New Jersey ranks sixth in the nation when it comes to gardening — or floriculture — sales, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
In 2014, the state sold $196 million in floriculture products, which was up 4 percent since 2013.
New Jersey has 258 floriculture producers with sales of $10,000 or more, and there was an increase in the number of producers in the $100,000 to $499,999 sales range.
NASS recently released the 2014 Annual Floriculture Survey, which showed that only New Jersey and Florida earned increases in value of sales of the 15 leading states surveyed. Nationally, the wholesale value of floriculture crops was down 4 percent from 2013.
Officials noted that given New Jersey’s small land mass, the state is more than twice as devoted to floriculture than any other state.
The survey found New Jersey ranks third nationally in sales of herbaceous perennials ($53 million) and cut flowers ($15 million). Sales of bedding/garden plants were $123.3 million, potted flowering plants were $34 million, and poinsettias were $8.4 million.
New Jersey also ranks third in floriculture acreage on open ground at 4,720 acres. The Garden State has a total of 26.7 million square feet of covered area for floriculture crop production.
Floriculture crops include annual bedding plants, cut flowers, Easter lilies, chrysanthemums, hostas, and flowering plants for indoor use. Floriculture is part of the horticulture industry, which is the largest component of New Jersey’s agriculture sector.