Valentine's Day

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Valentine’s Day flowers can go beyond roses

Valentine's Day is a great day for florists. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine's Day is the No. 1 holiday for florists, as 40 percent of the holiday's dollar volume goes toward the purchase of fresh flowers.

Red roses make for popular Valentine's gifts. Red is a symbol of love and passion, and red roses have become synonymous with Valentine's Day. Come February 14, more than half of men and women will shop for red roses, followed by roses of other colors, such as pink, white and mixed colored bouquets. Roses are a fail-safe choice, and many men tend to feel comfortable purchasing roses. That isn't to say other flowers do not make great gifts. A bouquet or vase full of any of the following types of flowers can be unexpected and unique.

• Orchids: Orchids have traditionally been associated with love and beauty. Since orchids look exotic and come in various colors with bold scents, they make a romantic Valentine's Day gift. Delicate and alluring, orchids are pretty robust plants that grow all over the world. Cut orchids may even last longer than roses.

• French Tulips: French tulips are much larger than typical tulips, so they can look impressive in a floral arrangement. What's more, French tulip stems continue to grow in the water even after being cut, according to floral industry experts. The stems may twist together in vases, providing something new to see each day.

• Hydrangeas: These big, dense balls of flowers are the pom-poms of the floral world. Thanks to the wide array of colors and impressive number of blooms on each plant, they can result in more budget-friendly bouquets than roses and still provide some eye-catching colors.

• Gerbera Daisies: One can't help but smile at these large and vividly colored blooms. They quickly fill up a vase and can look so pristine a person may actually think they're silk. A bouquet of deep pinks can be a thoughtful Valentine's Day offering.

• Mixed bouquets: Mixed bouquets enable shoppers to put together several different flowers and get the most bang for their buck. For a cohesive look, ask the florist to stick to one specific color. Purple flowers look regal and may be even more impactful than red roses.

Flowers will always be popular on Valentine's Day, but celebrants need not feel tethered to roses when giving their significant others flowers.