By Nita Robertson, AIFD

Throughout the American countryside, there exists a community of cut flower farmers whose passion blooms as brightly as the petals they cultivate. Their dedication goes beyond just growing flowers; it’s about fostering a connection with the land and the community around them. Every bloom, bunch and bouquet that leaves a farm carries not just the beauty of the flowers but also the stories of the hands that nurtured them.

American farmers pour their hearts and souls into nurturing cut flowers and foliage from coast to coast, adorning our customers’ lives with the splendor of nature. By supporting American cut flower and foliage farmers, you support not only them and their families but also the creation and preservation of jobs for their team members, who tirelessly invest their time, effort and passion into fostering their local economies and tend the land with love and care by employing sustainable agricultural practices.

Resendiz Brothers

Cut flower and foliage farms are scattered across every state in our nation. American-grown flowers communicate stories of each region’s natural heritage, the unique landscapes and climates of their respective states, and the dedication of local farmers and farmer-florists who cultivate them with care. Whether it’s Washington state’s vibrant tulips and other bulb flowers, Alaska’s peonies, sunflowers from Kansas or Florida’s foliages, each state contributes to the rich floral tapestry of our country.

harvesting iris
Sun Valley Floral Farm

American flower and foliage farms are often run by multiple generations of families and range in size from micro to mega and in age from just a few years to a century. For example, in North Pole, Alaska, growing peonies has turned out to be a success for Ron and Marji Illingworth, owners of North Pole Peonies, who have been growing peonies since 2004. “Over the 20 years, the farm has expanded to 12 acres of peonies of different colors and varieties,” Ron shares. “This is a three-generation farm, with our parents and kids all working together in one place, focusing on sustainably growing peonies for years to come.”

North Pole Peonies

At the other end of the spectrum is Mellano & Company, a large third-generation family-owned farming and wholesale operation based in Southern California. Founded in 1925 by Giovanni Mellano, Mellano & Company today cultivates close to 400 acres of cut flowers and foliages in the sunny hills of North San Diego County, under the guidance of the third generation of Mellanos led by CEO Michael Anthony Mellano, Ph.D. The company’s influence now extends beyond its flagship location in Los Angeles, with wholesale locations in Orange County and Carlsbad, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev.


July marks the annual celebration of “American Grown Flowers and Foliage Month,” which has been proclaimed annually by Congress since 2017 and is now spearheaded by Certified American Grown, a nonprofit national trade association for cut flower and foliage farmers in the U.S., that works toward sustainability and prosperity through unified advocacy and strategic promotion.

“‘American Grown Flowers and Foliage Month’” is at the perfect time. In July, every state in the country will have ‘local’ flowers and foliage available,” explains Anna Kalins, Certified American Grown program manager.

The monthlong celebration extols the contributions that U.S. farms make to their employees, their communities, the industry and the country. With a daily economic impact of almost $42 million, the cut flower and foliage sector is an important part of U.S. agriculture. In addition, “American Grown Flowers and Foliage Month” opens the door for retailers, wholesalers and flower farmers to continue to discuss the virtues of homegrown cut flowers and foliage—a point that’s resonating with consumers for whom origin matters.

One proud Certified American Grown flower farm, which firmly stands behind the American-grown movement, is Glad-A-Way Gardens in Santa Maria, Calif. The country’s only breeder, grower and shipper of premium cut Gladiolus, Glad-A-Way was founded in 1953 as a roadside stand, where Bay Area customers would drive “a ways” to purchase fresh cut Gladiolus. Today, more than 70 years later, Glad-A-Way has more than 550 acres in production and services hundreds of wholesale florists and mass-market florists across America and Canada.



By incorporating American-grown flowers and foliages into your product mix, you can not only support local economies but also offer consumers highly desirable specialty flowers that celebrate the unique character of your region. As with any specialty product, though, marketing is key to letting consumers know you have them and that you support the “locally grown” movement and all of the related ecofriendly, sustainable and even ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) aspects that dovetail with it.

Field with yellow sunflowers and picturesque cloudy sky

To effectively market American-grown flowers, you can employ a variety of strategies aimed at educating consumers and highlighting the “local” angle of your products, from hosting workshops and events to engaging with local farms and utilizing social media. Here are 12 ideas to help you develop a marketing strategy for your business.

1. Educate Consumers

Many people might not be aware of the benefits of buying locally or domestically grown flowers or that you carry them. Share information about the benefits of buying American grown flowers and foliage in your store; in your email marketing; and on your website, blog and/or social media. Talk about supporting local economies, reducing carbon footprint by minimizing transportation, and the freshness and quality of “locally sourced” products.

2. Highlight the “Local” Angle

Emphasize the fact that you stock flowers that are grown locally or domestically rather than being imported. Many consumers today are becoming conscious of and interested in where their products come from and how they’re produced, and many also prefer to support local businesses. Use this as a unique selling point in your marketing materials. According to Certified American Grown, 74 percent of American consumers say they don’t know the origin of the flowers they buy, but 65 percent say they would prefer to buy American grown if given the choice. Furthermore, they say they are willing to pay up to 10 percent more for “locally grown” flowers, recognizing the value and environmental benefits associated with supporting “local” farms.

3. Tell the Flowers’ Stories

Share the stories behind your flowers via all the avenues mentioned in No. 1. Consumers love to know the journey behind the products they buy, such as when, where, how and by whom they are grown; their seasonal availability; how they get to your store; and so on. Be sure to tour the farms from which you source to learn about the flowers as well as the farmers and their growing operations and practices—and take plenty of photos while there.

4. Host Events or Workshops

Organize events and/or workshops focused on locally or domestically grown flowers and foliage. This could include classes on designing with and caring for these special blooms, tours of nearby flower farms, and talks from local growers about their practices.

5. Engage with Your Community

Get involved in your community by participating in events, sponsoring local initiatives, supporting charitable causes. Show your locally or domestically produced products at farmers markets, craft fairs and other specialty marketplaces and events to reach potential customers directly. This will help strengthen your brand’s connection to the community and attract customers who value supporting local businesses and buying “local” products.

6. Spread Out on Social Media

Establish a presence on a range of social media platforms in order to reach different types of consumers. The most effective and popular platforms that can be used for marketing to consumers are Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, X, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok, but also consider the likes of WhatsApp, WeChat, Reddit, Quora and others. Showcase specialty flowers as they arrive in your store as well as flower arrangements that incorporate them, post about specific seasonal locally or domestically grown blooms, and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your business in action. Use hashtags related to American-grown flowers to increase visibility, and create informative and engaging content related to these special blooms, local flower farming, sustainable floristry practices and the like.

7. Highlight American-grown Flowers on Your Website/Blog

Design a visually appealing and user-friendly section on your business website that showcases your locally and domestically grown blooms, and if you don’t already have one, create a blog. Highlight the many types of American-grown flowers available seasonally and also year-round, tout the benefits of buying American-grown flowers, and tell the story of your commitment to supporting American flower growers.

8. Optimize for Local SEO

Ensure that your website is optimized for local search-engine optimization (SEO) so that potential customers can easily find you when searching for florists in your area. Include keywords related to American-grown and locally grown flowers, as well as your location, in your website content.

9. Email Marketing

Build an email list of customers and prospects who are most likely to be interested in locally grown and crafted products, and send out regular newsletters featuring your American-grown flower offerings (and other “locally” produced merchandise), upcoming promotions, and stories about local and regional flower growers. Personalize your emails to make them more engaging and relevant to your audience.

By implementing any or all of these strategies, you can effectively market and sell flowers and foliages that are grown in the U.S., appealing to consumers who value quality, ecofriendliness and supporting local businesses.

A Message from Certified American Grown

Join Us for a Collective Social Media Campaign During “American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month”

In an era during which digital connectivity has become paramount, it’s time to leverage the power of social platforms to highlight the importance of American Grown flowers and foliage and to foster a sense of community within the industry. During the month of July, let’s come together to share our stories, showcase our stunning blooms and educate consumers about the benefits of supporting local flower farms. By coordinating our efforts, we can amplify our voices and reach a wider audience, captivating them with the beauty and sustainability of our American Grown flowers and foliage.

Visit to view our four-week social media marketing plan—already put together for you—and to download images, logos, email headers, social media templates, Facebook posts and more. All you have to do is put the plan into action for your business!

Don’t forget to tag us—@americangrownflowers—so we can share your content with our audience!

protea farm
Resendiz Brothers

10 Ways to Celebrate “American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month” in July

By Certified American Grown


Ask your social media and email subscribers to participate in a giveaway. Ask them trivia questions about American Grown flowers and foliage or to post photos of your flowers and foliage and tag you to enter. (Visit and to view information from which you can craft trivia questions.)


Invite people to your business to show them the beauty of American Grown flowers and foliage. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy; an open invitation to your facility will do just fine.


Celebrate the month by using the following hashtags.






Make sure your customers know it’s American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month by putting stickers on your sleeves, buckets and pots! You can order them directly from Certified American Grown by emailing or visiting


No, seriously. Call your local newspaper(s) and radio and TV station(s). Submit your story or event, and invite them to learn more about why American Grown flowers, foliage and potted plants are important.


Connect with popular local businesses and influencers to do a collaboration event or Facebook or Instagram Live. Try to find someone outside of the floral world so you can get in front of new faces.


Many folks don’t realize how many flowers and foliages are imported into the U.S. Visit or email Anna Kalins at for some fast facts about the American Grown flower industry.


OK, maybe not an actual billboard, but your Facebook cover and your website homepage can act as one. Change them up for “American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month” so that all of your followers and site visitors can join the celebration. Check out the marketing toolkit at


If you have a retail store, or even a road sign, dress it up with professional “American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month” graphics (


Invite your local and state representatives for a tour of your facility, or schedule a virtual call. Educate them about “American Grown Flowers & Foliage Month.”


Certified American Grown is a nonprofit national trade association for cut flower and foliage farmers in the U.S. that works toward sustainability and prosperity through unified advocacy and strategic promotion. Farms within the Certified American Grown network undergo rigorous supply-chain audits to ensure the authenticity and traceability of their cultivated flowers and foliages. Certified American-grown flowers offer consumers assurance that the flowers they purchase have been grown responsibly, with attention to factors such as environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and product quality.