vegetable production (tomatoes, sweet peppers, etc). In 1997 there was
3,600,000 square feet of commercial greenhouse vegetable production
in Colorado. We go back and forth between Arizona and Florida in the
competition for the largest production square footage. Production in
this area is geared towards the packers/wholesale market through chain
stores or "mom and pop" operations who supply farmers markets
and/or restaurants. Since there are few pesticides labeled for greenhouse
vegetable use, several smaller greenhouse vegetable producers focus
on the organic market.
There are also a small amount of greenhouse growers who produce
herbs for restaurants, chain stores and farmers markets.
flower production. This market is dropping off. Colorado's greenhouse
industry began and was extremely successful in the cut flower area.
Since the mid 1970's, however, competition from Central and South America
began to change our industry. In general roses, carnations and chrysanthemums
are no longer profitable here. Those growers that are producing cut
flowers in this State focus most of their efforts on gerbera, snapdragons,
lisianthus, altromeria, and asiatic lilies. There are approximately
less than 10 growers in the Colorado that still produce carnations and
plants - Beddings plants are defined as herbaceous annuals and perennials,
vegetable transplants and hanging baskets. These plants are grown in
flats or small pots and are intended for use in the landscape. This
industry is fairly large in Colorado and in general greenhouses US-wide
that produce bedding plants are considered recession resistant. There
are two types of producers in this industry:
producers - This involves growers who start the plants from seed
or cuttings in very small "plugs". Plug producers then
sell the "plugs" to another grower, who 'finishes' the
- These growers purchase or produce plugs, transplant the plug to
a larger size container and then grow the plant to marketable size.
The finished product is then sold to retailers.
pot plants - Flowering potted plants include plants grown in a container
and valued for their blooms or colorful bracts. Examples include poinsettias,
easter lilies, mums, cyclamen, orchids, African violets, etc. There
are a significant number of growers in Colorado who produce flowering
potted plants. Competition in this market may be very tight. The poinsettia
market in particular is very competitive- profit margins are low.
(interior tropical) plants - Several Colorado growers produce foliage
plants. Plants are often imported from Florida and "housed"
in these greenhouses who in turn supply retailers or wholesale to interiorscapers.
Some foliage plant producers may be propagate plants as well.