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Specialty Cut Flower Production

ATTRA and Marketing

A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 •

By Janet Bachmann Specialty cut flower production has the potential to increase income for both small and large farms.
NCAT Agriculture This publication discusses several marketing channels and lists flowers suitable for various markets. It
Specialist covers production basics, harvest and postharvest handling, business planning and record keeping,
© NCAT 2006 and resources for further information.
Special thanks to the many
cut flower growers around the
country for their contributions
to this publication, and to Judy
M. Laushman, Executive Direc-
tor of the Association of Spe-
cialty Cut Flower Growers, Inc.,
for reviewing it.

Contents Introduction

Introduction ..................... 1 nvironmentally sound production tech-
What Should I Grow? .... 2 niques, increased farm diversification,
Markets .............................. 3 and increased farm income are basic
Production Basics......... 10 parts of sustainable farming systems. Spe-
Harvest and cialty cut flower production and marketing
Postharvest ..................... 16 offers both small- and large-scale growers a
Summary ......................... 21 way to increase the level of sustainability on
References ...................... 22 their farms. The tremendous variety of plants
Further Resources ........ 22 that can be grown as cut flowers allows grow-
ers to choose those which are well-adapted
to the farm site and grown without large off-
site inputs. This variety also makes diversity
in both production and marketing possible.
And the high value of specialty cut flowers
can increase farm income.
The phrase “specialty cut flower” originally
referred to all species other than carnations,
chrysanthemums, and roses. As recently as
1986, these three cut flower species, plus
gladiolus, accounted for more than 80 per- ©2005
cent of total cut flower production. (Dole and
Greer, 2004) Since then, specialty cut flow- and tulips are the remainder of the top five
ers have become the most important part of specialty cuts. (Dole and Greer, 2004)
the U.S. cut flower industry. The combined
ATTRA—National Sustainable production of carnations, chrysanthemums, As specialty cut f lowers become more
Agriculture Information Service and roses was $78 million in 2002, repre- important to the floral industry, growers
is managed by the National Cen-
ter for Appropriate Technology senting only 15 percent of total cut flower are finding that these flowers make it easier
(NCAT) and is funded under a and foliage production. In contrast, spe- to compete with imported products. Flow-
grant from the United States
Department of Agriculture’s cialty cut production totaled $443 million. ers that don’t ship well or can’t handle long
Rural Business-Cooperative Ser-
vice. Visit the NCAT Web site
Cut lilies, once a relatively minor green- intervals in a box can be picked by a local
( house cut flower, have replaced roses as the grower in the morning and be in a shopper’s
html) for more informa-
tion on our sustainable
most important domestically produced cut house that afternoon. Specialty cuts can
agriculture projects. /$"5 flower. Leatherleaf fern, gerbera, gladiolus, be grown as annuals or perennials, from
have strong stems and are easy to
Mark Cain (left) of Dripping Springs Garden presents bouquets to Carol Eichel-
berger and Jean Mills of Coker, Alabama, at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market. cut and transport without bruising
or shattering the flowers.
• Color. What is popular at your mar-
ket? Does it combine well with other
colors you have chosen? Whites and
pinks are popular spring wedding
colors; oranges and coppers may be
more popular in the fall.
• Fragrance. Fragrance sells—to most
people. Customers at the Fayette-
ville, Arkansas, Farmers’ Market
begin asking for extremely fragrant
tuberoses two months before they
are available—but some growers
cannot stand to bring even a buck-
Photo by Janet Bachmann etful to market in a closed van.
• Old favorites. Think of custom-
seeds, plugs, or bulbs. They include woody ers who see a bunch of sweet peas
plants from which flowers, stems, fruits, or and buy them because they are
Related ATTRA foliage are harvested. They can be grown reminded of their grandmother’s
Publications in the field, in unheated hoophouses, and in flower garden. Zinnias can again be
Agricultural Business
heated greenhouses. By producing unusual, used as an example.
Planning Templates and high quality flowers, using proper posthar- • New introductions. New cultivars
Resources vest handling techniques, and by providing help you stay competitive in a com-
Community Supported excellent service, growers can continue to petitive market. Membership in
Agriculture (CSA) expand markets for specialty cuts. the Association of Specialty Cut
Direct Marketing If you are considering specialty cut flow- Flower Growers (ASCFG) is one
Entertainment Farming ers as a farm enterprise, you should do as way to keep up to date on new
and Agri-Tourism much research as possible before putting ones. The ASCFG in cooperation
Farmers’ Markets one plant in the ground. The most valu- with seed companies sponsors tri-
able information comes from other growers. als of new varieties every year.
Farmscaping to Enhance
Biological Control Other sources that you can rely on include Results of the trials are reported in
the Association of Specialty Cut Flower the winter issue of The Cut Flower
Flame Weeding for
Vegetable Crops Growers, Cooperative Extension, suppliers, Quarterly. Rudbeckia Prairie Sun,
and ATTRA. Dianthus Neon Duo, and count-
Market Gardening: A
Start-Up Guide
less new sunflowers are among the
exciting introductions trialed by
Overview of Cover Crops What Should I Grow? ASCFG volunteers.
and Green Manures
A tremendous number of choices are avail- • Vase life. Will the cuts last a week?
Principles of Sustainable able. How can you choose, given such a vast Or longer?
Weed Management
array? Consider the following.
Root Zone Heating for • Stem length. Florists love long
Greenhouse Crops • Ease of cultivation. This may be stems. But there are exceptions,
Season Extension Tech-
especially important if you are a such as lily-of-the-valley and grape
niques for Market Gar- beginner. Sunflowers and zinnias hyacinth, that are naturally short-
deners are examples of easy-to-cultivate stemmed.
flowers. They can be direct seeded,
Selling to Restaurants • Local growing conditions. Accept the
and they emerge and grow quickly.
Woody Ornamentals for fact that some plants are not well
Cut Flower Growers • Ease of handling. Sunflowers can adapted to your climate. Ask local
again be used as an example. They Extension agents, garden clubs, and
Page 2 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
nurseries which specialty cut flow- Vendors—and customers—believe their
ers grow well in your area, and start market is one of the most attractive in the
with these. Diversify slowly, and nation. It is situated on the square in down-
test some new choices each growing town Fayetteville around an old post office
season. that has been converted to a restaurant. The
• Flowering season. Do you want area is professionally landscaped and is alive
year-round or seasonal blooms? with blooming and edible plants. On Satur-
day mornings it is the place to be, with live
For flowers throughout the grow-
music, coffee and pastries, and vendors sell-
ing season, identify an early
ing fruits, vegetables, plants, crafts, and of

bloomer to start blooming in sync pecialty cut
course specialty cut flowers.
with opening day of your market, flower pro-
and dependable flowers to keep Of the more than 50 vendors at a Satur- duction and
customers coming back to your day market in mid-summer, almost 50 per-
marketing offers
market stand or farm until you want cent bring cut flowers for sale. “In the early
days,” say folks who organized the market in both small- and
to close for the season.
1974, “vendors brought flowers cut from the large-scale growers
• Flowers for building mixed bou- roadsides.” Today the FFM has become well- a way to increase the
quets. If you plan to sell mixed bou- known as a source of high-quality, reason-
quets and plan to grow zinnias, what level of sustainability
ably priced cut flowers. For some vendors,
other flowers or foliage will mix well fresh vegetables or fruit are the main prod-
on their farms.
with them? ucts, but many of these have added flowers
• Demand. What are wholesale and as secondary products. For other vendors,
retail florists asking for? (Within flowers are the primary focus of the display
reason.) and a major source of income in a college
• Think especially about the market town with a relatively affluent population.
where you want to sell cut flowers.
What do the customers want? What
are their favorite flowers?

Marketing possibilities include farmers’
markets, contract growing and CSA-type
subscriptions, cut-your-own, restaurants,
supermarkets, retail florists, wholesale flo-
rists, special events such as weddings,
and the Internet. The following discussion
of markets includes flowers that growers
around the country recommend for each,
followed by information on related products
and added value.

Farmers’ Markets
Farmers’ markets are considered by many
to be entry-level markets, a place for new
growers to sharpen their skills and cultivate
higher-level markets. Other growers have
found farmers’ markets to be a profitable
and rewarding way to sell flowers.
Specialty cut flowers sell well at the Fayette-
Photos by Janet Bachmann
ville, Arkansas, Farmers’ Market (FFM). ATTRA Page 3
Field Grown Cut Flowers at Fayetteville Farmers’ Market
April May June July August September October

bachelor alliums ageratum ammi majus amarcrinum asters bittersweet


bleeding heart apple alliums bells of Ireland buddleia buddleia drieds

cherry bearded iris ammi majus calla lily caryopteris cleome fall leaves
crabapple blue salvia Asiatic lily celosia cleome cosmos grasses
daffodils calendula baby’s breath cleome cosmos dahlia juniper
dames rocket carnation bachelor button coneflower dahlia drieds sedum
forsythia columbine basils cosmos euphorbia goldenrod
hesperis coreopsis blackeyed susan crocosmia garlic chives grasses
lilac dames rocket butterflyweed dahlia gladiolus hyacinth bean
flowering delphinium calla lily gladiolus hyacinth bean mums
redbud Dutch iris cleome hydrangea hydrangea salvia
redtwig dog- false indigo coneflower lavender marigold sedum
tulips larkspur cosmos liatris mountain mint spider lily
willow lupine dahlias lycoris lily obedient plant sunflower
wisteria nigella gladiolas marigold passionflwr vine tithonia
ox-eye daisy gomphrena passionflwr vine pepper zinnia
Siberian iris lambs ear summer phlox sweet annie
spirea larkspur sunflower tithonia
Sweet William lisianthus tithonia tuberose
viburnum marigold tuberose zinnia
wheat monarda zinnia
Oriental lily
Queen Anne’s
salvia hormium
sweet pea
Sweet William
Note: Many flowers listed in summer months continue until frost.

Page 4 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

13 Tips for Selling at a Farmers’ Market
Melanie DeVault, in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, offers 13 tips for sell- growers we don’t use preservative. Remind them that some
ing at a farmers’ market. Melanie and her husband George own flowers have blooms that can be picked off when spent (like
a 19.2-acre certified organic farm, with son Don and daughter Campanula) to make way for others on the stem that will open.
Ruth. They have operated a modified CSA and members-only If you use preservative, little packets are available at floral supply
home market stand, and have sold at farmers’ markets and to houses that you can include with the bouquet, or give customers
health food stores and restaurants. Melanie specializes in spe- a card with a homemade alternative: To three cups of water, add
cialty cut flowers. She is a member of the Association of Spe- one tablespoon sugar, one teaspoon vinegar, and one crushed
cialty Cut Flower Growers. A former newspaper reporter, she is aspirin tablet. People seem to like the idea.
also a freelance garden writer; her column appears monthly in
The New Farm. Melanie’s tips for selling at market (gleaned from Wrap your bouquets or purchased flowers attractively. Use
the advice of many experts at a lot of conferences, but mostly, floral sleeves (available from your local floral supply houses or
of course, from Experience, with a capital E). any number of Web sites), a plain paper, such as end runs of news-
print, or tissue paper. We use sleeves—I got the new clear sleeves
Whether you sell only flowers, or flowers and vegetables, with tissue paper inset this year, along with clear—because I feel
have a professional looking display. That tells your customers they look more professional. Some friends just use plastic bags
you are serious about your product and that they can trust you. If at their markets, and customers don’t seem to mind.
you sell only flowers, this aspect is very important, because you
want your customers to know you have products comparable Have something customers can use to take flowers a dis-
to those in floral shops. tance. Save milk or orange juice cartons. That way, when some-
one says, “I’d love a bouquet, but I have to go to my mother’s an
Have clear signs, label prices, and things for people to read hour away,” you can say, “Hey, no problem...”
at your stand. Information about your farm, information blurbs
about a flower or your flower of the week, anything that will Be creative with your offerings. Have a variety of sizes of bou-
keep them in your space a little longer will give you a better quets, from the $10 bunch to the $3 mini. Build-your-own bou-
chance for a sale. quets are popular at some markets. Have several buckets of
individual flowers for customers to choose from to make their
Be friendly and talk to your customers, if they are receptive. own bouquets according to your choice offerings of focal and
Tell them the name of the flower they are admiring, how long filler flowers. Or offer bunches of one kind of flower, such as zin-
it will last, maybe how hard it is to grow—and that you grow nias or snapdragons. We’ve found anything works, as long as
everything you sell. Few people understand about local farms, it’s colorful. Fall colors don’t do well in summer, and dull colors
real farmers—and few know that many middlemen masquerade don’t do well, especially on cloudy days.
as growers. Educate them.
Have a good awning to protect your flowers from the harsh
Have a good volume and plenty of color. It will attract people
summer sun. Wilting flowers won’t sell. One of my friends says
like a magnet.
white is the best color and blue the worst for an awning. We
Sell only quality flowers. (Post-harvest handling is critical.) haven’t noticed that color has mattered for us.
People will come back if the flowers you sold them have a long
Check your flower buckets often during the market to make
vase life.
sure flower stems are IN the water. We’ve noticed when peo-
Keep flower buckets wiped off (clean) and neat. We use white ple pick bouquets up to compare; they often don’t set them
plastic paint buckets for our regular bouquets, and taller, thin back in the water. And they break some stems. Sleeving in the
plastic flower buckets (available from local floral supply stores) buckets can help prevent both problems.
for taller varieties and those with long stems.
Have a few sunflowers that aren’t quite perfect?
Tell customers how to maintain their flowers. We tell them Give them away to kids. It’ll make them happy, and moms
to change the water every day or ever other day, since as organic will remember.

Subscriptions and CSA history, philosophy, and details of organiz-

ing a CSA.
Subscriptions offer upfront payment for
scheduled delivery of flowers. Community Suzy Neesen, owner and grower at The
Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a term often Flower Farm in Cedar Falls, Iowa, uses
associated with this marketing method. both farmers’ markets and fresh cut bou-
Delivery may be time consuming, so be quet subscriptions to sell her flowers. Nee-
sure to account for it and charge accord- son’s attractive tri-fold brochure tells people
ingly. See the ATTRA publication Commu- how they can arrange to have a beautiful,
nity Supported Agriculture to read about the freshly cut bouquet delivered to their home ATTRA Page 5
or office each week though the growing • Price flowers in a way that is eas-
season. Or they can order for a one-time ily understood by the consumer;
special delivery. She grows more than 100 for example, all the 25-cent flowers
kinds of annuals, perennials, and bulbs to in one section, and all the 50-cent
provide variety and color in each bouquet. flowers in another.

S uzy Neesen
grows more
than 100
varieties for her
fresh cut bouquets.
The bouquets are delivered in a vase, which
is exchanged each week. The season begins
about June 1st and runs for 15 weeks.
She charges $225 plus tax for the season.
• Pick in advance flowers that are
expensive and/or easily damaged in
the field. Place them in buckets near
the checkout stand, so that custom-
Here are just a few: Salons, boutiques, professional offices, and ers can add a special flower to their
Achillea restaurants are possible places to market bouquets at the last minute.
Anemone subscription bouquets.
Asclepias In addition to tulips, peonies, gladiolus,
Baptisia sunf lowers, and zinnias, you may also
Butterfly Bush Cut-Your-Own want to consider daffodils, Dutch iris,
Calla Because they are so attractive, flowers are ornamental alliums, statice, and goldenrod
Campanula certainly a natural for any kind of on-farm as PYO flowers.
Crocosmia market or roadside stand. At a fruit and
vegetable growers’ conference 20 years ago, Ms. Byczynski says you probably will not
Delphinium want to offer PYO lilies because customers
Karen Pendleton of Lawrence, Kansas, told
Didiscus might cut too much foliage, which means
Eucalyptus how she came to add field-grown cut flow-
that your costly lily bulb won’t survive to
Feverfew ers to her family’s Pick-Your-Own (PYO)
bloom again next year.
Freesia operation. At that time, Karen and her hus-
Gladiolus band, John, had 12 acres of asparagus in You will need to provide buckets or other
Gooseneck production for PYO sales. When people containers with water, scissors for cutting
Gypsophila the stems, and wrapping materials. As with
came to the farm for asparagus, they saw
tulips blooming in her yard, and wanted any other PYO product, you will need to
Ipomopis to buy them as well. The Pendletons have provide supervision, offering instructions
Lavender since added peonies to the PYO operation on where and how to pick. You may also
Liatris because they also bloom when asparagus is need additional liability insurance. For gen-
Lily ready to cut. eral information on PYO marketing, please
Lisianthus refer to the ATTRA publication Entertain-
Another example comes from a Mas-
Lobelia ment Farming and Agri-Tourism.
Monarda sachusetts farm Web site, where the
Nigella owner describes the flowers you can pick at
Peony the farm: Restaurants
Phlox Selling to restaurants requires flexibil-
In addition to our wonderful fruits, we offer
cut-your-own and fresh picked flowers from ity and high-quality products. The time
mid-July through late September. We have 15 needed to make deliveries may be consid-
Salvia colors of gladiolus, 10 shades of ‘Blue Point’ erable. (Kantor, 1999)
Scabiosa zinnias, 6 varieties of beautiful sunflowers,
Snapdragon and gorgeous dahlias. Bring some color into
Statice your home this summer!
Sunflower Grocery stores can handle large volumes,
Thermopsis Lynn Byczynski in her book The Flower but it can be difficult to establish accounts.
Tuberose Farmer (Byczynski, 1997) offers pointers for (Kantor, 1999)
Tulip success with cut-your-own-flowers.
Zinnia • Provide weed-free flower beds with Retail Florists
plenty of room to maneuver between In general, a florist will want flowers that
them. Nobody wants to walk through are just beginning to open—unlike most
weeds or mud to cut flowers, and farmers’ market customers, who prefer
you’ll increase your liability risk fully open blossoms. Most florists know
if you don’t maintain wide, clear exactly what they want and may need a
paths. fairly large quantity of a certain flower.
Page 6 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
The following tips for selling to florists by Va l ley, L i s i a nt hu s ,
delivering to their shops are gleaned from Mountain mint, Nige-
the ASCFG Forum. lla, Penstemon, Peony,
• Introduce yourself with a bucket Redtwig dogwood, Rud-
of free samples, a flyer that lists beckia, Salvia, Snap-
the flowers you grow, your delivery dragon, Spanish blue-
schedule, payment terms, and busi- bell, Sunflower, Sweet
ness card. (Try putting the busi- pea, Sweet William,
ness card on a refrigerator magnet Tulip, Veronica, Yarrow,
and Zinnia.
to go on the cooler door.)
• Deliver in bunches of 10, sleeved or Wholesale florists
un-sleeved. This makes it easier to The wholesale florists’
pull the flowers out of buckets with- ma rket is the most ©2005
out destroying other blooms. demanding as far as
• E-mail or fax a list of what you have grading, uniformity, consistency, and pack-
to offer after harvesting, then call aging. Wholesale florists assemble and
for orders, or bring the florist out make available high-quality flowers for
to your van full of flowers for the retail florists. They offer retailers a timely
“ahhh” effect and let him or her and dependable supply, one stop shopping,
choose on the spot. large or small quantities, product guaran-
tee, and credit. To sell to wholesale florists,
• Deliver on the same day and same Harrison “Red” Kennicott, of Kennicott
time every week. Florists need to Brothers in Chicago, in a presentation at the
depend on you if they have down- 2002 ASCFG annual convention and trade
sized standing orders from wholesal-
ers so that they can buy from you.
• Use buckets with your name/label
on them so you can leave them to
show, advised growers:
• Get acquainted with as many people
as possible in a wholesale house, to
get to know the wholesaler.
T he whole-
sale florists’
market is the most
pick up the following trip. demanding as far as
• Provide informat ion on your grading, uniformity,
• Ask for payment on delivery unless product.
you have sold to them often enough consistency, and
to feel comfortable about setting up • Avoid being oversensit ive to
an account. comments.
• Offer only the best. Consistency • Have a good understanding about
in quality, quantity, and variety supply, pricing, timing, and whether
or not the sales are to be on con-
is crucial.
Expect retail florists to get excited about
He recommends the Society of Ameri-
new or unusual cuts such as branches with
can Florists, the national trade association
fruit on them or pods of okra on stalks.
that represents all participants in the U.S.
And although they may be able to get flow-
floral industry, as a source of marketing
ers from wholesalers for a little less, they
and best practices information. (Kennicott,
appreciate the quality and freshness of 2002) Its 15,000 members include retail-
locally grown cuts. Good sellers include ers, growers, wholesalers, importers, suppli-
the following: ers, manufactures, educators, and students.
Ageratum, Agrostemma, Allium, Ammi Its consumer Web site, www.aboutflowers.
majus, Apple mint, Bupleurum, Curly wil- com, promotes the use of flowers. You can
low, Dahlia, Delphinium, Digitalis, Fever- locate wholesale florists through the Whole-
few, Gomphrena, Grasses, Hosta leaves, sale Florists and Florist Supplier Associa-
Hydrangea, Larkspur, Lemon/cinna- tion. See Further Resources for contact
mon basil, Lenten rose, Lilies, Lily of the information. ATTRA Page 7
Weddings some mechanics from her.” Later, Carol
also worked for a florist but found she
If you sell flowers at a local farmers’ mar-
liked growing flowers more than just work-
ket, sooner or later someone will approach
ing with them. She quit her “day job” and
you to do their wedding flowers. Linda
began working exclusively with f lowers
Chapman of Harvest Moon Farm in Spen-
in 2001, and since then she has actively
cer, Indiana, says wedding work can be
sought wedding and event work. Carol
profitable, but it is not for everyone who
markets through word of mouth, photos on her
grows flowers. Besides needing aesthetic
Web page,, and
talents, it takes a certain temperament to
at her stand at the farmers’ market on
work cooperatively with brides, grooms,
Saturdays. In addition to weddings, she
and often their parents. It also takes a
has done arrangements for a bat mitzvah,
lot of time.
a bar mitzvah, and a funeral.
Before deciding whether you will do a wed- Carol’s list of flowers that are excellent for
ding, talk with the clients. Try to get a weddings includes the following: Bachelor
vision of what they want. Can you work with Buttons, Bells of Ireland, Celosia, Dahlias,
them to make their vision a reality, or do Godetia, Larkspur, Lisianthus, Rudbeckia,
you need to send them to a commercial flo- Shasta Daisy, Snapdragons, and Tulips.
rist or another grower?
She offers this advice:
Most weddings involve a bridal bouquet,
You need to use f lowers that can stand
bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnières, cor- the stress of being out of water for hours.
sages, flower girl flowers, altar arrange- However, on the upside, they need to last
ments, reception hall arrangements, and only through the wedding and reception. It
flowers for the cake. Other options include is very important that all the flowers used
garlands, end-of-pew arrangements, and are conditioned in a cooler with f lower
dried flower wreaths made from the wed- conditioning food for 24 or more hours before
working with them. Also you have to work
ding flowers after with the flowers when they are at their peak.
the event. What It doesn’t work to have lilies that are too
is their budget? closed for the bouquet. This can mean you
Your price should have to cut or otherwise get more flowers than
reflect not only the you plan on using because some will be too
cost of materials far gone and others will be too immature.
Figure your shrinkage at 10 to 20 percent or
and labor for the even more with fragile flowers like bachelor
finished product buttons or godetia.
but also the time
spent in consulta- For a wedding, Carol provides bridal and
tion. You need to bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnières, cor-
Photo by Carol Larsen give your client sages, table arrangements, pew treatments,
a price estimate arbor decorations, and large arrangements
well in advance of for the church. She takes the price of the
the wedding day. Ms. Chapman says pric- flowers and multiplies by 2 to 2.5 to achieve
ing is a regional thing. Prices can generally a price that reflects the time to meet with
be set higher in urban areas than in rural the bride, work with the flowers, drive to the
areas. Her prices reflect the economics of a wedding and reception sites and set up the
university town. (Chapman, 2002) flowers (including pinning on corsages and
boutonnières), and picking up the vases,
Carol Larsen of Sunborn Gardens in Wis- etc. after the event. The most frustrating
consin says she first got involved with part for her is not getting enough for her
wedding flowers when she worked with work. The most rewarding part is design-
another woman who loved to grow flow- ing with the flowers she loves and having
ers but also worked as a florist. “We did the bride call afterwards to let her know
some weddings together, and I learned how much everyone enjoyed the flowers.
Page 8 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
Yes, a bride can be quite choosy or not. I Internet
guess it depends on the individual. Some Posted to ASCFG Forum on how to choose
want to know what is going to be in each cor-
In the past decade, flowers suitable for weddings, by Farmhouse
sage and bouquet, and others just want to go the Inter net ha s Flowers & Plants (Dave Dowling), on June
with a color scheme and, perhaps, a style. become an important 29, 2004:
Generally, the brides who contact me (and marketing tool. The I picked lisianthus yesterday and tossed a bad
90 percent of the time it is the bride) at the Internet allows grow- flower on the ground. Today the leaves have
farmers’ market seem to be the most flex- ers to reach custom- wilted, but the flower still looks fine. You can do
ible, maybe because they see my bouquets a test on any of the other flowers you are think-
and feel more comfortable or know that is the
ers that they could
ing of using. Pick a couple of each variety, cut the
style they want. (Larsen, 2004) not have reached in stems to about 2 inches, and leave them lying on
other ways without the table. See what still looks good after a cou-
Contract Growing considerable expense. ple hours and again at the end of the day. Those
More than 6 percent should be OK to use. Also think about crush-abil-
If someone asks you to grow flowers for a of all Internet trans- ity of the flowers. If Grandma gets hugs all day,
wedding or other event, but you are not pre- actions involve flower you don’t want her corsage to look like it was
pared to do any more than that, you can get sales. (Carter, 2004)
stomped on by the grandchildren.
someone else to do the arrangements. One
fall a young woman who had purchased Simple e-mail messages can be used to
flowers from me for several years came by inform and educate customers, let them
the farmers’ market to tell me she was get- know what is available and when, and build
ting married the next summer on July 9 relationships. E-mail can also be used to
and wanted me to grow the flowers for her take orders. Third-party Web sites, which
offer a template for you to use to list your
wedding. She had chosen Stargazer lilies
farm and products at no or low cost, are
as her main flower and set the July wed-
another way to inform and educate.
ding date because that is when Stargazers
bloom locally. The only other flowers she Building your own Web site is a big step,
wanted were additional Oriental lilies and but it may be an excellent way to increase
glads in colors to harmonize with Stargaz- your markets. The Thiessen family farm in
ers. During the winter, I referred her to sev- Ontario began accepting Internet orders for
eral Web sites where she could view lilies flowers in 1996. The family has 30 acres
and glads, asking her to let me know which of apples and offers wagon rides, a corn
varieties she liked. I ordered bulbs and maze, and PYO apples. They say, however,
planted them on two different dates, hoping the Internet sale of flowers has generated
that enough would bloom at the right time. the most profit for the farm and kept it in
Then I started wondering about how the business. Sales have grown to the point
flowers would be delivered to the chapel 50 that other growers, one in Connecticut and
miles away and who would arrange them. three in California, have joined the effort
I knew I wouldn’t have the time, skills, or as suppliers, with Thiessen supplying about
vases to do this. I asked my friend whether 40 percent. The products can be seen at
she had someone to arrange the flowers. the Web site
She hadn’t thought about that yet, but pro- (Carter, 2004)
ceeded to fi nd a floral arranger, another
young woman I had met at the farmers’ Related Products and
market. What a relief. That left me with Added Value
nothing to do but to keep hoping the flowers Depending on your market, you may be
would bloom at the right time and deliver able to increase your income with related
them to the farmers’ market, where the products.
arranger would pick them up. I expressed • Bulbs. Daffodils, tuberoses, and cro-
my concern about the lilies being in bloom cosmia are a few that multiply and
at the right time to the floral arranger. need to be divided occasionally. If
She assured me that she could get them you have earned a reputation among
from a wholesaler any time of the year. other gardeners for your beautiful
More relief. and unusual flowers, they will be ATTRA Page 9

pleased to have an opportunity to and personal choices will result in different
purchase starts of the same. schedules.
• Potted plants. Consider putting Consider sequential planting and use of
some of those bulbs in pots, grow- cultivars that have different lengths of time
ing them, and selling them as to maturity to get a continuous supply of
blooming plants. your most popular cuts. Gladioli, for exam-
• Bedding plants. If you start your ple, are ready to cut about 80 days from
own cut f lowers from seed, you planting. You can make your fi rst planting
might save a few of the same for in mid-spring, and sequential plantings at
your customers so they can have intervals of a week or a month, ending at
their own cutting garden. It may least 80 days before the fi rst frost in the
seem strange, but some of the best fall. Sunflowers, which are usually har-
flower customers at a farmers’ mar- vested as one cut stem, also need sequential
ket also have flower gardens. They plantings for a continuous supply. Check the
just don’t want to cut from them. information provided by your seed supplier
for length of time needed from planting to
• Garlic braids, swags, wreaths, dried harvest; the time varies by cultivar.
flowers—and ornamental peppers,
grasses, grains, and okra—are nat-
urals for crafting. For ideas and
If at all possible, find a location with well-
instructions, look for books in your
drained, sandy loam soil, high in organic mat-
local public library, or go on-line.
ter, and with a neutral pH. If you don’t have
• Organically or naturally grown. perfect soil, you can improve it with cover
Customers concerned about our crops, compost, and mulching with organic
natural environment will appreciate matter. Soil preparation is the most important
knowing that you use farming prac- job you will do in the flower garden.
tices that protect it. Organic certi-
fication may be a way to add value Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm in
to your flowers. For local markets, North Carolina have spent more than 10
talking with your customers about years developing a system that maintains
your production practices may be or improves soil organic matter content by
even more valuable. the conscientious use of summer and win-
ter cover crops combined with minimal till-
Production Basics age. Their planting rotation, which includes
vegetables, flowers, and cover crops, is pre-
Plan for Season-Spanning sented in the ATTRA publication Market
Blooms Gardening: A Start-Up Guide. The Hitts use
several tools and concepts to make the sys-
Do you want year-round flower production?
tem work:
Or frost to frost? Or just one big splash?
Planning is important regardless of your • Soil testing is done on each rota-
choice, and especially critical if you want tional unit every late summer/early
year-round blooms. fall.
Steve and Susan Bender of Homestead • Organic matter is grown in place
Flower Farm near Warrenton, North Car- rather than imported.
olina, presented their planting and har- • The 10-year rotation is designed
vest chart at the 2002 Southern Sus- both for maximum diversity for
tainable Agriculture Working Group disease and insect management,
conference and trade show. It is presented and, as much as practical, to
on the opposite page as an example. Dif- alternate heavy feeders with light
ferences in location and climate, market, feeders, deep-rooted crops with
Page 10 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
Homestead Flower Farm Cut Flower Schedules
1st Seeding or Planting Varieties Transplant Harvest

August Centuarea macrocephala, NE Asters October April

Tray Seed Swt Wm biennial, Hesperis, Foxglove October May-June
Canterbury Bells, Trachelium, Delphinium October May-June
Yellow Yarrow, Baptisia October May-June
Oct-Nov Feverfew, Gyp, Stock, Larkspur Dec-Jan April-June
Tray Seed Swt Wm Annual, Godetia, Calendula Dec-Jan April-June
Nigella, Ammi majus, Heliopsis Dec-Jan May-June
Bupleurum, Bells of Ireland, Snaps Dec-Jan May-June
Saponaria, Campanula, Clary Sage Dec-Jan June-July

Direct Seed
Colorado Yarrow

Tulip, Dutch Iris, Allium


P lanning is
regardless of your
choice, and espe-
Barley, Tritcale, Rye-Clover* April-May cially critical if you
November Crocosmia, Monarda, Mtn Mint June-Aug want year-round
Transplants, Silver King Artemesia, Tansy June-Aug blooms.
Root Divisions
Pysostegia, Red Hot Poker June-Aug

Phlox, Peonies, Lamb’s Ear, Salvia Perennial May-June

January Agastache, Buddleia. Monarda lambado April May-July
Tray Seed Rudbeckia, Scabiosa, Annual Salvias, Helenium April June-Aug

Safflower March June

Statice, Snaps April June-July

Lobelia May Aug-Sept

January Direct Seed Sweet Pea, Lupine April-May

February Direct Seed Asiatic Lilies June-July

March Peppers, Eucalyptus May Sept-Oct

Tray Seed Ageratum, Basil July-Oct

Caryopteris, Globes, Sweet Annie Sept-Oct

Sunset Flower July-Sept
Dill, Asters June-July

April Tray Seed Celosia, Cosmos, Marigolds, Zinnias May July-Oct

April Direct Seed Gladiolus, Sunflowers June-July

May Gladiolus, Sunflowers July-Aug

Direct Seed Dahlias July-Oct
June Gladiolus, Sunflowers, Buckwheat* Aug-Sep
Direct Seed Sorghum Sudangrass* Aug-Oct
July Direct Seed Sunflowers Sep-Oct

*Grown as cover crops for soil improvement. For each bed planted in flowers, an adjoining bed is planted in a cover crop.
This is mowed with a brush hog to provide mulch. ATTRA Page 11

shallow-rooted ones, and cool-sea- based advice in a 2004 Growing for
son with warm-season crops. Market article:
Marked improvement of their soils is indi- • Start with good seed. If you
cated by higher cation exchange capacity save seed from year to year, do
(CEC), more organic residues, more soil small germination tests several
biological life, easier to prepare and plant- weeks before you plan to plant.
to-seed beds, healthier crops, and higher Then you’ll have time to order new
yields. Their purchased inputs are stable or seed if you need it.
reduced, and net returns are higher. Man- • Find out about the specific germina-
agement inputs are higher, but the returns to tion requirements for each of your
management are also higher. (Hitt, 2005) seeds. Some need to be exposed to
ATTRA publications with information about light to germinate; others need com-
managing soil for improved tilth and fertility plete darkness. Many have no light
include Overview of Cover Crops and Green or dark requirement and will germi-
Manures, Rye as a Cover Crop, Sustainable nate whenever other environmental
Soil Management, and Manures for Organic factors are right.
Crop Production. • Provide correct germination temper-
ature. Seeds respond to temperature
Irrigation in order to germinate at the right
Some flowers in some locations can be season in their natural environment.
grown with the water they receive from rain- Seeds of heat-loving annuals such
fall. Examples are daffodils, butterfly milk- as sunflowers will naturally remain
weed, and poke berries. In most situations, dormant until conditions are right
however, an irrigation system is needed to for active summer growth. Seeds of
consistently and reliably produce the high- cool season plants, such as larkspur
est quality flowers. Drip and micro-sprin- and bachelor buttons, lie dormant
kler systems are best. Overhead sprinkler through the summer and germinate
systems increase the chance of disease and with cooler autumn temperatures.
can reduce flower quality, but they may
be less expensive to install. Overhead Some seeds take a long time to germinate.
sprinklers can also handle water from The Arnoskys have learned to take advan-
tage of different germination requirements
streams and ponds without a fine filter-
and “prime” seed so that plants come up
ing system. Drip and micro-sprinkler
more quickly in the field. (Arnosky, 2004)
systems deliver water more efficiently,
resulting in lower water costs. The Coopera- Larkspur likes dark, cool conditions. If we
tive Extension Service and supply compa- plant larkspur in late October, it will come up
in about three weeks, longer if the soil is dry.
nies can provide help in designing a sys- This is a lot of time, so we started “priming”
tem. Accessing Irrigation Information on the our seed in the refrigerator. What we do is
Internet, this: about two weeks before we plant, we
new/onthenet/, will also lead you to many put the dry seed in zip lock bags and then
sources of information. add a small amount of water. Inflate the bag
a bit, seal it, and shake the seed until it is
well coated with water. Add a bit more water
Plant Establishment if needed to moisten the seed completely,
Some flowers in some geographic areas can but drain off any extra water you might have
in the bottom of the bag. Put the bag in the
be easily started by direct seeding. Others fridge, and check it the next day. The seed
are more safely started in flats to be trans- should have absorbed all the water—it should
planted later. Still others are started with flow freely and not stick together in clumps.
root divisions or bulbs. If it does, open the bag and set it out to dry
for an hour or two. If your seed still looks
If you are growing from seed, Pamela really dry when you check it, add a tiny bit
and Frank Arnosky give experience- more water and check it again in a day. The
Page 12 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
key here is that you want the seed to be in” to settle the soil
moist enough to respond to the cold treat- around the roots. If
ment, but still be dry enough to flow through you are using sup-
the seeder when it is time to plant.
port netting, you can
After two weeks, the seed will be ready to lay it over the top of
germinate. We sow our larkspur with a walk-
the bed before set-
behind Earthway planter, using the onion
plate. If you want it thicker, use the cucum- ting transplants. The
ber plate. We plant four rows in a four-foot six-inch square grid
wide bed. Using primed seed, we get germi- of the netting can be
nation in about a week. This cuts down on used to space your
crop time, and more importantly, gives the plants.
larkspur a jump on the weeds. This method
works well for late plantings in the spring, If you are planting
when soil temperatures are warming up. bulbs, try digging
Bottom heat is useful for seed that needs a f lat-bot tomed
heat to germinate. See the ATTRA pub- trench to the desired
lication Root Zone Heating for Greenhouse plant ing depth,
Crops for ideas. rather than using a
bulb planter to make
The Homestead Flower Farm Cut Flower individual holes for
Schedule indicates planting methods the each tulip bulb or
Benders use for a number of species. Some gladiolus corm.
of the flowers that they transplant are also
easily direct seeded. For plants, such as Weed
lisianthus, that are difficult or especially
time-consuming to start from seed, some
Management Photo by Janet Bachmann

growers will purchase plugs. Companies Weeds compete with

that sell seeds, bulbs, plugs, and bare- flowers for nutrients, Floral netting is stretched across the bed to keep
root plants will provide you with informa- water, and light, and lisianthus stems from falling over.
tion about the recommended method to can harbor insect
use, depth of planting, spacing, and light pests. A heavy stand of weeds in your
requirements. Several of the books listed planting can severely reduce cut fl ower
in the Further Resources section also quality. Weeding can be one of your most
give recommendations. You are still left time consuming operations, especially if
to decide whether you will plant in rows you choose not to use chemical herbicides.
or beds, by hand or machine. Many grow- If you use support netting, mechanical
ers favor the intense production of beds. weeding is impossible once it is in place.
This allows water and nutrients to be con- Mulches can help suppress weeds and pro-
centrated in the area where the plants vide many other benefits as well, including
will grow, and not in the walkways. It also cleaner flowers. Other benefits include soil
enables the use of support netting, which moisture conservation, soil temperature
is manufactured to fit the normal width of moderation, increased soil organic matter,
garden beds. and habitat for natural enemies of insect
pests, depending on your choice of mulch-
The degree of mechanization you use in
ing material.
planting will depend to a great extent on
the size of your operation. You will most And contrary to what many of us were told
likely want to start small, and the same for years, high-carbon materials do not
hand tools you would use for vegetable deprive plants of nitrogen when they are
gardening will work for planting. If the laid on the surface as mulch unless these
soil has been freshly tilled, a hand trowel materials are mixed into the soil. Nor do
will work for making holes for transplants oak leaves or pine needles used as mulch
or plugs. They should always be “watered make the soil more acidic. (Reich, 2005) ATTRA Page 13
The Benders of Homestead Flower Farm in will be able to manage them effectively with
North Carolina grow sorghum-sudangrass non-toxic methods.
in alternating beds with cut flowers. When Cultural control. Examples include crop
they brush hog the grass, they can move the rotation, plant spacing, and adjusting the
clippings across the walkway to mulch the timing of planting or harvest.
adjacent flower bed.
Physical and mechanical control. The
For general and specific information about use of physical barriers such as floating row
weed management, the ATTRA publica-
covers prevents insects from reaching the
tions Sustainable Weed Management, Flame
crop. Row covers can help prevent early
Weeding for Vegetable Crops, and Cover Crops
season damage from flea beetles or cucum-
and Green Manures are useful. Plastic fi lm
ber beetles. Other methods include hand
and landscape fabric mulches are discussed
picking, sticky boards or tapes, and various
in Season Extension Techniques for Market
trapping techniques. Growers are reporting
that high tunnels are decreasing both dis-
ease and insect damage to their flowers and
other crops.
Biological control. All insect pests have
natural enemies, often referred to as
beneficials. They include:
Predators. Mainly free-living species that
consume a large number of prey during
their lifetime.
• Lacewing immatures, known as
antlions, are among the most preda-
cious of all beneficial insects. They
eat aphids, scales, thrips, mealy-
bugs, mites, and insect eggs. Fam-
ilies Chrysopidae and Hemerobi-
idae are highly beneficial insects in
crops and gardens.
• Lady beetles and their larvae feed
Photo by Janet Bachmann on aphids, scale insects, mealybugs,
spider mites, and small egg masses
Straw or hay, used to suppress weeds, provides other benefits as well.
of other insects.
• Other beetles: ground beetles,
Insect Pests and Disease rove beetles, soldier beetles, flower
The best way to prevent insect and disease • True bugs: stink bugs, minute pirate
problems is to select plants that grow well bugs, big-eyed bugs, damsel bugs,
in your location, and grow them well. Your assassin bugs.
next step is to recognize problems caused • Predatory fl ies: hover or syrphid
by insects and diseases. Some can be toler- fl ies, robber fl ies, aphid midges.
ated; others will destroy the value of your • Predatory mites.
flowers. Your local County Extension staff
can help identify both insect pests and dis- • Spiders.
eases and provide information about their • Praying mantids.
biology and behavior. The more we know
about their life cycles, the more likely we

Page 14 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Parasitoids: Species whose immature organic production. Those that are con-
stage develops on or within a single insect sidered highly toxic (strychnine and nico-
host, ultimately killing the host. tine) are excluded. Botanical insecticides
• Wasps: aphidiids, braconids, ich- are relatively non-selective and can be
neumonids, trichogramma, and “hard” on the natural predators and par-
others. asites in the field; therefore, minimal use
is advised. Botanicals can also affect
• Flies: Tachinids. other non-target organisms. Rotenone, for
Disease-causing pathogens: Bacteria, example, is highly toxic to fi sh. Microbial
fungi, viruses, nematodes, protozoa, and insecticides include Bacillus thurengiensis,
microsporidia. Beauveria bassiana, and Nosema locustae.

The use of these organisms to manage pests Add Season-Extending

is known as biological control. Knowing
your natural enemies is equally important to High Tunnels
knowing your insect pests. Again, the more More and more cut flower growers are dis-
we know about life cycle and habitat needs, covering the advantages of growing under the
the more likely we will be able to ensure their protection of unheated high tunnels. These
existence. Conservation of existing natural include earlier and later crops, better qual-
enemies is probably the most important ity and stem length, and production of crops
biological control practice readily available that otherwise could not be grown because of
to growers. climate constraints. (Byczynski, 2005)
Vicki Stamback says her crops have changed
Beneficial insects need:
dramatically over the past several years
• Nectar and pollen
because of greenhouses. In Oklahoma, where
• Alternate prey she lives and grows specialty cut flowers, she
• Water faces huge temperature swings and high
winds. Heated greenhouses and unheated
• Shelter from wind and rain
hoophouses protect her flowers from Okla-
• Overwintering sites homa weather. She has a 30 x 90-foot Agritex
Flowering plants for habitat: structure that has withstood 90 mph winds.
• Carrot family It has 6-foot wide sliding doors, which allows
tractor entry. Inside the house are six raised
• Daisy family
beds, each 3 feet wide by 30 feet long, and
• Mustard family 8 inches deep, framed with 1x 8-inch cedar.
• Mint family Tenax support netting is stretched over the
top of bare beds, which are then planted.
• Grasses
The Tenax is raised higher as the crops grow.
• Clovers and vetches After research, Vicki settled on 45°F as the
• Trees and shrubs appropriate winter temperature for raising
lupines, sweetpeas, ranunculus, and stock.
Refer to the ATTRA publication Farmscap-
(Stamback, 2003)
ing to Enhance Biological Control for more
information. In Nebraska, Laurie Hodges, PhD, Exten-
sion specialist and associate professor in
Chemical control. If you are an organic
horticulture at the University of Nebraska,
grower, most chemical controls are not
triple cropped grape hyacinths, sweet peas,
and hyacinth beans in a high tunnel. She
Microbials, botanicals, and oils, how- chose these crops because they fit into a suc-
ever, are possibilities. Most botanical cession planting schedule. Grape hyacinths
insecticides, including neem, pyrethrins, were planted October 31 and harvested from
ryania, and sabadilla, are permitted in March 21 through April 8. Sweet peas were ATTRA Page 15
planted March 18 and harvested from May ature states that recutting underwater is
11 through June 17. Hyacinth beans were unnecessary.)
planted June 26 and harvested from August
Bacteria, yeasts, and other microbes are
27 through October 28. The trellis for sweet
peas and hyacinth beans was in place before present everywhere: in the soil, on plants,
anything was planted. (Byczynski, 2005) and other organic matter. Bacteria grow
quickly in any liquid containing sugars
For more information about high tunnels, see and other organic matter. When stems are
the ATTRA publication Season Extension for cut, they release sugars, amino acids, pro-
Market Gardeners. teins, and other materials that are perfect
food for bacteria. They start to grow at the
Harvest and Postharvest base of cut stems as soon as flowers are
Postharvest success begins with providing put into water.
the best growing conditions possible and To prevent the growth of bacteria, com-
harvesting at optimum harvest stage. The mercial preservatives contain anti-micro-
optimum harvest stage varies with indi- bial compounds, or biocides. Quaternary
vidual species and according to your mar- ammonium, hydroxyquinline salts, alu-
ket. The longest vase life for some flowers

P ostharvest
success begins
with providing the
will be achieved if they are cut with color
but not yet open. Others are best when cut
fully open. Information on the optimum
harvest stage for more than 100 types
minum sulfate, and slow-release chlorine
compounds are commonly used in com-
mercial products. You can make a simple
biocide by adding 1 teaspoon of household
best growing condi- bleach (5 percent hypochlorite) to 8 gal-
of f lowers is available in Specialty Cut
lons of water. This is very effective, but
tions possible and Flowers: A Commercial Growers Guide from
Kansas State University Extension. See must be replaced every two or three days.
harvesting at opti-
Further Resources. (Reid, 2002)
mum harvest stage.
After flowers are cut, quality cannot be Vase Life of Flowers
improved, but take steps to maintain qual-
ity and extend the vase life by providing A number of products have been developed
food, water, and cool temperatures. to help prolong vase life. All contain anti-
microbials to suppress bacterial growth.
Water Flow in Stems Hydration products make it easier for water
Without water, flowers wilt. When stems to move up the stems. The solution should
are cut, two things happen to restrict have a pH of 3.0 to 3.5, as this improves
water flow: the flow. Hydration usually is best if sugar
is not in the hydrating solution.
• Air gets into the stems and blocks
the uptake of water. Holding solutions have sugar to feed the
flowers. Sugar provides the energy needed
• Bacteria begin to grow in the vase
by some flowers to continue opening.
water and clog the stems.
To reduce the amount of air that gets into Pulsing can improve the quality and vase
the stems, flower stems should be placed life of many cut flowers using a solution con-
in water as you cut them. Later, recut the taining sugar after harvest. The cut flowers
stems underwater, removing about one are allowed to stand in solution for a short
inch, to remove air bubbles and bacteria. period, usually less than 24 hours, and
When cuts are made underwater, a fi lm of often at low temperature. The most dramatic
water prevents air from entering the stems example of the effect of added carbohydrate
in the short time it takes to move them to is in spikes of tuberose and gladiolus: flow-
postharvest solutions. Some suppliers offer ers open further up the spike, are bigger,
specially designed tools for this task. See and have a longer vase life after overnight
Further Resources. (Some recent liter- treatment with a solution containing 20
Page 16 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
percent sucrose and a biocide to inhibit promotes ripening in fruits, but it causes
bacterial growth. (Reid, 2002) sensitive flowers to fail to open or look
Removing ethylene using specially for- wilted. Product suppliers listed under
mulated products prolongs vase life. Resources can help you choose products
Ethylene is a naturally occurring gas that that will best suit your particular needs.


Gay Smith, a representative for Pokon & wash buckets, use a biodegradable
Chrysal who writes a regular column for the detergent and household bleach to
ASCFG Cut Flower Quarterly, says choosing maximize your efforts. Wash both
the right solution for your needs has a lot to inside and out to avoid cross-con-
do with how you answer the following ques- tamination when stacking.
• Do you store cuts in a cooler?
• How fast do you move your flow- Hydration solutions can be reused
ers from the field to the cus- for up to five to seven days depend-
tomer? Use chlorine if you move ing on the number of stems that
flowers fast (less than two days) pass through, if the flowers are held
and sell from the same buckets you in the cooler, and if you started
harvest in. Use a hydration solu- with a clean bucket. Studies show
tion if you keep your flowers more that removing field heat improves
than a day. Hydration solutions are vase longevity. Make sure there is
more stable and can be reused to good air flow so condensation can
defray costs. Recommendation: evaporate within bunches and from
Blend your mixture for best results. inside sleeves. Keep your cooler
Use chlorine for initial bacteria con- floor as dry as possible to avoid
trol the first day, then use an alumi- botrytis breeding grounds.
num sulfate-based hydration solu-
• Do you harvest flowers at high
tion for bacterial control the next
temperatures (over 80°F)? If
six days.
so, you need a hydration solution
• Do your customers know what that really boosts flow into wilting
solution to use once your flow- stems that are exuding a host of
ers leave your hands? If you sell bacteria-loving enzymes as part of
to wholesalers or florists, tell them harvest stress. Since many summer
to give your flowers a fresh cut and flowers produce exudates, staying
process them in a low-sugar flower on top of the bacteria issue is criti-
food. Floralife Professional, Syndi- cal to ensure flowers perform and
cate Sales Aqua-hold, and Chrysal hold in the vase. One idea is to try
Professional #2 are examples of blending solutions. Using the dilu-
low-sugar processing solutions. tion guidelines listed on the labels,
Remind wholesalers to have buck- try adding a slow-release type of
ets prepped for your drop-off so chlorine (not Clorox) plus an alumi-
flowers don’t sit out dry too long. If num sulfate-based hydration solu-
you sell directly to consumers, tell tion. This blend provides double
them to use a flower food packet— duty. Chlorine kills bacteria popu-
it’s 1,000 times more efficient than lations that explode immediately
water, sugar, and aspirin. after harvest. When the chlorine is
finished, after 24 to 36 hours, the
• Do you work with clean buckets?
aluminum-sulfate hydration formu-
If your buckets are dirty to start
lation takes over. The second solu-
with, the biocides in the solution
tion continues to control bacteria
(both long term and short term)
while lowering the pH and boost-
are depleted very fast by trying to
ing flow up the stems. (Smith, 2004)
keep bacteria in check. When you ATTRA Page 17

These flowers respond well to slow-release up vases with different solutions in each.
chlorine (not household bleach) and/or Label and date them. Place at least five
an aluminum sulfate-based commercial stems of the same variety and of similar
hydration solution: size and bud count in each vase. Treat the
flowers in the same way you currently han-
Ageratum, Allium, Calendula, Echinops
dle them; that is, leave them in hydration
Eremurus, Eryngium, Eupatorium, Frit-
solution the length of time that simulates
illary, Gerbera, Helipterum, Hydrangea,
Hypericum, Lavender, Liatris, Lobelia, your current rotation practices. After that
Lupine, Lysimachia, Malva, Marigold, Mati- time passes, transfer the stems into the
caria, Molucella, Monarda, Nandina, Nico- same type of solution used by your custom-
tiana, Nigella, Oregano, Penstemon, Phlox, ers. (Wholesalers and retailers usually use
Photinia, Poppy, Ranunculus, Salvia, Sapo- low-sugar processing solutions; those buy-
naria, Trachelium, Verbascum, Xeranthe- ing for home use may use full-load flower
mum and Zinnia. For best results, blend food solutions made with packets and
your solution. water, or just plain water.) Make sure to use
the same solution for all the vases in this
These flowers respond best to a quaternary second stage.

ammonium-based hydration solution (rather
y far the most than chlorine or aluminum sulfate-based By far the most important tool available to
solution): increase the life of stored flowers is tem-
perature control. For most flowers, 32°F
tool available to Aster (and all crops that look similar to and 90 percent relative humidity is ideal.
increase the life of asters), Bupleurum, Dahlia, Gentian, Many flower types deteriorate two to three
stored flowers Limonium species and Sunflower (cut with times faster at 50°F than at 32°F. A bat-
is temperature
color). tery-powered digital hygrothermometer is
control. Usually hydration happens best when the a handy tool for measuring both temper-
solution has no sugar, but some flowers ature and humidity. It also records mini-
respond well in low-sugar solutions. The mum and maximum temperatures. See
sugar provides the energy needed for flo- Further Resources.
rets to continue opening. These solutions The following practices hold true for most
acidify the water, keep it pollution free, cut flowers.
and provide a minimum amount of sugar.
Remember to measure when you mix, or • Use sharp and clean cutting tools.
you will be wasting both time and money. Disinfect cutting tools at least twice
per day.
Some flowers need a low-sugar pretreat-
ment: • Remove excess foliage: foliage
exposed to the air increases water
Calla, Lisianthus, Lilac, Mimosa, Stock, Sun- loss; submerged foliage increases
flower (very tightly cut), and Viburnum. microbial growth and clogged
Some flowers need high sugar in postharvest stems.
solutions: • Cut into clean buckets that have
been washed inside—and out if they
Protea—prevents foliage blackening,
will be stacked—with detergent and
Tuberose—place into slow-release chlo-
two to four tablespoons of household
rine or aluminum sulfate hydration solu-
bleach per gallon of water. (To save
tion overnight, then transfer into high-sugar
flower food to get blooms to open. labor, consider installing a bucket
washer. See Further Resources.)
Run your own postharvest treatment tests: • Place stems in water as you cut to
You can test several solutions to see which reduce the amount of air that gets
give the best response for your water, har- into the stems. Recut stems under-
vest temperatures, and varietal choices. Set water, removing about one inch,
Page 18 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
to remove air bubbles and bac- going to transport the produce off
teria. Some suppliers offer spe- the farm.
cially designed tools for this task. • Space. How much space you need
See Further Resources. (Some depends on what you grow and
recent literature states that recut- what other storage buildings are
ting underwater is unnecessary.) available to you. At a minimum,
• Harvest during the coolest part of you need sinks for washing buck-
the day, early morning or late eve- ets and vases, tables for sorting
ning, and keep buckets of flowers and arranging, and a cooler. You
out of the sun. will want a place to store buckets,
vases, and other supplies. Work sta-
• Use warm, 100 to 110°F water in
tions should be close enough that
the buckets. It is taken up more
steps aren’t wasted going back and
quickly than cool water.
forth, but they should allow plenty
• Let flowers stand at room tempera- of room for two or more people to
ture in a hydrating solution for one work together.
to two hours. • Light. Good lighting is important
• Store in a cooler. Low temperatures because it allows you to spot defects
prolong quality and vase life. The in your f lowers. From a mental
best temperature for keeping most health perspective, try to get as
cut flowers is 32 to 38°F with 80 much daylight as possible into your
to 90 percent humidity. (Tropical packing shed.
cuts are injured at such low tem- • Surfaces. The best flooring is con-
peratures and should be kept at crete because it allows you to use
55°F or room temperature. Zin- wheeled carts, hand trucks, or even
nias also need to be kept at higher a pallet jack to move boxes or buck-
temperatures; 40 to 45°F is recom- ets. Concrete should be poured so
mended.) that it slopes toward a 6-inch drain
for easy washing of the floor. Walls
Packing Shed and Cold Storage can be washable, too, if painted
A packing shed is an essential part of any with epoxy paint.
flower farm. A well-designed packing shed • Cleanliness. Sanitation is espe-
will save time and help you maintain high cially important in produce pack-
quality. Depending on the size of the farm, ing sheds, to prevent food-borne ill-
it may be as rudimentary as a laundry tub ness. In flower packing sheds, you
or table under a canopy, or as sophisticated can protect packaging from mice
as a separate building with automated and other pests by keeping supplies
equipment and a loading dock. Growing for in sealed storage containers.
Market publisher Lynn Byczynski surveyed • Water. Plan for drainage that will
other growers to learn what they liked or handle a large amount of water.
didn’t like about their packing sheds. Fea- The water you use in the packing
tures growers consider important in creat- shed will be too much for your sep-
ing the ideal packing shed are listed in her tic system. Consider running it off
article Plan the perfect packing shed. (Byc- to a garden area where it can be
zynski, 2002) used to water plants.
• Location. The packing shed should • Ergonomics. Workstation heights
be close to the fields so harvested should suit the workers. According
produce can be moved quickly to to the Healthy Farmers, Healthy
the postharvest area. It should also Profits Project at the University of
be accessible by whatever vehicle is Wisconsin, the most efficient work ATTRA Page 19
table height is halfway between lar crop and are easy to list. They
the wrist and the elbow, measured include things such as seeds, bulbs,
when the arm is held down at the plants, fertilizer, flats, soil mix, and
worker’s side. For heavier items, it packaging that are needed for a
is slightly lower. A loading dock specific crop.
that matches the height of the truck • Unallocated, or fi xed, costs are all
will minimize back strain when the other costs, such as utilities,
loading. insurance, taxes, machinery, tools
• Work f low. The most efficient and machinery, transportation, office
layout avoids extra steps and expense, and labor, if it isn’t in the
crossed paths. It also moves produce other category.
in the direction of the worker’s Maryland grower Dave Dowling also advises
leading hand (left to right for right- growers to set a sale price that covers the cost
handed people). of production and marketing and provides
The University of Wisconsin Healthy Farm- a profit. He says some flowers, such as lil-
ers, Healthy Profits Project developed a ies and peonies, can command a higher price
series of tip sheets on labor efficiency for because of perceived value, while some, such
fresh-market vegetable growers. One of as marigolds and ageratum, are sold at a
these covers packing shed layout. It poses smaller margin. Price your flowers fairly in
a number of questions to help growers cre- regard to what other producers are charging.
ate their own designs. The same questions Don’t under-price the competition. You’ll just
are appropriate for cut flower growers. See be hurting everyone. (Dowling, 2002)
Appendix I. The only way to know your cost of produc-
Another bulletin that can help you design tion, including labor, is to keep records. Vicki
a packing shed is Commercial Specialty Stamback of Bear Creek Farms in Oklahoma
Cut Flower Production Harvest Systems, is a dedicated record keeper. Her system
from Kansas State University Extension for setting prices is outlined in Pricing
Service. It illustrates the flow of tasks from Specialty Cuts, ASCFG Bulletin No. 2. (Dole
harvest to market and special equipment and Stamback, 1998) It relies on knowing,
such as bucket washers and bucket dry- among other things, the number of useable
ing racks that can save time and effort. stems per plant. If you do not yet have this
See Further Resources. data from your own garden, the Association
of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) has
reports that you can use to estimate yields
Pricing and Record Keeping from various flowers.
Texas growers Pamela and Frank Arnosky
say there are a couple of ways to approach The ASCFG sponsors a new cut flower vari-
ety trial each year that provides informa-
setting your prices. The first is based on your
tion on approximate yield (useable stems/
cost of production, and the profit margin you
plant) for a large number of specialty cuts.
need to make over that, and the second is
This includes annuals, perennials, and
based on the price the market will bear or
woody plants. The information is reported
what the established selling price of an item
in the winter issue of The Cut Flower Quar-
is. In reality, what you end up with is a com-
terly. (See Resources.) The data collection
bination of the two. Regardless of the market
sheet used by volunteers around the coun-
price, you must know your cost of production.
try is straightforward and might be used or
(Arnosky, 1999)
adapted as part of your own record keeping
Arnoskys divide costs into two categories: system.
allocated and unallocated.
What will the market bear? The USDA Mar-
• Allocated, or variable, costs are ket News Service posts wholesale flower
those attributable to one particu- prices at various terminals around the coun-
Page 20 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
try at the Web site http://marketnews.usda. limited time and energy, or limited cooler
gov/portal/fv. Go to Browse by Commodity, space.
Ornamental Crops. Remember, these are Opportunities should be written down as
wholesale prices. If you sell to a florist, you well. These may be new chances for suc-
have to decide whether this price will work cess. They might be access to information
for you, or whether you are willing to sell about new crops or products, friends who
for slightly less to entice them to buy from are interested in growing or marketing, or
you, or whether you can sell for slightly more increased customer interest in locally grown
because your product is fresher. If you sell products.
at a farmers’ market, your price should defi-
Finally, examine Threats and, of course,
nitely be higher than wholesale. Check prices
write them down. These may be things
at grocery stores and retail florists. Find out
like a new insect pest, too many other
what other growers at your market are charg-
vendors raising the same crop, or urban
ing. (DeVault, 2004)
And then remember, regardless of the
Once you have the SWOT analysis, you
market price, you must know your cost of
need to plan for dealing with the items
production and cover it in the long term, other- “People should do
listed. Each of these plans needs to be dis- as much research as
wise you won’t be able to stay in business. cussed so that you get ideas from everyone possible before put-
involved. When all players have helped to ting one plant in the
Business Planning create a written plan, you can do a better ground. If I had a
Every business should have a plan—and the job. By hearing from everyone on the team, nickel for every time
plan should be written. The ATTRA publi- you get a lot of good ideas. You will all have someone called me
with a ‘I have an
cation Agricultural Business Planning Tem- a better idea of where the operation is going.
acre of _______
plates and Resources discusses a number of You will all feel better about your individ- that need to be cut:
organizations and publications that you can ual responsibilities for the operation’s suc- how do I cut them
use to create a business plan, whether you cess. To aid in this discussion, you might and where should I
are starting a new business or improving an ask these questions: sell them and
existing one. What do we have that we want to keep? (inevitably) how
much should I
Planning needs to be a team effort. All What do we have that we don’t want charge for them?’
those involved in the major operations of to keep? message, I’d be a
the business should be considered part millionaire. A least
of the team and be involved in helping set What do we lack that we want? a thousandaire.”
the plan. The plan must be written. And What do we lack that we don’t want? —Judy Laushman,
the first step is to have a mission statement. When you have answers to these questions, September 15, 2005.
A mission statement describes the busi- you have a foundation for setting goals
ness: What do we do? It also sets out and objectives of a work plan. Be realis-
the purpose and values that underlie tic: don’t set yourself up with tasks that you
the business. can’t possibly accomplish in the time you’ve
Planning with SWOT
After a mission statement is agreed upon, Summary
planning can begin. SWOT is a planning
tool that provides a way to look at Strengths, Growing and marketing specialty cut
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. flowers can be a profitable and rewarding
business. Learn all you can before start-
First, write down the Strengths of the busi- ing, start small, and continue to learn and
ness. These could be things such as an estab- grow. This publication has only touched on
lished market, cut flower production experi- what you need to know to get started. The
ence, or exceptional communication skills. materials and organizations listed under
Next, write down Weaknesses. These may References and Further Resources pro-
be things such as lack of mechanical skills, vide much more information. ATTRA Page 21
References Larsen, Carol. 2004. Personal communication.
Arnosky, Pamela, and Frank Aronsky. 2004. Tricks of Reich, Lee. 2005. Debunking soil myths to save you
the trade for starting flower seed. Growing for Market. work. Fine Gardening. July–August. p. 82–83.
March. p. 19–21. Reid, Michael S. 2002. Postharvest Handling Sys-
Arnosky, Pamela, and Frank Arnosky. 1999. Know tems: Ornamental Crops. In: Postharvest Technology
your costs before you set your prices. Growing for of Horticultural Crops, Third Edition. University of
Market. January. p. 15–17. California Publication 3311. p. 315–325.
Byczynski, Lynn. 2005. In the hoophouse, cut flowers Smith, Gay. 2004. Postharvest update. The Cut Flower
can be triple cropped for maximum revenue. Growing Quarterly. Summer. p. 13–14.
for Market. April. p. 16–17. Stamback, Vicki. 2003. Personal communication.
Byczynski, Lynn. 2002. Plan the perfect packing
shed. Growing for Market. December. p. 1, 4–6.
Byczynski, Lynn. 1997. The Flower Farmer: An Further Resources
Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut
Flowers. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White ATTRA Publications
River Junction, VT. 224 p.
Agricultural Business Planning Templates and
Carter, Jeffrey. 2004. Internet flower sales give Resources
Ontario farm lease on life. Fruit Growers News. May. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
p. 21—22.
Direct Marketing
Chapman, Linda. 2002. Wedding flowers: Profitable
Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism
headaches. Growing for Market. January. p. 17–21.
Farmers’ Markets
DeVault, Melanie. 2004. A flowering of questions:
Pricing flowers. The New Farm. June. Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control flowers/2004/ Flame Weeding for Vegetable Crops
0604/questions.shtml Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide
Dole, John, and Lane Greer. 2004. Status of the spe- Overview of Cover Crops and Green Manures
cialty cut flower industry and new crop development. Principles of Sustainable Weed Management
OFA Bulletin. July–August. p. 11, 17–21.
Root Zone Heating for Greenhouse Crops
Dole, John, and Vicki Stambeck. 1998. Pricing Spe-
Season Extension Techniques for Market Gardeners
cialty Cuts. ASCFG Bulletin No. 2. 7 p.
Woody Ornamentals for Cut Flower Growers
Dowling, Dave. 2002. Back to basics: Making money
growing cut flowers. The Cut Flower Quarterly. April.
p. 8–9.
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
Hitt, Alex. 2005. Back to basics: Improving soil qual- MPO Box 268
ity naturally. The Cut Flower Quarterly. Winter. p.
Oberlin, OH 44074
Kantor, Sylvia. 1999. Marketing Specialty Cut Flow-
ers. Washington State University King County. Fact
Sheet # 520.
The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG)
htp// was formed in 1988 to unite and inform growers in the pro-
PDFs/flower.pdf duction and marketing of field and specialty floral crops.
The organization hosts an annual national conference and
Kennicott, Harrison. 2002. Presentation. Association
of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference and trade
show. Madison, Wisconsin.

Page 22 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

trade show, regional meetings, tours, and seminars. The foreign production, a brief overview of trends, and general
ASCFG Membership Directory and Buyers Guide lists all comments and techniques for the postharvest care of flowers,
members and provides thumbnail descriptions of growers, including drying and preserving. The main body of the book
buyers, and suppliers. The ASCFG also publishes a quarterly gives extensive coverage of annual, perennial, bulbous, and
magazine and maintains an active Web site and forum. woody species for commercial cut flower production, includ-
Society of American Florists ing propagation and growing-on methods, environmental
factors, yield in the field, greenhouse forcing, stage of har-
1601 Duke Street
vest, postharvest handling, and pests and diseases. Avail-
Alexandria, VA 22314 able for $40 ($35 for members) plus s/h from ASCFG.
Armitage, Allan. 1997. Herbaceous Perennial Plants,
800-336-4743 2nd edition. Varsity Press,
Athens, GA. 141 p.
Wholesale Florists and Florist Supplier Association Excellent book for general knowledge of perennials.
Available for $69.95 from Ball Publishing.
147 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite 302
Ball Publishing
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-573-0400 P.O. Box 9
888-289-3372 Batavia, IL 60510 888-888-0013
Armitage, Allan. 2000. Amitage’s Garden Perennials.
American Institute of Floral Designers Timber Press, Portland, OR. 324 p.
720 Light Street
Dr. Armitage includes 1,400 photographs and extensive
Baltimore, MD 21230 information on perennial plants in 136 genera. More than
410-752-3318 a dozen lists conclude the book, organizing plants by par-
410-752-8295 FAX ticular situations or use, such as plants for wet places, for
drought tolerance, and for fragrance or color. $49.95 plus s/h from Ball Publishing.
The American Institute of Floral Designers was established
in 1965 to recognize and promote the art of floral design as Armitage, Allan. 2001. Armitage’s Manual of Annu-
a professional career. Today, it is the leading nonprofit orga- als, Biennials and Half-hardy Perennials, Timber
nization committed to establishing and maintaining higher Press. Portland, OR. 539 p.
standards in professional floral design.
This practical reference is similar in format to Armitage’s
American Floral Endowment book on perennial plants. It lists 245 genera from Abel-
moschus to Zinnia. Basic descriptive and cultural informa-
P.O. Box 945 tion is given for each genus, along with lists of key species
Edwardsville, IL 62025 and cultivars and their descriptions.
618-692-0045 Arnosky, Frank, and Pamela Arnosky. 1999. We’re Gonna Be Rich! GFM Books, Lawrence, KS. 168 p.
Four years’ worth of monthly columns from Growing for
AFE is a not-for-profit organization that funds floriculture Market. This book focuses on the Arnoskys’ vast experience
research and education programs in the U.S. in raising cut flowers. Available for $24.95 from:
GFM Books
Publications (cut flower P.O. Box 3747
production and marketing) Lawrence, KS 66046
Armitage, Allan, and Judy Laushman. 2003. Spe- 800-307-8949
cialty Cut Flowers, 2nd Edition. Timber Press, Port-
land, OR. 636 p.
Bahr, Fritz. 1922. Commercial Floriculture: A Prac-
This greatly revised and expanded edition of Specialty Cut
Flowers offers a unique perspective on cut flower production.
tical Manual for the Retail Grower. A.T. de la Mare
Introductory chapters offer a discussion of domestic and Company, New York. 646 p. ATTRA Page 23

First printed in 1922, this book was reprinted every few The booklet contains articles about both vegetable and cut
years until 1941. It presents a vast accumulation of knowl- flower production, with information from both official uni-
edge gained by Fritz Bahr, an Illinois florist, who shares his versity research and anecdotal on-farm trials. It provides
experiences on many topics, ranging from marketing and practical details on where to buy structures, how to deter-
other aspects of business to cultural information for hun- mine which structure is best for you, and tips for erecting it.
dreds of species. Other topics of interest include pointers for Available for $15 plus s/h from GFM.
the beginner, things to be done month-by-month, greenhouse
growing, sideline possibilities for retail growers, and impor- Darke, Rick. 1999. The Color Encyclopedia of Orna-
tant flower days of the year. The book is out of print, but it mental Grasses, Sedges, Rushes, Restios, Cat-tails,
can be obtained through a good used bookseller. and Selected Bamboos. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
325 p.
Barash, Cathy Wilkinson. 1995. Edible Flowers: From
Garden to Palate. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. Extensively illustrated with color photographs, this refer-
250 p. ence on ornamental grasses focuses on their use in land-
scapes, but can also be useful to those who want to grow
This colorfully illustrated combination cookbook and gar- grasses as cut flowers. Available from Ball Publishing for
dening guide showcasing 280 recipes using flowers from $49.95 plus s/h.
herbs, vegetables, and ornamentals provides inspiration for
branching beyond flowers displayed in vases to displays on Davies, Dilys. 1992. Alliums: The Ornamental
plates. Onions. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 168 p.
Beytes, Chris (ed.). 2003. Ball Red Book Set. 17th edi- Alliums come in a wide range of colors; many are gaining
recognition as garden and cut flowers. This is a practical
tion. Ball Publishing, Batavia, IL. 260 p. reference to more than 150 species.
For more than 70 years, the Ball Red Book has been help-
ing growers produce better crops. The new 17th edition has Dole, John, and Harold Wilkins. 2005. Floriculture:
been split into two volumes. Volume 1, Greenhouses and Principles and Species, Second Edition. Prentice Hall,
Equipment, covers greenhouse structures, glazing, benches, Upper Saddle River, NJ. 1023 p.
curtains, irrigation, climate control, mechanization, trans-
This book is an excellent resource for greenhouse growers.
port, pest control equipment, the headhouse, business man-
It is divided into three parts: the first deals with the basics
agement, and the retail greenhouse. Volume 2, Crop Pro-
of production, including propagation, temperature, light,
duction, is a complete guide to growing a range of crops,
water, nutrition, media, plant growth regulation, pest man-
including annuals, perennials, herbs, tropicals, potted
agement, postharvest, greenhouse construction and opera-
plants, and vegetable plugs. The set is available for $118
tions, and marketing and business management. The sec-
from Ball Publishing.
ond and third parts, which occupy two-thirds of the book,
Busco, Janice, Nancy R. Morin, and Gene Balzer. deal with specific crop species of floricultural crops (potted
plants, cut flowers, bedding plants, etc.). Available for $105
2003. Native Plants for High-Elevation Western Gar-
($95 for members) from ASCFG.
dens. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. 356 p.
For gardeners in the American West at altitudes of 4,000 to
De Hertogh, August. 1995. Holland Bulb Forcer’s
12,000 feet above sea level and higher. Offers basic infor- Guide, 5th edition. International Flower Bulb Centre,
mation, advice for growing and nurturing, and full-color Hillegram, The Netherlands. 587 p.
photographs of 150 plants selected especially for their low- This guide includes production schedules, troubleshooting,
maintenance requirements and popularity. and cultivar lists for major and minor bulb crops and other
Byczynski, Lynn. 1997. The Flower Farmer: An crops grown from tuberous roots. Recommendations for forc-
ing field cut flowers are also included. $64.95 plus s/h
Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut from Ball Publishing.
Flowers. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White
River Junction, VT. 224 p. Gill, Stanton (ed.). Cut Flower Management
Short Course. University of Maryland Cooperative
If you’re just beginning with flowers, this is the first book you
should read. It’s a comprehensive guide to starting a small Extension.
commercial flower business. It includes variety recommen- Every two years, the University of Maryland Cooperative
dations, site considerations, harvesting, post-harvest han- Extension Service offers a multi-day workshop on cut flow-
dling, pricing and yield, marketing, and arranging flowers. ers. The course is held in even-numbered years, usually
The appendix covers 100 species. Available for $24.95 plus in early March. Growers and Extension specialists pres-
s/h from GFM. ent valuable information at each course, detailing topics
important to cut flower growers, such as pest management,
Byczynski, Lynn. 2003. The Hoophouse Handbook. irrigation, marketing, soil management, and production of
Fairplain Publications, Inc., Lawrence KS. 58 p. specific crops. Information from each course is available

Page 24 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

in a spiral-bound notebook. Copies of the most current pro- vest, and postharvest are covered. Cultural information
gram manual are available while supplies last for around for the best-selling flowers based on the author’s experi-
$25 each. For a copy of the book or information on the cut ence in the Sacramento Valley of California includes yields
flower program, contact University of Maryland Coopera- in terms of stems per hundred feet of row. Available from
tive Extension, 11975 Homewood Road, Ellicott City, MD for $19.95 plus s/h.
21042, 301-596-9413, or
McIntire, Suzanne. 2002. An American Cutting Gar-
Hassell, Wendell G. 1999. Guide to Grasses. First edi- den: A Primer for Growing Cut Flowers Where Sum-
tion. Pawnee Buttes Seed, Greeley, CO. 107 p. mers Are Hot and Winters Are Cold. University Press
Line drawings and information on origin, description, habi- of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 284 p.
tat, culture, use, and varieties for grasses, forbs, shrubs,
The author provides practical information on herbaceous
legumes, wetland and riparian species for the central Great
perennials, biennials, annuals, and bulbs for an easy gar-
Plains and the Rocky Mountain region.
den, a small garden, a shady garden, and a fall garden.
Johnson, Eric A., and Scott Millard. 1993. The Low- She includes interesting notes on growing, cutting, and
Water Flower Gardener. (The Natural Garden Series) expected vase-life of two hundred choice plants.
Plants for the Arid West. Ironwood Press, Tucson, AZ. McGary, Jane (ed.). 2001. Bulbs of North America.
144 p. North American Rock Garden Society and Timber
Selection and cultural information for flower garden- Press, Portland, OR. 251 p.
ers, including unthirsty flowering perennials, grasses, and
First book devoted entirely to bulbous plants that are mono-
shrubs. Regionalized for Arizona, California, Colorado,
cots native to this continent, and the first detailed presenta-
Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
tion of these plants primarily by American authors.
Knopf, Jim. 1991. The Xeriscape Flower Gardener:
Nau, Jim. 1999. Ball Culture Guide: The Encyclope-
A Waterwise Guide for the Rocky Mountain Region.
dia of Seed Germination. 3rd edition. Ball Publishing,
Johnson Publishing, Boulder, CO. 182 p.
Batavia, IL. 248 p.
Waterwise plant lists and profiles. An excellent reference for
a sustainable intermountain West, and the gardeners, land- Provides in-depth germination and scheduling information
scapers, and commercial flower growers who live in eastern for more than 300 of the most popular seed-grown crops.
Washington and Oregon, northern Nevada, Utah, north- Covers bedding plants, potted flowering and foliage plants,
ern New Mexico and Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, herbs, cut flowers, perennials, and ornamental grasses.
Wyoming, and western parts of North and South Dakota, Written in an easy-to-read chart style. The soft-cover version
Nebraska and Kansas. is available for $49.95 from Ball.

Lamont, William J. Jr. (ed.). 2004. Production of Veg- Nau, Jim. 1996. Ball Perennial Manual: Propagation
etables, Strawberries, and Cut Flowers Using Plasti- and Production. Ball Publishing, Batavia, IL. 512 p.
culture. NRAES-133. 156 p The book begins with information on propagation by divi-
Covers plastic mulch, drip irrigation, fertigation, season sion; stem, leaf, and root cuttings; and seed germination. It
extension, windbreaks, crop establishment, weed manage- continues with cultural information, uses, bloom time, and
ment, soil sanitation, and managing used plastics. Straw- varieties for 149 genera and 300 species of herbaceous peren-
berry and cut flower production systems are described in nials. Many, but not all, of these are excellent cut flowers.
depth. For new/experienced growers, educators, serious gar- Available from Ball Publishing for $64.95 plus s/h.
deners. Available for $24.00 per copy (plus shipping and Ogden, Shepherd. 1995. Step by Step Organic Flower
handling) from NRAES, Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box
4557, Ithaca, NY 14852-4557. Shipping and handling for Gardening. HarperCollins, New York, NY. 302 p.
one copy is $6.00 within the continental United States. For The strengths of this book include well-written information
more information or a free book catalog, contact NRAES by on organic production in general and the extensive crop-by-
phone at 607-255-7654, or by e-mail at crop listing of cut flowers and how to raise them. Available
Web site: for $25 from:
Madison, Mike. 1998. Growing Flowers for Market: A The Cook’s Garden
Practical Manual for Small-Scale Field Production and P.O. Box 535
Marketing of Fresh Flowers. Yolo Press, Davis, CA. Londonderry, VT 05148
270 p.
The author provides practical information for growing flow-
ers in the open field on one to two acres for local markets. Proctor, Rob. 1997. Naturalizing Bulbs. Henry Holt,
Planning, tools, soil management, pest management, har- New York, NY. 241 p. ATTRA Page 25
An informative garden book on growing bulbs naturally, A comprehensive manual that includes production basics, a
with practical suggestions and dazzling photography that list of potential flowers for the Southeast, woody cut stems,
can deepen any reader’s understanding and appreciation of flower drying, postharvest handling, pest management,
bulbs, both monocots and dicots. marketing, pricing, and sources for additional information.

Springer, Lauren. 2000. The Undaunted Garden: North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers’
Planting for Weather-Resilient Beauty. Fulcrum Pub- Association
lishing, Golden, CO. 264 p. 3906 Wake Forest Road, Suite 102
A wealth of references to unusual plant varieties not found
Raleigh, NC 27609
in other gardening books, with tips for western gardeners 919-334-0093
growing plants in dry shade or where hail conditions pre-
Stevens, Alan. 1998. Field Grown Cut Flowers: A Publications (dried flowers)
Practical Guide and Sourcebook. Commercial Field Koch, Mark. No date. Preserving Flowers and Foli-
Grown, Fresh and Dried Flower Production. Avatar’s age with Glycols & Dyes: A Manual for the Commer-
World, Edgerton, WI. 392 p. cial Producer. 200+ pages.
Both beginning and advanced growers will find this vol- A comprehensive manual for systemic and immersion
ume an indispensable guide to producing fresh and dried methods of preserving plants and foliages using glycols,
cut flowers outdoors. It also includes details on production dyes, bacteriostats, and surfactants, this is intended for
systems and the labor requirements needed to get the job the experienced commercial producer of glycol-preserved
done. Information on how to grow eight of the most popular plant materials. Available in a three-ring binder for $85
outdoor-produced cut flowers is also featured. Available for ($77 for members) from the ASCFG.
$24.95 plus s/h from Ball Publishing. Rogers, Barbara R. 1988. The Encyclopedia of Ever-
Stewart, Martha. 1987. Weddings. Clarkson Potter, lastings: The Complete Guide to Growing, Preserv-
New York, NY. 386 p. ing, and Arranging Dried Flowers. Weidenfeld &
Nicolson, New York, NY. 191 p.
Sturdivant, Lee. 1992. Flowers for Sale. San Juan Very inclusive catalog of flowers that can be dried. The
Naturals, Friday Harbor, WA. 197 p. book also provides information on how best to arrange or
display each dried crop. Although out-of-print, the book
Written for the novice, small-scale grower, with fairly gen- may be obtained through inter-library loan.
eral content. However, the author has included comprehen-
sive lists of potential cut flower plants. She gives readers an Thorpe, Patricia. 1986. Everlastings: The Complete
idea of many marketing options through interviews with Book of Dried Flowers. Houghton Miffl in, Boston,
several types of growers. MA. 144 p.
Available for $17.50 postage paid from: This paperback book contains good information on the dif-
San Juan Naturals ferent methods of drying (air, sand, glycerine, etc.). It also
provides instructions on when to harvest specific flowers
P.O. Box 642A for drying and which drying method is best for that crop.
Friday Harbor, WA 98250 Available for $12.95 from:
360-378-2648 Houghton Miffl in
800-770-9070 181 Ballardvale St. Wilmington, MA 01857
Tannehill, Cecilia, and James E. Klett. 2002. Best
Perennials for the Rocky Mountains and High Plains.
Colorado State University. 128 p.
Publications (postharvest
A comprehensive guide to the best-performing perennials
based on results from Colorado State University’s W.D. Hol- handling)
ley Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC). Anon. 2001. Introducing the Procona System. The
Whipker, Brian E., and John M. Dole. 2003. South- Cut Flower Quarterly. July. p. 24.
east Outdoor Cut Flower Manual, 2nd Edition. North Anon. 2001. Pagter Innovations, Inc. The Cut
Carolina State University. 58 p. Flower Quarterly. July. p. 25
Page 26 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
Arnosky, Pamela, and Frank Arnosky. 2005. Your Brandylane Publishers, Inc.
most crucial task: Post-harvest handling. Growing 1711 East Main St., Suite 9
for Market. March. p. 17–21. White Stone, VA 23223
Blessington, Thomas M. No date. Post Harvest
Handling of Cut Flowers. University of Maryland
Cooperative Extension. 5 p. McGregor, Brian. 1999. Cut Flowers and Florist Greens. Tropical Products Transport Handbook.
USDA. 8 p.
Byczynski, Lynn. 2005. Floral preservatives vs.
water: Research shows which is best. Growing for
Market. August. p. 13–15. Nell, Terril A., and Michael S. Reid. 2002. Back to
basics: Checklists for proper handling of cut flowers.
Daly, Jim. 2003. Improving specialty cut The Cut Flower Quarterly. Summer. p. 8–9.
vaselife. Greenhouse Management & Production.
May. p. 60–61. Nell, Terril, and Michael Reid. 2000. Flower & Plant
Care: The 21st Century Approach. Society of American
Fanelli, Frankie, Beth Harden, John Dole, Bill Florists. 212 p.
Fonteno, and Sylvia Blankenship. 2004. 2003
Postharvest trials: What works and what doesn’t.
The Cut Flower Quarterly. Winter. p. 30–32. Newman, Julie, Mike McKiernan, Michael Reid, and
Jim Thompson. 2001. Precooling cut flowers in “Pro-
Fang Yi, Ming, and Michael Reid. 2001. Storing conas” and hampers. The Cut Flower Quarterly. July.
specialty cut flowers—temperature is the key. The p. 29.
Cut Flower Quarterly. p. 32.
Nowak, Joanna and Ryszard M. Rudnicki. 1990. Post-
Ferrante, Antonio, Don Hunter, and Michael Reid. harvest Handling and Storage of Cut Flowers, Florist
2001. For longer postharvest life, choose the best Greens, and Potted Plants. Timber Press, Portland,
varieties. The Cut Flower Quarterly. July. p. 31. OR. 210 p.
Discusses various postharvest handling techniques for cut
Gast, Karen L. B., Rolando Flores, Alan Stevens,
flowers, including information on how growing conditions
and Sheri Smithy. 1994. Cold Storage for Specialty affect cut flowers and how to store and transport them.
Cut Flowers and Plant Material. Kansas State Uni- Although out-of-print, the book may be obtained through
versity. 12 p. inter-library loan.

Harten, Chrissie. 2003. Conditioning. Reid, Michael S., and Linda L. Dodge. 1997. Flower
The Gardener. 5 p. handlers: Sanitation is crucial. Perishables Handling Quarterly. November. p. 6–7.
Hoogasian, Cindy. 2005. Back to basics. Floral Reid, Michael S. 1997. Considerations for effective
Management. May. p. 35–40. handling of ornamentals. Perishables Handling Quar- terly. November. p. 2–4.
Reid, Michael S., Steve Tjosvold, and Jim Thompson.
Oliver, Libbey. 2000. Flowers are (Almost) Forever: 2000. Transport temperatures for Californian cut flow-
The Care and Handling of Cut Flowers. Brandylane ers—We’re making progress! Perishables Handling
Publishers, Inc., White Stone, VA. 112 p. Quarterly. February. p. 17–19.
Flower expert Libbey Oliver gives excellent general advice
on cleaning buckets, cutting, using floral preservatives, Smith, Gay. 2004. Postharvest update. The Cut Flower
and cooling and holding flowers. She also shares many Quarterly. Summer. p. 13–14.
florist design tips, provides an extensive reference chart
for garden and florist flowers, and lists useful sources for Smith, Gay. 2003. Postharvest. The Cut Flower Quar-
products and information. $17.50 postpaid from: terly. Spring. p. 15, 19. ATTRA Page 27

Smith, Gay. 2003. Postharvest: Summer flowers, so Powell, Charles C., and Richard K. Lindquist. 1997.
cool, but so sensitive. The Cut Flower Quarterly. Sum- Ball Pest and Disease Manual. 2nd edition. Ball Pub-
mer. p. 15–17, 24. lishing, Batavia, IL. 448 p.
Stevens, Alan B. 1995. Commercial Specialty Cut Includes chapters on most ornamental diseases, including
Flower Harvest Systems. Kansas State University. 20 p. powdery mildew, rusts, botrytis, fungal leafspots, bacterial
and wilt diseases, root rots, and viruses. Contains updated
Weddington, Megan. 2003. Research update: Packag- pesticide, cultural, and environmental control informa-
ing for long-term shipment of cut flowers; Vase life of tion for the major insect and mite pests. Presents a holistic
approach to managing plant health. Chapters are organized
Eucalyptus parvifolia; Postharvest handling of tropical in an easy-to-reference format for quick diagnosis and results.
cuts. The Cut Flower Quarterly. Summer. p. 18–20. Available for $65 from Ball Publishing (see p. 23).

Publications (pest management) Periodicals

Chase, A.R., Margery Daughtrey, and Gary W. Sim- The Cut Flower Quarterly, published by the Associa-
one. 1995. Diseases of Annuals and Perennials. Ball tion of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), is the
Publishing, Batavia, IL. 208 p. only regular publication dedicated to information about
Contains many full-color photographs of diseased plants. the production, postharvest care, and marketing of cut
Addresses diseases by plant, including yarrow, snapdragon, flowers. It provides the latest information on new cul-
aster, celosia, cosmos, delphinium, gladiolus, iris, liatris, tivars, harvest and postharvest techniques, marketing,
lily, peony, phlox, zinnia, and many others. Available for
$60 from Ball Publishing (see p. 23). regional, national, and international workshops and
conferences; and sources for plants, seeds, and sup-
Cranshaw, Whitney. 1998. Pests of the West: Preven- plies. Contact the ASCFG, listed under Organizations.
tion and Control for Today’s Garden and Small Farm.
Revised edition. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. Growing for Market, a newsletter for market gardeners,
248 p. contains a monthly column on field-grown cut flower
Contains environmentally safe techniques such as increas-
production and marketing. This newsletter is geared for
ing natural enemies and using biological, cultural, and small-scale operations and also focuses on sustainable
mechanical control methods for combating major insect production techniques. GFM is available for $30 per
pests, plant diseases, and weeds west of the Mississippi. The year from:
book is directed at gardeners in the High Plains, Rocky Growing for Market
Mountains, and intermountain regions of the western
United States. Although it does not cover a few pests that P.O. Box 3747
plague gardens in California, such as the brown garden Lawrence, KS 66046
snail, soft scales, and peach leaf curl (or certain pests such 800-307-8949
as Japanese beetles common to the East Coast), much of the
information is relevant for gardeners across the country.
Flint, Mary Louise. 1990. Pests of the Garden and
Small Farm. Publication 3332. University of Califor- HortIdeas is a monthly newsletter that reports on the
nia, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, latest research, methods, tools, plants, and books for
Oakland, CA. 276 p. vegetable, fruit, and flower gardeners. The information
Contains really good, clear, color photographs of insect is abstracted from hundreds of popular and technical
pests and diseases. The information on pest management sources worldwide. Available for $25 per year (periodi-
techniques is concise and well written. Some information cals mail) or $15 per year for an on-line version from:
on weed management is presented. There are also excel- HortIdeas
lent troubleshooting charts for the major vegetable and fruit
crops, somewhat slanted toward California growers. Avail- 750 Black Lick Rd.
able for $30 from: Gravel Switch, KY 40328
ANR Publications
University of California
6701 San Pablo Ave. Greenhouse Management and Production is published
Oakland, CA 94608-1239 monthly and is free to qualified commercial growers
510-642-2431(Make checks payable to UC in the U.S. It is a good source of information on green-
Regents) house grown cut flowers, bedding plants, and blooming
Page 28 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
potted plants, including greenhouse design, equipment American Nurseryman
and supply companies, seed companies, and marketing
P.O. Box 1868
Fort Worth, TX 76101 The American Gardener
800-434-6776 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Plants & Garden News
Greenhouse Grower is published monthly, including two
bonus issues in mid-June and mid-September. Subscrip-
tion rate is $36 per year. The mid-June bonus issue Florists’ Review
contains a comprehensive listing of sources for green- Florists’ Review Enterprises
house equipment, supplies, consultants, seeds, and
P.O. Box 4368
Topeka, KS 66604
Meister Publishing Company
37733 Euclid Ave. 785-266-0888
Willoughby, OH 44094-5992 800-367-4708
440-942-2000 Monthly magazine with easy-to-emulate designs, including clear photos showing the works step-by-step. Books available
from the same company include Weddings, Weddings 2,
GPN 101 Wedding Bouquets, and 101 Ranos de Novia.
Product News Web Sites
Green Profit American Floral Endowment
P.O. Box 16057 flowers.html
N. Hollywood, CA 91615-9594 Links to many sites.
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Inc.
Grower Talks
P.O. Box 9
Batavia, IL 60510 Flower Council of Holland.
630-208-9080 Trade organization with promotional materials and tips for florists.

NM PRO Hort Business Info Network

Nursery Management & Production
P.O. Box 1868 Laurie Hodges’ Home Page.
Fort Worth, TX 76101-9781
800-443-5612 Missouri Department of Agriculture
Ag Business Development Resources—
Northern Gardener Cut Flowers
North Carolina State University
OFA Bulletin
2130 Stella Court
Columbus, Ohio 43215 North Dakota State University
614-487-1117 Oklahoma State University ATTRA Page 29
F-6426 The Care and Handling of Cut Texas Department of Agriculture’s Cut Flower
Flowers Resource Guide
F-6425 Annual Flowers for Specific Uses in
Oklahoma The New Farm e-magazine
F-6410 Perennial Flowers for Specific Uses in flowers/
Oklahoma Pennsylvania cut flower grower Melanie DeVault’s
current and archived columns provide experience-based
Pennsylvania State University Center for Plasticulture information.
Chain of Life Network
University of Connecticut The site is a comprehensive assembly of information that
Integrated Pest Management for Cut Flower can be used by growers, wholesalers, florists, supermarkets,
Growers brokers, breeders, educators, bouquet manufacturers, asso-
ciations, and floral supply companies to improve the per-
University of Florida formance of cut flowers and greens, cuttings, plugs, and
foliage, flowering, and bedding plants. Illustrations and detailed information on postharvest care for nearly 450 flo-
ral crops are included, as are links to sites with postharvest
University of Maryland and/or marketing information.
FS686 Producing Annual Sunflowers as Seeds, Plants, Bulbs
Cut Flowers Agua Fria Nursery
FS687 Production of Asiatic and Oriental 1409 Agua Fria
Lilies as Cut Flowers Santa Fe, NM 87501-3507
FS684 Production of Celosia as Cut Flowers Plants. Wide selection. Retail. Uncommon penstemons.
FS685 Production of Yarrow as Cut Flowers
Bluebird Nursery, Inc
FS731 Production of Purple Coneflower as a
Cut Flower P.O. Box 460
Clarkson, NE 68629
FS 753 Producing Anemone as a Cut Flower 800-356-9164
FS713 Producing Larkspur as Cut Flowers
FS-770 Production of Lisianthus as a Liners and containers, unusual and hard to find items.
Cut Flower Cramers’ Posie Patch
University of Massachusetts Floriculture Fact Sheets 116 Trail Rd. North Elizabethtown, PA 17022
crops/cutweed.html 877-CRAMERS
Field Grown Annuals for Cut Flowers
Weed Management for Outdoor Cut Flowers Creek Hill Nursery
Sugar and Acidity in Preservative Solutions for 17 W. Main
Field-grown Cut Flowers Leola, PA 17540
Postharvest Handling of Six More Field-grown Liners, grasses, hydrangeas, woodies, select perennials.
Cut Flowers—Astilbe, Gladiolus, Helianthus,
Liatris, Lilium, Zinnia De Vroomen Holland
Using Coralbells as Cut Flowers P.O. Box 189
Russell, IL 60075
Postharvest Handling Tips for Cut Flowers of
Some Spring Flowering Bulbs
Insect Problems in Commercial Production of
Outdoor Cut Flowers Bulbs and perennials (liners and bare-root).

Page 30 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Donahues Go Native
P.O. Box 366 P.O. Box 3631
420 SW 10th St. Las Cruces, NM 88003
Faribault, MN 55021 800-880-4698
507-334-8404 Natives, perennials, ground covers, herbs.
Clematis specialists.
Ednie Flower Bulb, Inc. 600 Mamaroneck Ave.
37 Fredon-Marksboro Rd. Harrison, NY 10528-1631
Fredon, NJ 07860 800-345-3787
973-940-2700 Seeds, plugs, liners, bulbs, supplies.
Bareroot, bulbs, lilies.
Emerald Coast Growers Gro’N Sell
P.O. Box 10886 320 Lower State Rd.
Pensacola, FL 32524 Chalfont, PA 18914
877-804-7277 215-822-1276
Liners, grasses, hostas, daylilies, select perennials.
Plugs and liners.
Ernst Benary of America, Inc.
Rudolf Sterkel Harris Seeds
1444 Larson Street 355 Paul Road
Sycamore, IL 60178 P.O. Box 24966
815-895-6705 Rochester, NY 14624-0966 800-544-7938
Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed
Headstart Nursery
409 West Pine Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 4860 Monterey Rd.
928-773-9406 Gilroy, CA 95020
928-214-7351 408-842-3030
Native plants and seed for northern Arizona. Source-iden- Heronswood Nursery
tified plants and seed. Xeric non-native plants suitable for
northern Arizona. 7530 N.E. 288th St.
Kingston, WA 98346
Forestfarm 360-297-4172
990 Tetherow Rd.
Williams, OR 97544
541-846-7269 High Altitude Gardens 4150 B Black Oak Drive
GeoSeed Hailey, ID 83333
121 Gary Rd. 208-788-4363
Hodges, SC 29653
Seeds for high elevations and cold climates. Native grasses,
888-645-2323 wildflower seed, and mixes.
Germania Seed Company
P.O. Box 31787 High Country Gardens
5878 N. Northwest Hwy. 2902 Rufina St.
Chicago, IL 60631-0787 Santa Fe, NM 87507-2929
800-380-4721 505-438-3031 800-925-9387
Perennials (plugs), bulbs, seed. ATTRA Page 31
Extensive selection of perennials, shrubs, and bulbs for the 800-852-5322
western garden and a ½ acre display garden, greenhouse,
and retail store in Santa Fe. Bareroot, liners, cuttings for woodies.
Ivy Garth Missouri Wildflower Nursery
8140 Mayfield Rd. 9814 Pleasant Hill Rd
Chesterland, OH 44026 Jefferson City, MO 65109
800-351-4025 573-496-3003
Annuals, perennials, vegetables.
Jelitto Perennial Seeds Bareroot and container, native perennial flowers, shrubs,
trees, vines.
125 Chenoweth Lane
Louisville, KY 40207 North Creek Nurseries
502-895-0807 388 North Creek Rd. Landenberg, PA 19350
Perennials. 877-326-7584
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Liners, perennials, grasses, woodies, ferns, natives for cut
184 Foss Hill Rd.
Albion, ME 04910
207-437-4395 Park Seed 2 Parkton Ave.
Vegetables, herbs, flowers. Greenwood, SC 29647-0002
Johnston Seed Co.
P.O. Box 1392
Vegetables, flowers, plants, plugs.
Enid, OK 73702
800-375-4613 Pawnee Buttes Seed, Inc.
580- 249-5324 P.O. Box 100 605 25th Street Greeley, CO 80632
Seed. Retail, wholesale, mail order. 800-782-5947
Lawyer Nursery
950 Highway 200 West
Plains, MT 59859 Provides native and introduced grass, forb, and shrub seed,
800-551-9875 with an emphasis on educating customers on proper man- agement techniques to ensure grass stand longevity and conservation of our natural resources.
Plants of the Southwest
Seeds, bareroot, liners for woodies.
3095 Agua Fria Rd.
Little Valley Wholesale Nursery Santa Fe, NM 87501
13022 E. 136th Avenue 505-438-8888
Brighton, CO 80601
303-659-6886 FAX 6680 4th St. NW Albuquerque, NM 87107
Wholesale source for plants, plugs, liners, bulbs of perenni- 505-344-8830
als and shrubs. Knowledgeable staff and extensive selec-
tion. 800-788-SEED Orders
Meadow Lake Nursery
P.O. Box 1302 Plants and seed. Wholesale and retail. Retail stores in
McMinnville, OR 97128 Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Page 32 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Prairie Moon Nursery 816-846-4729
Rt. 3, Box 163
Winona, MN 55987-9515 Wholesale; supplies liners to other nurseries around the
507-454-5238 country. Exceptional hydrangeas.
866-417-8156 Spring Valley Greenhouse, Inc.
Native seeds and bareroot plants. 3242 Daansen Rd.
P.O. Box 552
Prairie Nursery Walworth, NY 14568
P.O. Box 306 315-597-9816
Westfield, WI 53964
800-476-9453 Clematis and bittersweet.
Native seeds and bareroot plants. Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and
Native Plants, Inc.
Prairie Ridge Nursery 10459 Tuxford St.
9738 Overland Rd. Sun Valley, CA 91352
Mt. Horeb, WI 53572-2832 818-768-1802
Mail order California native seed. Native plants available
Native seeds and bareroot plants. in nursery.

Raker’s Walters Gardens

10371 Rainey Rd. P.O. Box 137
Litchfield, MI 49252 Zeeland, MI 49464-0137
Plugs; must order through a broker like Germania.
Bareroot and container.
Sawyer Nursery
5401 Port Sheldon Rd. Yoder Brothers
Hudsonville, MI 49426 Greenleaf Perennials
616-669-9094 2369 Old Philadelphia Road
Bareroot and liners, incredible phlox selection. Lancaster, PA 17602
Shady Oaks Nursery 800-233-0285
P.O. Box 708, Dept. MH
1101 State St.
Waseca, MN 56093-0708 Plugs, liners, unrooted cuttings.

Sherman Nursery Company ZCallas Oregon Coastal Flowers

P.O. Box 579 9455 Kilchis River Road
1300 Grove Street Tillamook, OR 97141
Charles City, IA 50616-0579 503-815-3762
Woodies, peonies. Calla lily bulbs, Sandersonia tubers.

Spring Meadow Nursery

12601 120th Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417 ATTRA Page 33
Supplies and Equipment Hummert International
4500 Earth City Expressway
Barr, Inc.
Earth City, MO 63045
1423 Plainview Drive
Oshkosh, WI 54904
920-231-1711 Syndicate Sales, Inc. P.O. Box 756
Used coolers.
Kokomo, IN 46903-0756
Beautiful Land Products 756-457-7277
360 Cookson Dr.
P.O. Box 179 Hydration and holding solutions, flower food, proportioners,
West Branch, IA 52358 vases, and other florist supplies.
Growing media, fertilizers, irrigation, mulches, row covers. Temkin
302 West 900 North
Carlin Horticultural Suppliers Springville, UT 84663
8964 N. 51st Street 800-235-5263
Milwaukee, WI 53223 Floral sleeves and wraps.
Greenhouse grower supplies and equipment.
DeltaTRAK, Inc. Vita Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 398 P.O. Box 565
Pleasanton, CA 94566 Chandler, AZ 85244
925-249-2250 800-874-1452
Hygrothermometer source. USDA National Organic Program compliant. Vita One-
Step is a combined hydration and nutrient solution.
Floral Merchandising Systems
1325 East 79th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55425 Products include OVB, a hydrating solution. Cut flowers
800-599-9434 directly into this and leave ½ day or overnight. Professional #2 is a holding solution. Flowers can be kept in it for up to 6 days.
Postharvest supplies and equipment including display vases
and racks, bouquet sleeves, bucket scrubbers, stem cutters,
and hygrothermometers.
Floralife, Inc.
751 Thunderbolt Drive
Walterboro, SC 29488
Hydrating products include Hydraflor and QuickDip. Hold-
ing solutions include Floralife Original Fresh Flower Food,
Floralife Professional, and Floralife Clear Professional.
EthylBloc is an ethylene-action inhibitor.

Page 34 ATTRA Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Notes ATTRA Page 35

Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
By Janet Bachmann
NCAT Agriculture Specialist
©NCAT 2006
Paul Driscoll, Editor
Amy Smith, Production
This publication is available on the Web at:
Slot 72
Version 022106

Page 36 ATTRA