The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Greek flowers in the world market

20 May 2013 / 23:05:51  GRReporter
7866 reads

Flowers are an integral part of our lives. When we want to express our gratitude, love and appreciation for someone, we always resort to a bouquet of flowers with which to express our feelings. Unlike other commercial activities, the sale of flowers conceals a special romance, which we rarely think about. Flowers give a warm and inviting look to our homes; they decorate our balconies and make our gardens colourful. Even on a hard, busy day, a small bouquet or fresh greenery in a pot can make time more pleasant.

GRReporter has contacted Marios Vallianos who is not only the president of the federation of traders of flowers in Greece but also a president of the international competition for florists- designers over the last 15 years, to tell us about the business, art and love for flowers.

Flower crisis

"What has changed with the development of the economic crisis is the amount that people are willing to spend for a nice bouquet or for flowers. If someone would give about 30 euro for flowers before the deterioration of the economic situation of the country, now that amount is around 10-15 euro." The same is true for the more generous customers as well. If they were willing to give 50 euro to delight someone with flowers in previous years, now this figure has dropped to 20 euro.

"This means that there are two types of decrease in consumption. The first is in the number of the customers and the other is in the amount they are willing to pay for the purchase of flowers," stresses the specialist.

For many years, rich bouquets were preferred as gifts to potted flowers in Greece. Now the trend is just the opposite. "The customers would like to have or give as a present flowers that will “live” longer than five or ten days. So, perhaps in the context of the crisis, there is an increased demand for flowers with a variety of colours." According to representatives of the market, if the ratio in retail was 70% bouquets and 30% potted plants, now it is reversed."


The trend in demand for potted flowers is also changing. Some time ago, potted flowers had to be large, green and voluminous. Now there is significant demand for pretty small pots of various flowers rich in colours and smaller in size. These are indoor flowers that are suitable for indoor spaces that look good on a table as well as in outdoor spaces such as balconies and gardens.

The customers

The first choice for bouquets are roses and orchids and all seasonal flowers like poinsettias, begonias and other potted plants.

"Roses have remained the easiest solution for a present," says Vallianos. They are the first choice of the customers, who are not familiar with flowers, but want to pleasantly surprise a relative or a friend.

The second type of customers, according to the chairman of the federation of traders of flowers, are the people who are interested in the seasonal trends, follow their different presentations or buy specialized magazines. They are looking for new types and designs. "The people in this group know what they are looking for and they go to the appropriate flower shops that can offer them the desired product." They want bouquets or potted flowers with a specific design that can be found at specialized florist designers.

The third type of customers know what they are looking for but they are willing to experiment too. When they enter a well-stocked shop, they are more flexible in their choice and have the opportunity to buy something different from the standard choice (roses, carnations and chrysanthemums).

Flowers of Greece

Currently the Mediterranean country is strongest in the manufacture of roses, gerberas, lilies, a certain type of orchids and a range of seasonal flowers like freesia.

The Netherlands is the leader in the trade of flowers. Vallianos states that there are significant opportunities for Greece to develop this industry, but there is still no state-established quality control to stimulate the export of flowers and even to industrialise it. The Netherlands, in turn, needs additional imports to meet its trading needs of a logistics centre of Europe and imports from countries such as Italy, Israel, Ecuador, Greece, Thailand (mainly orchids) and from other countries that have a small output.

The production and marketing of carnations in the country has also dropped significantly, especially after the economic crisis. Carnations are the traditional blooms that Greeks love to throw when they have fun at bouzouki clubs and taverns. "They rarely open bottles of champagne and rarely order flowers for luxury when they are at night establishments," Vallianos notes with irony. This has inevitably affected the local production. He explains that the carnation was the preferred flower for this type of entertainment for several reasons. It is cheap, light and when it falls on the floor, there is no danger for the dancers to slip and injure themselves. "Imagine a basket of roses flying into your face as a sign of admiration. They are not only heavy, but there is a risk of a thorn getting into your eye," the specialist laughs.


Florists are not just flower sellers but specialists who know the types of flowers and plants typical of the region as well as the imports of flowers. They can help customers avoid the typical Greek preferences of gardenia, carnation and rose.

Tags: EconomyFloristsFlowerGreeceCarnationRoses
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus