Why are flowers from a florist so expensive?

This may seem like a strange question to pose, but it’s one we hear a lot – specifically, why are flowers from a florist so expensive? It’s an understandable question, especially when supermarkets sell flowers so cheaply – in fact, sometimes even more cheaply than florists can buy at wholesale cost.

The first thing to say is that by and large there is nothing wrong with the flowers that you buy in a supermarket.

They tend to be relatively short stems (more about that later) and flowers with small heads, but that doesn’t mean that they’re poor quality. They are often great value for money, but it’s not really a like-for-like comparison with the flowers you get from a florist.

One of the main factors is how supermarkets source flowers, often buying a grower’s whole harvest a year or more in advance. That means guaranteed and easy sales for a grower, allowing supermarkets to negotiate a great price. Florists generally buy much smaller quantities at auction which means that we are subject to price fluctuations, which can be dramatic. It’s well-known that red rose prices sky rockets at Valentine’s Day, but last summer the cost of anything white went through the roof due to all the weddings taking place after Covid cancellations.

The longer the stem, the more expensive it is. Generally florists buy stems which are 60cm or more, whereas supermarket flowers are shorter at around 40cm. For Valentine’s Day last year we had some red roses which were 130cm long – almost as tall as me, as you can see in the photo below! It’s very difficult to arrange 40cm long stems into a professional-looking hand-tied bouquet, so florists tend to opt for the longer, more expensive stems as a result.

When you buy from a florist you’re buying from a skilled professional.

Amongst our team of 6 we have over 100 years of floristry experience and there is a price for that. You aren’t only paying the cost of the flowers, but also all the years of training and knowledge required – for example knowing the correct chemicals with which to treat each type of flower as it arrives. Using the correct one helps the flowers last longer, which is important to our customers.

We will always try to work within your budget.

If you come to us and tell us that you want to spend £10 then we will make you a bouquet for £10. It won’t be big, but we’ll help you to choose flowers to suit, they will be beautiful and they will be unique – nothing is mass-produced and no two bouquets are identical. Our delivered bouquets start from £45, due to the amount of time that they take and the costs involved in making deliveries, but you are always welcome to walk in and buy even one flower.

Above all, when you shop at a florist you are also supporting a small business and we are all so grateful for that – thank you!