Paul L. Daum, Fred C. Gloeckner
At present the following countries in Latin America export carnations into the United States and European markets: Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic.

Colombian production dominates the U.S.A. flowering import picture, with up to 90% of the carnations being imported derive from this country. Almost 98% of the exported product is in the form of the conventional disbudded standard type.

With the more recent success with the various silver preservative compounds interest in the miniature or spray type carnation is being revived. Countries other than Colombia appear to be increasing their interest in the spray type carnation making it apparent that the next real growth in carnation production for export will be in this form.

If one takes a global geographic view of the area in which Latin American cut flower production is presently established, it becomes obvious that there exists an Equatorial Belt approximately 19° latitude north and south of the Equator, desirable for the minimal plastic film structure being employed by the Latin American growers. This limited geographic relationship has arisen out of climate limitations that exist beyond these latitudes. Within the 19° latitude zone the following conditions favor cut flower production.

  1. Up to a minimum of 1700 hours of brilliant sun per year.
  2. Relatively stable and uniform diurnal daylength and temperature rhythms.
  3. Absence of seasonal aspects of climate that require growing environment protection and modification controls, found outside these latitudes, permitting no more than simple plastic film roof structures.
  4. The potential to encounter the desired cut flowers ideal climate, by simply taking advantage of the phenomena of natural reduction of temperature with altitude.

The above of course is an oversimplification and in no way is related to the "trade off", of the problems, and limitations often encountered at the actual on site search for appropriate production site. Often after one has discovered the ideal latitude/altitude site, the physical plant requirements such as road accessability, energy and water supply often provide limitations, that are not so easily solved, so that the actual number of ideal locations is limited. Of course, overlaid on this must be the political and economic health of the country being considered.

The climatic requirements for quality standard disbudded carnations

Daum, Paul L. and Gloeckner, Fred C. (1983). CARNATION TRENDS IN LATIN AMERICA. Acta Hortic. 141, 245-248
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1983.141.34

Acta Horticulturae