The Business of a Rose

On the beauty and business of a rose In common culture, the rose symbolizes love and beauty. Throughout history, the flower has been a focal point for such artists as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and others. According to Hoovers, the U.S. florist industry alone is about $7 billion, while the U.S. nursery, greenhouse and floriculture crop production industry is approximately $16 billion.

But the rose itself is a truly amazing flower with which I’ve become most enamored.

While in career transition, I’ve been working with floral and event designer, Caroline LoRocca Hammond, owner of Posh Floral & Events, and have prepared nearly 1,000 roses for brides or special events in only a few months. “Roses are the most popular flower request and the recession has not impacted how much clients are willing to spend on flowers,” said Hammond.

Unarguably, the flower alone is beautiful, sophisticated and smells delightful. But the care and maintenance roses require has been surprising. The preparation for a Saturday wedding begins as early as Monday or Tuesday. The roses arrive from a wholesaler, who has received the roses from a specialty grower. In the United States, Tyler, Texas is known as the "Rose Capital of America," which produces about 20% of commercial roses for the rose-growing industry. However, roses arrive from growers all over the world.

The flowers are carefully packaged, covered in plastic with wet paper spread between the roses for extra protection. The packaging gets removed and the stems receive their first cutting. The roses are then placed in buckets of fresh water, transferred to a 40° Fahrenheit cooler and left to begin their opening. The following day, the roses get stripped of all their thorns and leaves to allow water to provide all of its energy to the flower so petals can open to perfection. The roses receive a fresh cutting and are placed in fresh water. The following day, the roses are handled again, this time to remove the less-than-perfect petals. They are cut again, and returned to fresh water. They are ready for the designer to work into stunning bouquets, center pieces and other arrangements for special events.

I will never look at a rose the same way again.


Christina Motley is an award-winning marketing and communications professional, writer and consultant. You're invited to follow her on Twitter @christinamotley.

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  1. john fulton says:

    I enjoyed your rose blog very much! jfulton

  2. Thanks John. Keep on reading!

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