The Commercial Floriculture survey provides the number of growers, area of production, quantity sold, percent of sales at wholesale, wholesale prices, wholesale value of production for floriculture commodities, and average number of agricultural workers per farm or ranch.

The Commercial Floriculture survey is a census of over 10,000 commercial floriculture operations that produce and sell at least $10,000 of fresh cut flowers, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, annual bedding and garden plants, herbaceous perennials, cut cultivated florist greens or propagative floriculture material, and unfinished plants in a year. ASales@ include retail and wholesale sales of items surveyed. A data series for five cut flowers began in 1956 in five states and has since expanded to cover 36 states and over 77 separate items.


The Commercial Floriculture Summary is released in late April.

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Program Content

The Commercial Floriculture survey includes cut flowers, flowering potted plants, foliage plants, bedding/garden plants, herbaceous perennials, cut cultivated greens and special Hawaiian crops. Data include area in production, price and value of wholesale sales for 36 selected states and growers having $100,000 or more in sales, and the number of growers and growing area for growers with $10,000 or more in sales.


Commercial floriculture estimates are used by all segments of the industry to plan for the future. Technology has changed production practices and tissue culture propagation has accelerated production. New products are being developed every year. To keep abreast of the rapidly changing industry, growers and suppliers need data. Individual growers can compare their own operation to other operations to help identify state and national trends as they plan the future of their business. These estimates are also used to support industry claims in cases involving unfair trade practices and in trade negotiations.

Government uses the data collected by this survey to measure the economic impact of the industry. The value of sales of floriculture crops exceeds $5 billion annually, a significant contribution to farm income and the Gross Domestic Product.


The Commercial Floriculture survey is conducted annually during the winter.


List building is a significant requirement for a census project. All state offices in the program conduct significant list building efforts to identify all floriculture operations. Once list building is complete, all potential operations (about 15,000) are screened for eligibility with about a third dropping out because they do not have the items of interest (nurseries with no floriculture) or do not having sufficient sales. Data collection begins the second week of December and concludes in mid-April. The reference period is the preceding year. The floriculture industry is widely varied from large corporate operations to small local greenhouses. All are contacted and considerable work is done to tailor the mode of data collection to the type of operation. Data collection methods include mail (32 percent), phone (38 percent), and personal interview (23 percent).

Special Features

This project garners significant industry support from many different organizations. Each year, nine association and organization leaders co-sign a letter of support which is sent to all prospective respondents urging them to cooperate.

Related Programs

Census of Horticultural Specialties
Nursery and Christmas Tree Production
Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use

Last Modified: 05/04/2018