What to look for when buying roses for Valentine's Day

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -  More than 100 million roses are sold every year in the US for Valentine's Day.

Roses can be expensive, so which ones should you buy? Are all roses the same or do some have more staying power?

It's hard to deny the powerful statement a rose can make. Thankfully the feelings usually last longer than the flowers. However, for what you'll pay per dozen at Valentine's Day you don't want your sweetheart tossing them too soon.

A former florist, Jody Munn, provided some tips to spot a healthy and long-lasting rose.

"You are going to find that the flowers are nice and tight. That they don't have a lot of give to them.  Also, they dethorn the roses and they wire the roses. And when you wire a rose, it makes it stand up nice and tall," Munn said.

Roses were purchased from Walmart, Harris Teeter, ProFlowers.com, a traditional florist and a high-end florist, where the roses cost nearly $90. Roses were kept in a special room and watched for eight days.

The roses from Walmart were the first to fade. A few days later, the beauties from the traditional florist lost their luster. The other three were standouts, all in different ways.

The bouquet from the high-end florist was a stunner and many of its blooms did last the week, but you're paying for it.

"When you are paying more for flowers you're paying for someone's capability and for someone who knows what they're doing," said Cecil Shearin.

Jody Munn liked the flowers from Harris Teeter best, in the low-end range, because they came arranged with lots of extra foliage.

"For $15 I think it was a great value," Munn said.

Those which outlasted them all, and really were the prettiest in the end, were ordered from ProFlowers.com.  The result was surprising because the $48 bunch wasn't much to look at when it arrived. They were full of thorns and had to be arranged.

An expert said that long-lasting flowers are all about conditioning and how the store cares for them before you buy them and how you do when you take them home.

"You want the water to be as clean as possible and keep down the bacteria. Typically it's best to cut roses under running water at an angle," said Munn.

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