Boys 'n' Buds

Men are getting better at buying flowers and receiving them too, says Anya Kussler.

Most girls will agree that flowers are the way to a woman’s heart. The good news is, based on florists’ observations and a recent survey of Kiwi men’s flower buying power is on the rise – and they don’t buy a bunch just for special occasions or to get out of the dog box either. “We definitely see a trend towards men buying more flowers, and feeling comfortable with it,” says Belinda Greville, owner of Eastridge Flowers in Orakei.

Not surprisingly, most blokes in the survey reported that their partners were the person they’re most likely to buy for, followed by mothers, grandmothers, friends and just-about-to-retire or resign colleagues. The most regular petal purchaser was a man who buys flowers once a week – for special occasions, to cheer someone, make someone feel special and “in general because they make my house feel like a home”.

Other bloom-buying reasons boys cited included “to show my appreciation for helping me get my life together because I’m such a forgetful space monkey”. Or; “Because I can!” and “When I see nice flowers”.
The prospect of getting more sex in return for blooms is another reason why boys head to the florist: “I’d have a daily supply sent to her 365 days of the year!
” Others see no need for floral bribery: “I’m married to a Scorpio, if I bought her flowers to get sex I’d never get out of bed.” In another survey participant’s eyes flowers have the greatest impact in upping brownie points when they are neither expected nor necessary. Good point!

It seems men favour buying brightly coloured florals, especially roses – for those “definitely romantic” occasions and, according to Belinda, “because they feel it’s a safe choice. “But the majority of men are more than happy to follow a florist’s suggestions.”
Sunflowers, the boys say, are another favourite – “for when it might be a romantic encounter because they transport that non-committal message extremely well”, as are lillies – for “when it’s definitely not romantic, because they don’t come with any baggage.”

Interestingly, boys are increasingly happy to be on the (flower) receiving end, too. To give you an idea, in a Society of American Florists survey five years ago, more than 60 percent of men said they’d like to be given flowers, especially Valentine’s Day. And as one bloke pointed out: “We pay for dinners, taxis, drinks, open doors, give up seats, scare off the bad guys, mow the lawns, put out the rubbish – why shouldn’t we get flowers?” Embarrassed? No way, many boys say they love the attention and are a reminder of why they were given.

Overall, it appears boys are more attracted to clean-cut, bold flowers in bright yellows, blues and reds (and definitely not pretty pinks). So, if you want to spring a floral surprise on your man, tropical flowers like orchids are a good bet, Or, as Belinda suggests, the more masculine, funky Anthurium and Heliconia.

It appears that men are prepared to fork out everything from $2 (!) to $100 for a pretty bunch. Great stuff, because the Kiwi flower growing industry really needs the ongoing support of consumers in order to keep the wide variety of unique florals in New Zealand growing and readily available. 


Headline Summary Date

 15 August 2012 
 18 June 2012 
 06 February 2012