Nearly any occasion can be celebrated with a bouquet of beautiful roses. Their origins have sparked countless literary references through the ages and have maintained long-standing traditions. Roses can be used to convey different feelings and emotions, which makes them ideal when it comes to love and romance. The varieties of roses are expansive — you will find that garden roses or spray roses are much different than the fragrant, high-quality roses you will find at a florist. But what exactly are you paying for (or on the receiving end of) when it comes to roses?
Where Do They Grow?
Long-stem roses — typically longer than 20 inches in length — are considered luxury roses and are among the most popular type of rose purchased from a florist. They are grown and cultivated from farms in Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala. Sweetheart roses, on the other hand, have smaller buds and stems, making them ideal for handheld bouquets and boutonnieres. Sweetheart roses can come from Kenya, Tanzania, India and Colombia.
To breakdown the anatomy of a rose, let’s begin with the stem. Akin to their name, long-stem roses feature a large, single rosebud atop a long stem. Long-stem roses are available in different sizes determined by the length of their stems — 20 inch, 24 inch, 30 inch and 3-6 foot stems. These 3-Foot Roses feature heads 5 to 6 inches across and are by far, one of the most grandiose displays of passionate love.
With age comes beauty. Long-stem roses tend to be more expensive than sweetheart roses and other varietals because they take longer to grow and harvest. The longer the stem, the more mature the rose. Allowing the roses to fully mature until they’ve reached their desired height means they will become more fragrant.
Rose petals make up what is called the head of the rose. Premium roses feature larger-than-average heads and are chosen for their high quality, hence their size and higher petal count. The size of the head will vary depending on the roses’ maturity. High-quality roses will feature a head that is firm at the base, or at the “hip” where the rose meets the stem. Mature roses have larger heads and higher petal counts. Longer, thicker stems, high petal count, number of blooms, and durability are all highly desired traits in long-stems roses.
Long-stem roses only grow with one bud per stem, while other types of roses such as spray roses or African roses feature smaller, multiple buds per stem. These smaller-budded roses make an overall more petite bouquet than the long-stem varietal. Garden roses, such as the cabbage rose or the Juliet rose, boast a much higher petal count than more traditional roses found in most bouquets. Their blooms are fuller, more plush and pillowy, almost resembling peonies.
Select roses — known as classic roses — feature smaller heads and are roughly 18 inches in height. They work beautifully with other flowers in bouquets or when featured alone.
The Cost of Luxury
The cost of different color roses fluctuates depending on the season. Naturally, radiant red roses are most popular during the month of February so they tend to cost more than during summer months when they are priced equally or less than other color roses. Roses come in a variety of colors, each signifying different occasions and sentiments. We’ve outlined the various rose colors and their meanings in this article here. As a tried and true classic, roses are more popular than ever and the choices are endless.