Why flowers are so expensive, according to florists

Why flowers are so expensive, according to florists

Why flowers are so expensive, according to florists


You’ve probably experienced the sticker shock for the price of a dozen red roses. Paying more than $100 for a very ordinary gift can feel like a scam.

Between the cost of labor and the actual price of flowers and vases, a rose’s journey from farm to countertop is an expensive journey, “essentially invisible to consumers,” said Kate Payne, CEO of the American Florist Association. “.

On Valentine’s Day, which accounts for 30% of annual flower sales, these costs will only get higher due to demand, according to 2019 data from the IPSOS Flower Tracker study.

“Especially on Valentine’s Day, the demand for roses is exponentially higher than on any other day of the year, which means it takes an exponentially larger workforce to make it happen, which is why roses are higher on Valentine’s Day than on other days The reason. This year,” Payne said.

“You’re buying a ticket for flowers”

For roses specifically, consumers don’t see the workload of developing a commercially viable flower that “promises rich, tinted color, beautiful openings and long vase life,” Penn said.

“[Consumers] There is no labor in sight to grow a rose plant,” she said. “Monitor the plant for weeks and months to make sure it has the proper nutrition, is protected from insects and disease, harvested at the right time, and put in the proper conditions and solutions for shipping to retailers. “

Most of the flowers you see in the U.S., including roses, are imported, said Frank Montabon, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Iowa.

“We get a lot of flowers from South America or Colombia, and you have a very narrow window to get those flowers from there to the U.S.,” he said. “Generally you have a maximum of two weeks, which might be an oversimplification, and Colombia is a long way from you.

“Yeah, these things are on the plane and they keep them refrigerated all the time, but there really isn’t much time from the wild to go to a wedding or Valentine’s dinner.”

We buy a lot of flowers from South America or Colombia and you have a very tight window to ship the flowers from there to the US

Frank Montabon

Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Iowa

Sachi Rose, owner of a New Jersey flower studio, designs floral arrangements for weddings and events, as well as other custom orders. She buys many flowers from wholesalers who import flowers from South America and the Netherlands.

She said all her flowers go through Miami before being shipped to her.

“You’re buying tickets for flowers,” Ross said. “We order from all over the world, and these wholesale flowers are shipped, packaged for price, labor, and airfare to get them into Miami and then to New York or anywhere. That adds to the huge wholesale price tag that’s designed for floral designers.”

“Wholesale costs can be anywhere from $1 to $25 per stem”

Some of the most popular wedding flowers vary widely in price, Ross said. For example, peonies can be found locally, but are usually flown in from Canada, Israel or the Netherlands. “If it’s native, I’d pay $3 per stem, but if it’s not native, it’s $6 for a peony stem,” she said. “Only one stem.”

Kara Nash of Kara Nash Designs in Atlanta, Georgia, said the price per stem can vary widely depending on the season, the blooms and where the blooms are shipped. “Wholesale costs can range from $1 to $25 per stick,” she said.

Then there’s the cost of “hard goods” like vases, pots and floral foam. To make a profit, she said, she raised the price of hard commodities “by two, three or four times, depending on the market.” The flowers end up at two to three times the wholesale cost.

This is the reason for the difference in the cost of grocery flowers and florist flowers. Grocery store flowers, like Trader Joe’s, may not come in vases. Therefore, no or less “hard goods” can be marked up.

Grocery flowers may also cost less because they are less labor-intensive.

“Unboxing flowers all day”

For an event, most of the work happens before the big day, Ross said. Just getting the flowers out of the box is a task. Once the flowers are off the plane, you have to rejuvenate and hydrate them, she says.

“Spend the day unboxing flowers and stems, cleaning their thorns, removing their petals and leaves, and making sure they get water,” she says. “It was a full day’s work. The next day was a full day of preparing vases, making bouquets and everything.”

Nash considered how much artistry there was in the arrangement. “Small detail jobs like corsages and corollas involve more detail and are more labor-intensive,” she said.

Small detail jobs like corsages and corollas involve more detail and are more labor-intensive


owner of karanash design company

Also, she will consider how many flowers to shoot. “Bridal bouquets take a lot of time because it’s one of the most important things,” she said.

Flowers that are not suitable for events can still be labor-intensive. Tracey Morris, who owns Ella & Louie Flowers in Santa Barbara, Calif., said the addition of vases, as well as the skill level, affects her arrangement costs.

“Personally, I sell packaged bouquets for far less labor than arranging,” she said. “A lot less skill. You don’t have to pay for any hard goods because there are no vases and it takes less time.”

Imported stems from all over the world are expensive, coupled with the fact that many florists want every bouquet to be perfect.

“Flower people are very generous people and I want everything to be the prettiest thing I’ve ever given, but we’re a business,” Morris said.

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