Floriculture may be defined as “the art and knowledge of growing flowers to perfection”. Being a branch of Horticulture, it deals with the cultivation of flowers and ornamental crops from the time of planting to the time of harvesting. It also includes production of planting materials through seeds, cuttings, budding, grafting, etc, up to the marketing of the flower and flower produce.
In Meghalaya, floriculture is mostly practiced as a hobby by flower lovers. However, lately the high cost of planting materials, seeds, cut flowers etc and the increase in their demand, has created an awareness in the grower on the commercial aspects. Although commercial Floriculture is a recent development in Meghalya, however, considering the natural advantages of having the most varied range of climatic conditions in the country, it has a very high potential for cultivation of all types of flowers. The rich flora and the many species of orchids growing wild in the state which is the highest ever recorded in a single concentrated area is a testimony to this effect.
The objective of the scheme is to focus on the promotional and awareness aspects by providing incentives to the farmers and motivating them to grow traditional as well as non-traditional floral crops and houseplants for commercial purpose.
Nature of assistance will be in the form of providing the growers with diseased free planting material, organic/inorganic fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, garden tools and implements for a minimum area of 2000 square meters along with a package of practices for commercial production. Each unit will serve as a demonstration for which the Department will provide technical guidelines through extension and training. Crop selection will be on the basis of existing popularity and market demands. A few of the recommended ornamental crops are Orchids, Chrysanthemums, Gerberras, Carnations, Liliums, Strelitzia reginae, Gladiolus, Asters, Marigolds, Statice, Gomphrenas, Helichyrsums, Zinnias, Roses and different kind of house plants etc.