A Florist’s 3 Tips for Buying the Best Flowers This Valentine’s Day
This week, Americans are expected to spend more than $2 billion on flowers for Valentine’s Day. By far the most popular flowers purchased are roses, and 250 million roses are produced to supply the demand of holiday consumers and romantics.
But where do most of these flowers come from? About 90% of all roses sold in the United States come from Colombia and Ecuador, as well as approximately 98% of all carnations and 95% of all chrysanthemums.
Over the entire year, Americans will spend more than $35 billion on flowers, and 78% of those flowers are imported from Colombia.
That’s a long journey for a small flower to make to brighten our homes.
Dana Bjarnson, who has worked in the floral business since 1985 and is the owner of Mapleton Floral & Gifts, recently shared a few tips for consumers to be aware of when buying flowers:
1. Be careful of online vendors and hidden costs.
When you shop online for flowers, it can be tricky to know exactly what you will get. Many online companies take a percentage of the profits before sending the order to a florist, who still charges their standard fees. Bjarnson suggests cutting out the middleman by contacting florists directly. Even if you are ordering flowers for someone across the country, you can search for florists in that area and compare prices online or over the phone. Working with florists, you’ll understand exactly what you will get and you won’t have to pay additional fees.
2. Know there are different grades of flowers.
Have you ever noticed that flowers at Walmart or Costco can be cheaper than those from the florist on the corner? Why is there a price difference? Bjarnson explains that, much like diamonds, flowers have different grades. Higher grade flowers are more vibrant, fragrant, and will last longer, and florists buy higher grade flowers to make their arrangements as beautiful and lasting as possible. In addition, most florists will replace or refund your purchase if you are not satisfied. Larger stores, on the other hand, often buy lower grade flowers in bulk that they can resale at cheaper prices. So while these flowers might work for a one-day event, don’t expect them to last, and don’t expect a refund.
3. Understand the power of buying local
Online shopping, two-day deliveries, and new technologies have changed modern buying habits. But when it comes to buying flowers, Bjarnson knows that if you want a good deal on something that will last, working through your local florist is the best way to go. Not only will florists provide high-grade flowers, they can also provide suggestions, make special orders, and customize your purchase. They know what flowers are in season, which ones last the longest, which smell the sweetest, and they can help you create something perfect for the loved one in your life.