Import and Export

Home / Industry / Import and Export

Around 10% of the flowers sold in Australia are imported. Most flowers sold are Australian-grown, usually within 100km of the farm. It would be great for Australian flower farms to only have home-grown flowers for sale, but sometimes we have to import flowers – for the same reasons we import many other products we enjoy.

Here’s why Australia imports flowers from other countries :

  • We struggle to grow the huge amount of flowers that we need for key calendar events in the year – like the thousands of red roses that are demanded at Valentine’s Day.
  • There are a few flowers that we just don’t have the ideal climate for, even in southern TAS or northernmost QLD. There’s not enough cold frost or intense tropical heat in our beautiful land.
  • There are a handful of mass-market flowers – chrysanthemums, roses, carnations – that it’s much cheaper at certain times of year to import. This is because of high labour, land, energy or production costs here in Australia. That’s an economic fact of a global economy.
  • There are one or two niche products that our Aussie growers don’t have the expertise, experience or equipment to grow commercially. Yet.

Only about 10% of flowers sold in Australia are imported, according to ABS data – mainly roses from Kenya and India, premium roses from Colombia and Ecuador, orchids from Singapore and Thailand, chrysanthemums from Malaysia and South Africa, and carnations from China and Vietnam.

The vast majority of all the flowers you buy in Australia are grown here, often within 100km of where they are sold. And if you live overseas, you can choose Australian-grown flowers and foliages too. Native or bush greens – including steel grass, umbrella fern, forest lace and sea star – are exported to China, Japan, the USA and throughout Europe. Native flowers – waxflower in particular, and more unusual things like Gymea lily and Christmas Bush – find their way to many overseas markets.


Interested in importing or exporting cut flowers? Subscribe to Australian Flower Industry magazine. Every issue we feature companies involved in floriculture around the world. Subscribe here

Contact Us

If you have a question to ask, an advert to place, a news item for us, or you just want to say g’day…

Start typing and press Enter to search