Where your flowers come from
Despite our open green fields and beautiful woodlands, the UK simply does not have enough space to grow all the varieties of flowers required all year round. Therefore, a number of them have to be imported from countries where particular species grow in abundance.
This practice of import is particularly important during the winter months, when low light and heat levels mean that some crops are impossible to grow economically. Other countries have brighter light, warmer weather, cheaper land and labour costs – which outweigh the high cost of exporting flowers and plants. While many countries are starting to grow flowers and plants commercially, there are a small number of countries from which the UK imports most of its products. These are listed below, together with the main crops they grow.
Belgium – pot plants
Canary Islands – chrysanthemums, roses
Caribbean – tropicals, foliage
Chile – carnations, roses
Colombia – standard & spray carnations, roses
Denmark – pot plants
Ecuador – carnations, roses
Holland – all flowers and pot plants
India – roses
Israel – roses, gypsophila, waxflower, anigozanthos, all summer flowers
Italy – carnations, chrysanthemums, foliage, foliage plants
Kenya – roses, carnations, spray carnations, statice
Malta – chrysanthemums, `Paper White’ narcissi
Morocco – spray carnations
South Africa – proteas, strelitzia, roses, exotics
Spain – carnations, chrysanthemums
Thailand – orchids
Turkey – spray carnations
Venezuela – carnations, roses
UK Grown Flowers and Plants
Here in the UK we grow a great variety of cut flowers and indoor plants, and many of those you buy will have been home grown. The main crops the UK grows are:
- Flowering houseplants – African violets, azaleas, begonias, kalanchoes, and potted bulbs.
- Daffodils, narcissi and tulips – The UK is the world’s biggest grower of cut flower daffodils. Early Narcissi are grown in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, mid-season in Lincolnshire, and later in the season in Scotland.
- Chrysanthemums – widely grown throughout the UK, but mainly along the South Coast, in many varieties.
- Foliage – a wide range grown of mostly hardy hedgerow types but some exotic too – there is even a tea plantation in the UK.
- Lisianthus – a quite new flower but increasing in popularity, there is an excellent grower in Suffolk.
- Alstroemeria – again like lisianthus growing in popularity, several growers around the UK.
- Seasonal summer flowers – including asters, delphiniums, peonies, Sweet Williams, stocks, solidaster and sunflowers. Grown all around the UK but mainly in Lincolnshire and the South Coast.