Currently, there are about 220 flower farms in Kenya, 70 of which are located near Lake Naivasha. Flowers have become one of the country's most important exports, along with tea. Kenya is the fourth largest exporter of flowers after the Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador: every third flower sold in Germany comes from this East African nation.
Throughout the world, Kenyan roses are well known for their large and intermediate headed roses, for its altitude location, its cultivated techniques, its infrastructure, and the favorable climatic conditions that allow year-round production of the highest quality flowers. Kenyan roses are well-known for their long vase life, which is double that of their competitors.
Kenya carnations are considered one of the most majestic and beautiful flowers on earth. It has a long tradition dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times when they were highly revered and used as decorations on Greek ceremonial crowns. A Kenyan carnation has become a prominent flower for Mother's Day as well as Valentine's Day.
Lilies symbolize beauty and all that it implies. They boast perfection from their sweet fragrance to their elegant petal arrangements. In Kenya, there are three kinds of lily:
Easter lilies are white trumpet-shaped flowers with a sweet scent.
Oriental liliesare heavily scented and are primarily white, deep red, purple or pink.
Asiatic lilieshave no fragrance and tend to be smaller in diameter than the Oriental variety. They come in brilliant shades of gold, orange, rose pink, yellow or white and have smooth petals.
Statice are sturdy, colorful annuals with long-lasting stems and deer-resistant, compact blooms. Statice flowers were once prized as late summer additions to bouquets, but new hybridized varieties now make them available for longer use. It is highly desirable to use statice as cut flowers.
Roses, carnations, and alstromeria are the most common cut flowers grown in Kenya. Other flowers cultivated include, gypsophilla, lilies, eryngiums, arabicum, hypericum, statice, a range of summer flowers amongst many others.