Video

Valentine's roses a blooming business for Canadian grower

If you are a rose grower, the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day is one of the busiest work periods in the year. Ed Vermolen of Aldershot Greenhouses offers an inside look at his operation.

Ed Vermolen of Aldershot Greenhouses offers an inside look at his operation

North America's largest 'potted rose factory' greenhouse is mostly run by robots 2:40

The rose has always had a special meaning on Valentine's Day, and if you're lucky enough to be on the receiving end, it usually means there's a certain someone who thinks very highly of you. But if you are a rose grower, the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day is one of the busiest work periods in the year.

It's something Aldershot Greenhouses sales manager Ed Vermolen knows a little about.

"On average we are cranking out about 80,000 plants a week, 52 weeks of the year," he says. "And that average is doubled (to 160,00) in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day."

Aldershot Greenhouses opened in 1954. Initially a cut flower specialty grower, the company later converted the majority of its growing space to potted mini roses.

Today it is one of the largest growers in North America, with a fully automated work facility that ships plants across Canada and the United States.

Potted mini-roses are wrapped in Valentines colours and protective plastic, ready to be shipped across North America. (Eric Foss/CBC News)

"We have this constant turnover in our greenhouse, so know matter what time of year you walk through, you will see about a million plants," Vermolen says.

The next few weeks will eventually see a return to normal volume for Aldershot's potted rose production, but the break will be short lived as the greenhouse prepares for the busiest delivery period in the calendar year – Mother's Day.

"Mothers Day is the No. 1 day in terms of business for the rose industry," he says.  

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Aldershot Greenhouses rose-growing operation.


Quick tips

How to care for a potted rose plant:

1)    Take your potted rose out of the wrapping.

2)     Put it into a dish of water for a couple of minutes, allowing the water to be soaked up.

3)     The soil will take what it needs allowing the excess to drip off.

4)     Put the rose on display in as bright a location as possible.

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