At Neve Bros. in Petaluma, Calif., spray roses are a year-round greenhouse crop. Family-owned and operated with more than 60 years of growing experience, Neve Bros. helped pioneer commercial hydroponic rose growing. More than 450,000 square feet of greenhouses, with climate- and feed-controlled systems produce vigorous, healthy plants.
According to co-owner Chris Neve, “the breeding of spray roses has become more refined” in recent years. “The flowers are often larger. There are more flowers per stem. The stems are longer.”
He cites variety in petal colors and bud shapes as top-selling characteristics. “We probably sell as many spray roses as we do hybrid tea roses. If you want to get away from the big classic rose, use garden spray roses. They’re a perfect accent to different foliages and textures, and they work seamlessly in designs when you don’t want to feature big, bulky roses.”
Neve Bros. supplies Bay Area and Northern California florists and wedding and event designers with a steady harvest of roses. The grower also supplies local independent grocery chains, including Nugget Markets (Woodland, Calif.) and Good Earth Natural Foods (Fairfax, Calif.), with sleeved bunches featuring Neve Roses branding, including the geographic identifier, “Sonoma County.”
“We see what our florists like, and we’re able to apply that knowledge to what we offer to grocery stores,” Neve says. “Our niche is a little more stylish, a bit avant-garde.”