Red Roses: A Valentine

LivRio Magazine January 2024, powered by FloraLife

If you’ve ever wondered why we gift red roses on Valentine’s Day, well, like so many other things, it’s thanks to those influential Victorians. In the language of flowers, which was initially developed by the Victorians, roses symbolize love, and a red rose in particular symbolizes true love.

The number of roses that you gift also hides further meaning as a single rose conveys “Love at first sight” or “You’re still the one”, twelve signal “Be mine”, and gifting twenty-four is the perfect way to say “You are always on my mind”.

For those of you with a more practical outlook, roses are a perfect choice for gifting in February due to their hardiness and how well they are able to travel.

In order to produce the 250 million red rose stems that will be purchased on Valentine’s Day around the world, rose growers will have been managing their crops for months in advance to prevent any disappointments. In fact, Valentine’s Day sets the tone for the rest of the year when it comes to roses!

If you weren’t already convinced that red roses are the way to go on Valentine’s Day, know that they pair up beautifully with just about any other flowers such as Oriental Lilies, Eryngium, and Delphinium for a classic bouquet with a twist.

Regardless of how you choose to convey your love this Valentine’s Day, be sure to include some beautiful red roses in the mix so your message of love is loud and clear.

Care and Handling Information

What to look for when purchasing

  • Roses are sensitive to ethylene. The sensitivity and the damage symptoms vary depending on the variety. Symptoms include poor opening, abnormal opening, petal shattering, wilting, bent neck and petal discoloration. Source from growers which treat stems with an ethylene action inhibitor such as EthylBloc™.
  • Free from botrytis. Brown spots or patches on the outer petals may be an indication of botrytis infection.
  • Free of mechanical damage.
  • Avoid rose stems with obvious excessive wilting symptoms which could be an indication of improper temperature and humidity management.

Shipping and Storage

  • Shipping and storage temperatures should be 34 – 38° F with a 75-85% relative humidity.

Re-hydration at Store Level

  • Start processing with a clean bucket, sanitized with FloraLife® D.C.D.® Cleaner.
  • If received dry packed, conditioning of stem ends is recommended to prevent blockage and promote uptake. Cut approximately 1” or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife, and treat with FloraLife® Quick Dip.
  • Place flowers in a flower food holding solution such as FloraLife® Express 200. Do not put flowers directly in metal/galvanized buckets. Use clean, high-quality water that has not been treated with a water softener.
  • Store in a cooler at 34 – 38° F.
  • Allow minimum 2 hours to hydrate placing buckets in an area with good airflow.  
  • Always remember FIFO (first in/first out) when rotating Roses or any other flowers.

Vase Care

  • Remove any leaves that might be below the vase solution.
  • If received dry, cut approximately 1” or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife, and treat with FloraLife® Quick Dip.
  • Immediately place flowers in properly dosed vase solutions (Flower Food and water) containing FloraLife Crystal Clear® (the perfect solution for clear vases), or FloraLife® Express 300 (the no-cut premium solution).
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and fruits.

Special Considerations

  • The outer petals of roses tend to be quite different from the inner petals. These are known as ‘Guard Petals’ and are a naturally occurring part of the rose. Many florists choose to remove the guard petals for aesthetic reasons, but they can also add a naturalistic element if left untouched. To remove them, simply hold each petal firmly and give them a gently tug to remove.
  • Red roses can sometimes display blackening at the petals’ edge. This occurs during the growing process when cold nighttime temperatures and high daytime temperature & high levels of sunlight occur together. Blackening of the petals’ edges is not a disease. There is nothing wrong with these beauties.

A happy customer means repeat business, especially at Valentine’s!  This may be the only time of year someone may purchase or receive roses and may be your one and only chance to make an impression.  Be sure to send your customers home with FloraLife® Flower Food packets and know-how!  Proper care and handling and educating customers will not only give your customers an amazing experience but have them coming back to you when it’s time to buy roses again!

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