14 Fun Facts About Valentine's Day Flowers

Red Valentine Roses
Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

Valentine's Day gift-giving just wouldn't be the same without fresh flowers. Whether you're giving a fresh cut bouquet, a live flowering plant basket, or an elegant single long-stemmed rose, there's a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure that the consumer demand for floral Valentine's gifts is met.

  1. Roses continue to dominate the Valentine’s gift market in the United States, but in Denmark, the tradition is to exchange dainty white snowdrop flowers.
  1. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for florists, representing 36% of all fresh flower purchases, for a total of $1.9 billion spent in 2016. The average price of a dozen arranged long-stemmed roses arranged for Valentine’s Day in 2016 was $83 (compared to $65 not arranged), a survey by the Society of American Florist's survey found. A unarranged bouquet of long-stemmed roses on a non-holiday period would sell for $51.
  2. The language of love goes beyond roses. You can communicate your specific feelings and desires to your love with the traditional meaning of flowers: send gardenias to your secret love, or purple larkspur to your first love.
  3. Forget about the classic dozen when it comes to giving roses for Valentine's Day. A gift of a single rose says that the recipient is the only one. Increase that to three roses if you wish to say, "I love you." A gift of 11 roses means that the giver is the missing flower in the dozen. Finally, an extravagant gift of three dozen long-stemmed roses says that the giver's heart belongs to the recipient.
  1. Where’s the fragrance? The hybrid roses produced for the Valentine’s Day market are bred for perfect form and longevity in the vase, often at the expense of the fragrance. If you don’t have access to homegrown heirloom roses, consider asking your florist to mix fragrant freesias, scented stock, or oriental lilies in with your rose bouquet.
  1. Not all Valentine’s flowers come from South America. California is the leading producer of domestically produced cut flowers, accounting for about three-quarters of the wholesale value produced.
  2. To make the cut as a long-stemmed rose for Valentine’s Day, the flower must have a stem length of 24 to 36 inches and a blossom diameter of two to four inches. These special roses are cultivated using specific pruning techniques and strict greenhouse climate controls.

  3. You can combine chocolate and flowers for Valentine’s Day, and not just those cheesy foil-covered chocolate roses. Consider giving a chocolate scented orchid for lasting blooms and sweet fragrance.
  4. Some cities seem more romantic than others due to their floral names. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are four cities named Rose Hill, five called Roseland, and six named Roseville.
  5. It’s OK to treat yourself on Valentine’s Day: about 18% of American women sent themselves flowers on February 14th in 2015. Men like to receive Valentine’s flowers too. The Society of American Florists reveals that 30% of women surveyed purchased Valentine’s flowers for their spouse in 2015.
  6. Does your Valentine also have a February birthday? Honor the birthday and the romantic holiday by sending a mixed flower bouquet that includes violets, the birth flower for February.
  1. U.S. Customs and Border Protection protects consumers by screening hundreds of millions of imported fresh cut Valentine flowers for pests and diseases, mostly from Columbia and Ecuador. Commonly intercepted pests include thrips, moths, and aphids.The bulk of these flowers enter the U.S. through Miami and Los Angeles during the Valentine season of January 1st through February 14th.
  2. Valentine’s Day is a bigger payday for florists when it falls on a weekday. Floral gift-givers tend to send better flower arrangements to the recipient’s office, where the flowers can fall under the gaze of more admiring eyes.
  3. The top 10 cut flower imports during the Valentine season are, in order: