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Flower power! National Tulip Day 2019 reigns victorious in Amsterdam
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The inside look...
Did you know that 84 percent of all Americans are shopping for something at any given time? Are your stores front-of-mind? Will your store be the first and only thought that enters the customer’s brain? And when he or she arrives… will they be satisfied and even enticed into spending more than intended? Remember, people don’t buy because what we do is awesome. They buy because our product makes them feel awesome! That philosophy should change how we’re advertising,... Read more
TPIE 2019 scores big with large buyer  attendance and record-breaking exhibitors
It was the zen of January…the yin to the yang of Valentine’s Day… the calm before the storm. The Tropical Plant International Expo is the trade event of mid-January, showcasing the latest trends in foliage, floral and tropicals in warm and inviting South Florida. TPIE covered nearly five acres — or 17,000-plus square meters — with living and vibrant plants creating a virtual indoor garden of showstopping displays.TPIE’s trade show was more than an exhibit area... Read more
Riddle: What holiday is bigger than Black Friday  and Cyber Monday combined?
Wait! You don’t get the answer that easily. Can you guess it in 10 hints? Go ahead, try to guess, and you’ll find the answer at the bottom: 1. Started in 1993 in Nanjing University — China. 2. Also known as “Bare Stick’s Holiday.” 3. World’s biggest online shopping event. 4. Also promoted offline, with Alibaba partnering with 52 shopping malls and 60 pop-up shops across 12 cities in China. 5. Celebrates singledom (oops, I may have given the answer away with... Read more
Live plants in Colombia maintain VAT exemption
The Tax Reform approved last December in Colombia will maintain the VAT exemption for plant sales in the country, said Jairo Cadavid, president of the Association of Colombian Nursery and Ornamental Growers, Colviveros. The decision was made as a result of the fiscal adjustments the South American country must undertake from 2019 onward, responding to the Colombian goal of keeping the production of live plants free from the value-added tax as a strategy to... Read more
February’s cringe-factor:  Why do flowers cost so much more around Valentine’s Day?
Oh, yes! We hear it every year — on the news, from our employees, from our walk-in customers, on social media, and even from our own company leadership! Why do flowers cost so much more around Valentine’s Day? Without the below economic factors stored in our arsenal and used to educate those around us, retail associates become frustrated, customers feel price-gouged, news media gets it wrong, growers are pressured to cut corners and company leadership expects... Read more
Research study to break new ground in understanding consumers
Sales of cut flowers have decreased recently in the U.S. floral market. Some experts posit that this could be correlated with changes in disposable income, causing some consumers to move to the lower-value end of the market. Others contend that this decrease in floral purchasing could also be due to barriers such as price or the availability of alternative gift items. Regardless of the reason, more than half of the retail floral industry revenue is comprised of... Read more
How the Government shutdown affects floriculture
By mid-January, the partial government shutdown had become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and was showing no signs of ending soon. A number of government agencies floral industry members depend on for services and business processes are affected in some way by the shutdown, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation, along with the Environmental... Read more
MARCH 8 = Celebrate. Honor. Respect
“Be that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst, be that fearless girl, the one who would dare to do anything, be that independent girl who didn’t need a man; be that girl who never backed down.” — Taylor Swift Thankfully, in the last year we’ve seen a continued surge in leadership by women in American society. The fall election cycles brought a record number of women to Washington D.C. to represent the American people. One hundred and twenty-seven... Read more
All about Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is truly a unique holiday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.” It is related to celebrations around the world, called “carnivals,” from the Latin words, “carne” and “vale”, meat and farewell — a farewell to meat before the abstinence of Lent. But, don’t confuse Carnival and Mardi Gras — they are not the same! Carnival refers to The Feast of the Epiphany, a period of feasting and fun that begins on Jan. 6. Mardi Gras refers to Fat Tuesday, the final... Read more
Out of Africa grows world’s flowers
Kenya is a country rich with diverse wildlife and spectacular beauty. It seems only fitting that Kenya is currently the fourth-largest exporter of fresh cut flowers. The book, Africa’s Competitiveness in the Global Economy Report 2018, puts Kenya’s flower industry among the leading players of the world’s floriculture industry, playing in the leagues of Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador, and Ethiopia. According to the report, the most popular of the 110 varieties of... Read more
Drum roll please… here comes Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you know what that means... as a business owner and leader, the holiday puts a smile on your face! The increased traffic may increase your business ten-fold and it always brings: • Increased shipments • Late shipments • More customers • Demanding customers • Temporary employees who don’t know your business. • Increased hours • No sleep • Stress • Your brain gets “fuzzy” and focus leaves your body. • Increased... Read more
Six easy tips to keep your orchid alive 
1. Water How often you water will depend on the type of orchid and the potting medium. In this article, we are specifically addressing Phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchids; the most popular orchid for the home. Bark retains less water than moss. If your plant is potted in bark, watering once a week is generally sufficient. If your plant is potted in moss, water when the top feels dry. Another good way is to stick a wood or bamboo skewer down into the pot, being careful... Read more
The inside look...
Did you hear the new Pantone color for 2019 is Living Coral? (Just kidding!) I think the Pantone color announcement is the only news that travels faster than light… with the exception of, maybe, a royal pregnancy. But don’t worry, we have you covered there... the Pantone color that is, NOT the pregnancy! Our friend, Robert DeBellis, from World Class Flowers, calls Living Coral a happy color, and likens the optimal color combinations with those found in Australia’s... Read more
Guarantee your rose quality for Valentine’s Day
Ten years ago, we wrote an article titled ‘The Roses are Screaming, Is Anyone Listening?” The American Floral Endowment funded research at the University of Florida to demonstrate that rose vase life of 8–10-plus days was possible, even on Valentine’s Day. We discovered how easy and simple it is to guarantee vase life, and how quickly one failed step will steal days of flower life.   Ethylene reduces opening of ‘Movie Star’ Rose. Flowers on the right... Read more
A life’s work that lives on... Legendary rose breeder David C. H. Austin dies at 92
David C.H. Austin, founder and hybridizer emeritus of David Austin Roses Ltd. in Albrighton, England, died Dec. 18, 2018 at his Shropshire home. He was 92. His death was announced by his son, David J.C. Austin, managing director of the company since 1993. A Distinguished Career in Roses In 2007, Mr. Austin was appointed Officer of the Order of British Empire in the Queen’s birthday honors list for services to horticulture. On receiving the award, he said, “Every... Read more
The Floral industry mournes the loss of  a great ambassador and WWII patriot
Mel Schwanke AAF, Past President of the Society of American Florists, and Recipient of the SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame Honor passed away at his home in Fremont, Nebraska on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the age of 92. Mel SchwankeMel and his surviving wife of 70 years, Joey, are known throughout the Flower industry for their passion and dedication — and also as the Famous Matching Couple, having dressed in coordinating outfits at industry events and every day in Joey’s... Read more
2019 National Floriculture Forum meets in Chicago
From Feb. 16-17 the National Floriculture Forum will meet in Chicago. Dating back to the early 1990s, the NFF hosts an educational meeting for industry leaders, university faculty, graduate students and government scientists from academic institutions, governmental agencies and the greenhouse industry.   These diverse floricultural communities come together with the objectives of 1) addressing issues of importance to the floriculture industry, 2) forming... Read more