Floriculture, or flower farming, is a great industry to consider if you’re interested in an agricultural job, but don’t want to work on a traditional farm.
Most floriculture is done in greenhouses to protect the plants and create beautiful blooms that haven’t been harm by the weather. Of course outdoor flowers are still beautiful, but the fact of the matter is that this is, in part, a gift industry, and people don’t want to purchase flowers with torn petals or uneven growth. There are some flowers that are grown outside or even collected in the wild, but most are kept in a controlled environment. So, if you work in floriculture, you’ll probably have a job in a greenhouse.
Most of the plants sold at greenhouses are herbaceous, which means that the plant’s leaves and stems die seasonally. Plants can be sold potted and ready to plant, or they can be cut, as is common for bouquets. Some greenhouses have retail shops, while others just sell flowers wholesale to shops that then sell them to customers.
There are two basic job divisions in floriculture. First, you could work caring for plants. With this type of job, you’ll work watering plants, adding plant food to the soil, transferring plants to larger pots as they grow, moving plants around the greenhouse, clipping dead leaves, packaging plants to sell, and more. The second type of job in floricultural is working in the retail side, either selling plants to consumers or arranging flowers for bouquets and centerpieces. Larger greenhouses also have people who are fully dedicated to filling orders as they come in.
You don’t need a degree to start working in the floriculture industry, but many workers choose to get associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in fields such as agricultural management or floral design/floristry. There’s also on-the-job training available at many greenhouses, so you can work your way up through the ranks to management positions and higher salaries.
Seasonal positions are often available in the floriculture industry because business picks up in the spring and summer. Many greenhouses sell flowers or arrangements and bouquet for weddings, and holidays like Mother’s Day are also extremely busy for those in this kind of agricultural business.
It is important to note that not every greenhouse is fully dedicated to flowers. Some also grow fruits and vegetables, which makes it possible for grocery stores to have year-round access to foods that would traditionally only be available during part of a year. So, instead of working with flowers, you could work with plants such as tomatoes.