Answering the questions that I get asked the most about being a flower farmer!
WHAT REGION ARE MOST OF THE FLOWER FARMS LOCATED IN CALIFORNIA?
Although flower farms are located many locations in California, most of them are located in the six counties that boarder the Pacific Coast from Santa Cruz all the way south to San Diego. This coastal region is known for its Mediterranean climate - warm, dry and mild in the summer and cool and wet in the winter which provides an idyllic, long season for growing cut flowers. 75% of all domestically grown cut flowers in the United States are grown in California.
WHAT IS A CUT FLOWER FARM?
Flower farming is similar to someone who grows corn or wheat to harvest, except a person grows and harvests flowers instead. Flower farmers grow anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of different cultivars that each have their own germinating, harvesting and post-harvest handling needs. Unlike commodity crops, flowers are typically planted, cultivated and harvested all by hand. Cut flowerfarms are scattered throughout the U.S., either in open fields or protective greenhouse structures, so that fresh flowers can be enjoyed no matter where you’re located. If you’re looking to find an American flower farm near you visit these handy directories at Slow Flowers, Certified American Grown Flowers or Local Flowers.
HOW MANY ACRES DO YOU NEED FOR A FLOWER FARM?
You do not need a lot of land to have a highly productive, profitable flower farm. Most of the flower farms in the seasonal flower movement are actually under five acres. And it does not actually require owning a ‘real farm.’ Renting an acre or two of land is an option, as is just starting in your own backyard! Since much of the work is done by hand, smaller is often more realistic since production is more limited by labor than by land.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FLOWERS TO GROW FOR PROFIT?
The demand for locally grown flowers has exploded, becoming a coveted item by the public. The best flowers to grow for profit include Butterfly Ranunculus, Scabiosa, Larkspur, Snapdragons, Dahlias, Peonies, Garden Roses, Zinnias and Sunflowers. Profitability also depends on which flowers grow best in your climate and growing conditions. Yarrow, Coreopsis, Poppies and Lavender are other popular options.
Photos By: Jill Carmel Photography