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Floral Focus: Are you a flower elitist?

I recently chatted with J Schwanke, floral designer, promotion and marketing expert, and he expressed concern about the infighting and polarizing beliefs within the floral industry. “In a time when ‘alternative facts’ are at the forefront, we need to make sure that we have the ‘accurate facts’ about growing flowers. The truth is out there and we need to address some of the misinformation. I’m not a flower [elitist]. I don’t have prejudicial feelings about the origins of flowers, or believe that a particular flower is superior to another. I don’t care if someone gets their flowers from their backyard, or a farmers market, a grocery store, a local farmer, a florist, or an online ordering process. I just want everyone to have more flowers, all the time.” That is the entire industry’s goal, isn’t it?

In this edition, we recap the World Floral Expo; Bill Prescott writes on lisianthus; and Michael LoBue addresses legalized recreational marijuana’s impact on California’s flower industry.

Remembering that the main goal of the floral industry is to sell more flowers, here’s hoping your floral department meets that objective.

Richard Lutes is the floral editor and floral sales manager of The Produce News. He can be contacted at 763/595-9559 or