5 On Your Side

Valentine's Day Advice: One Rose Seller Is Not Just Like Another

Posted February 8, 2007

— The "rosiest" day of the year is just about here.

Choosing a color for roses—light pink, lavender, red—is one thing. Where to get them is another.

The flower industry estimates 189 million roses will be ready for Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. Many people will easily pay more than $100 for a bouquet and will order them online. But what might they look like when they arrive?

Consumer Reports ordered dozens and dozens of roses to find out.

"We're looking to see what sort of shape they arrive in and we're also looking to see how long they last," said Pat Slaven of Consumer Reports.

The magazine’s test was pretty thorough.

They ordered a dozen red roses once a week for five weeks from Hallmark, Organic Bouquet, Jungle Roses, and ProFlowers. They picked those places because, unlike other Web sites, all four ship from central warehouses.

The bouquets arrived within the promised time, but some had problems—petals were damaged, and some leaves had dark spots.

In one case, a $128 box from Jungle Roses was labeled red, but the roses turned out to be yellow.

As for staying power, some of the bouquets lasted only three days. The best deal of the bunch was from ProFlowers. The bouquet costs $50, including shipping. The flowers lasted about a week.

Testers found the best bet, however, if at all possible is to order from a local florist you know and trust.

No matter where you get your roses, you can help them last longer.

Experts say to start by trimming the stems as soon as you get them, and make those cuts on a diagonal.

Change the water every day (use warm water). Add food—either floral food or a cup of citrus soda mixed with two drops of bleach.

And keep them in a cool spot (not on top of a television or next to a sunny window). If they nod, cut off an inch.

With good care, roses should last about a week.


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  • fishnett5977 Feb 14, 2007

    I got a mixed bouquet with roses and other flowers from my bestfriend in Georgia - they were from ProFlowers and they were beautiful when I got them and they stayed that way for 3 weeks. And my husband gave me roses last week before the price went up! ;) I love to get flowers - please give em to me NOW cause I cant enjoy when I die!!! And my hubby didnt spend alot of money on the flowers he sent - heck if he sent me only a carnation or daisy or two, I would love that! Getting flowers at work or at home ALWAYS makes my day! :)

  • North Carolina Native Feb 11, 2007

    agree brad... it's such a cop out...

  • New York Yankee Feb 10, 2007

    my bosses at work gave me a bush full of dead roses for office assistant day. :-(

  • Notinitforthemoney Feb 9, 2007

    Nothing like getting something that is going to shrivel up and die to show your love to someone.

  • DurhamDude Feb 9, 2007

    In this day and age, your love is measured by dollars spent.