The 411 on Flower Etiquette (Infographic)

Tomorrow, Americans will buy somewhere in the ballpark of 200 million roses for their Valentine’s sweethearts. Except for Feb. 14th, most of us don’t really think about flowers. I’ll buy the occasional bouquet for a birthday party or a school play, but I usually grab the most colorful, reasonably priced arrangement at the grocery store on my way to an event. We recently ordered flowers for a party and we spent a long time weighing more than cost and color; it turns out flowers are a tricky business. Different flower species and colors are meant for certain occasions and relationships and while guys like me don’t tend to think about it, putting more thought than money into the purchase can really make the gift more special.

Buyers just accept that flower prices increase tremendously around Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. And it’s funny that only 30% of annual flower purchases are made for “no special occasion” yet women surveyed say they prefer getting flowers unexpectedly or on non-holidays. For those of us who need to know how to make our floral gifts more meaningful and surprising, this latest infographic serves as a guide.

Check out this helpful guide to buying flowers if you’re in the market to buy some Valentine’s blooms:


  1. Your best point is “women prefer getting flowers unexpectedly”, couldn’t agree more.
    From personal experience I’ve received much, much more appreciation when the gift is “just because”.

  2. Will certainly think twice about orchids – testicles and love?! Sure grocery store flowers are less expensive but I know someone ran in and grabbed something with little thought other than speed and price. Go to a florist and tell them you want a $10 arrangment and see what they recommend. May end up with fewer flowers but generally classier.

  3. Love this infographic! Flowers are such a quintessential part of Valentine’s Day, yet they can be pretty pricey (especially if you go to a florist)! It seems like it’s a cop-out to do Valentine’s Day on a budget, but there are defintelly ways that you can save money and still show your loved one that you care! We just gave some tips in our latest blog post ( on how to do the holiday on a budget, while still keeping the romance alive! Check it out, I’d love to know what you think!

  4. Some people prefer a potted plant. For one thing it lasts a lot longer. A potted orchid is often prized for home decor or at the office as a reminder of your love.

    After a funeral if there are any potted plants that no one wants to take home, be sure to donate them to a nursing home or assisted living home. Libraries and schools might also appreciate them. Ask the funeral director who in the area might like to get them.

  5. Great flower info. I have flowers in our home every week. I just love to pick them out and arrange them in different vessels. Thanks for stopping by my email:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  6. If your local high school has a horticultural program, check to see if they offer any public sales. Ours does not have an open sale for Valentine’s Day, but does have one for Mother’s Day and also an end of school year sale where you can pick up some annual and perennials for your garden very reasonably priced. Plus it helps to financially support the program at the school.

  7. 4 out of 5 prefer flowers unexpectedly…that’s good to know:) Makes sense, as there is no forced reason (ie – Valentine’s Day) and the flowers might be given more genuinely

  8. I like the Yellow Rose explanation – we’re friends or I’m betraying you. That could go a right way and a wrong way.

  9. I had to wait until today to respond to this as I’m a florist and have been working eighteen hour days since Friday.

    The reason a dozen roses are so much higher from a florist is because we buy premium roses with straight stems, large heads, perfect blooms, and a very long vase life. Supermarket roses are cheap because they’re cheap flowers to begin with. They don’t last nearly as long, they don’t look as good, and I can assure you anyone would be more impressed with a bouquet arranged by a professional and not something thrown together in a processing facility on the other side of the country.

    And skip the florist? Really? Skip the small business that’s locally owned and operated to buy from a huge chain store? That’s terrible advice to give regardless of how frugal you are.

    Lastly half the flowers listed aren’t cut flowers, they’re bedding flowers and the majority of them would never show up in even the highest end supermarket.

  10. Vday has come and gone, and I did get some lovely flowers, but I think I loved the accompanying note most of all. My recommendation: skip the pricey flowers next year and write a sweet love letter. Save flowers for another day. And here’s some suggestions for beautiful flowers that also happen to be easy on the wallet:

  11. Little frugal tip I picked up this year…the flowers I get at our local HEB are of good quality and often they put out bundled roses that are not yet arranged for a reduced amount. Buy them a day or two early and put them in water to let them open up…I do this at work so I don’t spoil the surprise for my wife.

    Then I stop by our local Goodwill…I picked up a vase from Pottery Barn that is off high quality for only 99cents. Great way to find a unique vase that is both cheaper and higher quality to the one’s sold in stores. Hope this help!

  12. the flowers you get at the supermarket, are not always cared for by a person who is really educated on the quality or care of flowers- even though many flower farms and brokers provide these chains with product, they are not always the best. for a few stems at home or last minute for a short shelf life- great. sometimes it is better to get good quality for a higher price, even if the quantity is less. The floral industry is dying due to everyone wanting a piece of the pie- wish they would sell wedding gowns…….