Floriculture in India: Meaning, Importance, Types and Export Potential

Updated on 02nd May, 2024, By Neesha Rathod
Floriculture in India: Meaning, Importance, Types and Export Potential
Floriculture is the cultivation of different varieties of foliage plants and flowers for commercial purposes. The popular flower crops grown in India include roses, marigolds, carnations, tulips, lilies and orchids. Also, the different types of floriculture include cut flowers, loose flowers, potted plants, nurseries and perfumes. Greenhouse technology ensures high-quality floriculture produce by ensuring ideal growth conditions. Floriculture has been aptly termed as the ‘sunrise industry’ due to its immense potential for growth.

Table of Contents

What is Floriculture?

Floriculture is a branch of horticulture that involves cultivating, processing and marketing of ornamental plants. In simple terms, the growing of flowers is called floriculture. It is emerging as a lucrative agribusiness due to increasing urban wealth and changing lifestyles. Also, flowers are a high-value commodity that is used for different purposes, including decoration and the extraction of natural dyes and essential oils.

Flower agriculture is the commercial cultivation of different varieties of flowers for various uses, including medicinal and ornamental ones. This industry is still in its growing stage in India and covers a variety of products. Careful selection, propagation and cultivation are ensured to improve the lifespan, scent and attractiveness of flowers.

Status and Importance of Floriculture in India

Floriculture is emerging as a high-growth industry in India. According to the National Horticulture Database, the total floriculture production in 2023-24 was 3,194 thousand metric tons (MT), and the total area under floriculture cultivation was 285 thousand hectares.

The main states practising floriculture on a large scale are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka account for over 50% of floriculture products in India.

The Indian government has taken several steps to promote floriculture. The primary Centrally Sponsored Scheme is the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). It aims to achieve the overall growth of the horticulture sector and covers aromatic plants and flowers. The financial assistance for a maximum of 2 hectares per beneficiary under MIDH is as follows:

  • Cut flowers: ₹1 lakh per hectare
  • Bulbous flowers: ₹1.50 lakhs per hectare
  • Loose Flowers: ₹40,000 per hectare

Floriculture is an important industry in India from economic, social, and aesthetic perspectives. It can generate more job opportunities and higher foreign exchange earnings. High-value ornamental plants can increase the income of farmers. Also, flowers are a visual feast and thus are used widely for decorative purposes in homes and offices. They are also important from a social point of view as they are used on several occasions, such as marriage ceremonies and birthday parties.

Flower Cultivation in India

The history of floriculture is rich in India, as decorative plants and flowers are an important part of Indian culture and traditions. India has many agro-climatic zones that allow farmers to grow different varieties of flowers. Also, the gestation period of flower crops is lesser than that of other crops. Among various flower crops, the most popular ones are:

  • Rose
  • Marigold
  • Carnations
  • Tulip
  • Orchids
  • Lilies

Types of Floriculture in India

The main types of floriculture include cut flowers, loose flowers, potted plants, nursery and perfumes. These floriculture types are discussed below:

Cut Flowers

These flowers are generally cut along with their branches or stems. They are used mainly for aesthetic purposes in different settings like ceremonies and decorations. Also, these flowers or flower buds are mostly used in floral baskets and bouquets or are kept in vases. Some of the popular cut flowers are orchids, roses, carnations, lily and tulips.

Loose Flowers

There is no stem in loose flowers; only flowers are cut from the plant. Loose flowers are in high demand in India as they have a range of uses. They are widely used in making hair ornaments and bracelets for women. Loose flowers also help make rangoli arrangements, garlands and bouquets. Another major use of these flowers is in the form of religious offerings. Loose flowers are mainly obtained from flowers like kaner, jasmine, marigold and rose.

Potted Plants

People prefer potted plants as they serve the purpose of both indoor and outdoor decoration. This is why they have commercial benefits in gardening. Potted plants are easy to move, and thus, landscaping becomes convenient. They include both flowering plants and ornamental foliage. Potted plants are commonly used for decoration in sites like hotels, corporate offices, homes and malls. Examples of potted plants include money plants, ferns and maranta.


One of the growing businesses in India is establishing a nursery to raise seedlings to be sold to customers. People can also buy fully-grown plants and flowers from nurseries. Generally, ornamental plants are grown in nurseries as they provide higher earnings to farmers. Also, they are in high demand in the market. Nurseries can raise a variety of flowers, like sunflowers, marigolds, jasmines and roses.


There is a huge demand for perfumes that contain natural floral extracts. The preparation of perfumes includes the use of essential oils. These oils can be obtained from different aromatic flowers like tuberose, kewra, jasmine and rose.

Green House Technology for Floriculture

Using greenhouses for the protected cultivation of cut flowers is gaining popularity in India. Greenhouse farming involves constructing a structure called a greenhouse, which is covered by plastic film or glass. It not only offers ideal growth conditions for flowers but also uses resources like water and land efficiently. Thus, it is a step in the right direction towards sustainable agriculture.

Commercial floriculture is done using controlled climatic conditions as a hi-tech activity in a greenhouse. Farmers regulate several factors like humidity, temperature and sunlight exposure to obtain quality floriculture products. A greenhouse can be low-cost, medium-cost, or high-tech based on the technology used, construction cost, and greenhouse material used.

Export Potential of Floriculture

In 2022-23, the export of floriculture products from India was around 21,024 MT. In addition, the total worth of floriculture exports was ₹707.81 Crores. The major countries that import the floriculture products of India are the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the USA, Malaysia, Germany and the Netherlands.

India has an excellent geographic and strategic location near big flower markets like East Asia and Europe. The Indian government has given the floriculture industry a 100% export-oriented status. Several export-oriented units have been set up to offer facilities like reefer vans, pre-cooling chambers and cold stores. APEDA, or Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, oversees Indian floriculture and its components, such as promotion, development and export.

The demand for floriculture products is growing in international markets. Thus, it is the right time to take up floriculture and earn more by growing flowers for export purposes. Factors like urbanization, changing lifestyles and the rise in e-commerce are making more people buy floriculture products. India has a huge opportunity to meet this demand and increase foreign exchange earnings.

Frequently Asked Questions on Floriculture in India: Meaning, Importance, Types and Export Potential

1. What is floriculture?

Floriculture is the cultivation of different varieties of foliage plants and flowers for commercial purposes, that is, to earn more income.

Floriculture is important in India because of its economic value, social and aesthetic perspective.

Neesha Rathod
Published By
Neesha Rathod
Neesha holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a postgraduate degree in Rural Management. With over 10 years of experience in agriculture and the rural sector, she is a quick problem solver. She is inquisitive and has a deep analytics insight into any issues related to agriculture. She loves to travel and explore new places.
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