Cuts Bloom In Missouri

Cuts Bloom In Missouri

Cut flower growers are alive and well in Missouri. Not carnations or long-stem roses, but specialty cuts that are field grown in the spring through the fall. Each season brings to market new colors, textures and fragrances in a variety of annuals, perennials, grasses, wild flowers and woody plants. They sell to florists, wholesalers, supermarkets and farmers’ markets.

Success Stories

•  For 10 years, specialty cuts have built the business of Susan Jones, Wild Goose Gardens. “Our biggest priority is quality and freshness,” she says. Twice a week, she loads her van with fresh cuts for scheduled visits to the florists in Springfield who hand-pick their orders. “They get excited about really fresh flowers they can’t get from other sources,” she says. Some of their favorites are zinnias and lisianthus in the summer and ranunculus and snapdragons in the winter. She also sells to a Kansas City wholesaler. On two acres, she grows 60 to 70 varieties which vary year to year.

•  Ron Chaskelson found St. Louis wholesalers very receptive to his fresh and dried specialty cuts, and they have been his primary market since 1989. Current offerings include celosia, allium, larkspur, yarrow, sunflowers, cockscomb, mountain mint, broom corn and Queen Anne’s Lace. Seeding starts in mid-January for harvesting in May until frost on his seven acres. He is always looking for new varieties. The challenge this year has been drought.

•  Carolyne Anderson inherited a garden of tube roses and often used them to decorate her church. One Sunday, their sweet fragrance prompted a member who is a florist to place an order. That started her business, A Heaven Scent. While the short shelf lives of tube roses limit her sales to markets, florists and grocery stores in mid-Missouri and St. Louis, she has few competitors. Peonies are another specialty in addition to annuals and perennials. She has 2½ acres in production with part-time employees for help to tend to these field crops.

•  Guy Clark, Fertile Crescent Farms, grows fruits and vegetables. In 1997, he started selling subscriptions for weekly deliveries of produce from April through November. Now he is promoting subscriptions for seasonal cut flower bouquets in various sizes for delivery or pickup to restaurants, offices and homes. In addition to the exposure he gets at the market, he has a Web site and advertises locally.

•  Bedding plants and perennials are the primary crops of Flowers So Fair. Two years ago, Faith Kropt added cuts for their potential income. At the farmers market, she offers prepackaged bouquets of cuts in assorted colors and textures. She sells to florists, too. Ads in local newspapers bring customers to her farm in the spring.

Many growers are cashing in on the popularity of local farmers’ markets flourishing throughout the United States. The promise of “locally grown, farm fresh and healthy” draws crowds. Bedding plant and cut flower growers have found these outlets add exposure and potential to increase income.

Today, more than 200 species of cut annuals, bulbs, perennials and wildflowers are being sold to wholesalers, florists, supermarkets and direct to consumers. More state universities and extension agents are offering suggestions for local climates. With all the advantages of specialty cuts, they may be easier to grow than to sell. Plans for financing, sales and marketing are essential for success. Some states offer alternative crop loans, but there is no free money except for non-profits, so it is important to be aware of scam lenders who promise more than they can deliver.

Statistics show sales of cuts are steady, but not increasing. The extraordinary diversity of colors and textures specialty cuts bring didn’t just add income to plant growers. They could revitalize the cut flower market. Local markets offer greater visibility and the possibility of overcoming consumer resistance with the promise of farm fresh longer shelf life.

The Association of Specialty Cut Flowers Growers has been an excellent resource for many growers. It was organized in 1988 by Allan Armitage and Judy Laushman when they saw their field trials of cuts at the University of Georgia were drawing an increasing number of visitors and more inquiries from growers. ASCFG provides information on culture, marketing strategies, current research, new varieties and networking to its 620 members in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. Check out www.Localharvest.org for local farmers’ markets and ASCFG’s Web site at www.ascfg.org.

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...

March 2, 2015

Student Flash Mob At TPIE Has Roots In Floriculture

The local FFA students who entertained TPIE attendees in 2014 and 2015 received industry donations of plants and a greenhouse structure to help expand their horticultural program.

Read More
Rose Rosette on Knockout rose, May 2013. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 2, 2015

Rose Rosette Disease Fight Gets A Boost From Government-Backed Funding

In 2014, $4.6 million was awarded through the Farm Bill to tackle rose rosette disease, a devastating pathogen that affects one of the industry’s most important crops.

Read More
Fig 1 Leafy Gall On Leucanthemum Becky

March 2, 2015

How To Prevent Leafy Gall Before You Lose Plants

Leafy gall is a nasty disease that can go undetected until plant damage is done. Take these steps to protect your crops from infection.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Costa Farms Website

January 21, 2015

Costa Farms’ Launches New Interactive Website

Costa Farms is making efforts to educate consumers while pushing horticultural digital marketing forward with the re-design of its website. The new website features a fresh design and improved navigation, as well as a plant finder that gives gardeners easy access to plant information.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Growers Are Successfully Marketing The Benefits Of Pla…

Growers who are already marketing plant benefits and gardening as a lifestyle say they think this could be the best angle for the floriculture industry to promote our products.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Plants Love You Campaign Raises Plant Benefits To Foref…

Plants make us feel good. It’s a no-brainer, backed by numerous studies, but there’s more to the story. And it’s one the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) hopes its Plants Love You campaign will tell in such a way that it will inspire people to make plants a part of their life, and on a bigger scale. COHA is an alliance between the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), the Fédération Interdisciplinaire De L’Horticulture Ornementqale Du Québec (FIHOQ) and Flowers Canada Growers (FCG). Inspiration for The Plants Love You campaign came from COHA’s research, which revealed that 96 percent of consumers surveyed have a favorable attitude toward plants. When COHA delved deeper into the numbers, one thing stood out loud and clear. “It quickly became apparent that while consumers like plants because they are pretty and make them feel good, few understood the environmental and health benefits plants offer.” says Frank […]

Read More

December 9, 2014

New Website For PanAmerican Seed

PanAmerican Seed's new website is mobile-friendly and has a fresh look and enhanced navigation.

Read More
What’s a pumpulent? It’s a pumpkin planted with succulents, and it’s also one of the ways Altum’s is catching customers’ attention with new products and modern marketing.

December 1, 2014

9 Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

Whatever your experience with digital marketing, here’s some advice for keeping your business progressing into the new year.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Conley’s Launches New Website

Conley’s Manufacturing and Sales recently launched its newly designed website, which was redesigned to create a user-friendly digital environment for customers to explore Conley's products.

Read More

November 17, 2014

Canada’s Plants Love You Campaign Educates Consum…

In a cooperative effort to promote the benefits of plants to consumers, the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) recently launched its Plants Love You campaign to make consumers more aware of the health, environmental and economic benefits of plants.

Read More
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™ Petunia from Proven Winners

November 11, 2014

Plantbid Offers New Tool For Growers, Plant Buyers

Plantbid is touted as a revolutionary new tool that allows plant buyers to purchase their whole plant list at one time, from growers who provide their complete availability online. According to the company, this new offering could change the way growers and landscapers do business.

Read More
Dahlia Dahlinova Temptation Lavender from Dummen Fides Oro

November 10, 2014

Bas Pellenaars Takes On New Role As Brand Manager For D…

Dümmen group announces the transition of Bas Pellenaars from area manager to brand manager.

Read More

October 28, 2014

Zombie Adventures Are Back: GGS Releases Premiere Of Ne…

What's good for plants, but bad for zombies? GGS structures. The company released a new promotional video to get growers in the spirit of Halloween. GGS Structures ran a series of zombie movies last year, and this year, something new was released October 24.

Read More
Suzanne McKee

October 27, 2014

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes and learn where changes are needed.

Read More
Sara Tambascio

October 2, 2014

How To Measure The Success Of Your Digital Marketing

Take a look at these metrics in your digital marketing to see if you’re connecting with your audience or just adding to the clutter.

Read More

September 26, 2014

How To Get The Digital Generation Into The Garden: Gard…

Capture millennials’ gardening interests with these marketing tips.

Read More
The Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation

September 9, 2014

Shinoda Foundation Contributes Nearly $15,000 In Schola…

Based in California, the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Foundation's mission is to encourage educational opportunities for young people interested in entering the industry. Since 1965, the foundation has awarded $790,000 to more than 660 undergraduate floriculture students.

Read More
Salvia 'Playin the Blues' from Proven Winners

September 9, 2014

Grand Gardening Show On Mackinac Island Draws Huge Audi…

Dates are already set for Proven Winners' 2015 Grand Garden Show after the great response the 2014 show received in late August.

Read More

August 27, 2014

New Gardening App GrowIt Connects Community Of Gardener…

Thanks to Ball Horticultural Co.’s Mason Day and Seth Reed, gardeners can now share photos of their plants, interact with other growers and learn about what grows best in their area with the duos new app, GrowIt!

Read More