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The Many Lives of a Valentine Rose

Pink Rose

As a young woman, gift roses came to me in ones and twos. It might have been a pair in a bud vase for a get well soon, or a single “I’m sorry” rose on my pillow. It was many years later that I would receive a whole dozen stems all at once. What precious bounty! Our Whole Trade® roses for Valentine’s Day are an over-the-top and knock-your-socks-off dozen and, in some stores, double dozen!

Blooms with Benefits

Buying Whole Trade roses for Valentine’s Day is the right thing to do. Not just to woo your sweetheart but because it assures that the farm workers are paid better wages and have better working conditions. They and their families benefit from funds that support community projects, like home ownership programs, new schools and other educational opportunities for the entire community. Our Whole Trade partner farmers respect the land and their people and your purchase provides jobs and opportunity for many families. See how Whole Trade roses impacts a flower-growing community in this short video.

Lengthen the Life Your Roses

Your precious buds can keep you company for many days if you help them evolve through their many lives. Here’s how:

Life Number One: Long-stem roses

  • Red RosesUse an absolutely clean, tall vase.
  • Add floral preservative to room-temperature water.
  • Cut the stems at least half an inch or more to fit the vase and put them immediately into the water.
  • Keep the arrangement away from heat, sun and drafts.
  • Change the water and trim the stems every other day.

Life Number Two: Short and sweet

  • After several days, some of the roses might start to get tired. Cut the roses down to centerpiece height, about 6 to 8 inches.
  • The water now has a shorter distance to travel to the head so it’s easier for them to stay hydrated.
  • Arrange them close together in a short vase so the heads support each other.
  • Use fresh water with more floral preservative.

Life Number Three: Tiny cups

  • Put a single rose or a few stems in a votive candle cup or shot glass and enjoy the little vases on your night stand, in a powder room, or on your kitchen sill.
  • Rest the head on the top edge of the vessel for support.
  • Remember to add fresh preservative water.

Life Number Four: Pretty petals

  • Pull the petals off the calyx.
  • Sprinkle in the tub, or…
  • Make a path with a trail of petals.

Life Number Five: Delightfully dried and potpourri

  • To dry roses hang them upside down in a cool, dry, dark place for several days. Drying works best with pinks and yellows, red roses turn very dark.
  • For potpourri, spread the petals on a grill rack or sweater drier and let them air dry. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade potpourri. Then enjoy the color and fragrance in a bowl or basket!

Do you have any other ways to extend and enjoy the life of your roses? Tell me about it in the comments below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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37 comments

Comments

Megan Lucas says …

I don't understaned Whole Foods - is there a reason that you don't put any effort into the cut flower industry in the US. What is wrong with supporting Amercian Flower farmers, why take food, education, money from our amazing American flower farmers? I'm finished shoping at your stores. I really don't understand why you hate the American farmer, why you hate the farms that bust their butts to grow flowers, sustain jobs while chosing to send your dollars outside of the country supporting farmers and ignoring USA locally grown farms. Don't you get it? It's great to help other countries but at the expense of the one that shops at your stores? Why do you ignore and overlook the flower farmers in the USA?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MEGAN - This post is specifically about Whole Trade roses that are grown outside of the US. We feature tons of local options as well. Check with your local store to see where they source their local flowers, they'll be happy to help!

mike says …

Any news if WF will have another awesome deal on roses this valentines day like last year?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MIKE - I haven't heard of a nationwide floral sale this year but I'm sure your local store will be featuring some great deals. Call them directly or you might be able to see what they have planned on their Facebook or Twitter pages!

Todd says …

I heard an ad about pre-ordering roses for valentines day but can't find a link. Can you send me information on ordering roses?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TODD - Some of our stores will have online ordering at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering. You will need to choose your local store to see what items they have online. Otherwise, your local store should be able to describe what they have in stock over the phone to place your order!

Mike says …

Such a good post and a nice video. I'm looking forward to picking up flowers from you guys this Valentine's. Nice to know there are companies out there that care to put effort in the services and products they provide and have an awareness of a larger community. Thanks! Keep up the good work

robin says …

Why this whole "Whole Trade" branding thing? Why not focus, instead, on supplying local flowers to local markets? Some of your markets do offer local flowers? Why not make that all you offer? International flower trade is environmentally expensive. Please stop it.

Laurie says …

There are many benefits from buying American grown roses: they are fresher, have better fragrance and there is less of an impact on the environment. The flower farmers in America are trying their hardest to compete with South America, but it would take a giant company like you, Whole Foods, to start the trend. Please reconsider your "Whole Trade" idea, and take a look at the many farmers who grow roses in the US, and support THEIR families, and THEIR communities...they need your help just as badly.

Val Schirmer says …

"Whole American" flowers by next Valentines Day would be the single biggest, smartest move Whole Foods could ever make. America's growers can do it. Americans will love and respect you for it.

Lynn says …

Your international rose buying has positive results, I suppose, but why not buy from US rose suppliers?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

Hi Everyone! As we wrote earlier, our stores feature various local floral vendors as well. This blog post happens to feature our Whole Trade flowers which are just one option when shopping in our stores. Check with your local store directly to see which local vendors they carry!

Jeanie McKewan says …

Whole Foods is impressive and should be applauded when it comes to their Local Producer Vendors. Why doesn't Whole Foods promote American Grown Flowers on Valentines Day instead of South American grown flowers? Be an industry leader in the flower platform, really Whole Foods. You are leading the pack in GMO labeling, why not in American Grown Flowers? You need to support our flower growers, not Colombia's.

Michelle says …

I sure wish you would offer more local flowers. There are many American farms that grow flowers, and some of them are even organic. A far sight better than imported from overseas and doused in pesticides. A better choice for the environment on both counts.

Susan says …

We all know that nothing says Valentine's day like a long stemmed rose. There are a number of cut flower rose growers in this country. If Whole foods purchase from these American farmers maybe there could be MORE American farmers. Thank you.

Nancy says …

Please support ALL USA farmers 1st! Whole Foods Please Buy Fresh, Buy Local, Buy USA not foreign soil flowers & produce. Thank you, Nancy

Kathleen says …

I would like to see #americangrown flowers offered at your stores. Leave the imports to Costco and Walmart. Be the industry leader shipped in flowers from south America is not what the u.s. needs when we have wonderful #flowergrowers right here.

Mark says …

Hi. I would like to counter the angry posts here about WF supporting flower growers from other countries. These comments and that type of of thinking is myopic and parochial. Supporting flower growers in other countries serves the interests of Americans in multiple ways. For example, one of Colombia's largest exports is flowers. This was the case even before the US had a free trade agreement with Colombia. As everyone knows, coca (the bases for cocaine) is also a large export from Colombia, albeit illegal. A strong flower industry in Colombia takes resources from the Cocaine industry in Colombia and gives agricultural workers a better paying alternative to picking Coca leaves. If you think growing flowers in Colombia is somehow environmentally harmful (where is the proof of that, by the way?), then imagine how much the Coca growers care about the environment. And then imagine further how much the processors of that cocaine (mostly now in Mexico) care about the environment. These are thugs that do not even care about the value of human life, so do you think they care about the environment? I support what WF is doing with foreign growers in countries that need to employ poor agricultural workers. That is good for those poor workers, it is good for the strategic interests of the US, it is good for American consumers, and it is good for the environment. Thanks.

Daniel Passer says …

I just called the new Whole Foods located at 222 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. They sell two dozen red roses - but not one dozen. Is it too late for your store to sell red roses by the dozen for Valentine's Day? Thank you.

Julia says …

Between life 3 and 4, cut the stem to the base of the rose, placing a group in a shallow dish. They continue to open and support each other as they 'float' just above the bottom of the dish.

todd downey says …

What stores are specifically offering two dozen for the price of one dozen?

kate Sparks says …

Why are you marketing South American flowers when you could be supporting farmers in the U.S. It's the right thing to do. American flower farmers contribute to their local economy and pay taxes which support education. Whole Foods should be happy to help U.S. flower farmers with a marketing campaign to promote flowers grown in the U.S. Where is your National Campaign to promote American Grown Flowers?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TODD - Our local store offers will vary between locations. Check with your local store to see what they will be featuring tomorrow!

sbw158 says …

Please support American flower farmers instead of importing millions of dollars of roses from overseas. The environmental impact of shipping those flowers is completely unjustified when there are domestic options that create a much smaller carbon footprint. Consider offering a Whole American option for roses next year and see what the market says.

Lindarose says …

What the heck is "whole trade", a catchy name you made up to sound like "free trade" Bet those roses come from the same south American place all the other roses come from, over the top with pesticides, extremely low wages for the workers. This is the reason I boycott your store that I once thought were cool until I began to shop there. You are a BAD name to anything remotely connect to the whole foods movement. Why not support the growers and farmers in the USA?

Ryan says …

Why are these being marketing as "whole trade" when they are exported from far away leaving a large carbon footprint, when there are farmers growing roses here in the United States? Whole Foods should make more of an effort to source roses closer to home, that would serve the needs of your customer base better, where locally sourcing products is important part of their purchasing decisions.

marcia hopkins says …

Do the right thing here and support “Whole American” flowers!

Zip Coffelt says …

If we consume products only from other countries - including flowers - but don't support our own growers and manufacturers, soon no one will be able to afford to buy at Whole Foods. Just something to think about...

Mbd says …

Whole Foods, like many other commenters, it would be true to your corporate roots if you would please promote USA grown (not just distributed) flowers instead of sourcing outside of the USA. Please meet your corporate goals using US nurseries who grow quality plants and flowers in US soil and keep our economy flourishing. Thank you.

Grace Tay says …

Received two dozed roses as a gift and highly disappointed. Not even a day later, these flowers look wilted and dead, despite being prepped carefully and correctly. What a waste of money!

S. Hunter says …

Although your rose growing operations in South and Central America are worthy, please consider sourcing some of the the roses that you sell from the United States. It sees to me that it would be much more consistent with your other policies of local sourcing of the products that you sell, As In understand it, none of the roses you sell come from the US-every single one is grown out of the country. This policy is disappointing and hypocritical on your part. Just as I don't purchase roses at other chain markets, I won't be getting them from you either until this policy is amended to encourage our own agricultural efforts.

michele says …

I am urging you to support American flower growers the same way you support growers in other countries. In these very difficult economic times, every job is essential, including those of American rose & flower farmers. Please make LOCAL be for your blooms as well as your food!! Thanks!

Amy IG says …

PLEASE start buying your flowers locally, live up to your name, and do the right thing. When your products live up to the image you project, I will shop with you again. This sentiment has gone national.

MA brown says …

Please keep your business sincere & trustworthy & seek out local growers of roses. We, your customers, counts on you doing that - and we have to be able to trust you. a L.J. customer.

C.C. says …

I was pretty disappointed with the flowers I picked up on Valentine's Day from Whole Foods. I had called a few days beforehand to ask them where the flowers are sourced from and the girl who spoke with me on the phone said Ecuador and other countries outside the U.S. There were no other roses being sold that day that were from local farmers. I decided to order them anyways since it was a bargain. I picked them up on VDay and immediately after a day, they started to die. I should have known better. I will never order roses from Whole Foods again for any special occasion. It makes absolutely no sense to sell local flowers one day and then ONLY carry south american roses on a holiday like Valentine's Day.

Jill Plumb says …

I have no personal connection with American flower farmers, but I do support locally grown produce and American made products, so I have to say that I heartily disagree with your policy of purchasing roses from South and Central America. It's wrong when a company like Whole Foods, with all its resources, goes that far to add a few more bucks to the bottom line, ignoring growers right here in the USA.

Helen says …

I heard/read somewhere that if you put a pin through the rose's green bulbous part (just below the petal and above the stem) that this prolongs the life of roses as well.