Commercial flower cultivation
Learn how to grow cut flowers to enter the thriving cut flower industry or to increase your chances of moving up in this growing area of the horticulture sector. learning through experience throughout your course.
- Discover how to grow flowers for a living.
- Determine and contrast the relative commercial viability of various flower harvests.
- Cut Flower Farming teaches you about horticulture and business.
Growingly wealthy nations have seen a tremendous expansion of cut flower farming. Due to this, there is now a greater need for training in the knowledge and skills that the sector demands. The course offers a solid foundational education for commercial growers of cut flowers.
Comment from an ACS Graduate: I believe that my current achievement is directly due to the instruction I received from the ACS. The tutors were outstanding, and the materials were perfect. (Learn more about Lana’s remarkable journey, which includes owning the breeding rights to a particular Flannel Flower and operating a flourishing export company.)
Comment from an ACS student: I’m enjoying my course and it’s helped me realise what I need to do after it’s over. The course has been a worthwhile educational experience for me. Since I have young children, I can do it on my own schedule, and the material is intriguing.
Australian Melanie Sumpter is taking a course in cut flower production.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
- Introduction to Cut Flower Production
- Scope and Nature of the Flower Industry
- International Flower Market
- Succeeding in the Trade
- Flower Structure
- Development of a Flower
- Introduction to Hydroponic Culture
- Understanding plant growth, roots, stems, flowers, leaves
- Types of flowers, perennials, bulbs.
- Review of Flower Crops, Alstroemeria, Antirrhinum, Amaryllis, Anigozanthos, Aster Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Freesia, Gerbera, Gladiolus, Iris, Narcissus, Orchids, Rose, Stock and others.
- Soils and Nutrition
- Soil composition
- Soil texture
- Soil structure
- Characteristics of clay, sand and loam soils
- Naming the Soil
- Improving Soil Structure
- Improving fertility
- Benefits of adding organic matter to soils
- Soil life, earthworms, mycorrhizae, nitrogen fixing, etc.
- Soil Water
- Understanding dynamics of water loss
- Improving soil water retention
- Types of soil water (Hygroscopic, Gravitational)
- Soil analysis
- Plant tissue analysis for soil management
- Measuring pH
- Other soil testing (testing salinity, colorimetry, etc)
- Measuring Water availability to plants
- Soil Degradation and rehabilitation (Erosion, Salinity, Acidification, etc)
- Soil Chemical Characteristics
- Nutrient availability and pH
- The nutrient elements, major, minor, total salts
- Diagnosing nutritional problems
- Fertilisers (types, application, etc)
- Natural Fertilisers
- Fertiliser Selection
- Composting methods
- Soil mixes and potting media
- Cultural Practices
- Site selection
- Cultivation techniques
- Using cover crops
- Green manure cover crops
- Nitrogen Fixation in legumes
- Crop rotation
- Planting procedure
- Bare rooted plants
- Time of planting
- Frost protection
- Managing sun
- Managing animal pests, birds, etc.
- Water management and Irrigation
- When to irrigate
- Period of watering, cyclic watering, pulse watering, etc
- Sprinkler irrigation
- Trickle irrigation
- Sprinkler systems, portable, permanent, semi permanent, travelling
- Types of sprinkler heads
- Sprinkler spacings
- Selecting surface irrigation methods
- Weed control
- Preventative weed management
- Hand weeding
- Mechanical weeding
- Chemical weed control
- Classification of weedicides
- Natural Weed Control Methods
- Review of common weeds
- Flower Initiation and Development
- How flowers Age
- Managing flower longevity
- Effects of Carbon Dioxide
- Getting plants to flower out of season
- Types of flower response to temperature
- Ways to cause controlled flowering
- Narcissus flower management
- Managing Azalea flowering
- Seed sources
- Hydroponics for controlled growth
- Pest and Disease Control
- Integrated Pest Management
- Chemical Methods of Pest Control
- Chemical labels
- Non Chemical methods of pest control
- Pest and Disease Identification and Management on flower crops
- Damping off
- Leaf Spot
- Sooty Mould
- Mealy Bugs
- Slugs or Snails
- Environmental Problems
- Australian Natives and Related Plants
- Proteaceae Plants (Aulax, Banksia, Dryandra, Grevillea, Hakea, Isopogon, Leucadendron, Leucospermum, Macadamia, Mimetes, Persoonia Protea, Serruria and Telopea.)
- Culture of Proteaceae cut flowers
- Proteaceae propagation
- Other Australian Cut Flowers
- Greenhouse Culture
- The greenhouse business
- Greenhouse system
- Components of a greenhouse
- What can be grown in a greenhouse
- Siting greenhouses
- Types of greenhouses
- Cold frames
- Heated propagators
- Framing and cover materials
- Thermal screens
- Wind breaks
- Benches and beds
- Environmental control; Temperature, moisture, irrigation, shading -both natural and with blinds/curtains, light-including supplemented light if needed, ventilation, levels of CO2, mist/fogging
- Plants that respond to Carbon dioxide
- Day length manipulation
- Lighting and heating equipment
- Horticultural management within the greenhouse
- Harvest and Post Harvest
- Flower deterioration
- Post harvest
- Shelf life
- Major factors that affect shelf life
- Post harvest treatments
- Other treatments
- Grading standards
- Conditioning flowers for market
- Harvesting and grading carnations
- Harvest and post harvest of selected orchids; Bud opening, transport, storing flowers
- Cost Efficiency Standards
- Quality Standards
- Quantity Standards
- Judging flowers
- Developing a Production Plan
- Managing a cut flower farm
- Deciding what to grow
- Production plans
- Decisions that need to be made
- Farm layout
- Design of a store
- Export Marketing
- International flower marketing system
- Aspects of export
- Flower Exporting case study
- Understanding marketing your produce
- Consider your markets
- Market research
- What to research
- How to sell successfully
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Describe the physiological mechanisms that have a role in plants’ bloom development.
- Locate plant species that can be used to produce cut flowers for sale.
- Examine the viability of various plants as crops for cut flowers.
- Identify the nutrients and soil conditions needed for the growth of cut flowers.
- Find out what cultural conditions must exist for a crop of cut flowers to be produced commercially.
- Establish harvest and post-harvest management procedures for crops producing cut flowers.
- Create a production strategy for a crop of cut flowers.
- Analyze potential export markets for cut flowers.
How You Plan to Act
- Provide an explanation of the botanical processes involved in the commencement of flowers in each of the plant genera.
- Provide an explanation of how a specific plant species’ flowering is affected by carbon dioxide enrichment.
- Identify the causes of flower ageing in several genera of cut flowers produced for commercial purposes.
- Examine the effects of glycerine, drying, and pressing, three alternative methods for preserving cut flowers after harvest.
- Establish methods for producing cut flowers outside of the season for various cut flower species.
- Put together a list of publications, seed and/or planting stock suppliers, industry associations, relevant government contacts, and other information sources about commercial cut flower varieties.
- Describe the herbaceous perennials that grow in a certain area and are good for cutting flowers.
- List the annuals and biennials that can be grown for flowers in a certain area.
- Explain the bulbs, corms, rhizomes, or tubers that are best for growing cut flowers in a certain area.
- Explain the plant species that are frequently utilised as fillers in the floristry industry.
- The following information will help you distinguish between 20 different plant varieties that are suitable for use as cut flowers: *Family, genus, species, and variety name (if applicable); *a description of the plant’s physical characteristics; and *a description of the flower, as well as the flowering season and duration.
- Create criteria for choosing the plant species that will be raised as cut flower crops on a certain piece of property.
- Identify Australian native plants that may be grown for cut flowers in a particular area.
- Find many exotic plants that might be grown locally as cut flower crops.
- Describe the reasons why certain Australian plant kinds are successful as cut flowers.
- Explain various plant species that are suitable for flower cultivation, including their family, genus, species, and variety names (if applicable) a description of the plant’s physical attributes, including the flower’s description, flowering season, and duration.
- Examine the commercial viability of various cut flower crops produced in a certain environment.
- To determine: *Soil type *pH *Drainage *Water holding capacity, perform easy tests on various soils.
- Examine how a particular cut flower variety performs in various types of soil.
- Discover the best cut flower varieties to grow in the various soil types in your area.
- Provide advice on how to prepare the soil for a certain cut flower crop at a particular location.
- Examine the compatibility of various fertiliser kinds with various cut flower varieties.
- Examine the nutritional management strategies used by various producers on particular cut flower crops.
- Recognize vitamin deficiencies on various cut flowers.
- Describe the outcomes of a plant tissue investigation to offer fertilisation advice.
- With planting and staking, compare plant establishing methods for five different cut flowers.
- Describe the uses of various irrigation system types for the production of cut flowers at the locations you visit.
- Explain the differences between growing a certain cut flower crop in a given location in a greenhouse and in an open field.
- Create regulations for pruning various flower harvests.
- Find out what pest and disease issues affect certain cut flower harvests in your area.
- Develop pest and disease control strategies for various cut flower crops for a year (or the duration of the crop).
- Examine the methods of commercial propagation that are available for the many types of cut flowers.
- Analyze the efficacy of using both groundwater and tap water on a particular cut flower crop.
- Create an integrated pest management strategy for a particular crop of cut flowers.
- Explain the standard methods for cutting flowers.
- Compare different cut flower post-harvest storage locations.
- Describe the methods used in the commercial grading of various kinds of cut flowers.
- Use a common judging system to assess the quality of five different cut flowers that the learner has examined.
- Explain techniques for preserving the life of cut flowers during storage and delivery.
- Analyze the market worth of various crops of cut flowers.
- Find the cut flower harvests in the learner’s area that have untapped economic potential.
- Provide examples of effective post-harvest methods for a particular flower crop.
- Identify the elements that affect a chosen flower crop’s marketability.
- Provide examples of effective marketing strategies for a particular flower crop.
- Create a management plan for three chosen flower crops that includes: *materials and equipment lists *schedules of crop husbandry duties *estimates of production expenses *marketing strategies *contingency plans.
- Provide details on the manufacturing needs for exporting cut flowers to a certain nation.
- Explain the market criteria for exporting cut flowers to a certain nation.
- Analyze the present cut flower export market, taking into account the following factors: *quantities and varieties of flowers exported *destinations to which cut flowers are exported *prices growers are receiving *trends in the market.
A VERY GROWING AND DYNAMIC GLOBAL INDUSTRY
In some ways, the flower business has always been a luxury that has expanded along with economies.
This sector appears destined to expand as the developing world continues to become more wealthy.
Flowers are always in demand, but there are peak needs around holidays and special occasions like Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, etc. The kind of flowers needed can vary depending on the occasion, such as red roses on Valentine’s Day.
For a variety of markets, including wholesale flower marketplaces, florists, retail establishments, and in certain cases for export, floriculture firms produce fresh and dried flowers and leaves. Roses, carnations, orchids, native flowers, bulb and annual flowers, and tropical flowers are just a few of the many varieties of flowers and greenery that are grown. For their essential oils, some flower farms also grow flowers in open fields.
All types of cut flowers, flower seeds and seedlings, bulb cultivation, nursery operations, chemical plant protection, post-harvest processing and storage, and preservative use are all included in the practise of floriculture.
Greenhouses have a role in the cultivation of several flower varieties. In addition to flower cultivation in greenhouses, floriculture also includes growing cut flowers and herbaceous plants outdoors.
EMPLOYMENT IN THE FLORIST INDUSTRY
The labour involved in growing cut flowers can vary greatly based on the type of plants planted, the growing methods employed, and the harvesting processes.
- Annual or Perennial herbaceous flower crops (e.g. carnations, sunflowers, poppies, stock, statice).
- Bulbs (e.g. tulips, daffodils, gladioli, iris) – can sell both the bulbs and the flowers.
- Woody perennial plants (e.g. roses, proteas, heathers).
- Tropical or greenhouse plants (e.g. orchids, gingers, heliconias).
Production Methods may include:
- Row crops in open paddocks.
- Greenhouse Production.
- Hydroponic Growing
- Potted colour (growing pots of flowers)
- Harvesting from the wild or gardens
A huge rose garden may draw tourists who pay to enter the garden, purchase meals at a café, and the flowers may subsequently be picked and sold as cut flowers through a flower market. Such gardens may serve two purposes in garden settings.
Cut flowers are sometimes grown by rural farmers in addition to other things as a commercial crop. For example, a market gardener who grows vegetables primarily might have a hedge of banksias or proteas surrounding their property serving as a windbreak and producing flowers that can be sold for extra cash.
Depending on what is grown, how it is grown, how it is harvested, kept, and marketed, different duties may be required.
It might be rather simple to grow annual flowers, herbaceous perennials, or bulbs in open paddocks. Lifting and dividing bulbs, developing paddocks, planting, weeding, watering, spraying for pests, picking flowers, packing, adding chemicals to extend the life of the flowers, and shipping are examples of routine tasks.
Flowers can be cultivated hydroponically or in a greenhouse, which can be a pretty high-tech operation needing a high level of technical know-how. In order to adjust flowering times, some flower farms employ highly sophisticated machinery to regulate light, temperature, and humidity conditions. By growing plants in this manner, both potted and in-ground plants can produce flowers all year long or during seasons of the year when they are not typically available. The workers on these more advanced farms will occasionally still need to get their hands “dirty,” but due to the high level of automation, they may occasionally feel more like factory managers than farmers in their roles.
A different daily schedule will apply to individuals who operate with perennial flowers cultivated as row crops, as hedges, or in garden beds. For instance, pruning plays a significant role in rose cultivation, although it may only be done sometimes or never with some annual flowers. Before you can start harvesting from a planting of woody perennials, it may take one to several years to get them established. But, once they start producing, you do not need to replant every year.
There is always a demand for cut flowers.
You might already be cultivating flowers or have plans to build something on the land you already own.
- Sometimes farmers will grow cut flowers as a side business to supplement their income and spread out their risk.
- Newcomers entering the field can be looking to purchase an existing farm or start a new one.
- If you are using technology (such hydroponics or greenhouse growing) to increase output, or if you are cultivating exceptionally productive cultivars, even tiny properties of an acre or less can be big enough for a sustainable cut flower farm.
Flowers are in demand all throughout the year, especially for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions, but demand is particularly high during holidays like St. Valentine’s Day.
Many cut flower producers have created profitable businesses based on offering flowers outside of the typical season because particular flowers are seasonal in various parts of the world. Some farmers have had success by discovering and introducing a variety of flowers that are not frequently seen on the market.
Certain flowers are always in short supply and high demand. Lavender, orchids, and roses are popular flowers that are always very sellable, but the farmer must be careful not to oversupply the market.
Do You Need This?
A cut flower producer needs land, expertise, and a market.
With the help of this course, you may get started on the proper path to learning more and locating potential clients. If you already own some land, you are already ahead of the game; however, if you don’t, don’t let that discourage you.
Growing a flower that is strong after harvest and in perfect health is a valued ability. Once you realise that, any flower farm looking for staff will find you to be a desirable candidate.
While other producers might sell through an agent, some will sell their produce directly at the farm gate and to merchants (perhaps through a wholesale market stand or off a truck).
An advanced greenhouse or hydroponic flower farm will often require a larger initial investment, but they can produce a lot of products per acre each year. If the cut flower farm is to make an adequate profit for the investment made, the owner must be an excellent manager of the firm and hire highly qualified technical employees.
WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?
- Recognize the foundations of cultivating cut flowers for profit.
- Choose the flower cultivars that will thrive in your area.
- Know the business requirements for operating a cut flower business.
For those with the skills and experience to enter this interesting trade, there are many chances in the healthy, active, and expanding cut flower trade of the horticulture business.
This course is appropriate for anyone wishing to start their own business, advance in their current field of work, or those who are already employed in the sector but would like to better their career chances.