Central Florida's fern industry struggles to meet Valentine's Day demand

Many of the ferns sold with roses are grown in Central Florida, but January's cold weather put a dent on the region's multimillion dollar fern industry.

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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.

Although company officials said they'll be able to ship ferns domestically, it doesn't have enough plants to supply last-minute Valentine's Day orders or international orders.

"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.

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.

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