You get what you paid for

Have you ever wondered why flowers are different prices at different locations around Oklahoma City? 

It is called grades.  Think of it like cars or diamonds, you have the low, medium and high end.  The same thing applies to flowers.  Grocery stores for example carry low grade flowers.  The quality of the flower is not the greatest and most of time they last 2 days.  Then there are the bulk stores and even some florist that carry the low or medium grade flowers and sell them for a lower cost. They might last you a week but most of the time 3-4 days. 

Carnations, roses, and gladioli are among those most often available by grades in the United States, although not the only ones. Grading is generally based on stem length, size of the flower head, and overall quality of the stem. Roses, for example, are graded in 4-nch increments from those under 10 inches, 10 to 14 inches, 14 to 18 inches, and so on, up to those 30 inches and over. Furthermore, the stems of roses are judged on strength and uniformity, in all lengths, by determining that they do not bend down more than 20o from the horizontal when held horizontally from a point one inch above the minimum length for its grade. Additionally, general quality is judged by the roses being free from insects and insect damage, free from sidebreaks and sidebuds, not being cut too tight, and being true to the color and characteristics of their named variety. Wholesalers may designate the differing rose grades in various ways by calling them "Shorts" (10-14") to "Extra Fancy" (26" and longer). Long stems, large flower heads and good overall quality command a higher price at all levels of sale. Grade standards for various crops are well-established within the industry, and a "Select" carnation (30-36" stem with large flower head) from one grower or wholesaler is comparable to a "Select" carnation from other suppliers.

Grading has several advantages. First, it sets standards that make it possible to communicate the product quality and characteristics between growers, suppliers and retailers. On the other hand, when the longest length and highest quality flowers are desired, grades make it easy for a retailer to specify and receive what is needed. *

The saying “you get what you paid for” in the floral industry is so true!  I get people calling everyday asking for pricing on flowers especially roses and they are comparing the price to a grocery store.  The quality is on opposite ends of the scale.

I have always thought of flowers as a luxury not a necessary. So, when someone purchases flowers, they have put thought into it and the flowers should be the top of the line and last weeks!  That is why at Lilygrass flowers & décor, I only carry the highest grade of flowers and am willing to spend extra for them because I know that they will last a long time for the customer.  It is called “great customer service and satisfaction”.    


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