Luxury Flowers

One of the things that comes up a lot when I talk to florists is the idea of a ‘luxury’ flower.  There is such a thing as a high-end, high-quality, bigger, better, bolder, and more fragrant flower.  And those flowers cost more.  Why?

Some of them are hard-to-get new varieties for which breeders charge a premium.

Some of them take more time and effort to grow. To get a really extraordinary, baseball-sized rose on a five-foot stem, you have to prune the plant in such a way that you might only get one rose every couple of months.  A smaller supermarket rose, on the other hand, might come from a plant that produces two or three blossoms per plant for month.  If a rose bush is only producing one rose every few months, you’ll have to charge more for it.

Same is true of lilies.  A bigger, bolder lily will come from a bigger, more mature bulb.  That bulb costs more.

To make a flower last longer, you will invest more in refrigeration and handling.  A flower that sits in a bucket at room temperature in a supermarket, or out on a sidewalk, won’t last as long as one that’s been in exactly the right climate-controlled facility.

But consumers, when they buy flowers, usually shop based on price.  A dozen pink tulips cost seven bucks at the supermarket, so why should I pay more?  We don’t really know how to tell a high-end flower from a regular flower.

Contrast this to, say, how we buy wine or chocolate.  Most of us know the difference between a Hershey bar and a Vosges truffle.  We know the difference between a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and a nice Alexander Valley Silver Oak.  Even if we’re not connoisseurs, we have a general notion that there is such a thing as premium wine or chocolate.

So why not flowers?  Here’s a florist in Charleston, SC who is trying to sell customers on the idea of luxury flowers.  They’ve created a brand called ‘Black Market Designs’ (OK, I’m not so sure about the name), and the idea is to offer up the ultimate flowers and the ultimate design. Check it out!

5 thoughts on “Luxury Flowers”

  1. It would be wonderful to buy flowers that actually had a fragrance. I would willing pay more, even knowing they probably wouldn’t last as long. Once our local commercial flower growers sold out to the developers, fresh flowers are no longer available. I sure miss those huge, fragrant bouquets of Sweet Peas–worth every penny.
    The bouquet in the photo is truly gorgeous!

  2. Proteas are definitely luxury flowers. Ditto lilacs and forsythias here in San Francisco. I love the Bay Area, but I really miss the gorgeous lilacs in my native Midwest!

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