Ornamental, Horticulture Industries Significant to Florida Economy
Sponsored by Farm Credit of Central Florida
The horticulture and ornamental industry is a large part of Florida’s robust agriculture industry, and The Sunshine State is the second-largest producer of ornamental and horticulture products in the country. It’s a broad industry, encompassing everything from flowers destined for floral arrangements and bouquets, houseplants, plants for landscaping, and more. The ornamental industry impacts a wide array of ag sectors and businesses, such as landscapers, lawn and garden suppliers, nurseries, and greenhouses, just to name a few. All told, the ornamental industry has a wide-reaching economic impact on the state of Florida. The Who and the Where of the Florida
The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) represents Florida’s environmental horticulture industry, also called the green industry. The association breaks Florida’s horticulture industry into seven divisions: the Allied division, which represents allied businesses, such as landscapers, suppliers, insurance companies, media companies, and more; the Citrus Nursery division, which represents citrus nurseries and suppliers; the Floriculture division, which encompasses nurseries, growers, and suppliers for landscaping plants; the Foliage division, which represents nurseries, growers, and suppliers for indoor and outdoor potted plants; the Garden Center division; the Landscape division; and the Woody division, which focuses on those growing and using woody plant materials. There is, of course, a great deal of overlap between the divisions.
FNGLA compiled data from 2010 to 2015 to take a snapshot of the Nursery and Landscape Industry’s impact on Florida’s economy. While divisions of the industry can be found all over The Sunshine State, the report found that the top 10 counties in Florida for both jobs and sales in the nursery and landscape industry were Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Orange, Broward, Hillsborough, Duval, Lee, Collier, Seminole, and Pinellas.
Economic Impact by the Numbers
FNGLA’s economic report found that the total output of sales for the industry was $21.08 billion. Broken down, $4.55 billion of the total output of sales came from nursery and greenhouse production, $10.11 billion came from landscape design, installation, and maintenance, and $6.42 billion came from retail and garden centers. Of landscape sales, 31% were to builders and developers, a testament to Florida’s growing population and development.
Additionally, the report found that the horticulture industry supported 232,000-plus jobs, with the landscape design, installation, and maintenance sector supplying nearly 150,000 of those jobs. South Florida’s Miami-Ft. Lauderdale produced the lion’s share of total output of sales and industry jobs, generating nearly $7.5 billion in sales and supporting 77,780 jobs. The report also maintained that the industry added 28,000 jobs between 2010 and 2015.
The Florida horticulture industry has a great impact on both Florida and the nation. The FNGLA report found that The Sunshine State produces almost 80% of all tropical and indoor houseplants in the U.S. since Florida’s tropical climate is well-suited to greenhouses and year-round growing, it’s no wonder the report also found that palms and tropical foliage represented 21.5% of total nursery sales.
The report also showed that the industry is growing and expanding. For instance, the report found that Florida’s horticulture industry also has a growing market of edible plants, which represented 3.5% of total nursery sales.
Lastly, the Florida horticulture industry is continually dedicated to meeting The Sunshine State’s unique landscaping needs, such as drought-tolerant plants. The report found that nearly 60% of landscape firms offered Florida-Friendly plants and Florida-Friendly Landscaping services, and that sales of native plants doubled from 2010 to 2015, representing 15.5% of total nursery sales.
Whether you call it the Florida horticulture industry or the green industry, the sales and production of ornamentals can be found around every corner and on every doorstep in Florida, and in most of the country.