With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to point to a Reader’s Digest article (slideshow, actually) that lists “13 Things Your Florist Won’t Tell You” (we think most florists will at least tell you some of these things — particularly if you ask — but anyway…).

One suggestion we support (and that has been written about previously here by fellow Tip Heroes) is to skip the big, national vendors like 1-800-Flowers and go directly to the individual florist to save money (cuts out the middleman fee). If you are ordering flowers for someone in a different town or state, consider using a site like WhitePages.com to look up businesses — just make sure that you are calling the florist directly and aren’t being re-routed through one of the national vendors (Reader’s Digest points out that the national companies sometimes get local phone numbers so it looks like you’ll be calling the florist directly).

Another tip that caught our attention: Try to buy flowers early in the week, as Mondays are often when the florist shop is re-stocked (and, on the flip side, ask for specials on weekends as there may be a lot of week-old items that they’re looking to move to make room for the new shipments on Mondays).

A few others tips from the article:

The trick to making flowers last: Cut the stems at an angle and change the water at least every other day. And use the floral preservative we give you, not copper pennies.

How fresh is your rose? Look closely at the bottom of the blossom and see how many outside petals have been removed. The more ripped petals you see, the older it is.

13 things Your Florist Won’t Tell You