the cooler, but once they get to your house, how can you keep them fresh?

“The key to keeping your flowers a good long time is to put clean water in them. Roses are thirsty. They’ve been kept dormant from the time they were cut.  So once cut, they begin to need a lot of water. They need to have water added to them every day and to keep them the absolute longest amount of time, change that water,” Holsapple said.

Before you take out a small loan for that expression of love, roses come in different sizes and prices.  

“Each rose, the bigger it is, that step is a little bit wider, drinks more water. So it stays stronger a little longer,” said Holsapple, adding that that increases the price.

A discount bouquet of a dozen roses this Valentines will range from $45 to $75. A price check on the higher end found prices from $75 to $110 or more for a premium bouquet of a dozen roses.   

Of course, you don’t have to stay with roses. There are other vibrantly colored flowers as well. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

“No matter what you give, if you give a dozen roses or one daisy. You are saying the same thing that is you are important and you matter,” Holsapple said.

Holsapple says plant food is a good treat for cut flowers to keep them healthy and vibrant. She says the thing you don’t want to do is put an aspirin or empty a can of Sprite into your flowers. She says that’s just going to add bacteria and the flowers are not going to last very long. 

If you keep them healthy, roses can last up to two weeks or sometimes even three weeks.

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