Commercial Flower Growing
With their long lasting flowers and incredible array of texture and colour, it's not at all surprising that Protea are now used extensively in both home and commercial flower arranging. Our Proteas are usually incorporated in arrangements with other Australian flowers and sold commercially as "natives" or "wildflowers". There is now a trend to use Proteas with all sorts of other flowers to create new and exciting arrangements.
We are a NIASA ‘Accredited Nursery’ and have been for the past 15 years. Proteaflora’s Accreditation is your guarantee that the plants you receive will be in top health. Amongst other things, Accreditation monitors and tests annually: potting mix sources and handling procedures; water treatment systems; motherstock and propagation systems and hygiene; growing area layout and hygiene; pest and disease management programs; and absence of Phytophthora Cinnamomi. In each independent audit of our nursery practices consistently exceed the required standard set by the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia.
Our production program is underpinned by an intensively managed undercover motherstock system. This significantly improves plant quality and reliability, pest and disease management, and supply reliability.
Is growing Proteas a realistic proposition? Well it can be, provided you pay attention and go about your research well so you can produce high quality commercial blooms.
To get yourself started you may wish to check that your:
- Drainage is suitable. Soil drainage to 60cm. Slope drainage to avoid rising water table (particularly where soils are shallow).
- Soil pH range is between pH5 to pH6 for most varieties.
- Nutrients levels are low of phosphorus. Below 15ppm is usually suggested and low to moderate levels of nitrogen and potash are desirable.
- Water source is clean (disease free) and low in salts.
- Site is not prone to heavy frosts. There is a wide variation of tolerance between varieties but a frost free site is preferable, most varieties tolerate light frost to –2 °C.
- Air movement around plants is good, low summer humidity is required by most varieties.
- Site is not extremely windy.
- Soil is free from disease. Armillaria, Phytophthora and Nematodes can be fatal to proteas.
- Site gets all day sunshine as it is preferred by most varieties.
Some of our key flower grower lines include:
Protea Arctic Ice (cynaroides, white), spring flowers.
Protea Arctic Ice was sourced from New Zealand where it was noted for its long slender stems and high productivity. The King protea flower is a large flower and even thought the packing number per box is low it is an impressive flower and is popular. Either due to climate or soil fertility Arctic Ice flower stems can bend under the weight of the flower, in general growers seem to be able to work around this as their plants mature.
King White is Proteaflora’s other white king, it has shorter & thicker stems than Arctic Ice and is presently marketed as part of our Home Garden range of plants
Venus PBR - Protea aristata x repens
This plant is covered by Plant Breeders Rights and Proteaflora holds the exclusive propagation rights to this plant in Australia.
Burgundy Sunset- Leucadendron laureolum x salignum (female)
This autumn/winter flowering plant is covered by Plant Breeders Rights and Proteaflora holds the exclusive propagation rights to this plant in Australia. It has evolved from the popular Safari Sunset and the Burgundy colour is very unique.
Sixteen Candles - Leucadendron salignum x discolor (female)
This long stemmed spring flowering leucadendron resulted from the RIRDC Western Australian breeding program to identify suitable flowers for the cut flower market.
So Successful- , Leucospermum lineare hybrid
Also called Succession 2, this flower is a good substitute for growers who liked the popular Tango of past years. Spring flowering, long stems.
So Exquisite - Leucospermum reflexum hybrid
Spring flowering and for cut flower growers does not have the disadvantages of a pure Reflexum flower.
Leucospermum cordifolium (orange flowers)
Leucospermum cordifolium has been a long standing cut flower variety. There have been a range of clones over the years. Proteaflora has two orange clones of Leucospermum cordifolium resulting from a range of seeds sourced from South Africa and trialled for disease resistance, plant habit, stem length and flower colour.
‘Titan’ we found (trials in Monbulk) was the most Dreschlera resistant, had long marketable stems, had an upright habit and flowers that were a dark orange, all good attributes for commercial cut flowers growers who required a quality long stemmed Leucospermum. ‘Titan’ was reintroduced into our range in 2014.
Proteaflora’s other orange cordifolium variety has a more spreading habit, is more productive with flowers on thinner shorter stems. Cut flower growers who have a bouquet market have found it quite suitable. This variety is presently marketed as part of our Home Garden range of plants
For more information on commercial flower growing please contact Chris Gilbert-Wilson at Proteaflora on 03 9751 9933 or contact us using our request form.