• Volusia County's fern industry struggles to meet Valentine's Day demand

    By: Jason Kelly


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Many of the ferns sold with roses are grown in Central Florida, but last month's cold weather has put a dent on the region's multimillion-dollar fern industry.

    February is one of the busiest times of year for workers at FernTrust in Volusia County's Seville neighborhood, but the company said that it's still recovering from an unseasonably cold winter.

    READ MORE: Cold January in Central Florida, 22-consecutive warm month broken


    Although company officials say they'll be able to ship ferns domestically, there aren't enough plants to supply last-minute Valentine's Day orders or international orders.

    Read: Valentine's Day 2018: 6 ways to eat for free or cheap

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Read: Single on Valentine’s Day? Study finds singles have better overall relationships

    "This year, we are going to ship about zero (internationally)," Executive Vice President David Register said. "The last time we had this difficult of a time was in 1983."

    Register said the business could suffer a loss of about $100,000 because of cold weather.

    Watch: Volusia County fern growers scramble to protect plants from Central Florida cold snap

    Ferneries in Volusia, Lake and Putnam counties were already hit hard by hurricanes Matthew and Irma in 2016 and 2017.

    "Hopefully, next year will be a better year," Register said.

    FernTrust is now trying to gear up for Mother's Day orders, he said.

    Read: Border agents to search for banned Valentine's Day flowers

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