Each year, thousands of red roses are sold and made into a symbol of love. But what work really goes into making sure we have roses on Valentine's Day?

New Zealand roses don't stop growing, which means our rose growers don't stop working! Taking only Christmas and New Year's Day off, growing roses is a full-time 363 days a year job. While most of us are out and about enjoying our kiwi summer at the beach or holidaying, our rose growers are preparing for one of the biggest floral holidays of the year - Valentine's Day.

During the Christmas break, rose growers begin to undertake crop maintenance - pruning rose crops back to make sure that the flush cycle starts (4-6 weeks during summer, 6-8 weeks during winter), the bush is healthy and 'flushing' for the Valentine's Day period. Workers are in the glasshouses in 40-degree temperatures and 100% humidity, checking soil conditions, watering and crop maintenance, to make sure top-level quality and production are achieved to meet the domestic demand.

Weather condition can sometimes alter the production process, with temperatures too high, causing an early onset 'flush', roses to have smaller heads, increase the chance of pests and shorter stems. If it's low weather conditions, this can cause crop production to slow down and flush at a later date. All this work is done to make sure domestic demand is meet and we can show our love and appreciation on Valentine's Day with roses.

Growing roses is pure science and dedication - something to think about when you're purchasing roses this Valentine's Day or buying NZ grown flowers.

Enjoy the labours of NZ grown and support our local growers



*images are of Van Lier Nurseries, Auckland.