Red rose sales are on the rise this Valentine's Day, with florists Kathy and Jim Lyon of Artistic Florists working around the clock to meet holiday orders.
"Everybody is excited," said Jim Lyon, co-owner of the Costa Mesa shop with his wife since 1973. "The economy is doing better, so we're seeing that it's certainly true this year that people are coming out and buying their sweethearts flowers."
Long-stemmed red roses are the top seller this year for the shop at 2925 College Ave.
Orders begin trickling in as early as a month before, with the rush period really starting two weeks before the big day, Jim Lyon said.
He and his wife began pulling long hours with a staff of employees over the weekend in order to meet the high demand.
"It's really exciting to see people pleased with the product, but we're also excited when it's over and we can rest," Jim Lyon said with a laugh.
Most of the cut flowers sold for Valentine's Day are imported from South America. According to a report from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the quantity of imported cut flowers during last year's Valentine's season had doubled from 2010. In 2011, 802.5 million cut flowers were brought into the country as compared to 320.8 million the previous year.
Over the course of 2011, approximately 5.1 billion cut flowers was brought into the U.S.
— Sarah Peters