Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

5. CUT FLOWER PRODUCTION IN INDONESIA - Toto Sutater and Kusumah Effendie[5]

1. Introduction

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago of more than 13,000 islands with a total coastline of 81,000 kilometers. With a population of 190 million, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation after China, India and the United States.

The country is in the process of accelerating the development of its economy through industrialization on the basis of self reliance, including rural economy. This will create employment opportunities and improve the welfare of millions of people living in the rural areas, as well as increase production quantitatively and qualitatively to meet the growing demand of the rapidly expanding population. This will offer strong investment opportunities especially for floriculture and other horticultural crops.

Ornamental horticulture, especially cut flower production has sprouted from cultural and hobby based activities into a lively and prospective business. Current government efforts to monitor the domestic and global demand and production has provided sufficient evidence that the cut flower industry could contribute substantially to the GDP of Indonesia. A productive cut flower industry could provide additional economic strength into the process of industrialization in the 21st century.

The government policy on horticulture development is directed to:

- stimulate investment and create opportunity in the horticultural sector, based on agribusiness orientation;

- reduce the sharp price fluctuation in order to maintain economic stability;

- reduce import and increase export, to raise foreign exchange earnings;

- create job opportunities and increase community income;

- fulfill the demand for beauty, harmony and natural environment.

In the sixth Five Year Development Programme (Pelita VI), expected contribution from horticultural commodities to Product Domestic Bruto is 6.1 percent and growth of horticultural production is 5 percent per year (Repelita VI Pertanian, 1992). Approaches in the Second Long Term Development Plan for the horticultural sector will be focused on agribusiness orientation which is modern, economically efficient and sustainable.

2. Present Situation of Cut Flower Production

Production centers of cut flower and ornamental plants have mostly developed on the basis of climatological and soil conditions and their distance from larger cities. Main production centres at present are:

a) Jabotabek:

Jakarta, Bogor, Tanggerang and Bekasi

b) North Sumatera:

Brastagi, Kabanjahe, Tanjung, Morawa and Medan

c) Riau:

Riau Islands

d) West Java:

Cipanas, Cianjur, Bogor, Cisarua/Lembang, Sukabumi, Tasik Malaya

e) Central Java:

Bandungan, Yogyakarta, Magelang, Tegal, Pemalang and Purbalingga

f) East Java:

Tretes, Batu, Pujon, Pasuruan and Madura

Due to the lack of statistical information, it is difficult to obtain figures about total area cultivated, production and productivity. For development purposes it is necessary to keep track of these data as is done for other horticultural crops.

The most important cities with regard to existing flower and ornamental sales as well as growing of orchids and ornamental plants are:


Jakarta, Bandong, Semarang, Malang and Surabaya






Ujung Pandang

The main features of the production centers for flowers and ornamental plants in Indonesia are described here under:

Jakarta (Jabotabek)

In general, every large city has its own orchid gardens which supply its own consumers. In Jakarta however, due to a scarcity of land and high price, orchid growers make investments outside Jakarta, for example in Tanggerang, Bogor and Bekasi.

Estimates of a 1993 census by DKI Jakarta reveal that a total of 102 hectares were cultivated under orchids and ornamental plants. Of this, 73 percent or 75 ha were in use for orchids. Orchid genera mostly grown by Jakarta growers are Dendrobium, Vanda, Arachnis, Oncidium, Phalaenopsis and Cattleya.

Major production areas of orchids in Jakarta are:

West Jakarta:

Kebon Jeruk, Grogol and Cengkareng

South Jakarta:

Kebayoran Lama, Cilandak, Lebak Bulus and Pasar Minggu

East Jakarta:

Jatinegara, Kramat Jati, Pulo Gadung, Pasar Rebo and Pondok Gede

Although orchid growing was primarily done in small shade net base gardens, presently some large scale orchid farms are established in Jakarta and its surroundings. Orchid growing is capital intensive compared to other cut flowers. An orchid farm of 1000 square meters will require a working capital of around US$ 12,000 to 15,000.

North Sumatera (Berastagi, Kabanjahe, Tanjung Morawa) and Riau Island

Production areas in Kabanjahe are scattered over 4 districts: Kabanjahe, Barusjahe, Tigapanah and Simpang Empat. Tanjung Morawa is located 17 km from Medan and is known as the center of production of ornamental plants in North Sumatera. Production of cut flowers include gladiolus, chrysanthemum, aster, gerbera, dahlia, anthurium and sedap malam (Polyanthes tuberosa). A few varieties of lilies and rose are also found. Farm sizes for flower growing in North Sumatera varies from less than 1000 square meters to one hectare. Most of the flowers are grown in combination with vegetables. Compared to Java less workers are used. Dry fish waste is used as fertilizer.

Gladiolus is planted in a phased manner so that harvest can be done continuously. In some fields, old plants are left for bulb production; generally, yellow, pink, red and dark red varieties are popular. Chrysanthemum is grown in open fields; white chrysanthemum is grown and pinched to yield one big flower, whereas in yellow and red varieties up to three flowering buds are left; rejuvenation is done after 18 months. Aster, gerbera and dahlia are more widely grown in North Sumatera than chrysanthemum. Some flowers are also sold without stem.

Most farms at Tanjung Morawa concentrate on more or less the same kind of ornamental plants, such as palms, pines, ixora, dieffenbachia, dracaena, cycas and croton. Plants are transplanted from the nursery into black plastic bags.

The wholesale market is located at Berastagi, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays, where flowers are traded and distributed to different markets and flower shops in Medan.

Cut flower growers in Riau island produce Heliconia, one of the most prospective and commercial tropical flowers.

West Java (Cipanas, Bogor Cisarua/Lembang and Sukabumi)

Cipanas has been well known as a center for flower and ornamental production for a long time. Due to its favourable location and climate many inhabitants of Jakarta visit Cipanas on the weekends. Ornamental plants are sold directly to consumers alongside the roads. Major cut flowers produced are chrysanthemum, rose, gladiolus, gerbera etc. Chrysanthemum from Cipanas is well known for its high quality. In rose, mostly local varieties are grown. Cut flowers are supplied to Jakarta using bamboo boxes with banana leaves and are transported to hotels, florist shops and Rawa Belong market in Jakarta. Ornamental plants produced at Cipanas are pines, adiantum, azaleas, dieffenbachia, dracaena, bougainvillea, hibiscus etc. which are produced in small pots by villagers and sold alongside roads.

Bogor is known for its heavy rainfall with an estimated 320 days of rainfall in a year. Bogor has a very good connection with Jakarta and can be reached in half an hour by road. Cut flowers such as carnation, chrysanthemum, gerbera and cala lily are produced in plastic greenhouses at Megamendung and Ciawi. Ornamental plants such as palms, pines and adiantum are produced at Ciapus Bogor.

In Lembang cut flowers are grown on a small scale and are less important than ornamental plants. At Cisarua, a desa (village) next to Lembang, the villagers are producing ornamental plants in almost every home garden. It is estimated that there are around 100 growers with an average farm size of 500 to 1000 square meters. Plants are grown in plastic bags in a medium of rice hulls mixed with stable manure. They mainly consist of flowering pot plants such as baby roses, asters, mini carnation etc. Young plants of pines, cycas, azaleas, dracaena and palms are also produced.

Cut flowers such as gladiolus, anthurium and gerbera are mostly produced at Selabintana and Sukabumi. Sedap Malam (Polyanthes tuberosa) is produced at Selabintana/Sukabumi, Mayak/Cianjur and Indihiang/Tasik Malaya. Area under tuberose in Sukabumi is 6 hectares, in Cianjur 39.15 hectares and in Tasikmalaya 9 hectares. From the wholesale market the flowers are transported to Jakarta.

Central Java (Bandungan, Tegal, Pemalang, Purbalingga and Magelang)

Bandungan is the main production area for cut flowers in Central Java. Most of the flowers at Bandungan are produced on small farms by a large number of farmers in a mixed cropping system with vegetables. From an agricultural census conducted in 1986 it appeared that there were 1530 farmers, who produced both flowers and vegetables. Thirty six of them had an area larger than 0.5 hectare. Bandungan produces cut flowers of aster, roses, tagetes, gerbera, dahlia, gladiolus, chrysanthemum, carnation, lily and amaryllis. Quality of flowers varies a lot and grading is done by the trader.

Tegal and Pemalang produces jasmine (Jasminum sambac). It is used as an ingredient for the taste of green tea. Banjarnegara has the largest jasmine plantation area of 345 hectares while Banyumas has 45 hectares.

Sedap malam (Polyanthes tuberosa) is produced by growers in Central Java at Desa Citrosono of Magelang and Bandungan. Harvested area under tuberose at Citrosono-Megelang is around 14.5 hectares and at Bandungan-Semarang 12.3 hectares.

East Java (Batu, Pujon, Tretes, Pasuruan and Madura)

Batu is the center of cut flower and ornamental plant production in East Java. Batu and Pujon, are located at high altitudes of 1000 to 1300 meters above sea level. Most of the farmers at Batu and Pujon use mixed cropping patterns of flowers and vegetables with an average of 0.5 hectare per farmer. Cut flowers produced are gladiolus, rose, chrysanthemum, orchids, gerbera, lilies and tagetes.

In Tretes ornamental plant growers have formed an association called Aspeni (Asosiasi Pengusaha dan Petani Flora Indonesia). Ornamental plants produced at the 3 locations above are pines, palm, cycas, ficus, ixora, dracaena, azalea and dieffenbachia.

Pasuruan is the center of sedap malam (tuberose) production in East Java. Total harvested area of tuberose is 75 hectares at Bangil and 69 hectares at Rembang, which are sub-districts of Pasuruan. Growers in Pasuruan produce jasmine beside sedap malam. Harvested area under jasmine in Pasuruan is 15 hectares.

Madura is one of the most famous areas for jasmine production in East Java. Area under jasmine at Bangkalan-Madura is 30 hectares. Most jasmine production in East Java is used for accessories at wedding ceremony and other religious activities.

The local wholesale market of cut flowers is located at Batu. Some of the growers act as traders as well and packing of flowers is done at their home.

Technology Generation

Research in floriculture is carried out by the Research Institute for Ornamental Plant (RIOP) in Jakarta which has had its mandate from the Ministry of Agriculture since 1995. RIOP has two installations at Cipanas and Segunung. Major areas of research are breeding, agronomy, pest and disease control, post-harvest technology and economics. Attention has been directed to cut flowers namely orchids, rose, jasmine and tuberose.

The on-going research programmes within the RIOP are as follows:

- Germplasm collection, characterization, elevation and conservation.
- Quality improvement on cut flower priority and ornamental plants.
- Growth media and plant nutrition.
- Cropping system including hydroponics.
- Pests and disease control of cut flower priority.
- Vaselife prolongation of cut flower.
- Socio-economic studies, to increase grower income and marketing.
- Seed technology and planting material production.
Research on orchids mostly relates to quality improvement, virus resistance, comparison of growth media and plant nutrition from the tissue culture stage through transplanting and cut flower production. Ways of rapid multiplication of orchid plants with tissue culture have been studied as well. Types of orchids include Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis and Vanda. On roses work was done on variety improvement, adaptability testing, planting material production and socio-economic aspects. Prolongation of vaselife of cut flowers and colouring tuberose by testing several formulas have also been studied. A germplasm collection of cut flowers and ornamental plants is maintained at the Research Institute for Ornamental Plant.

Impact of research result is clear through interaction between growers and the research institute. Moreover, dissemination of technology could be further enhanced by seminars and publications. At present there is an institution called BPTP which has the mandate for technology assessment, development and extension work in almost every region.

3. Production of Planning Material

At present many varieties are being grown in Indonesia both local as well as imported. It needs to be determined which ones are more suitable for local growing conditions and match consumer preferences. With the rapid development of the local market of cut flowers and ornamental plants, larger quantities of high quality planting material will be required (Table 1). Specialization on growing planting material of a certain kind of cut flowers and growth stage of ornamental plants is promising and looks prospectful.

Multiplication by means of tissue culture of cut flowers and ornamental plants has been found promising because of the rapidity of producing a large number of plantlets in short time, and the uniformity of planting material which is free from diseases.

Propagation of ornamental plants is done in partial greenhouses which provide shading and protection against rain and pests. Simple overhead sprinkler irrigation system provides easy water supply and control of humidity.

Table 1. Estimation of Cut Flower Planting Material Demand, Import and Production


Seedling Requirement


Seedling Production

























Source: Directorate of Horticulture 1993.
Planting material production in Indonesia is not yet developed. There is no company breeding for cut flowers at present in Indonesia. The market segment which uses high quality planting material is small but shows a growth of about 10 percent per year.

4. Marketing

In regard to the market for cut flowers in Indonesia, it must be noted that no integrated domestic market exists. The market consists of a number of confined markets, larger cities and their supply regions. A distinction should be made between Jakarta and other larger cities in Indonesia. In Jakarta giving flowers for all social occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, illness, business attention etc. has become rather common and substitutes for personal visits. As a result of this, Jakarta has become by far the largest market for flowers in Indonesia and consumes approximately 76 percent of the total consumption (Table 2). In Jakarta more than 900,000 stems of cut flowers are sold per week, accounting for an approximate value of US$ 5.1 million per year, whereas the total amount for all major cities is estimated as US$ 6.8 million per year.

Table 2. Consumption of Cut Flowers in Jakarta (stems)









































































* Projection
5. Potential for Cut Flower Production Development

Tissue culture technology for multiplication of plantlets is rapidly developing and has been accepted on a wide scale for several flowers and ornamental plants. Advantages lie in less time needed, uniformity of produced plantlets and virus free planting material.

Indonesia has ideal climatological conditions for growing tropical plants. Presently an interesting domestic market has developed, where relatively high prices are fetched, based on the scarcity of the product more than the actual cost price.

To be able to achieve the quality standards required in the international market and its effective marketing, cooperation with international growers is a feasible alternative to obtain results in the not too distant future for Indonesian growers. In order to enter the world market to some significant extent Indonesia needs to start selection and breeding of its own varieties. A substitute for soil mixed with rice husk as a growth media for ornamental plants is required in case of export since most countries prohibit soil and rice husk to enter their territories.

6. Constraints in Cut Flower Production Development

a) Although several commercial tissue culture laboratories are in operation in Indonesia, all have limited operations to serve their own requirement or a small circle of associated farmers. By doing so, the scale of operations remains too small for a profitable undertaking and consequently investments in motherstock of planting material are not made.

b) No specialized nursery for young ornamental plants is in existence. Growers are not able to follow the market trend quickly and multiplication is done in an inefficient way.

c) Indonesian private growers of ornamental plants and flowers were left on their own for variety testing and developing appropriate cultivation methods. This has resulted in high cost and slow spread of adapted varieties and cultivation techniques. Support from RIOP as technology generating institution and BPTP for transfer of technology is needed in every region.

d) Institutional promotion to increase popularity of flowers and ornamental plants in Indonesia is still limited. Similarly, information about flowers and plants which can be supplied from Indonesia is almost lacking in the world market.

e) Most of the cut flower production centers are scattered and located too far from the distribution point or air port.

f) High interest rate on credit for capital on agribusiness which is treated the same as other commercial investments.

g) Limited area/land at reasonable price.

7. Conclusions

Research on cut flowers and ornamental plants is very important to support and solve the problems faced by growers. The cooperation between private and public institutions needs to be strengthened and developed.

The development of the domestic market is a prerequisite for the development of export which requires high standard quality and large volume as well as competitive price.

The development of a well established wholesale market is needed in Jakarta to have a positive impact on the development of this sector.

The short production cycle of cut flowers and ornamental plants, makes the country an ideal place for multiplication of planting material, which needs to be explored.

[5] Research Institute for Ornamental Plants, Central Research Institute for Horticulture, Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page