Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The flower farming business include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. They are grown in cell packs (in flats or trays), in pots, or in hanging baskets, usually inside a controlled environment, and sold largely for gardens and landscaping. Flowering plants are largely sold in pots for indoor use while cut flowers are usually sold in bunches or as bouquets with cut foliage. The production of cut flowers is actually a different branch (excuse the pun) specifically known as the cut flower industry. The flower business is also distinct from nursery as the plants sold are usually plants that have no persistent woody stem above ground (Herbaceous).
Flowers are among the most profitable plants, producing one of the highest returns of any specialty crop. You can get started with very little – just enough for seeds and supplies, and most new flower growers make money in the first year.
What to plant
Popular flowers to grow and sell include: roses, lilies, cosmos, statice, zinnias, snapdragons and daisies. You can also sell dried flowers.
Where to sell
What to plant an grow is as important as where you sell it. This will depend on a few factors, quantity and location etc. The floral industry essentially consists of three major components: the growers, the wholesalers and the retailers, this means (usually depending on your quantity) you will either sell to wholesalers, retail outlets (who will resell to public) or sell direct to public, unless you are really small quantity you will usually sell to wholesale although selling to retail outlets cannot be discounted. In Johannesburg there is a flower auction house called Multiflora. Check if there are similar markets in your area.
Flowers can be grown anywhere from a small backyard to a larger plot of small holding. The space your use will usually determine the type of flower farmer as a small backyard operation is likely only to be a sideline operation compared to a larger business.