Over the years you’ve come to know Manatee Farms quality products and service under the banners of Cortez and Manatee Floral. This year we are celebrating over 125 years being local growers and importers of quality products for the floriculture and horticulture industry. As part of our celebration and continued commitment to our friends, families and business we are launching a new website and with new marketing campaigns designed to drive consumers directly to customers that carry the Manatee Farms brand. As we’ve entered a new era of online shoppers, technology savy consumers and socially conscious awareness we are adapting our business to better serve you our customers.
Manatee Farms was started by The Preston Family in 1892 as a citrus grower. In 1911, we began growing and shipping gladiolus flowers. As time moved on, the floral business was expanded to include a multitude of flowers under production in Florida and California. Manatee was a pioneer grower of many new different types of carnations, gyp, statice sinuata, snapdragons, delphinium, larkspur, asters, asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, sunflowers, gerbera daises, and a sundry of other flowers for shipping to markets outside of Florida primarily. By 1989 we were one of the largest growers of cut flowers in the USA encompassing almost 1800 acres and over 400 employees. Our cut flower growing and import distribution went from coast to coast, Canada, and Western Europe. Manatee Farms also hybridized a number of gladiolus varieties best suited to be grown in the Florida climate and is known for its focus on quality and freshness. The Manatee cut flower brand is known throughout North America.
In 1974, Manatee began its potted plant operation which covers over 20 acres and consists of a variety of plants including potted chrysanthemums, poinsettias, Easter lilies, foliage plants, and a variety of seasonal outdoor and indoor plants. The green house operation serves markets all over the country as well as grocery chains, and local retailers.