The big got bigger for years. This year, the Top 100 Growers are operating under less environmentally controlled greenhouse space than in 2008, although our 22nd annual list now cuts off at a higher mark of 700,000 square feet.
At the top, Color Spot Nurseries (No. 1) and Kurt Weiss Greenhouses (No. 2) man the first and second spots respectively for the second consecutive year, while Costa Farms (No. 3) and Paul Ecke Ranch (No. 4) each move up a spot despite no structural expansion. New information shoots Color Star Growers (No. 7) into our top 10 for the first time after four consecutive years ranked in the mid-20s Also in the top 10 are Rocket Farms, Metrolina Greenhouses, Hines Horticulture, Altman Plants and The Sun Valley Group.
The biggest difference from last year’s top 10 is the absence of Yoder Brothers, which ranked third in 2008. Yoder will operate under the name Aris (No. 12) beginning July 1. Syngenta purchased Yoder’s garden mum, pot mum and aster lines late last year.
Looking down the list, Westland Floral Co. (No. 36), Polk Nursery Company (No. 40), Plant Marketing LLC (41t), Dan Schantz Farm (No. 52) and Dramm & Echter (62t) made the biggest leaps this year. Dan Schantz Farm rose the mostâ€“26 positionsâ€“after adding 10 acres.
Besides Aris, a couple other operations are growing under less space in 2009. Speedling (No. 26) dropped 17 spots and GroLink Plant Co. (No. 27) dropped 16. Timberline Nursery (No. 62t) dipped the most among operations still on the list, falling 26 spots.
Four operations are no longer on the list, including Geerlings Greenhouses and Mainland Nursery. Geerlings, which operated under more than 1.4 million square feet last year, now operates under about 250,000. Mainland went out of business.
New or returning to the list are Four Star Greenhouses (No. 52t), Bailey Nurseries (No. 79t), Stacy’s Greenhouses (No. 93) and Knox Nursery (No. 99t). Ever-Bloom and Plants Unlimited just missed the cut after appearing on last year’s list. Parks Brothers and Sedan Floral were also close, pushing 700,000 square feet, yet just missed the cut.