A rose is not just a rose, it’s a brand. If you mention Ecuadorian roses to the flower saavy, they would agree on two characteristics that classify them: sturdy, long stems and big, flowering heads. These qualities are what set Ecuadorian roses apart from competitors in the rose-growing industry.
So why are roses from Ecuador so robust? The myth is that roses grow straighter on the equator, but science has proven otherwise. Most nurseries are situated near the Andes mountains at 2,800 meters. Favorable weather conditions such as year round sunlight allows for longer growing cycles even throughout winter, as well as nutrient-rich volcanic soil.
Interesting Fact: Cold nights produce spectacular color variations and contrasting hues on the edges of the petals.
Cultivation of roses and exportation is a process. They are harvested and each stem is classified to meet five criteria:
Size of Bud
Aperture/ Cutting Point
Health/Condition of foliage
To export the roses while maintaining the freshness involves a cold chain process. When the flowers are harvested, they are taken to a facility for sorting and classification. The bunches are wrapped in cardboard with insulation to protect the buds and the stems are covered in plastic sleeves. The wrapped bunches are then taken to a pre-cooling area at 32 degrees Fahrenheit to halt the flowers from blooming, preserving them before they are shipped to their destination. The flowers are then hydrated with high-quality floral preservative for 7 hours. These facilities are also equipped with ethylene removing units that purify the air to prevent premature aging and floral diseases.
The United States is the top importer of cut flowers from Ecuador. In 2013, Ecuador exported 35% of their cut flowers to the U.S. valued at $279 million. Miami International Airport is one of the top distribution hubs–flowers arrive in cargo planes and are then transported to their destinations on refrigerated trucks.
Virgin Farms is a nationwide distributor of roses from Ecuador and other products from around the world. We import roses from Ecuador and garden roses from Columbia. All other varieties such as tulips, hydrangeas, and mini callas are mainly from Holland, home of the Aalsmeer Dutch Auction.