Foliage and Filler Producers

Where do they work?

People working in this industry usually work for cut flower producers, flower wholesalers, florists and are sometimes self-employed.  Florists require foliage plants and flowers which are used as fillers to bulk up bunches of flowers.

Foliage and filler growers work in the field growing many different types of plants ranging from annual type flowers through to perennial shrubs and trees. Apart from picking the produce, you will be responsible for meeting the plants cultural requirements as a premium product is needed to supply the floral industry.

Opportunities

At an entry level, pickers are required to harvest the different types of foliage and flowers, however this will require a good understanding of some basic horticultural knowledge such as correct pruning techniques and understanding when the correct time is to harvest flowers. It is anticipated that people working in this industry are able to identify many different species of plants.

On a technical level, foliage and flowers need to meet several criteria so as they are presentable and marketable. At this level a very good understanding of plant and soil nutrition, cultural requirements, identifying pests and diseases, can identify plants using its botanical name, and post-harvest techniques are required.

Whilst many plants are grown in the field some species of plant are grown in various structures such as shade or green houses. Growing plants inside these types of structures, especially one where the environment can be controlled, has many advantages such as excluding many pests. An understanding of growing plants in controlled environments requires a very sound understanding of meeting the optimal environmental conditions applied to different plants. However, in an environment which is ideal for growing plants many pathogens also flourish in these environments. Close monitoring and prompt steps need to be taken when something is affecting the plants, hence, having the technical ability to identify and remedy the problem is very important.   

There are many opportunities for people in this industry supplying markets, wholesale florists, and retail florists.

What is needed?

People working in this industry at an entry level, need to have a good knowledge of basic horticultural principles. A grower/producer of foliage and filler plants will need to have a very good understanding of their nutrient requirements, identify pests and diseases and a good knowledge of pruning. 

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