Valentine’s Day often is described as the flower industry’s version of the Super Bowl.
It’s the No. 1 holiday for florists, similar in size to the Christmas season but playing out in a much shorter schedule.
In 2022, 22 percent of Americans bought fresh flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine’s Day, according to the Society of American Florists. Roses comprised 83 percent of those purchases, with red roses the top seller by far.
Just as the victorious football team’s most devoted fans will celebrate for days after the big game, the recipient of Valentine’s Day roses reasonably can expect to get a week or longer out of them by taking some simple steps.
KEEP ROSES COOL
Keep them away from a heat source, such as a vent or direct sunlight. While you are sleeping, you can place them in an unheated room or garage before putting them back on display in the morning.
KEEP ROSES WATERED
If roses arrive in a vase:
- They will use more water than you think, so add water pretty much daily.
- If after five days or so the water is getting dirty, pull the roses out, re-cut the stems and put them back in the vase with fresh water. Add a packet of floral preservative, available from your florist.
- If the water is relatively clean, leave it alone as it will have some preservative left in it.
If roses arrive loose or in a box:
- If the roses came with tubes on the stems, remove the tubes and re-cut the stems about 1 inch from the bottom. It is best to cut at an angle, which creates more surface area for water intake.
- Place the roses in a vase with water that is room temperature to a little warm.
- Add floral preservative to the water; you should have received a packet with the delivery.
- Only change the water if it becomes noticeably dirty.
IF ROSES DON’T OPEN
- Within a day or two, your roses should begin to open. If not, remove them from the vase, re-cut the stems at an angle, and return them to the vase.
- If they still do not begin to open, re-cut the stems but this time also float the flowers in a bath of water for an hour or two to rehydrate them. Then return them to the vase. Most times, this will bring the roses around.
In one significant way, the Valentine’s Day/Super Bowl analogy falls short of the goal line.
Because unlike the football game, the best outcome for Valentine’s Day is when everyone – florist, giver and recipient alike – emerges a winner because those beautiful flowers lasted so long.