By Brian New

DALLAS (CBS 11 News) – With millions of roses expected to be sold this week for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to know if more expensive roses last long than less expenses ones.

So we conducted an unscientific test.

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We purchased a dozen red roses from nine businesses – three grocery stores, three online retailers, and three local florists.

We cut all the rose stems at a 45-degree angle, placed them in identical vases with the same amount of water, and left them in the same room.

We then invited Dallas Arboretum’s Vice President of Gardens Dave Forehand to come and take a look.


Despite the prices ranging from $10 to more than $70 for a dozen roses, on day one of our test Forehand said it was tough to tell the difference. He said for the most part all the roses looked fresh and healthy.

The one exception on day one was the missing roses ordered from ProFlowers.

Due to a hang-up in delivery, the flowers showed up a day late. Forehand said the extra day in the box is what likely caused the roses from ProFlowers to wilt faster than most of the others we test.

As standard policy, when we notified ProFlowers about the late delivery the company sent a replacement for free. In fact, the company upgraded our order to 18 roses with a vase at no extra charge.

By day six, the roses we purchased from the three local grocery stores had drooped and started to brown, although; at $10-$12 for a dozen they were by far the most economical.

The flowers from the local florists were the next to go. The roses we purchased from Flowerama in Plano lasted longer than the other local florists – only beginning to droop after nine days in our test. Plus, at $17.99 they were also less-expensive than most.

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On day nine, we invited Dave Forehand to come back and look at how the roses held-up.

“Wow – what a difference between all of these,” he said when first seeing the bouquets for the first time in more than a week.

The roses we ordered from FTD and 1-800 held up the best just as Forehand predicted on day one of the test.

Forehand had noticed the rose buds in these bouquets were firm and slightly closed on day one. He said that was a sign they’d likely last longer.

“And I think we knew these two had been cooled and had water on the stems prior to purchase,” he said.

The roses from 1-800, with standard shipping, cost $47.60. The FTD roses were the most expensive in our test at $72.34 ($49.99 before shipping and taxes).

Forehand said the two things people should look out for when purchasing roses is to make sure they are in water as well as kept in a cooler.

Here are three additional tips that will help your roses last longer.

1. Keep them out of the sun

2. Put them in the refrigerator at night

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3. Add less than a tablespoon of bleach to the water. Experts say the bleach kill bacteria in the water that could damage the rose.