Look at our website, a dozen red roses is currently $64.95. Of course, that assumes that you are purchasing long stem roses arranged in a vase with assorted foliage and accent flowers, like babies breath. However, if you would like a presentation style bouquet of roses wrapped in pretty cellophane with foliage and a satin bow, you're looking at $45. How about a dozen roses with nothing else, no ribbon, no foliage, no accent flowers? Well, we just charge you for the loose roses, about $2 each.
Now that all seems easy enough but some of you are saying, "$2 x 12 doesn't equal $65." So let's talk about how we get to $65 for an arrangement of roses.
- First the roses, 12 @ $2 = $24
- A standard vase $8
- Foliage 12 @ $.75 = $9
- Babies breath 5 @ $2 = $10
- Labor 20% of the retail price = $13
- Miscellaneous things like the card, cardette (pick for the card), water, floral food in the water, etc. = $3
But let's look a little more closely at two factors, the cost of the flowers and the cost of the labor.
As florist, the price we pay for roses is based on a couple factors, the length of the stems, the breed of the rose, time of year, and a few other things. As you would expect, the taller the roses, the more expensive. It takes more work, water and time for a farm to grow a 70 cm rose than it does a 40 cm rose (yes, we measure roses in centimeters). Flower lovers want long stem roses with big heads so if a florist is looking for quality they will purchase longer stems. If they are looking for low price, they will buy shorter stems.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different breeds of roses. Some are beautiful when grown in a garden, but florist roses have been bred to have strong stems that will support large blooms with lots of petals and will also last for many days on your kitchen table. Rose breeds go in and out of style as new ones are introduced. There was a time when everyone wanted Sterling roses, a beautiful lavender color. Every once in a while someone will still ask for them and my heart breaks when I have to explain that they aren't grown any longer. I either get a look of disbelief or sadness. Usually, it's disbelief because some other florist has been selling them Cool Water roses instead of telling them that Sterlings no longer exist. I guess it's my loss for wanting to educate everyone. Currently, the hottest red rose on the market is Freedom. They hold their shape, last well in a vase and have big blooms. Of course a newer, more in demand breed will cost more than one that was popular years ago.
Why roses cost more at Valentine's Day and Mother's Day than any other time of the year is a whole post in and of itself, so I'll leave that for another day. But a lot of it has to do with the increase in our labor costs at that time of year.
Industry standards suggest charging 20-30% of the retail price of the design to cover labor. The more complex the design the higher the charge for labor. One thing to note though is the labor is not just about the time it takes to artfully arranging flowers in a vase, it also includes the time it takes to take your order, process the flowers when they arrive from the wholesaler, wash the buckets to put the flowers in, and the years of design classes, training and industry events our designers attend to become the florists they are today. There are probably some other things I'm forgetting but this blog post is getting long so let's wrap it up.
As a side note, these prices are based on our costs at the time I'm writing this. Other florists have different costs for their flowers and hard goods and a dozen roses can be arranged with any number of different foliages and accent flowers. So the next time you see a sign for $19.99 roses, remember, you are probably, getting unarranged, short stem roses. And when roses are $99.99, you're probably getting high end foliage and accent flowers in a keepsake vase designed by highly trained florists.
Hopefully, I've explained why roses cost what they do but if I have left you with unanswered questions, feel free to let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. Have a wonderful day and enjoy the beauty of flowers.