February 13, 2020
It’s peak season for a massive Colombian industry that shipped more than 4 billion flowers to the United States last year — or about a dozen for every U.S. resident.
The American flower industry has seen its production of roses drop roughly 95 percent, falling from 545 million to less than 30 million.
Colombians don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day, but among flower growers, the foreign holiday can account for close to 20 percent of annual revenue.
In 1986, there were 228 domestic growers producing just one type of rose — the hybrid tea rose — for mass consumption. By 2015, the number of U.S. producers selling any type of rose at a large scale had dwindled to 15.