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Valentine’s Day Test: Does More Money Mean Longer Lasting Roses?

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 5PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) - There are lots of ways to say “I love you!” on Valentine’s Day; a romantic dinner out, a box of chocolates, but perhaps the most popular choice is a dozen red roses.

Read: More Valentine’s Day Tips

Of course, that romantic bunch of roses can range from just a few dollars to a hundred or more, so we decided to try an experiment to see if spending more actually means longer lasting roses.

WBZ-TV bought four dozen roses: a $9.99 bunch from a grocery store, $14.99 at an upscale farm stand, $45 at a small Boston florist and $90 from an upscale floral designer.

We asked Florist Julie Lapham of Northboro to check out our flowers and arrange them. Lapham says when you get your roses home, first: “Make a clean cut at a forty-five degree angle.”

The angle, and warm water, help the stem draw water to the flower, according to Lapham. She advised us to keep the flowers in a cool spot and away from direct sunlight. She also says floral food is a good idea, but only two of the bunches came with it, so we decided to go without it on all of them.

Lapham said it looked like the supermarket roses had been out of water for a long time, and one stem was already droopy. The $14.99 bunch and the $45 bunch both looked healthy.

“They are in good shape,” Lapham  noticed.

The $90 dozen, according to Lapham, had the longest stems and were impressively packaged, each stem with its own water supply.

“That’s a real plus,” she said.

We watched the flowers for one week, treating each bunch exactly the same; changing the water at the midway point exactly as Lapham instructed.

Seven days later Lapham found the results “sort of disappointing.”

All of the flowers were showing signs of wear, but some worse than others.

The $9.99 supermarket bunch had Lapham saying “this is really sad, because you can see this one is not only drooped, but it’s black around the edges.”

The farm stand dozen was in even tougher shape and the water was cloudy, an indication of bacteria according to Lapham.

However, the water in the $90 bunch was also murky looking, and it appears all that “special packaging” didn’t really help.

“There’s only one in the bunch that seems to have survived fairly well,” she said.

And so the Valentine goes to the $45 bunch from Amanda’s in Brighton.

In terms of price range – right down the middle!

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