Online Flower Delivery Solutions for Overseas

Flowers as a gift

Popularity of ecommerce has made people habitual of online shopping these days. Technology is participating to make it easier and user friendly with the every passing day. This is because of latest technology the people are able to send their flowers and gifts anywhere in the world without any problem.  This is because of technology that our loved ones are not so far from us and we never missed them in any of our happy event.

We contribute equally in their happiness by sending different gifts and flowers. It is not the time when we had to wait for days to receive a parcel or a gift sent by our dear ones. The online flower companies claim one day or same day delivery service for your flowers or gifts you want to send. With the tough competition among these online flower companies has made the services and products better than ever before. Every company claims to be the best among others. If you are planning to send flowers to India, Sharjah, Oman or anywhere you want, keep in the mind that local florists charge you less. Therefore prefer your contract with local florist to get your flowers delivered.

Dealing with local online florists is always in the favor of a buyer. The online flower companies offer discount coupons for next purchase that can reduce your next purchase cost up to 25%. Furthermore, the Christmas Diwali and other occasions also make these deals cheaper than before. You will find numbers of discount offers at most of the online flower stores of the world on coming Christmas. There is no issue dealing with an international flower company as they are also operating quite efficiently in the floral industry. But you can find variation of rates for the same product among local and international companies.

On any special event there is only one thing that grab out attention and that are the flowers, it is a common trend that on every lively event we use to present flowers to each other and these are the most suitable gift that we have on any occasion as well. But, most of the time at many events an festival we find ourselves in a big difficulty that we are unable to decide the flowers, their arrangements and package as well. It is really a hard decision to make especially when you have arranged a number of other things as well.

But now the online flower shops present some of the eternal and most unique flower packages and packs for you that let you to present some pleasant flowers in a different style to your loved ones. These packages are highly popular during the festive season due to their mobility and adjustment capability in all the events and at every time.

Online flower packages are especially designed considering different events and festivals, you can find out a complete range of these packages online. In these packages you will get a huge verity of options you will definitely get what you want to have in these flower packages. Every color combinations, flower combination and flower arrangement you will get here that will make your event more memorable than ever. These are not just randomly designed but the specialist florist designs them exclusively with great care and perfection to make your present different and worthy as well.

How to Make Your Online Flower Purchase Secure

Make Your Online Flower Purchase Secure

 Online flowers are a big relief indeed, it has made a lot of things easy for the people as they are not required to visit the florist shop again and again and it also prevents them to get charged monthly for their floral bills. If you are the one who is getting the daily or weekly floral delivery services from your nearest local florist then now you do not have to do this. Because it is not a wise decision to pay those extra flowers you will get at home for no purpose. Now you have an option to get the desired flowers on demand at your home within limited time then why you should waste your money.

This is been a great facility for the people but people use to hesitate while using this due to the fear of sharing the credit card details with any third party. As it involves a big risk in it and nobody can sure about the safe usage of the information. Butnow you can make your online flower purchase safer by following some useful tips.

Tip # 1: Reputation of the business

Reputation of the business is much more important before making a trade with that business, whenever you are going to order some flowers online then try to make it possible that you will oblige only the reliable and reputed online flower shop. Or if it is your first experience then it good for it you take any advice or suggestion from your friend or any other person in circle. But if you do not have such person around you then make an in depth research on the company to evaluate that from how long it is providing the services and what is its track record in the field and in the services as well. This will really help you a lot.

Tip # 2: Safe payment security system

The second most important thing that you need to keep in your mind is the payment system, you need to ensure one thing that the site you are using to make an online purchase should have a secured and authorized payment system that build up records and works legally smooth without any issue. This is really very important for you to know as if you ignore this then it might be possible that your credit card details will be leaked.

Tip # 3: Select a site offers PayPal transfers

It is your first right to secure your transactions and money in the bank while dealing online, so it is better for you that you chose such online flower shop that supports and offers you the PayPal money transfer instead of credit or debit card. This will be the secured and most reliable way to deal with the online store, you do not have to provide your credit or debit card pin to them and through PayPal you can easily make you payment for the flowers you have ordered.

Tip # 4: Get full details of payment

It is better for you to know that for what services and products you are getting changed on your account. While ordering the flowers online then you should not forget t demand for the complete transaction details from them. This detailed payment receipt will let you know that what are the charges you are going to pay and for what purpose. You will know the original price of flowers, delivery charges and other packing and picking charges as well. This will be another way to save your wallet or card form being overcharged.

Flowers for a Typical Indian Wedding

Flowers for a Typical Indian Wedding and Functions

Weddings have been organized on a daily basis but wedding functions in a family do not take place daily. There are many people who need the help of wedding planners to arrange the functions. Flowers are the best way to organize functions and make the atmosphere fresh and sweet smelling. Flowers are not used in dozens but in kilograms. A lot of flowers are needed to decorate the complete place where the wedding is to take place, the hall or church, etc.

The flowers have to be:

• Fresh
• The exact same color ordered
• Be in time before the function for decoration
• Flowers should be real

Asians plan weddings in a different way. All those Asians who live abroad and need to plan weddings in the same way as if in their homeland  have to get weddings planned in a homely way; wedding planners are consulted. The most well known wedding planners are hired at very high rates. These wedding planners cannot be afforded by all the families. Those who afford them can also order flowers to be shipped for the wedding. Wedding flower choices are according to the different colors of flowers that are ordered for each day:

Flowers for the Dholki function

For the function of the Dholki beautiful garlands of pink color are usually ordered. The flowers preferred are normally Pansies.

Flowers for the Mayoon Function

For the Mayoon function yellow flowers which are known as ‘Gaenda’ are shipped over. These flowers are used for decorating the house as well as the bride.

Flowers for the Mehndi Function

The Mehndi function is a function that is celebrated at a much larger scale in comparison with the previous two functions. Garlands and beautiful necklace made up of yellow flowers mixed with jasmine or roses are made. Jewelry of flowers like earnings, necklace, hair band, bracelet, ring, etc. are made and used by the bride.

Flowers for the Wedding day

The flowers chosen for the wedding day are usually the ones that are of the color of the dress of the bride. Normally red, pink, orange or any other bridal color of flowers is used to decorate the stage. Red roses are normally the most used color on this day. Rose petals are also used to receive the groom’s family. The petals in a large number are showered on the groom and his family and guests on their arrival to the brides place.

Flowers for the Reception

The flowers used on this day are normally in contrast or of the same color as the brides dress. Colors like fuchsia, light blue, sea green, etc. are normally used to decorate the stage and the surrounding place.

Generally the flowers that are used all over the area in which the functions are arranged include stands of flowers. These stands are as high as eight feet to being as low as one and a half foot. The flowers are used according to the demand of the customer.

With the use of flowers at different times on a wedding function, one thing must be noted that all the Christian brides need to have a special bridal bouquet. All the bridesmaids also carry bouquets. The flowers have to fresh and neatly made into hand bunches that are easy to carry. A few brides like to wear garlands on their heads. The special flowers that are used for wedding arrangements have to be fresh and without thorns. It is important to have a good system of management to plan and arrange weddings across the world in a special way.

Wedding functions bloom when fresh flowers are added to the venue. All those people who have ever used flowers for decoration know the sweet smell that fills the atmosphere and leaves a very pleasing effect on all.
To order flowers online for marriage, visit us at Mayflower.in

How to choose Flowers for Your Wedding Day

How to Choose Flowers for Your Wedding Day

A wedding would just not be the same without flowers. Every bride wants her wedding to be memorable and her choice of flowers or arrangements should reflect her specific taste and personality. Her flowers should create a theme to make her wedding day special and provide the finishing touch to this very special day.

Choose Flowers for Your Wedding Day

1. Understand that there are no right or wrong choices when selecting flowers for your wedding. It is your own personal choice, as your own preferences are the most important part, as well as having a basic understanding of what works well for the theme you’ve chosen and your budget. You can also expect a good florist to provide you with helpful advice, so be prepared to ask plenty of questions and to run ideas past your florist once you reach that stage.
Some basics to grasp before getting into the details include:
Remember that less is more. Flowers are the splash of color, the ornamentation on top of many other already beautiful parts of a wedding.
Good positioning and use of inexpensive foliage can create the sense that you have more floral arrangements than you actually do.
Your florist must share your vision, or it’s time to find one who does.
2. Start by looking through bridal magazines, books, and even gardening books that focus on flowers. If you don’t already have an idea of the types of flowers you’d like to have, simply looking at beautifully photographed flowers can be a lovely way to start getting an idea of what you like. Even consider taking a tour of a local Botanical Garden or a greenhouse where flowers are on display, to get a real feel for how the flowers appear.
Learn the different meanings of the flowers so that this can play a part in your decision; you might want to express certain sentiments through the “language of flowers”. Read How to express yourself using the language of flowers to find the meanings of flowers with accompanying images.
There are some classic wedding flowers with which you can’t go wrong. They are: roses, peony, lily of the valley, hydrangea,orchid, and calla lily. This doesn’t mean you must have any of these flowers but it can help you when deciding to know that these classics are sound choices.
3. Determine your budget. Before you get too excited, do the sums. Some floral arrangements might not be realistic once you have budgeted for everything else, so it’s a good idea to know how much you have to spend on flowers before getting your hopes up. When you visit the florist, you can discuss the extent of your budget and work from there. It’s a good idea to keep some flowers on your “must-have” list and some on your “wish-list”, so that if you do have to pare down, the wish-list flowers can go first without depleting the flowers that you must have. See the “Tips” below for an indication of essential flowers versus nice-but-not-necessary ones, if the budget can’t stretch that far.
Be prepared to be more creative if you’re on a budget.
Don’t hedge around the cost with your florist. Be honest if you can’t afford much; it’ll help your florist look for cheaper but just as lovely alternatives early on.
Use expensive flowers sparingly, such as for the bridal bouquet only.
Centerpieces soon add up. Consider finding less elaborate centerpieces to reduce the costs if your budget is tight.
Feel free to mix and match flower types and to raid the garden as well. All flowers are beautiful, whether they’re cheap or expensive; the important thing is freshness and a price you can afford.
Use fragrant flowers to give the impression that there are more flowers; stronger smelling flowers will perfume a room with ease (for example, frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas).
4. Consider the color of the flowers. Color is an important part of your decision about which flowers to have. The colors chosen should complement the bridal gown, the wedding theme, and the clothing of the rest of the bridal party. Colors chosen according to the seasonal availability will allow you the greatest impact for the smaller price, as seasonal flowers will always cost less. When thinking about color, consider what the flowers have to contend with in the room, marquee, or outdoor area where they’re located and be sure to choose colors that will stand out.
Some of the more popular flowers by color choice include:
White: rose, sweet pea, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and snowdrop.
Pink: rose, ranunculus, peony, sweet pea, carnation, tulip, protea, boronia, and lily.
Lavender: lavender, lilac, anemone, statice, iris, delphinium, and hydrangea.
Yellow: daffodil, sunflower, tulip, gerbera, lily, and freesia.
Red: gerbera, rose, dahlia, poinsettia, and amaryllis.
5. Consider the season. The season plays an important role in your choice, especially if you’re budget-conscious. While non-seasonal flowers can be flown in, this increases the cost and complexity considerably. And if you’re into locally grown produce, it’s hardly appropriate to have flowers flown in! Some of the more well-known, popular flowers are indicated alongside their season here (noting that there may be regional and climate variances depending on where you live in the world):
Spring flowers: amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, freesia, gerbera, lily of the valley, orchid, ranunculus, stephanotis, and sweet pea.
Summer flowers: anthurium, carnation, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, lily, magnolia, peony, rose, and sunflower.
Autumn/fall flowers: agapanthus, aster, clematis, daisy, hosta, hydrangea, passion flower, and pinks.
Winter flowers: camellia, euphorbia, iris, nerine, pansy, poinsettia, snowdrop, tulip.
All year round flowers: calla lily, carnation, gypsophila, orchid, protea, rose, and tulip (although this list may vary by region).
6. Think about where you want flowers to play a role in your wedding. Wedding flowers can be simple or elaborate depending on the type of wedding that is being planned. Either way, they should have a look of individuality and look as if they have all been specially created for the bride.

Flowers are suitable for the following places and arrangements:

The bridal bouquet, and bouquets for the wedding party members (see below).
Flowers for the church or other place of marriage); flowers can be placed at the end of pews, on the altar, chancel steps, windowsills, around candelabra etc. Floral displays in most churches need to be large to be effective in the huge space of the church; if you have a tight budget, in some cases, you might even share the cost of the flowers in a church wedding if there is another wedding on the same day; that’s totally up to your preferences though). Note that some clergy will oppose decoration of the altar.
A register or registry office building or town hall may be less willing to have your own flowers but it’s worth asking if you can bring in one special arrangement of your own.
A decorated bridal arch or arbor.
A carpet of fresh petals for an outside wedding.
Tables at a sit-down dinner.
Flowers around a hall, marquee, dance area for the reception.

Bridal Bouquet

7. Start with the bridal bouquet. This is the most intimate floral arrangement for the wedding and if you can’t afford many flowers, at least don’t skimp on the bouquet! The bride’s bouquet should be the largest and most spectacular bouquet in the wedding party. White is still traditionally the most popular color for the bride’s bouquet, but many different colors are used in weddings today for the bride and bridesmaids from soft pastels such as pale pink through to rich, vibrant colors such as hot pink, burgundy and violets. Ultimately, the choice of flowers for the bouquet depend on what you want, the style of your dress, your height and your wedding theme. It is recommended that you don’t finalize the bouquet until you have chosen your dress, because the two must match perfectly, and usually the larger the dress, the larger the bouquet.
There are various styles of bouquets. These include round, trailer, sheaf, crescent, line, and cascade bouquets:
Round bouquets are a popular choice for many brides. This style is usually used for large flowers such as roses or peonies, loosely arranged with foliage and tied with a ribbon.
Large trailing bouquets (a cascade) are particularly suited to romantic style wedding gowns. They will only work well with larger dresses though; they overpower anything slinky or close-fitting. These usually consist of flowers wired to a handle; it is both the most traditional and most formal form of bouquet shapes.
Tied bouquets are hand tied casually or wound together with wire. This style goes best with a modern, simple dress at a contemporary wedding.
A posy is a minimalist approach that is very small and usually hand-tied with ribbon; lily of the valley is an ideal flower for this type of bouquet.
A pomander bouquet is usually made without the addition of foliage and it can be suspended on a ribbon for the bride to wear on her wrist.
An elegant line bouquet of lilies is a good choice for a slim-fitting gown.
A modern style bouquet made of exotic flowers and tropical foliage will suit the contemporary bride.
Consider additional embellishments to a bouquet:
Pearls and crystals can be incorporated into bouquets for a touch of added glamour.
For a delicate touch sheer organza ribbon can be used to create ribbon bows and long streamers.
Wide satin ribbon will give a rich, luxurious look.

Bridesmaid’s bouquet

8. Decide upon the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The bridesmaids’ flowers can be a smaller version of the brides flowers or a different shape but still maintaining the color theme. If the bride is carrying a trailing bouquet the bridesmaids could carry round bouquets. Each of the bouquets can be the same color as the brides bouquet. If you do select a different color, ensure that it blends well with the bridal bouquet and the overall wedding color theme. Ultimately, aim for good coordination.
To give a different look, the bridesmaids could carry elegant evening bags filled with flowers. The bag would need to be lined with a piece of plastic to prevent staining the inside of the bag. A piece of soaked florist foam can be placed in the bag and the flowers and foliage arranged in the foam to extend gracefully from the top of the bag.
9. Decide upon the style of the flower girl’s flowers. This daintiest member of the wedding party could carry a small basket of flowers to match the bridesmaids’ flowers. The basket can be sprayed white or a pastel shade. Another alternative is to attach a spray of flowers to a piece of ribbon and tie it around the flower girl’s wrist, tying the ribbon ends in a bow with long ends. This is particularly suitable for a very young flower girl who may find a basket awkward to carry.
One delightful variation is to just give the flower girl rose or other petals in her basket and to ask her to scatter the flowers down the aisle. Naturally, clear this with the wedding officiant and/or building owner first.
Consider a floral bracelet and/or a floral hair ornament to adorn the flower girl. A floral wreath that sits on the hair like a fairy or nymph is another pretty variation. She’ll be super delighted with these special touches.
Consider giving flower girls under 5 a teddy bear or other soft toy with its own corsage. The soft toy can be kept afterward as a thank-you gift.

Preparation for bridegroom and groomsmen

10. Prepare the bridegroom and groomsmen. Although their need for flowers is less showy, it’s just as important, and they will wear a buttonhole/boutonniere. For the groom, provide something that has a slight difference from the buttonholes for the groomsmen – such as a single flower that is the same as one in the bridal bouquet. Flowers that are popular for buttonholes include roses, carnations, orchids, and small varieties of lily. Lily of the valley is popular for buttonholes because it is an expensive flower but goes a long way in a buttonhole.
Consider giving the father of the bride ad groom a special buttonhole of their own.
If you have the budget and the inclination, you could also leave buttonholes in a dish for all guests to take as they enter the church or area where you’re getting married.
11. Prepare the corsages. Both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom wear corsages. These should complement their outfits. The standard corsage flowers include roses, orchids, camellias, and gardenias.
Often grandmothers and special aunts will wear corsages too.

It is helpful to know the color of the dresses of those wearing corsages, to ensure that the colors will not clash – white or cream is always a safe, neutral choice.

Thus outlined are basic simple steps in going about arranging and deciding on flowers for a wedding.

To order flowers online for wedding, visit us at: Mayflower.in

Flower Exports From India

Flower Exports from India

Government of India has identified floriculture as a sunrise industry and accorded it 100% export oriented status. Owing to steady increase in demand of flower floriculture has become one of the important Commercial trades in Agriculture. Hence commercial floriculture has emerged as hi-tech activity-taking place under controlled climatic conditions inside greenhouse. Floriculture in India, is being viewed as a high growth Industry. Commercial floriculture is becoming important from the export angle. The liberalization of industrial and trade policies paved the way for development of export-oriented production of cut flowers. The new seed policy had already made it feasible to import planting material of international varieties. It has been found that commercial floriculture has higher potential per unit area than most of the field crops and is therefore a lucrative business. Indian floriculture industry has been shifting from traditional flowers to cut flowers for export purposes. The liberalized economy has given an impetus to the Indian entrepreneurs for establishing export oriented floriculture units under controlled climatic conditions.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), is responsible for export promotion and development of floriculture in India.

Varieties

Floriculture products mainly consist of cut flowers, pot plants, cut foilage, seeds bulbs, tubers, rooted cuttings and dried flowers or leaves. The important floricultural crops in the international cut flower trade are rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, gargera, gladiolus, gypsophila, liastris, nerine, orchids, archilea, anthuriu, tulip, and lilies. Floriculture crops like gerberas, carnation, etc. are grown in green houses. The open field crops are chrysanthemum, roses, gaillardia, lily marygold, aster, tuberose etc.

Areas of Cultivation

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh , Haryana, Tamil Nadu , Rajasthan , West Bengal have emerged as major floriculture centers.
India Facts and Figures:
About 253.65 thousand hectares area was under Cultivation in floriculture in 2011-12. Production of flowers are estimated to be 1.652 million tonnes loose flowers and 750.66 million tonnes cut flowers in 2011-12.

Exports

The country has exported 27,121.88 MT of floriculture products to the world for the worth of Rs. 423.46 crores in 2012-13.
Major Export Destinations (2012-13): USA, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and Japan were major importing countries of Indian floriculture during the same period.
India has a long tradition of floriculture. References to flowers and gardens are found in ancient Sanskrit classics like the Rig Veda (C 3000-2000 BC), Ramayana (C 1200-1300 BC), Mahabharata (prior to 4th Century BC), Shudraka (100 BC), Ashvagodha (C 100 AD), Kalidasa (C 400 AD) and Sarangdhara (C 1200 AD). The social and economic aspects of flower growing were, however, recognized much later. The offering and exchange of flowers on all social occasions, in places of worship and their use for adornment of hair by women and for home decoration have become an integral part of human living. With changing life styles and increased urban affluence, floriculture has assumed a definite commercial status in recent times and during the past 2-3 decades particularly. Appreciation of the potential of commercial floriculture has resulted in the blossoming of this field into a viable agri-business option. Availability of natural resources like diverse agro-climatic conditions permit production of a wide range of temperate and tropical flowers, almost all through the year in some part of the country or other. Improved communication facilities have increased their availability in every part of the country. The commercial activity of production and marketing of floriculture products is also a source of gainful and quality employment to scores of people.

Present Situation of Cut Flower Production

Inspite of the long and close association with floriculture, the records of commercial activity in the field are very few. The information on the area under floriculture and the production generated is highly inadequate. As commercial floriculture is an activity which has assumed importance only in recent times, there are not many large farms engaged in organised floriculture. In most part of the country flower growing is carried out on small holdings, mainly as a part of the regular agriculture systems.

Production Areas

The estimated area under flower growing in the country is about 65,000 hectares (Table 1). The major flower growing states are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the South, West Bengal in the East, Maharashtra in the West and Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana in the North. It must, however, be mentioned that it is extremely difficult to compute the statistics of area in view of the very small sizes of holdings, which very often go unreported. This perhaps would be the reason for unrealistically small areas reported for floriculturally active states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
More than two thirds of this large area is devoted for production of traditional flowers, which are marketed loose e.g. marigold, jasmine, chrysanthemum, aster, crossandra, tuberose etc. The area under cut flower crops (with stems) used for bouquets, arrangements etc. has grown in recent years, with growing affluence and people’s interest in using flowers as gifts. The major flowers in this category are rose, gladiolus, tuberose, carnation, orchids and more recently liliums, gerbera, chrysanthemum, gypsophila etc.

Area Under Flower Production in India

Area in hectares

Karnataka 19,161
Tamil Nadu 14,194
West Bengal 12,285
Andhra Pradesh 5,933
Maharashtra 3,356
Rajasthan 1,985
Delhi 1,878
Haryana 1,540
Madhya Pradesh 1,270
Uttar Pradesh 1,000
Others 2,166
Total 64,768 hectares
The production of flowers is estimated to be nearly 300,000 metric tonnes of loose flowers and over 500 million cut flowers with stem. In the case of production also, the estimates could be at variance from the actual figures as some of the flowers like rose, chrysanthemum, and tuberose are used both as loose flowers and with stem.
It may be mentioned that almost all of the area reported here is under open field cultivation of flowers. Protected cultivation of flowers has been taken up only in recent years for production of cut flowers for exports. The estimated area in production is about 200 hectares, which is likely to increase to over 500 hectares by the year 2000.
Recognising the potential for low cost production for export, in view of cheap land, labour and other resources, several export oriented units are being set up in the country. These projects, located in clusters around Pune (Maharashtra) in the West, Bangalore (Karnataka) and Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) in the South, and Delhi in the North, are coming up in technical collaboration with expertise mainly from Holland and Israel. More than 90 percent of these units are for rose production, on an average size of 3-hectare farm, while some projects for orchid, anthurium, gladiolus and carnation are also being set up. Nearly one third of over 200 proposed projects, have already commenced production and export.

Major Cut Flower Crops

Rose is the principal cut flower grown all over the country, even though in terms of total area, it may not be so. The larger percentage of the area in many states is used for growing scented rose, usually local varieties akin to the Gruss en Tepelitz, the old favourite to be sold as loose flowers. These are used for offerings at places of worship, for the extraction of essential oils and also used in garlands. For cut flower use, the old rose varieties like Queen Elizabeth, Super Star, Montezuma, Papa Meilland, Christian Dior, Eiffel Tower, Kiss of Fire, Golden Giant, Garde Henkel, First Prize etc. are still popular. In recent times, with production for export gaining ground in the country, the latest varieties like First Red, Grand Gala, Konfitti, Ravel, Tineke, Sacha, Prophyta, Pareo, Noblesse. Virsilia, Vivaldi etc. are also being grown commercially.
Gladiolus is the next most important cut flower crop in the country. Earlier it was considered a crop for temperate regions and its growing was restricted to the hilly areas, particularly in the north eastern region, which still continues to supply the planting material to most parts of the country. However, with improved agronomic techniques and better management, the northern plains of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, as well as Maharashtra and Karnataka have emerged as the major areas for production of gladiolus.
Tuberose, a very popular cut flower crop in India is grown mainly in the eastern part of the country i.e. West Bengal, and also in northern plains and parts of south. Both single and double flower varieties are equally popular. Tuberose flowers are also sold loose in some areas for preparing garlands and wreaths.
The other main cut flower item is orchid. Its production is restricted mainly in the north-eastern hill regions, besides parts of the southern states of Kerala and Karnataka. The main species grown are Dendrobiums, Vanda, Paphiopedilums, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis and Cymbidiums.
Among the traditional crops grown for loose flowers, the largest area is under marigold, grown all over the country. In most parts of the country only local varieties are grown for generations. African marigolds occupy more area as compared to the small flowered French types. Jasmine flowers in view of its scent are also very popular as loose flowers and for use in garlands and Veni (ornament for decoration of hair by women). The major areas under this crop are in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka in South and West Bengal in East. The varieties are mainly improved clones of Jasminum grandiflorum, J. auriculatum and J. sambac. The chrysanthemum, particularly the white varieties are much in demand as loose flowers during the autumn period of October-December when other flowers like jasmine, tuberose are not available for use in garlands etc. Among other traditional flowers grown in large areas are crossandra in southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and aster in Maharashtra.

Research Support

Research work on floriculture is being carried out at several research institutions under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, in the horticulture/floriculture departments of State Agricultural Universities and under the All India Coordinated Floriculture Improvement Project with a network of about twenty (20) centres. The crops which have received larger attention include rose, gladiolus, chrysanthemum, orchid, jasmine, tuberose, aster, marigold etc. The thrust till recently had been on crop improvement, standardization of agro-techniques including improved propagation methods, plant protection and post harvest management. In view of the fact that most of the cut flower production is being done under open field conditions, the research efforts generally relate to open cultivation. In recent years, however, technologies for protected cultivation and tissue culture for mass propagation have also received attention. A large number of varieties suitable for cut flower use, as well as garden display have been developed. Production technology, particularly the agronomic requirements and control methods for important diseases and insect pests have also been developed. Contribution by the private sector in research activities in floriculture is negligible.

Planting Material

The requirement of planting material to cater to the large area under flower crops, is largely met from domestic production. Since efforts to set up large commercial farms generally suffered due to lack of quality planting material in sufficient quantities, this aspect has received greater attention in recent years in the breeding centres, which are producing sufficient quantity of planting material. Most of the nurseries propagating planting material are in the private sector. In the absence of any mechanism to register nurseries, it is very difficult to ascertain their exact number, but at a very conservative estimate there are more than 100,000 nurseries, spread out all over the country, producing seeds and other planting materials for flower growers. The states with larger numbers of nurseries include Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Most of the nurseries are small, with little or no improved facilities like mist propagation unit, green houses/net houses etc. For meeting the demand of flower seeds, several large seed companies have production units in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir in the North, Karnataka in the South and West Bengal in the East. A few of the leading multinational seed companies have tied up with local seed companies or producers for custom production of seeds of their varieties. In the case of bulbous plants, most of the planting material is produced in the north eastern hilly regions of West Bengal (Kalimpong) and Sikkim, though for some crops, it is also produced in hilly regions of northern India. The introduction of a revised seed policy by the government of India in 1989 has enabled unrestricted introduction of many new and superior varieties into the country, increasing the variety in the floral basket.
Tissue culture has, in recent years, been recognized as an important tool in agriculture development. With its diverse climatic zones and qualified manpower, India is well placed to exploit the benefit of tissue culture based applications to floriculture crops. Most popular application of tissue culture has been micropropagation using in vitro technique for mass multiplication of planting material. Tissue culture plants of ornamentals have found ready acceptance by the commercial growers and their production increased significantly from 130 million plants in 1985-86 to 680 million in 1994-95. At present 30 commercial tissue culture units with annual capacities of 0.5 to 15 million plants each are in operation, resulting in total capacity of about 110 million plants. While most of it is exported, a small percentage of cut flower crops like carnation and gerbera are finding good market within the country.

Marketing

Marketing of cut flowers in India is very unorganised at present. In most metropolitan cities, with large market potential, flowers are brought to wholesale markets, which mostly operate in open yards. A few large flower merchants generally buy most of the produce and distribute them to local retail outlets after significant mark up. The retail florist shops also usually operate in the open on-road sides, with different flowers arranged in large buckets. In the metros, however, there are some good florist show rooms, where flowers are kept in controlled temperature conditions, with considerable attention to value added service. The government is now investing in setting up of auction platforms, as well as organized florist shops with better storage facilities to prolong shelf life.
The packaging and transportation of flowers from the production centres to the wholesale markets at present is very unscientific. The flowers, depending on the kind, are packed in old gunny bags, bamboo baskets, simple cartons or just wrapped in old newspapers and transported to markets by road, rail or by air. The mode of transportation depends on the distance to the markets and the volume. Mostly, flowers are harvested in the evening time and transported to nearby cities by overnight trains or buses. In recent years, the government has provided some assistance for buying refrigerated carriage vans. A large number of export oriented units have built up excellent facilities of pre-cooling chambers, cold stores and reefer vans and their produce coming for domestic market sales are thus of very good quality and have longer vase life and command higher price. The government programmes for floriculture development include creating common facilities of cool chain in large production areas to be shared on cooperative basis. Formation of growers’ cooperatives/associations are being encouraged.
In view of the unorganized set up, it is difficult to estimate the size of flower trade, both in terms of volume and value. A study conducted in 1989 estimated the trade to be worth Rs. 2050 million. It is in the period of the last five years or so that this business has really boomed in India, which is reflected in the number of new florist outlets in all cities and increase in the public’s purchase of flowers as gifts. This would put the current trade at several times the earlier estimate. A recent study of Delhi market alone put the value of flowers traded on wholesale as Rs. 500 million.
The loose flowers (traditional crops like marigold, jasmine etc.) are usually traded by weight. The average price of different flowers in major markets varies considerably depending on the period of availability (Table 2).

Average Market Price for Major Flower Crops

Price (US$1 = Rs.40)

Rs./kg or doz or each stem
Marigold kg 3-60
Jasmine kg 15-150
Crossandra kg 20-120
Chrysanthemum kg 5-25
Tuberose kg 5-30
Rose kg 6-60
Gladiolus Doz 20-75
Carnation Doz 30-75
Gerbera Doz 36-75
Orchids each stem 10-45
Liliums each stem 10-45
Anthuriums each stem 15-45
The net returns to the growers depend on the packaging and transportation costs. The cut flowers with stem have a limited overall market in terms of volume. The share of cut flowers has almost doubled from 30 to 60% in the last decade.
The value of cut flower export from India has increased twenty five fold during the last five years (Table 3). With more export oriented units coming into operation, exports are likely to grow further in the coming years. The major share of the export trade is for roses, in addition to orchids, gladiolus etc. The major markets are Europe (Holland, Germany and U.K.) and Japan. The exports of roses to Japan, have really picked up in the three years from Rs. 360 million in 1993-94 to Rs. 6090 million in 1995-96. As per the estimates for 1996-97, India has been the largest supplier of roses to Japan (volume wise).

Potential for Cut Flower Production Development

The availability of natural resources like favourable and diverse climatic conditions permit production and availability of a large variety of flower crops round the year. Cheap labour leads to reduction in production costs, increasing access of the consumer to good quality flowers at affordable prices, besides increasing our competitiveness in the export markets. Being a new concept in the agri-business, it took some time for scientific commercial flower production to take roots, but with the appreciation of its potential as an economically viable diversification option, its growth is slowly stabilising. The government also has, during the last few years, recognized floriculture as an important segment for developmental initiatives. Model Floriculture Centres being set up in 11 major production zones, to serve as focal units for development in the region, have a mandate of making available quality planting material, new/improved production technologies and also to provide training in production and post harvest management. There are also special government programmes for area expansion in floriculture with state assistance. The National Horticulture Board, a major developmental agency for horticulture, also makes available finances as soft loan for setting up integrated projects for production and marketing. As mentioned earlier, the government is investing in improving the infrastructure for marketing in the domestic sector.
Production of cut flowers for exports is also a thrust area for support. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the nodal organization for promotion of agri-exports including flowers, has introduced several schemes for promoting floriculture exports from the country. These relate to development of infrastructure, packaging, market development, air freight subsidy etc. The 100% Export Oriented Units are also given benefits like duty free imports of capital goods.
All these efforts indicate the government’s commitment for improving the sector and creating a positive environment for entrepreneurship development in the field.

Constraints in Cut Flower Production Development

Being a new concept, the requirements of scientific and commercial floriculture is not properly understood in the country. The developmental initiatives of the government have to keep in mind the low knowledge base, small land holdings, unorganized marketing and poor infrastructural support.
While long experience of flower growing in the open field conditions enable sufficient flower production for domestic markets, the quality of the produce, in view of its exposure to various kinds of biotic and abiotic stresses, is not suitable for the ever growing export market. The production technology for flowers under protected environment of green houses needs to be standardized. There is hardly any post harvest management of flowers for the domestic market. Availability of surplus flowers from exports for sale in the domestic market, has increased the appreciation of quality produce and the demand for good quality flowers is increasing. With the introduction of new varieties of crops in the country, facilities for generating their planting material for large scale production need strengthening. Special attention needs to be paid to strengthen the marketing infrastructure like organised marketing yards, auction platforms, controlled condition storage chambers etc.
Greater research efforts are also needed for integrated pest management, development of location specific package of practices for traditional flowers, value addition to traditional flowers etc.
The initial cost and availability of finance is a critical matter in the development of large commercial projects requiring heavy investments. More options for developmental finance, such as the soft loan scheme of the National Horticulture Board need to be identified. In the initial years of commercial floriculture development, the governmental support in terms of subsidies etc. needs special attention.
The potential for growth of export market is always linked to the strength of domestic market – its capacity to absorb surplus and over production, and quality consciousness of consumers. Though we have a large domestic market, the marketing system and facilities need to be modernized.
The production for exports at present has suffered due to a few constraints. While our growers have been successful in producing world class quality at low cost, high air freight rates, low cargo capacity available, imposition of import duties, inadequate export infrastructure etc. have reduced their competitiveness.
There is also a shortage of trained manpower to handle commercial floriculture activity. The demands of the growing export oriented industry would require adequate attention to be paid for human resource development, particularly at the supervisory level.

Conclusions

India has a long floriculture history and flower growing is an age old enterprise. What it has lacked is its commercialization. The growing demands of flowers in the domestic as well as the export market will require a concerted effort on the part of the government as well as the private entrepreneurs to develop floriculture on scientific lines. Paying attention to the input needs, better resource management and making various policies entrepreneur friendly would lead to a balanced growth of the industry.
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