For California flower farmers, roses aren’t just for Valentine’s Day

While roses (especially red) have long been a go-to for Valentine’s Day, California rose farmers are supplying consumers and florists with roses in an assortment of varieties and colors 365 days a year.

by Christina Litchfield

After all, today’s on-trend floral designs feature a fluid, airy garden look in a range of hues, from the brightest yellow to the softest pink to the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral.

Enter California spray roses and other design-friendly varieties from California’s rose farmers.

These farm fresh Certified American Grown roses from Dramm & Echter are available to be enjoyed 365 days a year. Photo by Liraz Photography.

“What we’re seeing today is farmers growing the kinds of roses and other beautiful flowers that consumers want every day, rather than just growing roses for a single holiday,” explains Kasey Cronquist, CEO and ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission and administrator for Certified American Grown. “California’s rose farmers and the unique varieties they grow are critical to florists nationwide, all year long.”

Who are your California rose farmers? They include California Pajarosa Floral, Menagerie Flowers, Neve Bros., Neve Roses II, Eufloria Flowers, Myriad Flowers, Rose Story Farm, Green Valley Floral and Dramm & Echter.

Paul Furman, owner of California Pajarosa Floral in Watsonville, California, explains that his company has found a niche in the marketplace “for those who want to express love on a daily and weekly basis,” beyond red roses on Valentine’s Day.

Floral designers continue to seek out the unique and beautiful varieties and colors grown by domestic rose farmers. Photo by Connie Whitlock.

“As a rose farm in California, we’re unable to compete on price levels with foreign import competition, especially at the peak demand holidays. We’ve made up for it in our quality, consistency and freshness that can beautify customers’ lives 365 days a year,” Furman says. “There are only a handful of rose growers left in the United States as 99 percent of roses sold domestically are now imported from places like Colombia, however, we’re seeing a growing trend toward domestic roses, specifically those that can be guaranteed as Certified American Grown roses.”

Furman notes that U.S. flower farmers are typically running small family farms that are passionate about providing high-quality, sustainably grown flowers all year long.

Beautiful Certified American Grown roses adorn the tablescape inside California Pajarosa’s test garden on their farm in Watsonville, CA. Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

“Growing roses and other cut flowers that cater to everyday needs, weddings, special events and any other function that requires quality and freshness first is our goal. We’re a small sustainable farm that employs 50 local families in California and our primary focus is to help our community thrive.”

Bob Echter, CEO of Dramm & Echter in Encinitas, California, concurs that the U.S. market for roses has changed and is less holiday-focused.

“The good thing is that it’s gotten to be a year-round market. Sure, there are varieties and colors that people prefer, but the popular garden look gives us a year-round business, especially with retailers or small chains that do design work. And the California Grown label is definitely an advantage in selling the product.”

“Of course, Valentine’s Day will continue to be an important holiday to our California flower farms,” says Cronquist. “However, with imports flying 35 dedicated cargo planes a day into the port of Miami right now, we look forward to competing for the hearts and dollars of consumers the other 364 days a year.”

For Valentine’s Day or a wedding day, Certified American Grown roses provide designers with beautiful options for their big and small arrangements for customers. Photo by Liraz Photography.

Some California flower farms are indeed reporting record-breaking sales in advance of Valentine’s Day.

“While we aren’t rose growers, we’re experiencing the best February we’ve ever had as a company,” says Dan Vordale, president of Ocean View Flowers in Lompoc, California. “The market for California Grown flowers is strong and we’re meeting customers’ needs for flower-giving holidays and every day.”

For more information:
California Cut Flower Commission
PO Box 90225, Santa Barbara, CA
93190-0225
www.ccfc.org


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