Frost Threatens Colombian Flowers For Valentine's Day

FloraHolland – The “La Niña” phenomenon affecting the temperature of the Pacific Ocean caused severe floods once again in late 2011 in Colombia, which have carried into the first two weeks of the new year. Although only some flower growers were directly affected, the continuous dark and damp days can delay flower maturity and opening, impacting Valentine’s Day supply.

Now, as the rains subside and typical bright sunny days seem to be back in the Bogotá Savannah where most of Colombian cut flowers are grown, weather forecasts indicate that the second half on January would continue to be dry, but may also bring freezing temperatures, with the accompanying, much feared, frost, which might badly damage flowers, particularly roses. Reports indicate that temperatures of -3°C can be expected, although incidence of severe frost is presently below 35%.

Since it is possible to take preventive measures to reduce damage in non-heated greenhouses, Colombian flower growers have access real time weather information, provided through the Ceniclima program, a strategic alliance drawn between Canal Clima, the Colombian Weather Channel, and Ceniflores the Colombian Centre for Innovation in Floriculture (a dependency of Asoclolflores). The Channel notifies emergency climate situations to registered users via email or cell phone messaging. Ceniflores further sends frequent newsletters with recommendations and advice on how to handle climate related issues and minimize damage.

Sources: Floraholland / Asocolflores/Ceniflores