It’s not necessarily an indication of a top-to-bottom trend in the horticulture industry, but one thing is clear from the results of the 2013 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower survey: The largest greenhouse operations in the U.S are getting larger.
Perhaps it’s a sign of things turning around after several years of a stagnant economy and an evolving customer base.
Maybe the greenhouse industry is just continuing a shakeout, with the largest operations absorbing the production and space of growers who are leaving the market.
Could be it’s simply the big continuing to get bigger to take advantage of the production efficiencies size can offer big retail customers and the growers’ own bottom lines.
It’s likely some combination of all three.
Whatever the reason, nearly a third of the growers in Greenhouse Grower’s 2013 Top 100 survey reported growth. Some of them significantly so.
Ups And Downs
Greenhouse Grower’s annual Top 100 List, sponsored in 2013 by Becker Underwood, ranks the largest greenhouse producers in the country by total square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space.
Some of the biggest movers this year included:
● Altman Plants is now reporting 7,339,542 square feet — primarily new construction — up from just over 6 million on last year’s list.
● Bell Nursery USA, now reporting 6.1 million square feet, moved from number 11 in 2012 to number 6 this year.
● Floral Plant Growers purchased Top 100 Grower Hiebert Greenhouses and added 700,000 square feet.
● Northwest Horticulture, Richardson Brothers Greenhouses and Smith Gardens each reported adding at least 300,000 square feet of space.
Not everyone on the list grew, of course. In total, however, fewer than a dozen operations on this year’s list reported any kind of significant decrease in acreage from 2012. Speedling and Westland Flower Company each reported tightening production space by at least 300,000 square feet. Hines Growers, Inc., formerly Hines Nurseries, has shed significant greenhouse square footage in recent years, but ownership has indicated plans to begin adding acreage again soon.
In total, the 2013 Top 100 Growers represent 215,718,554 square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space — that’s just shy of 5,000 acres as a group, and a year-over-year increase of nearly 3.4 million square feet.
Comings And Goings
Three operations moved out of the Top 100 rankings this year. Elzinga & Hoeksema fell to financial troubles and closed its doors. Hiebert Greenhouses, as mentioned, sold its business to Floral Plant Growers. Gallup & Stribling Orchids, one of Greenhouse Grower’s original Top 50 Growers back in 1987, just missed the list after consecutive years of shedding significant acreage.
Three new names made their way into this year’s Top 100. Color Point, in Paris, Ky., Plainview Growers in Pompton Plains, N.J., and Grolink Plant Co. in Oxnard, Calif., all were unranked in 2012. Color Point, in particular, rode several years of growth to an impressive Top 100 debut this year, jumping onto the list at number 75 with 1,000,000 square feet.
|2013 Rank||2012 Rank||Name of Operation||State||2013 Total
|1||1||Color Spot Nurseries||CA||16,400,000||16,200,000|
|2||2||Kurt Weiss Greenhouses||NY||9,774,020||* 12,146,020|
|6||11||Bell Nursery USA||MD||6,100,000||* 4,212,480|
|8||7||Ecke Ranch||CA||* 5,600,000||* 5,600,000|
|9||8||Color Star Growers||CO||5,000,000||5,000,000|
|10||10||Green Circle Growers||OH||4,573,800||4,704,480|
|12||13||The Sun Valley Group||CA||* 4,000,000||4,000,000|
|13||14||Delray Plants Co.||FL||3,868,116||3,868,116|
|17||18||Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses||FL||3,300,000||3,300,000|
|21||22||Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas||OR||2,850,000||2,850,000|
|22||26||Floral Plant Growers||WI||2,826,360||2,103,105|
|23||23||Dallas Johnson Greenhouses||IA||2,700,000||* 2,700,000|
|24||24||Bay City Flowers||CA||* 2,500,000||2,500,000|
|26||27||N.G. Heimos Greenhouses||IL||2,127,200||2,084,000|
|27||25||Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises||CO||2,119,904||* 2,119,904|
|30||30||Dan Schantz Farm||PA||1,814,381||1,814,381|
|31||31||Barcelo Enterprises||CA||1,800,000||* 1,800,000|
|32||40||Colorama Wholesale Nursery||CA||1,791,500||1,530,000|
|36||9||Hines Growers, Inc.||CA||1,700,000||8 4,834,000|
|37||39||Young’s Plant Farm||AL||1,645,000||1,580,000|
|38||37||Ocean Breeze International||CA||1,614,000||1,614,000|
|39||38||Bergen’s Greenhouses||MN||1,611,720||* 1,611,720|
|41||42||Clearwater Nursery||CA||1,525,000||* 1,525,000|
|42||79||Dewar Nurseries||FL||1,517,385||* 971,600|
|43||51||Olson’s Greenhouse Gardens||UT||1,515,141||1,360,840|
|44||43||Garden State Growers||NJ||1,502,820||1,502,820|
|46||45t||Kawahara Nurseries||CA||* 1,500,000||* 1,500,000|
|47||47||Dan & Jerry’s Greenhouse||MN||1,445,000||* 1,445,000|
|49t||45t||Van Wingerden International||NC||1,400,000||1,500,000|
|54||53||Aldershot of New Mexico||NM||* 1,317,000||1,317,000|
|55||35||Westland Floral Company||CA||1,313,280||1,677,060|
|56t||55t||Four Star Greenhouses||MI||1,306,800||1,306,800|
|59t||83||Richardson Brothers Greenhouses||IL||1,200,000||892,980|
|59t||59||Young’s Nursery & Greenhouses||TN||1,200,000||1,200,000|
|63||67||Dramm & Echter||CA||1,125,000||1,085,000|
|64||68||Riverview Flower Farm||FL||1,113,520||1,078,656|
|65t||52||Henry Mast Greenhouses/Masterpiece Flower Co.||MI||1,100,000||1,100,000|
|68||69||Sawyer Nursery||MI||1,059,076||* 1,059,076|
|70||70||Alex R. Masson||KS||* 1,045,440||1,045,440|
|72||72||Johannes Flowers||CA||1,043,360||* 1,043,360|
|73||73||Van de Wetering Greenhouses||NY||1,040,000||1,040,000|
|74||75||Maria Gardens Greenhouses||OH||1,001,820||1,001,820|
|75t||64||Bob’s Market & Greenhouses||WV||1,000,000||1,096,360|
|75t||77t||Kent’s Bromeliad Nursery||CA||1,000,000||1,000,000|
|75t||77t||Welby Gardens Co./Hardy Boy Plants-Hardystarts||CO||1,000,000||1,000,000|
|79||89||Grower Direct Farms||CT||980,000||816,000|
|80||74||Farmers’ West Flowers & Bouquets||CA||958,320||1,004,000|
|83||82||Petitti Garden Center (Casa Verde)||OH||895,000||895,000|
|84||84||White’s Nursery & Greenhouses||VA||860,000||860,000|
|86t||86t||B And H Flowers||CA||850,000||850,000|
|86t||86t||Blue Ridge Growers||VA||850,000||850,000|
|89||90||South Central Growers||TN||801,500||* 800,000|
|91||93||Olive Hill Greenhouses||CA||760,000||760,000|
|94||95||Myriad Flowers International||CA||740,520||* 740,520|
|97t||NR||Grolink Plant Company||CA||700,000||NR|
|99||99||Parks Brothers Farm||AR||675,000||677,000|