Vertical farming has grown into a profitable industry focusing on saving space, water, and other resources compared to traditional farming methods. While vertical farming has been mostly restricted to farming fruit, vegetables, and herbs, it has gained momentum in floriculture. This recent development may pose an important question, is vertical farming flowers beneficial and profitable?
Vertical farming flowers involve growing flowers generally in an indoor environment but can also be set up outdoors. This farming method includes one of three systems, Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Aeroponics. However, Hydroponics is the most commonly used system.
With the space and water-saving benefits of vertical farming, there is no doubt that the advantages of farming flowers this way surpasses traditional farming methods. However, there are a few limitations on the types of flowers you can use in vertical farming. Perennial flowers are a good choice and include varieties like Begonias, Gerberas, Alternanthera, Impatiens, Calibrachoas, and Dianthus.
Why Should We Try Vertical Farming Flowers?
Combining floriculture and vertical farming is still a relatively new concept. Information on this topic can be hard to find. A vertical farm offers a more controlled environment to grow flowers. We can adjust the lighting, temperature, and humidity in this controlled environment. An environment like this allows you to grow superior flowers.
These flowers are less likely to be impacted by pests and diseases. In addition, the controlled environment yields more profitable flowers long-term as this method saves on resources and space and produces flowers that are essentially perfect aesthetically.
As the population rises, there is an even higher demand for resources. Therefore, vertical farming flowers can be seen as farming for the future and might play an essential role in the way we farm flowers.
An excellent book covering vertical farming to solve America’s food, water, and energy crisis is The Vertical Farm, written by Dickson Despommier. This book covers the benefits of vertical farming and how if implemented can improve our future.
Is Vertical Farming Flowers Profitable?
Vertical farming flowers can be profitable if energy consumption is addressed. Other factors like the size of your farm also influence its profitability. Edible flowers have increased in popularity, which could be a profitable area of floriculture to start investing in.
Energy consumption is probably the biggest concern when vertical farming flowers. This is for indoor vertical farms and may not necessarily be applicable in other cases. In most vertical farms, there are plants stacked in rows. The bottom rows are often blocked from the lighting due to the plants above them. This requires lighting for every level if using the tray-based vertical farming method.
Although in the above instance, you may save on space, soil, and water, and this vertical system may be primarily self-run, the energy consumption of the lights can be a concern. However, finding a niche market in the vertical farming industry can turn into a highly profitable business.
Farm. One is a vertical farming venture that grows herbs, microgreens, and edible flowers. This business has attracted chefs and has become a booming business in the vertical farming flowers industry. Farms like this are increasing in popularity and are highly profitable.
Floriculture’s Place In Vertical Food Farming
Vertical food farming aims to generate higher yields of produce to feed people. This is also aimed at developing crops that offer more nutritional value and better quality than regular produce, but where does floriculture fit into this?
There is not a lot of focus on vertical farming flowers. While growing herbs, vegetables, and fruit takes center stage, a few vertical farms grow edible flowers. Many vertical farms use hydroponics to grow their flowers, but you could also use soil if you are a beginner.
If you want to start growing your own edible flowers, On The Grow is an excellent channel for step-by-step instructions on how to grow edible flowers for beginners. There is also an article on diys.com that covers how to start a verticle farm at home.
Is Vertical Farming Flowers The Future Of Floriculture?
Vertical growing has many benefits, and an increasing amount of vertical farms are being invested in. The incredible thing about vertical farming is that it isn’t limited to large sections of land. Still, it can easily be set up in shipping containers, abandoned warehouses, or basements. The crops produced are not susceptible to environmental factors that harm produce grown outdoors.
But it’s hard to determine if vertical farming flowers is the future of floriculture. Growing flowers vertically is not used by many vertical farmers. Edible flowers make up a relatively small section of the fresh produce market. At the same time, most vertical farming is focused on growing green vegetables and microgreens.
Traditional farming methods still seem to be preferred for growing flowers. Many flower varieties require a lot of space to grow. In addition, flowers like sunflowers may not do well in a vertical farming setup. If only focusing on edible flowers, then vertical farming could be the future of floriculture.
It may be more difficult to grow all flower varieties in vertical farming trays. Still, there are possibilities for smaller perennial flowers.
Why Would We Move Floriculture Out Of The Greenhouse?
Leontyne van Genuchten, a plant specialist from Signify, conducted an experiment on perennial vertical farming flowers, and the results were terrific. However, the most important conclusion from this experiment was how the differences in lighting yielded different results in the growth and size of the flowers.
This experiment proves that vertical farming flowers – and moving away from greenhouses – is highly optimistic. However, the advantage of moving from a greenhouse is the greater control of factors that influence the growth of flowers.
This could also mean that floriculturists have the opportunity to generate more flowers in a smaller environment. The technology used in vertical farming also minimizes the risk of human error. It takes away some of the laborious work of traditional farming methods.
Cultivating Floriculture Crops Without Daylight
Indoor artificial lighting comes with its own set of concerns. Flowers, like most other crops, require sunlight. However, moving flowers to an indoor environment can be challenging to determine if they are getting sufficient light. Since light is one of the most critical elements affecting how plants grow, lighting needs to be adjusted to ensure the flowers have the best chance to succeed.
A controlled environment can be better for flowers as the amount of light is constantly monitored. This concept is still relatively new but seems to have more benefits than growing flowers in a greenhouse.
Depending on the type of flowers being grown, the lighting may have to be adjusted accordingly. This cannot be done with sunlight and should, in theory, produce better results compared to flowers being grown in a greenhouse.
Ornamental Vertical Growing At Home
There has also been an increase in flowers used for decorating homes and other spaces. Therefore, growing flowers to supply these industries has increased over time. Many indoor plant owners have switched to vertical farming flowers because it does not require a lot of space. Many living in limited space especially smaller apartments have a vertical farm to grow herbs, vegetables, flowers, and other plants.
Using hanging plants, towers, and stacked pots creates a beautiful aesthetic for homes that don’t have a garden or space to plant flowers in their yard.
Ornamental Vertical Growing For Business And Public Places
Vertical gardens are rising in popularity and are found all over the world. An article on the USA Today website covered some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. With the rise in population and the need for more homes and land, many office buildings, malls, and hotels have adopted green walls and vertical gardens.
This minimizes carbon dioxide in the air but helps improve air quality and promotes relaxation. Many hotels and businesses have also introduced flowers into these gardens.
Many of these flowers and plants are water efficient and have built-in systems that support their continual growth. As a result, the demand for vertical gardens for ornamental purposes is increasing. It presents many opportunities for vertical farmers interested in floriculture.
Vertical farming flowers offers many opportunities for beginners and vertical farmers who want to get into floriculture. Whether growing edible flowers or flowers for ornamental purposes, it is possible to verticle farm flowers. If you would like to start your own vertical farm, there’s an excellent video covering the fundamentals of indoor farming.