ROSES are NOT Created Equal | Best Florist in Mansfield Center Explains

ROSES are NOT Created Equal | Best Florist in Mansfield Center Explains

High-End Florist Roses, are They Really Different than Big Box Store Roses? Understanding the Differences in Rose Grades

I started in the flower industry over 35 years ago. A lot has changed. Some for the good, some not so much. Roses are one such item in the flower industry. When purchasing roses, you might come across various numerical grades such as #40, #50, #60, #70, and #80. These grades indicate specific characteristics of the roses, primarily focusing on stem length and bloom size, which directly impact their overall quality and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, there is a notable difference between high-end florist roses and those available at big box stores. This blog post aims to clarify these differences and help you make an informed decision when buying roses.

Understanding Rose Grades

  1. #40 Roses

    • Stem Length: Approximately 40 cm (16 inches).
    • Appearance: These roses have shorter stems and smaller blooms. They are often used in mixed arrangements, they are lovely, but I dare to say if you put one next to our 70cm roses, you will see the difference. 
    • Best For: Often they are sold in big box stores for smaller arrangements, and situations where budget constraints are a consideration, but be mindful when you go to a store that is not a florist, there is no way of knowing they were properly conditioned, were they sitting in the back cooler next to chicken for a week before getting put out, were they plopped in the bucket without getting recut? 
  2. #50 Roses

    • Stem Length: Approximately 50 cm (20 inches).
    • Appearance: Slightly longer stems than #40, with moderately larger blooms.
    • Best For: Bouquets and medium-sized arrangements where you want a bit more presence without breaking the bank.
  3. #60 Roses

    • Stem Length: Approximately 60 cm (24 inches).
    • Appearance: These roses are more substantial, with longer stems and larger, more impressive blooms.
    • Best For: Significant occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, where a more pronounced floral display is desired.
  4. #70 & #80 Roses: These and #80 are what we call the GRAND DADDY of Roses. There 

    • Stem Length: Approximately 70 cm (28 inches).
    • Appearance: Long stems and large, full blooms. These roses are highly desirable for their striking appearance.
    • Best For: High-end arrangements, luxury gifts, and special events where you want to make a strong impression.
  5. #80 Roses

    • Stem Length: Approximately 80 cm (32 inches) or longer.
    • Appearance: The longest stems and the largest blooms. These are premium roses, often reserved for the most elegant and grand arrangements.
    • Best For: Luxury bouquets, upscale events, and any occasion where only the best will do.

High-End Florist Roses:

    • Selection: Florists typically offer a curated selection of the highest quality roses, often sourced from the best growers.
    • Freshness: Florist roses are usually fresher because they are delivered more frequently and handled with greater care.
    • Customization: Florists can create bespoke arrangements tailored to your specific needs, offering a wide range of colors, styles, and designs.
  • Big Box Store Roses:

    • Selection: The variety is often limited, with standard colors and sizes.
    • Freshness: Roses from big box stores may not be as fresh, as they can spend more time in transit and on shelves before being purchased.
    • Customization: Limited to pre-made arrangements, which may not meet specific aesthetic preferences.

Care and Handling:

  • High-End Florist Roses:

    • Handling: Florists are trained professionals who handle flowers with care to ensure longevity and peak appearance.
    • Care Instructions: Florists provide detailed care instructions to help you maintain your roses for as long as possible.
  • Big Box Store Roses:

    • Handling: Flowers might not be handled with the same level of care, potentially affecting their quality and lifespan.
    • Care Instructions: May not include specific care instructions, leaving customers to figure it out on their own.

Price vs. Value:

  • High-End Florist Roses:

    • Price: Typically more expensive due to higher quality, better handling, and customization options.
    • Value: Greater value in terms of aesthetics, longevity, and overall presentation, especially for special occasions.
  • Big Box Store Roses:

    • Price: Generally cheaper, making them an attractive option for those on a budget.
    • Value: Lower in terms of quality, customization, and freshness, which may be evident in the appearance and lifespan of the roses.


When choosing roses, understanding the differences between various grades and the distinction between high-end florist roses and big box store roses can significantly impact your experience. High-end roses from a florist offer superior quality, freshness, and customization, making them ideal for special occasions and those who appreciate the finest floral arrangements. On the other hand, big box store roses provide a budget-friendly option, though they may lack the same level of care and presentation. Choose according to your needs, preferences, and the significance of the occasion to ensure you get the best value and enjoyment from your roses.

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