Where Does the Majority of Roses Grow?


Roses are one of the most beloved flowers in the world. With their delicate petals and alluring fragrance, it’s no wonder that roses are often used to express love and affection. But have you ever wondered where the majority of roses actually grow?

The cultivation of roses dates back thousands of years, with evidence of rose gardens found in ancient civilizations such as China, Persia, and Rome. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that roses became a global commodity.

The Rise of Rose Production

The majority of roses grown today are produced for commercial purposes, with nearly 90% of the world’s supply coming from just a handful of countries. These include Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands.

Ecuador is the largest producer of roses, accounting for over 25% of the global supply. The country’s unique location near the equator provides ideal growing conditions with plenty of sunlight and mild temperatures year-round. This allows for multiple harvests throughout the year and produces some of the most vibrant and long-lasting roses.

Colombia follows closely behind Ecuador as another major rose producer, with over 20% of the world’s supply coming from this South American country. The high altitude in Colombia creates a cooler climate that is perfect for growing roses and producing large blooms.

Kenya and Ethiopia are also top producers of roses, particularly for the European market. These African countries have similar growing conditions to Ecuador, making them ideal locations for rose cultivation.

Roses from Kenya and Ethiopia are highly sought after in international markets, with these countries accounting for a large percentage of imported roses worldwide. The Dutch rose growers rely heavily on Kenya and Ethiopia as their main suppliers.

Ethiopia has also emerged as a major player in the flower industry and is the second-largest flower exporter in Africa. The country has experienced remarkable growth in its flower industry in recent years, with rose breeding companies like De Ruiter contributing significantly to its development.

The Role of the Netherlands

While Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya, and Ethiopia may produce the majority of roses worldwide, the Netherlands plays a crucial role in the global rose industry. The country is known for its expertise in horticulture and has become a hub for flower trade, including roses.

The Dutch have perfected techniques for growing roses in greenhouses and are able to produce high-quality blooms year-round. They also have advanced technology for post-harvest handling, ensuring that the roses remain fresh and beautiful during transportation to other countries.  Dutch growers have adopted hydroponic systems for rose cultivation. Hydroponics involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution without soil. This method allows for precise control over nutrient levels and water supply, leading to efficient plant growth. They also use various substrates such as compost substrates, coco peat, perlite, and rock wool to support the plants’ root systems. These substrates provide the necessary drainage, aeration, and moisture retention required for healthy rose growth.

In summary, the majority of roses grow in a select few countries, with Ecuador being the top producer followed by Colombia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The Netherlands also plays a significant role in the global rose industry through their advanced techniques and technology. Next time you receive a bouquet of roses, take a moment to appreciate the journey it took for those flowers to reach you from one of these countries.