Selling flowers can add a new dimension to your produce display at the farmers market. People can’t resist bending over and smelling a fresh cut flower. Their beauty and fragrance will catch the eye of your shoppers and lure them in to see your produce.
Below are some tips:
- Grow flowers that are easy to grow like sunflowers, zinnias and daisies. Consult the LSU AgCenter for information on planting, fertilizing and harvesting your flowers.
- If your farmers market does not offer under-canopy spaces, bring your own canopy. Flowers cannot tolerate excessive heat once picked.
- Select flowers that have stems so that you can bunch them for sale. Why bunch and not arrange? In Louisiana, only licensed florists are allowed to arrange flowers for sale. So be careful to bunch your flowers and place them in a vessel containing water to keep them fresh. Check water levels throughout the day to make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
- Use white buckets in varying sizes to display your bunched flowers. White is a good color choice because it does not detract from your flower color. Keep the buckets clean and free of dirt.
- You can’t sell it if you don’t know what the flower is. Brush up on your flower knowledge. Be prepared to tell shoppers the name of the flower, how you grew your flower, what varieties or colors are available and what times of year the flower will be in the marketplace for purchase.
- Offer a variety of flower colors. Shoppers tend to purchase flowers for special occasions, so be prepared for the Fourth of July by mixing white, red and blue for shoppers.
- Use signs to indicate what you have for sale. Are you selling cut flowers, bulbs or heirloom plants? Either tag or indicate on the sign the value of each. Check out your competition and price accordingly. Offer at large bunch for $10, a smaller one for $5 and a mini for $3. Your goal is to get shoppers to buy their first flower, and then they will be back for more if they are satisfied.
- If you have a market space each week, select a flower of the week. This will entice shoppers to check with you each week.
- When people give flowers as gifts, they generally need a card. Create a card for sale or offer supplies for customers to create their own.
- Share helpful hints on keeping the bouquet fresh. Suggest that they change the vase water every four days; re-cut the flower stems and add a little white carbonated beverage, aspirin or sugar water to the vase water to prolong the flower life. Flower preservatives can also be purchased at floral shops and discount stores.
Offer quality flowers, and your shoppers will become regulars. For more information on growing flowers, visit the Lawn & Garden section of the LSU AgCenter website.
For questions, call Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator.