Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and a number of Winnipeg florists are offering up bouquets of roses to customers looking to mark the occasion — but for a substantial price hike.

Mike Kaita, the co-owner of Roy’s Florist on Notre Dame Avenue, said Valentine’s Day is his busiest day of the year.

"So far it’s not too bad. Mostly the day before and that day, a lot of last minute pick-ups," said Kaita.

And purchasing them last minute will cost you. Kaita said prices for roses can be 10 times higher around Valentine’s Day than at other times of the year.

Normally, the price for a dozen roses is about $45, according to Kaita.

"Mainly the prices go up because of the auctions. There’s only so many roses you can grow, even though they know Valentine’s is coming," said Kaita.

Florists bid for flowers and because of the demand at this time of year, prices are higher.

At Kaita's shop, a dozen long-stemmed roses costs between $68 and $80.

Other florists in the city had similar prices. Academy Florist was in the $70 to $90 range, as was A Flower Affair on Sherbrook Street.

Those looking for a more affordable option can try supermarkets or grocery stores.

Wal-Mart offers short-stemmed roses for $24.88, while Superstore offers customers a dozen for $20, or customers can pick up a dozen with your groceries at Safeway for about $29.99.

But Kaita said customers will get what they pay for.

"Grocery stores tend to have them all bunched in a piece of cellophane sitting out there all day, so the freshness is debatable," he said.

And not all gifts for the season go up in price. Fred Morden, who owns Morden’s Chocolates, said his chocolate is priced the same year-round.

"We’re making chocolates anyways. So, instead of putting it in a rectangle box, we just put it in a heart box," he said. 

Cost-comparison of roses in Winnipeg

Store Type Cost
Roy's Florist Long-stemmed, boxed $68
  Long-stemmed, with vase $79
Flower Affair Long-stemmed, wrapped $69
  Long-stemmed, with vase $89
Academy Florist Short-stemmed, wrapped $69
  Short-stemmed, with vase $79
  Long-stemmed $89
Superstore Short-stemmed $20
Wal-Mart Short-stemmed $24.88
Safeway Short-stemmed $29.99