Colombia is home to more than half of the species of Flora in the world, and the largest number of orchid species. This large diversity is also visible in the different flowers that are commercially cultivated in the country and exported all over the world. Countries such as the United States, Japan, and England have been falling in love with them throughout the years, placing Colombia as the second-largest exporter of flowers after the Netherlands.
"This is a huge milestone and a reason to celebrate the development of our techniques and know-how when it comes to fulfilling our purpose of sharing our diversity to inspire people with flowers every day and everywhere", says Paulina Restrepo Villegas of Flores El Capiro, a Colombian chrysanthemum and hydrangea grower.
In this article, Restrepo gives us more information on the demand for the destinations of chrysanthemums and hydrangeas in general and theirs in particular. On top of that, she also highlights the importance of bouquets for both Colombia and the US.
Alejandra Restrepo, Carlos Manuel Uribe and Jose Manuel Henao at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen this week.
"Quality, variety, and durability are some of the main reasons Colombian flowers are preferred around the world. Chrysanthemums are one of the most popular genres. They are very appreciated abroad because they are inexpensive, they last longer than other flowers and have a wide range of colors and shapes to choose from – which you can see on our website. They can be combined with Carnations, Roses or Alstroemerias; at the same time, several Chrysanthemum types may be present within one arrangement."
Although the main markets for Colombian Chrysanthemums are definitely in the United States (with around 70% of the exports), in Flores El Capiro, it is a little different: they have been growing this species for 37 years, harvesting these flowers in 86 covered hectares all located in the department of Antioquia. "We became leaders in sea transport with more than 10 years sending containers around the world. The main destination for our Chrysanthemums production are the United Kingdom (37%), followed by the United States (27%) and Chile (18%)."
Their most popular varieties are White, Yellow and Pink Cushion. "They are suitable colors for all times of the year and have a significant volume, making them really attractive." Other growing markets are Australia and Japan; regarding the last one, one can check their blog (click here) to learn the importance of Chrysanthemums in their culture
Capiro’s other main crop is the hydrangeas, these are the second most planted species in their country, and according to Restrepo, its market keeps growing globally. "Due to their length and volume, they are perfect for florists, arrangers and designers when they're running on a small budget but want to make big and wonderful arrangements It takes very few of them to create bouquets with lots of texture and contrast that will easily complement any space. Also, just a single one of them can brighten up a table, or make any moment better."
The first countries to buy Colombian Hydrangeas were the United States, Canada and Japan, she explains. For Flores El Capiro, it is their third year growing this type of flower, and they already have 8 hectares dedicated exclusively to them. "One of our plans for the future is to keep expanding our markets for Hydrangeas."
According to Restrepo, Colombian flower growers have also specialized in a product that connects with everyone’s emotions and foreigners’ love: Bouquets, the perfect combination of flowers to brighten up every corner.
"Bouquets have been the foundation of Colombia's most successful flower sales strategy up to date. Colombia was able to export almost 1.5 billion dollars in flowers in 2018, according to Asocolflores - Colombian Flower Growers Association - a big part of which came from Bouquets. Actually, in the United States, these arrangements represent 43% of the floral sales in retail, a category that considers indoor and outdoor plants and several other arrangements."
Today, the Colombian flower industry keeps growing stronger, many of the parties involved in the processes are coming together as a result of many years of work. "In Flores El Capiro we believe in the power of flowers to convey feelings, this is why we will keep working in order to make sure that our flowers will stand out in every bouquet and floral decoration around the world. So next time you think about brightening up your life with flowers, don't forget about Chrysanthemums and Hydrangeas as two of your main options for making outstanding bouquets."
"Flowers every day, flowers everywhere. Flowers of Colombia. Diversity that inspires."
Curious about the chrysanthemums and hydrangeas of Flores El Capiro. This week, at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands, from Nov 6-8 they will be on display at their booth (number B3.20)