In Hawaii, growing anthurium flowers is a big industry; there are more than two hundred farms currently in production. Some farms have been in operation since the beginning of the anthurium industry in the 1950s. Have you ever wondered how these farms grow so many anthurium flowers? Well read on and I’ll show you.
It all starts with building a shade house. After a plot of land is cleared and leveled with a bull dozer, holes are dug in a grid pattern and steel pipes are cemented in place. Steel cables are strung up across the tops of the pipes and shade cloth, to block out a portion of the sun’s rays, is attached to the cables.
Once the shade house is complete, volcanic cinder is spread over the floor of the shade house with tractors or other farm equipment. The cinder usually comes from volcanic cinder cones and is brought to the farm in large dump trucks. It is dumped outside the shade house in a large pile, because the trucks are too big to fit in the shade house. Usually a layer of cinder about a foot and a half is applied to the floor of the shade house. Often dolomite is added to condition the cinder prior to planting.
Now that the cinder or growing media is in place, anthurium plants are obtained. They can come from top cuttings of older plants in other parts of the farm or they can be the result of vegetative propagation or tissue culture. These plants are then planted by hand in long rows of 25 to 50 feet that are usually 6 to 8 feet wide. Rows are spaced wide enough to allow harvesters to walk in between them and usually a gap big enough for a farm vehicle is left as well.
Most of the time, daily rain fall provides enough moisture for the plants. But when the rain is not enough the anthurium plants may be watered by elevated ground sprinklers or overhead sprinklers. Weed control is always a pressing issue. A lot of weeding is done by hand, because anthuriums are fairly susceptible to herbicides.