Buying Flowers Today? We Asked a Pro for Some Last-Minute Tips.
By Ariel Scotti / February 14, 2019 9:00 am

What do you know about flowers? Chances are, not much. And while some sweethearts may choose to order arrangements ahead of time, plenty more head to their local florist or call up a service day-of. But relax, where there’s a booming industry, there are countless experts, like the pros at 1-800 Flowers.com.

Last year, the National Retail Federation estimated that nearly $20 billion worth of flowers were sold during the week of Valentine’s Day — an average of $143.56 per person celebrating. For their busy season, 1-800 Flowers preps a year in advance, Vice President of Merchandising, Alfred Palomares told InsideHook. The company’s buyers “look at fashion, home and color trends” when deciding which plants will work best together but they stress that “seasonality of flowers” is important, too.

One trend the retailer says will be popular this year is hot pink. “This color has emerged as one of the most sought-after hues,” Palomares said. If super bright pink isn’t your — or your lady’s — thing, roses, which come in a wide array of colors, like red, white, yellow and orange, “continue to be the most popular and quintessential gift for Valentine’s Day.”

“Tulips … and orchids are also popular flowers,” he advised.

But when choosing which flowers will be most appreciated by the woman in your life, Palomares recommended considering her personality. If you’re trying to please an intellectual, go with “a mixed bouquet [featuring] Gerbera daisies [because] they are bold, command presence and [are] saturated with great color.”

A strong woman, meanwhile, will gravitate towards “an arrangement featuring hot pink roses — our 2019 Flower of the Year,” while someone who fits the mold of a creative type might prefer tulips, because “their shape and color are organic and continue to grow even after they are cut.” And for an especially feminine woman, lilies are your best bet. They “represent innocence, purity and beauty,” Palomares said. “These blooms are bold, big and beautiful.”

Once you hand off your beautiful display to your wife, girlfriend or, um, mom, there are several things you can do to help ensure your thoughtful (read: expensive) gift doesn’t wither and die in a day or two. “Right before placing your flowers in the vase, give the bottom of each stem a fresh cut at an angle,” Palomares said. “This prevents the stem from sitting flush on the bottom of the vase, allowing maximum water intake.”

He also recommend trimming each stem of any leaves that might fall below the water line to reduce the risk of “bacteria growth in the water, so your flowers stay healthy.”

“Use the floral food that arrives with the flowers,” he said, “and follow according to package directions.”

Image via Annie Spratt / Unsplash