Valentine's Day: A flower's long journey to your special someoneby WABC
When you stop to smell the roses on Valentine's Day, do you ever wonder how that bouquet gets prepared?
Those flowers make quite a journey to get to your special someone, according to Accuweather.
In fact, United States-based floral companies begin Valentine's Day preparations months in advance.
Flowers, imported from European, African, and South American, can travel thousands of miles to reach consumers.
Colombia is one of the most common rose sources and has shipped more than 4 billion flowers in just a year.
The South American country's climate is considered ideal for growing more than 130,000 different plant species that can be found there.
In order to preserve flowers, they go through a cold chain, which is the process of controlling the temperature of perishable goods from the point of origin to the points of production, distribution and consumption.
Cut flowers are preserved at temperatures between 33 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
If a flower experiences an interruption in the cold during their journey, that can cause up to a 40% loss of vase life, even once their cold climate is restored
Flowers are flown for inspection to Miami -- the central hub for all U.S. floral imports.
It can take up to a day for flowers to clear customs, which can expose them to higher temperatures up to 85 Fahrenheit.
Then, they are sent to warehouses where bouquets are prepped for delivery to supermarkets, online retailers and independent florists.
Flowers are preserved on refrigerated trucks for the remainder of the journey. Eventually, the flowers reach their recipients.