Cut Flower Production

Cut flowers may be taken from long lasting or short lived plants (e.g. a rose plant gives flowers for many years, but annual flowers are replanted each season). Annual crops may be more suited for automation. Flowers for the cut flower industry may be grown in a greenhouse or in the open, such as fields of tulips.




Scope of Work

Outdoor flower production:

Operating machinery

Preparing and forming the soil

Sowing seeds

Digging trenches for planting larger plants

Indoor flower production:

Preparing pots for planting

Cutting stems


Everyday tasks:

Spraying for pests and diseases

Weed control




Some of these tasks may be done manually, depending on the nature and scope of the flowers being produced, the size of the facility and costs. Otherwise, they may be automated and carried out by machines.


What You Need to Learn

Flower knowledge - Botany, identification, classification, use as cut flowers

Harvest & post-harvest - Harvesting methods & equipment, processing (e.g. drying flowers), storage

Cultural techniques - Pruning, watering, planting, transplanting, staking, fertilising

Health management - Plant pests, diseases and environmental disorders, biosecurity

Propagation - Cuttings, seed, division, layering, grafting, tissue culture

Environmental control - Ventilation, irrigation, heating, cooling, lighting, CO2 injection

Soils - Potting media & soil structure, chemistry, soil management techniques

Tools & equipment - Selecting the right tools, correct use, maintenance & repair

Communication skills - Dealing with clients, arranging appointments, giving advice

Sales skills - Interacting with customers, selling flowers, earning repeat business, networking with suppliers, placing orders, keeping inventories, marketing, advertising

Health & safety - Assessment of risks & hazards, use of personal protective equipment, alarms & drills, basic first aid procedures  


Starting a Career

Entry pathways include:

General garden labourer

Nursery or garden centre work

Voluntary work with gardening clubs or local horticultural enterprises

Working in a related area, such as crop production

Networking at flower shows and taking classes

Studying the basics of flowers and taxonomy

Skills needed vary with the type of role taken, but it is quite possible to learn on the job. Wherever you start, spend time learning from other staff. Identify gaps in your knowledge and look for courses and books to fill them.


Progressing a Career

Hard work and perseverance will get you far in the cut flower industry, but if you want to advance a career then you will need to learn more! It's important to know about different types of plants, plant cultural techniques, and plant health. If you understand different methods of propagation and working in protective structures like greenhouses or glasshouses, then there are likely to be more opportunities to change jobs and get into the upper echelons of management.  

Keep up to date with current trends and technological advancements:

Join trade associations or bodies  

Attend garden shows, agricultural shows and trade shows

Attend workshops and seminars

Undertake further study

Any courses taken should be ones which help to reinforce what you learn rather than quick fix courses. They can be evening courses or courses provided by distance education, so long as the course providers have suitably qualified tutors who can provide adequate feedback.

Within the cut flower industry there are opportunities to move up the ladder from general assistant to supervisory or management positions. Some may even seek to ultimately establish their own cut flower business, or perhaps switch toward floristry.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.