One of the most important dates for the flower business is Valentine’s Day, and without a doubt the protagonists of this date, are the flowers, especially the red roses. They make their journey from the volcanic lands of the Andes, so that the lovers and all those who celebrate friendship and love can count on the most beautiful flowers that day.
The roses from Virgin Farms for Valentine’s Day come mainly from the Ecuadorian floriculture, which are planted at the altitude of 3,000 meters. At this level, the temperature in these areas is approximately 57.2 ° F. In this equatorial region, the sun’s rays fall perpendicularly on the rose plantations for 12 hours a day, and this makes the color of the roses more intense and their button size larger, which is why these roses are considered the most alluring in the world.
To learn more about how our cut rose suppliers are preparing for this date, we had the pleasure of talking with Rafael Santillán from Flower Fest, who explained in detail how farms prepare to supply the high demand for flowers on the 14th of February.
It should be noted that roses are produced year-round, but the highest demand for roses is for Valentine’s Day. It all begins by prepping the land for the rose plants. The soil is disinfected, and the rose beds are created for the planting process. The beds measure an average of 31 cm in depth, and the distance between each plant is 15 to 17 cm. After this, the plant begins to sprout. The flowering cycle lasts between 3 to 4 months depending on the variety.
Throughout the flowering stage of a rose bush, the rose has a very vegetative life. During this time, the stem hardens, and the leaves and the thorns become larger making its appearance more enhanced. At this phase, the rose’s button size is more substantial with an incredibly striking color. It is thought that for February 14th planting is increased, but this is not so. Instead, the procedure for pruning the bushes is modified. This operation begins in mid-October, when the most significant number of stems and smaller sprouts are left in the rose bush, which will grow again and bloom the last days of January and first days of February.
Throughout the year, about 1 to 1.1 roses are produced per plant, per month. For Valentine’s Day, three roses per plant are produced for the Valentine’s Day harvest, which gives a reference for engineers throughout the year to plan and optimize the most significant production for February. The date of cutting the stems at the precise aperture is what guarantees that the flowers are ready on the required date. This process is a combination of science and knowledge that Ecuadorian floriculturists have obtained in more than 50 years of floriculture in Ecuador.
Once this cut has been made, the flowers begin to bloom from the end of December and reach their optimum opening point between January 15 and February 3 and are dispatched to the United States between January 25 and 28. Flowers will be on the market before February 12, the date on which roses are already being sold for Valentine’s Day.