Ask Renee: Indiana flowers are sustainable flowers 

Save the planet one bouquet at a time

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Hi Renee,

I'm curious about a statistic I recently read that 80% of flowers sold in the US are not grown here and are sprayed with chemicals. Is it really true? I’m hoping to make my wedding flowers as green and local as possible.


Hi Amy, congrats on your pending nuptials.

First, to answer your question (with info from industry expert, Field to Vase): yes, 80% of flowers sold in the US are imported from other countries. Of those that are grown in the US, 77% are grown in California. That’s a hefty carbon footprint for something that should be absorbing carbon. Even more scary though, of the imported flowers, 50% come from Colombia where pesticides that are known carcinogens, and have been banned in North America, are still used. These facts make the flower industry seem not so pretty. But don’t let that wilt your dreams of an eco-wedding.

I was at the Bloomington Farmers Market last week and I can tell you that there are definitely locally- and sustainably-grown flowers aplenty.

Harvest Moon is the flower farm I’ve gotten to know the best over the years at farmers markets – they have been growing in Owen County for more than 24 years!

Sustainable flower farming and green weddings are topics on which Molly & Myrtle, of Indy’s Northside, strives to educate Hoosier brides and grooms. In season, they grow more that 80% of what they uses in wedding arrangements. They also have all kinds of vintage, repurposed accessories, like 100-year-old Ball jars made right here in Indiana. They say their customers are often surprised that their flowers are still fresh after their honeymoon – all because they are fresh and chemical-free.

On my list of activities I’d like to do in Indiana is to visit Willowfield Lavender Farm in Mooresville. Imagine how lovely a reception of fresh lavender would smell!

JP Parker has shops in downtown Indy and Franklin, but also has a flower farm in Needham, where their fields are abundant with sunflowers, zinnias, peonies and more. They also source from other local growers to create wedding arrangements.

More than six years ago, I spent the morning with friends cutting lilacs and irises for my wedding (just like my grandma did decades prior).

So, yes, whether you’re picking up a bouquet for someone special or selecting the perfect arrangements for your special day, you definitely have greener flower choices.

Piece out,

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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at

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