Florists around New Zealand have stocked their stores with up to 700,000 fresh flowers ready for today's Valentine's Day rush.

The pick of the bunch is the rose - which accounts for a quarter of the blooms, said United Flower Growers director, Bruce O'Brien. He said red roses have been the most popular choice on Valentine's Day for the 23 years he's been in the business.

"It just doesn't change. It never changes. It's an expression of love," he said.

It might also be an indication of the gentleman's lack of creativity when it comes to picking the perfect bouquet for their lover, he said.


According to the National Flower Promotion Group, other popular picks this year included lisianthus, oriental lilies, hydrangeas and gypsophilia. However, an unseasonably cloudy summer has hindered flower growth around the country.

"The sun hasn't been able to do their job and help them bloom," O'Brien said.

"The lack of sunshine has affected the size of the head of the plant, what the berries look like and in some cases even the colour of the blossom."

The United Flower Growers held three actions in the North Island leading up to Valentine's Day and also sells to florists around the country.

"Everybody loves receiving flowers because they make them feel good," O'Brien said.

And even if you're flying solo this Valentine's Day, O'Brien says to call up the local florist and get them delivered to yourself.

"Treat yourself - why not!"