Business is blooming for unique Prague-based flower delivery service

Do you know your Czech flower-giving etiquette and what does it mean when you give red roses or orange blossoms?

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw Published on 08.04.2021 12:20:00 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

In addition to traditional occasions such as birthdays, name days, and anniversaries, increasing numbers of people in the Czech Republic are sending flowers to express affection at a time when they cannot physically be together.

Flower delivery service Flora Květiny has reported that flower sales have doubled since the start of the pandemic in March 2020; so much so that the company is opening a new shop in Karlín to handle the demand.

What’s behind the surging popularity, and is there some truth to the idea that flowers can make you feel better? “People can’t meet,” said executive director of Flora Květiny, Dušan Boček, “so they are sending flowers instead.”

Boček confirms a strong preference amongst Czechs for traditional flowers. Astonishingly, 80% of bouquets delivered by Flora Květiny last year consisted of rose and tulips.

“At any one time, we have a thousand roses, a thousand tulips and hundreds of other assorted flowers in stock,” he says. Among those bestsellers are Ecuador purple roses, bouquets of tulip and freesia, and bunches of roses laced with mood-lifting Melissa.

For anyone who’s familiar with the “flower speak” tradition (called květomluva in Czech), a system of meaning applied to flowers and their colours, this should come as no surprise. The practice, which has its roots in the Victorian era, spread to the rest of Europe in the 19th century.

Red roses (červené růže) are readily understood as an expression of love. A red tulip (červený tulipán) is equally an expression of affection/desire. Other flowers have traditional meanings of love too. Orange blossoms (pomerančový květ) say ‘My love is true,’ and a fern frond (kapradí) can mean ‘Love at first sight’.

Boček says the three busiest days of the year for flower delivery are Valentine’s Day (February 14), International Women’s Day (March 8), and Mothers’ Day, which falls on May 9 this year.

He says that when it comes to gifting flowers, foreigners in Prague are sometimes caught unaware of the etiquette that Czechs observe. “For instance, a bouquet that’s intended as a gift should always contain an odd number of blooms – even numbers of blooms are only used for funerals or on occasions of mourning.”

Etiquette also dictates that a bouquet should never be wrapped in paper, as “to do so is perceived as discourteous,” says Boček, who points to the emerging trend for presenting bouquets in smart-coloured boxes, reminiscent of hat boxes of a bygone age.

As well as cut flowers, Flora Květiny has a wide selection of potted flowers and seasonal decorations, including bouquets of freesia and alstroemeria bursting with color (Boček’s personal favorites).

Flora Květiny's unique express delivery service, ensures that flowers are delivered with 60 minutes to any address in Prague, and within 90 minutes to address in the rest of the Czechia and Slovakia. Delivery is available from 9 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.

In addition to its e-shop, Flora Květiny operates several brick-and-mortar stores in Prague which have remained open throughout the pandemic.

Flowers have proven to be a rare bright spot in this year of doom and gloom. Small wonder then that florists like Flora Květiny have been classed as an essential service their couriers deliver moments of healing joy and affection we need right now.

This article was written in association with Flora-květiny. To read more about our partner content policies see here.

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