Special Report: Putting roses to the test - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Special Report: Putting roses to the test

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MEMPHIS, TN -

MEMPHIS, TN (WBTV/WMC-TV) -  Everything is coming up roses, literally, at this time of year.

More than 100 million of the iconic and often expensive stems are sold every year in the US for Valentines Day.

However, is a rose really just like any other rose or do some have more staying power?

It's hard to deny the powerful statement a rose can make. Thankfully the feelings usually last longer than the flowers.  However, for what you'll pay per dozen at Valentines Day you don't want your sweetheart tossing them too soon.

We purchased five dozen roses from all kinds of places and for different prices, including a big box retailer, a grocery store, a discount florist, a luxury florist, and online.  According to Memphis Dixie Rose Society President Jimmy Moser, most Mid-South roses come from the same place.

"They're coming in here by the truck load from Columbia and Ecuador.  Maybe even Argentina," he said.

Then we asked a former florist, Jody Munn, how to spot a healthy and long-lasting rose.

"You are going to find that the flowers are nice and tight. That they don't have a lot of give to them.  Also, they dethorn the roses and they wire the roses. And when you wire a rose, it makes it stand up nice and tall," Munn said.

We kept our blooms in a special room and watched them for eight days.  It was those from the big box retailer that were first to fade. A few days later the beauties from the discount florist lost their luster.

But the other three were standouts, all in different ways.

The bouquet from the high-end florist was a stunner and many of it's blooms did last the week. But you're paying for it.

"When you are paying more for flowers you're paying for someone's capability and for someone who knows what they're doing," said florist Cecil Shearin.

Those which outlasted them all, and really were the prettiest in the end, were ordered from www.proflowers.com.   It surprised us because the $48 bunch wasn't much to look at when it arrived.  They were full of thorns and we had to arrange them ourselves.

Our expert tells us long-lasting flowers are all about conditioning - how the store cares for them before you buy them and how you do when you take them home.

"You want the water to be as clean as possible and keep down the bacteria. Typically it's best to cut roses under running water at an angle," said Munn.

To hear more of her tips on long-lasting roses, watch the exclusive web-only video at the top of this page.

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