How to Grow: Valentine’s Flowers

 

The conventional gift in America on Valentine’s Day is the cut-flower rose. And at this time of year, 30 cargo jets are flying every day between Bogota and Miami, bringing all those roses to America.

The vast majority of rose growers are in Ecuador and Colombia, which often use pesticides. In fact, if you handle cut-flower roses, you should wash your hands after, because there could be a lot of chemical residue still on them.

But a new movement is afoot in the cut flower industry. Farms are being certified, stating to their customers that they’re growing flowers sustainably, without the use of banned pesticides: A benefit not just for the flowers, but the workers, too.

And, if you really have your heart set on giving cut-flower roses for Valentine’s Day, you can look for these types of certification labels: Rainforest Alliance and Veriflora.

There are also alternatives to giving roses on Valentine’s Day. Branch out and try miniature roses, red orchids or red antheriums, which have heart-shaped leaves.

Excerpted from All Things Gardening on Vt Public Radio

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