Cut Flower Grower

 

Flower Growing or Floriculture

Floriculture enriches the lives of millions of people every year and is an industry attractive to both scientist and artist. The term Floriculture is derived from Latin, and means “to cultivate flowers.”

Floriculture businesses produce fresh and dried flowers and foliage for a mixture of markets such as wholesale flower markets, florists and retail outlets, and in some cases for export. The wide range of different flowers and foliage grown can include roses, carnations, orchids, native flowers, bulb and annual flowers, and tropical flowers. Some flower farms also grow flowers in open fields for their essential oils.

Flowers are in demand all year round with peak requirements at special times of the year, such as for Valentine’s Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and so on. Particular festivals often influence the type of flowers required e.g. red roses for Valentine’s Day.

Floriculture includes propagating, growing and marketing of all cut flowers, flower seeds and seedlings, bulb growing, nursery operation, chemical protection of plants, post-harvest storage and handling and use of preservatives. Those employed in the flower growing sector are likely to do some of the following:

· growing and harvesting of commercial flower, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops

· management and maintenance of field and controlled growing environments

· post harvest treatments and production of plant products

· wild harvesting and processing of commercial flower, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops


A proportion of flower production takes place in greenhouses. In addition to the greenhouse production, floriculture encompasses outdoor production of herbaceous plants and flowers, and field production of cut flowers.

Floriculture or flower growing can provide an interesting and exciting career for those seeking outdoor work involving growing, harvesting and preparing flowers and foliage for sale.

Career choices within Floriculture are diverse, challenging and lucrative. Floriculture career choices include:

  • Commercial Grower
  • Floral Wholesaler
  • Retail Florist
  • Research and Teaching

A career in Floriculture, however, may involve you in flower production, distribution, design, retailing, operations, marketing, publishing, importing, research, teaching, greenhouse design and engineering, climate control systems engineering, soil analysis, sales or pest management. In addition employers need people with support skills such as office management, human resources, bookkeeping, accounting and computer systems.

The most successful people in today’s Floriculture job market will be trained professionals who have strong business skills as well as horticultural knowledge.

Typical Jobs or Career Paths

Career options in Floriculture are related to and governed by training and qualifications.

Some students will start with general horticultural or nursery work or study, followed by specialist training within the industry, or short specialist study courses. Others will study at degree level, subjects such as horticulture, or horticulture with a flower production stream option, or increasingly a Bachelor’s degree in Floriculture. Some industry bodies offer horticulture/floriculture scholarships at colleges and universities. Courses which can offer simultaneous work experience are invaluable. Whatever your age or study level, on-the-job training at a greenhouse or other growing operation can give you real work experience.

For some positions and in some countries or states, licensing and/or certification may be required.

Flower growing is a competitive, high-tech world today, with high investment in machinery and equipment. Scientific research plays a big part in development of new flower varieties and micropropagation of plant tissue is often the preferred method used by breeders.

Career options include:

In the Commercial Growing Sector:

Flower Grower

Floricultural Assistant

Floricultural Worker

Floricultural Tradesperson

Floricultural Supervisor

Floricultural Manager

Floricultural Business Manager

In the Floral Wholesale Sector:

Business Owner

General Manager

Buyer

In the Retail Sector

Owner/ Manager of Retail Florist

Floral Designer

In the Training & Research Sector

Plant Breeder

College/University Lecturer

Botanic Garden Curator

Remuneration and Advancement Opportunities

The floral industry offers career and salary advancement based upon experience, education and an individual’s motivation and willingness to learn. A wide variety of entry-level positions are available above the hourly minimum wage. A Floricultural Business Manager or an Owner/Grower can earn a salary commensurate with or in excess of those for other professional level careers. Obviously, wages and salaries vary in different geographic areas and within industry sectors.

Professional Bodies

Membership of Professional bodies is useful to encourage networking and that you are kept up to date with current trends. Some will require an annual fee to join, whilst others will require evidence of your educational attainment and experience. Some will offer reduced fees for students.

Career Risks

There are risks associated with every career. Some people think "you work with flowers? What a stress free job!" If they only knew! Flower Growers have to tackle politically sensitive issues such as environmental concerns and small business issues.

Recommended Courses

Knowledge and experience is important, so ACS DE offers short courses and a certificate in Cut Flowers.

Certificate in Horticulture (Cut Flowers) http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=141

This certificate is divided into two parts – 50% of study is compulsory CORE modules which are Introduction to Plants, Plant Culture, Soils and Nutrition, Plant Identification and Use; Pests Diseases and Weeds. The remaining 50% of study is of topics specifically related to the production and marketing of cut flowers. The Stream studies are divided into the following modules: Cut Flower Production; Cut Flower Culture; Hydroponics Production Systems; Flow Charts; Bulbs: Perennials; Cropping Bulbs and Perennials; Woody Flower Crops; Rose and Orchid Production; Foliage Production; Diagnosis of Pests and Diseases; Control of Pests and Diseases; Weed Control; Harvest and Post Harvest; Marketing Procedures for Cut Flowers.

The Certificate is accredited through International Accreditation and Recognition Council

Cut Flower Production http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=133

This vocational short course provides a thorough basic training for the cut flower grower. The course covers an Introduction to Cut Flower Growing; Soils and Nutrition; Cultural Practices; Flower Initiation and Development; Pest & Disease Control; Natives and Related Plants; Greenhouse Culture; Harvest and Post Harvest; Developing a Production Plan; Export marketing of Flowers. Most types of flowers are covered including Annuals; Perennials; Bulbs and Relatives; Fillers; Natives and other plants.

Cut Flower Bulbs http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=134

A course for the enthusiast or Commercial Bulb Grower aimed at developing your ability to select and cultivate appropriate varieties of bulbs as cut flowers, in different situations. The ten lessons cover Introduction – Parts of the Flower, Understanding Soils and Hydroponics; Cultural Practices; Flower Initiation and Development; Pests and Disease control; Managing Yield and Greenhouse Culture; Management, Harvest and Post-Harvest; Gladiolus and Lilium; Narcissus; Iris; Other Bulbs – Dahlia, Freesia, Hyacinth, Tulip, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis

Greenhouse Cut Flowers http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=135

This course is for commercial cut flower growers concerned exclusively with greenhouse production. There are twelve lessons: Introduction; Cultural Practices; Flower Initiation and Development; Pest and Disease Control in Greenhouses; Greenhouse Management A; Greenhouse Management B; Management, Harvest and Post-Harvest; Herbaceous Perennials; Annuals and Biennials; Bulbs , Corms and Tubers; Filler Plants; Roses, Orchids etc.

Cut Flower Orchids http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=136

Orchids are one of the most commercially viable cut flower crops (due to their beauty and also their long shelf life. This course shows you how to produce orchid flowers for the cut flower trade via ten lessons: Introduction – Plant classification, Naming of Plants, Parts of the Flower; Culture – Basket, Epiphytes, Media; Propagation A – Methods, Materials, Equipment; Propagation B (Tissue Culture) – Techniques, Application, Culture nutrients; Greenhouse management A – Environmental Controls, Beds and Benches, Carbon Dioxide; Greenhouse Management B – Temperature, Irrigation, Cooling, Ventilation etc; Pest and Disease Control and Identification; Management, Harvest and Post-Harvest – Harvesting, Post-Harvest, Standards, Layout, Production Costs; Marketing – Marketing the product, Valuable Orchids, International Markets; Detailed Study of one species or group of orchids

For details of further ACSDE courses in Horticulture and Nursery, visit - http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/horti.aspx