Why should you buy tulips instead of roses on Valentine’s Day?

Why should you buy tulips instead of roses on Valentine’s Day?

ENGLEWOOD — An Englewood flower shop is urging people to consider buying their loved ones tulips instead of roses for Valentine’s Day this year.

Southside Blooms, 6250 S. Morgan St., a flower shop affiliated with the nonprofit Chicago Eco House, is selling holiday specials containing tulips instead of the more popular roses.

Roses sold during the winter are typically imported from growing farms located in warmer climates, requiring larger operations with increased water requirements and the potential for chemical runoff, according to the Southside Blooms website.

Tulips are a more sustainable option, said Quilin Blackwell, founder and CEO of Southside Blooms. The South Side florist grows them during the winter through a sophisticated indoor growing system.

“Our tulips, they’re grown right here in Chicago in Englewood, and … most of the roses come from Colombia, like Central and South America,” Blackwell said. “So, just from a carbon footprint standpoint, it’s more harmful to the environment. Whereas with our tulips, they’re grown organically. We don’t spray any pesticides or herbicides. They’re all grown the way Mother Nature intended, and they’re local here.”

Through a partnership with Brown Sugar Bakery, the store’s two “Eco-Love” gift packages will contain tulips, sweets and other items.

The Valentine’s Green Love Affair collection includes locally made chocolate from Brown Sugar Bakery and a plantable seed card made from recycled paper, while the sustainable Valentine Trio collection features cupcakes from Brown Sugar Bakery and a pink beeswax candle, said Lori Monteforte, a Southside Blooms representative.

Both are priced at $75 and available for delivery.

Tulips grow in the basement of the Chicago Eco House in Inglewood on January 11, 2023. credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Southside Blooms, which regularly employs at-risk youth, plants thousands of tulips at the Chicago Eco House, 6439 S. Peoria St., during the colder months.

The process involves growing the bulbs in dirt-filled boxes in cool, temperature-controlled rooms. They are moved to a warmer room with red and blue grow lights once they are old enough to finish growing, former Southside Blooms Farm Manager Travis Wilkinson told Block Club last year.

While Southside Blooms planted about 18,000 lavenders last year, Blackwell expects the number to reach 30,000 this year, he said. The florist grows tulips in colors of red, purple, white and more, according to the Southside Blooms website. Blackwell said the store expects to sell out.

“Last year, we sold out a lot of our tulips, and this year, we’re looking to get close to selling out again,” Blackwell said. “So the response to our tulips has been absolutely amazing. I think people like the different kinds of different colors because we have more than just the little individual tulips that you generally see in the grocery store.”

“We have fringe tulips, we have double tulips, we have parrot tulips – so we have a huge variety of different types of tulips for people to choose.”

Those interested in Southside Blooms’ Valentine’s Day gift packages can purchase them online or in person.


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