Let’s Be Realistic — The cost of flowers

Photo shoots have become all the rage this year, talented people joining forces to create a look and then have it published on websites. I think this is all great, I love the creativity, the inspiration, the fresh ideas. I appreciate all the wedding blogs that show these beautiful and lush floral designs portrayed in the photo shoots. Only two slight problems… Price & Season.

Yes, I too, LOVE peonies, garden roses, hydrangea, ranunculus, anemones, orchids, etc. I would use them every day if it were possible. I’m sure many of my fellow floral designers feel the same way.

Let’s first talk about the price. I do realize price can change slightly by geographic location. Obviously, orchids in Hawaii are much more reasonable than say Colorado. I am located in Denver, Colorado and will be placing the flowers in 3 categories which reflect the pricing here.

Most expensive, more than $10 per stem:
Callas, mini & regular sized
Casablanca Lilies
Garden Roses
Lily of the Valley
Orchids ( Cymbidiums, Cattleyas, phalaenopsis )

Medium Price, $5-10 per stem
Fern Fronds (monkey tail)
French Tulips
Glorisa Lilies
Orchids (Dendrobriums, Mokaras, Oncidiums)
Pincushion Protea

Least Expensive, under $5 per stem
Asiatic Lilies
Bells of Ireland
Craspedia (Billy Balls)
Gerber Daisies
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
Green Fuji Mums
Hypericum Berries
Scabiosa Pods

Now, I know what many of you are thinking – oh good, my favorite flower is in the least expensive category. Yet, there’s another element to take into consideration when selecting your flowers – SIZE! As with most things in life, size matters.
Yes, hydrangeas & Casablanca lilies are expensive per stem but they are large and therefor you need less of them to make an impact. The delicate flowers such as ranunculus, anemones, sweetpeas, tulips, tweedia, stephanotis, craspedia fall under the least expensive flower per stem but they are small and you need a lot of them to make an impact.

The other issue with many of the flowers we see in styled shoots – their availability. Seems the most popular flowers seen in photo shoots are anemones, ranunculus, peonies, tulips and garden roses. Here’s their breakdown by season. Anemones and ranunculus are spring time flowers, they grow the best in early spring. The practically disappear during the hot summer months and then make a return half way through September. Peonies are available mid-May thru June. Sure, you can get some in early May and July but they are half the size of the prime season peonies. We do see them re-emerge in November as they are being shipped in from the southern Hemisphere. I have heard rumors that growers are emerging in Alaska which will mean we’ll receive peonies for an extended season, hopefully this takes place by next season. Tulips do appear to be in season almost year round now, however, their prices surge in the summer as this isn’t their normal season. Plus, they are smaller than when in their season prime and open very quickly. They really are best November-early June. Garden roses are at their prime during the summer and fall months (June-November).

There you have it, the most popular flowers broken down by cost and season. Any questions or comments? Please let us know.

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  1. Great post! Your info is right on in terms of seasonal availability and cost per stem vs. size as factors to take into account.

  2. Thank you is all I can say!!!

  3. Thank you for the post! There seems to always be something I’ve forgotten to consider (like size of flowers by season and number necessary). I wish someone would write one of these for Texas…

  4. Great info!

    Nice to see someone who’s willing to give it to us straight!

    I’m including your post in my “Wedding Guides” posts for my Blog; “Did Someone Say Wedding?” at … http://www.floraloccasionsbykelli.com
    Thanks again,

  5. Black Heart says:

    ThankYouSoMuch! Now, this will help me for my project… 🙂 May GOD bless you…

  6. Thanks for posting this. Since I am a flower farmer as well as an event floral designer I often get brides who think I should be way cheaper than their local florist. I’m not. I’ve had a sustainably managed flower farm for over 13 years. I’ve been a designer for more than six years. My time is worth as much as any other designer. Besides why would I want to be known for cut rate flowers. The quality of my flowers is very high. I take pride in their freshness and lack of pesticides

  7. Hey i was wondering what flowers are season to winter, specifically December? Great post! Very imformative!

  8. I agree on alot of these prices and do believe Pinterest has given customers a warped idea of prices and expectation.Some of these prices are inflated however. Especially Hydrangeas at more than 10 a stem? Almost any wholesaler in the US i deal with sells Hydrangeas for cost of 1.50-2 a stem. Mark up should definately not exceed more than $ 5 a stem.

    • Thank you for your input. This week in Denver the Wholesale Price for a Hydrangea Stem (premium from Holland) is $8.95. It does depend on where you are located and the quality of the Hydrangea. Premium stems cost premium dollars…

  9. I am getting married on New Years Eve, would you recommend any flowers in the $5 and under price range? My favorite flowers are Anemones and Ranunculus….

    Thank you for the tips!!

  10. This is an excellent article. I’m going to share it with my social media followers as I find many couples simply don’t understand floral availability and costs. Keep up the good work!

  11. Thank you for this article. I find so many couples don’t understand floral availability and their costs. I’m going to share this with my followers on Twitter and Facebook.

  12. Question – for those of us catering to the part of the crowd that prefers local-grown food and flowers, how would the prices you’re talking about here reflect in a farmer’s market vs a florist? Would the seasonal restrictions of being unable to ship flowers in from farther afield increase the prices at a farmer’s market, or would there be little change? Would seasonal limitations just cripple a florist, or could it be turned around into an advantage?

  13. Where does lavender fall in terms of price and season? I am hoping to incorporate it into multiple parts of my wedding decor, but I haven’t been able to get a good handle on whether that is likely to break the bank. Thanks in advance for any input/advice/cautionary words!

  14. The white and light blue hydrangea tend to be less expensive, but when you start looking at other colors the price goes WAY up.

  15. Remi Zagari says:

    I love billy balls 🙂

  16. I am having my wedding in late May. I was planning on having Sunflowers as my main flower. I know sunflowers are typically at there peak in mid to late summer. Would sunflowers be more expensive at this time or just smaller? Also would Sunflowers and lavender go well together? Thank you.


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