How to Start a Rose Flower Business in Kenya

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Starting a rose flower business in Kenya is lucrative but first,

What are you doing wrong?

The truth:

Probably a lot.

Beginners make mistakes. Just a part of life.

The good news?

You know that darkness you’re stumbling around in? Well, I’m going to turn on the light.

Nobody in the world has the power to make all the obstacles disappear, but I can at least help you see what you’re tripping over. Some of the mistakes you’re making might surprise you.

SPOF means a Single Point of Failure which according to Wikipedia is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working.

Let me explain.

You have a good career that sustains all aspects of your life and you are happy.

What happens if you get fired, the company you’re working for collapses or your health deteriorates? The world starts to collapse around you most likely. This is your SPOF.

You can start eliminating SPOF by creating multiple sources of income, and the best of them all, starting your own rose flower business.

See, Kenya flower industry is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners, and the industry has an international market share of 38%. Locally, people are embracing consumption of roses in weddings and other important functions.

Despite the few challenges, rose flower business in Kenya has the biggest potential that anyone can tap into.

But then,

If you’re not able to start a business you think you should, the following are some of the most common reasons why:

When you want to start a business, do you just start by thinking about it?

Big mistake. Here’s why:

When you want to learn how to play the guitar, do you just sit down and start plucking strings until a song comes out?

Quick, before you do anything else, start here;

Ways to start a rose flower business in Kenya

  1. Becoming a florist.
  2. Growing and selling of roses
  3. Operating along the value chain

In this article, my main focus is the first and the second approach. I want to explain how you can generate huge income from rose flower arrangements as well as growing and selling this high-value crop to eliminate SPOF and live an abundant life.

Related Post: Is The Kenya Flower Industry Dying a Slow Death?

Starting a rose flower business as a florist

It’s possible to easily start a flower shop where you can sell well-arranged rose bouquets. Most florists sell anywhere between Kshs.700 to 3,000 or much more per bouquet depending on the size and style.

Rose flower business in kenya
Flower Arrangement: A piece like this could cost close to Kshs.3,000

In this kind of business, all you need is some flower arrangement skills, relatively low capital, local business permit, and a few other requirements such as creating a network of clients.

These clients are the same people to market your business depending on the value you offer through referrals. Flower arrangement courses are offered at affordable costs that range from 3,000 to 10,000 and takes just about 14 to 30 days.

However, training will only serve to prove that you are a professional but what counts is your inborn eye for beauty and a people skills. Depending on your commitment to succeed, you can make a gross monthly income of Kshs. 100,000 comfortably.

If your monthly expenses come to Kshs. 40,000 you remain with 60,000 clean money. What more could you ask for? Maybe more roses to keep you going. But this is not the only rose flower business in Kenya. You can become a flower consolidator or agent.

Growing and selling rose flowers in Kenya

Suitable land and accessories

The first requirement into successful rose flower growing is land availability. The land should further have the necessary characteristics such as productive soil, proper drainage, and proximity to a reliable water source.

Rose flower business in Kenya
The land is the biggest factor of production when it comes to the rose flower business

Failure to these, it would be practically expensive for you to establish your business. The size of the land will depend on your goals and objectives. There are several ways to acquire land in Kenya.

First, you may inherit from your parents. Secondly, you may decide to buy your own land from personal savings or loans, and lastly, you may not be lucky enough to inherit land nor have the budget to purchase the land. If that’s the case, the third option would be to lease for a specified period of time.

Once you have the land, you can move to the next requirement.

Related: How to Export Fresh Produce from Kenya

Ecological requirements

Just like any other crop, roses perform optimally under specific ecological conditions. It’s important that you evaluate your area to get all the information. Start by visiting a meteorology department near you.

Take note of the altitude, rain patterns, and dry spells if any and so on. This information will come in handy later on. However, at this point let me explain that ecological conditions aren’t much important with the use of greenhouse technology.

Rose flower business in kenya
Greenhouse cultivation of roses ensures that your business is not affected by weather changes or ecology

You will definitely consider greenhouse cultivation of your roses to optimize their yields. If you wish to start small, you may consider using low improvised tunnels that will still serve the same purpose as the greenhouse but are much cheaper.

Availability of labor

Starting a rose flower business in Kenya isn’t easy. Let me explain, Kenya is known for producing high-quality roses for export and as such the competition for the workforce is intense. Being a labor-intensive investment, you’ll definitely have to consider the availability of necessary labor.

You don’t want to establish your business where the competition for employees is way too high. If that happens, your problems will begin on the first day of the opening when you realize that nobody is knocking at your door asking for employment.

No matter how small you wish to start, you’ll need someone to help you with one or two things. It will even be worse when you want to expand. So, think about it upfront.


Roses just like any other horticultural produce are highly perishable. This means that you need to give them special care if you want to maintain their marketable quality. To achieve this, you need to ensure that you have a cold chain in place.

You can either invest in one yourself or hire. Whichever way, cold storage is a must-have. But that’s not all, you also need to analyze the accessibility of your business. Check the nature of the roads around your ideal location.

Rose flower business in kenya
All weather roads ensure that your roses reach the market timely.

Roses are not only highly perishable but also very sensitive. That means that they need to get to the market as soon as practicable. If your ideal location for the rose flower business has a network of tarmacked roads, you’re blessed!

The other important aspect in terms of infrastructure is the connectivity of electricity. Thankfully, Kenya has made great strides in ensuring that electricity is available even in the remotest areas.

Now that you have items #1 to #4 or you have an idea of how to find them, it’s time to set up your flower business.

What you need to start a rose flower business in Kenya legally

The requirements listed are compulsory especially if you wish to export your roses in addition to selling locally.

  • A certificate of business incorporation from the registrar of companies
  • Kenya Revenue Authority Personal Identification Number (KRA PIN).
  • A Tax Compliance Certificate.
  • Export License.
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services.
  • Clearance from National Environmental Management Authority, NEMA, and WRMA.
  • Local authority business permit.

Don’t be put off by the amount of paperwork required upfront. It’s very easy to obtain these licenses. Much easier than you think and the cost is relatively low.

A word of caution, though, if you must hire somebody to help you out, make sure they are trustworthy. I have seen cases where quacks promise to help you acquire these licenses only to disappear or much worse deliver fake documents.

Just remember that it’s your right as an investor or entrepreneur to be facilitated to obtain the necessary documentation. You don’t have to bribe anybody because let’s face it, no one is doing you a favor.

Once you have the necessary documentation, you can congratulate yourself for work well done. Actually, you have achieved a lot. Most people stop at dreaming and their ideas die before they are born. But, for you, you’ve defiled all odds and here you are ready to swim with sharks!

So, what next


If you have to succeed in the flower business, you have to always strive to fulfill the market demand and over-deliver on promises.

There is a wide range of market segments for roses starting from local and international. But the bottom line, customers will buy by impulse or on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day.


What is important is to develop a quality assurance program to guide the delivery of your products. Before anything else, survey around to see what the market wants. Once you have a clear picture of the market requirements, it’s time to choose your rose varieties.


The flower business is an expensive investment but one that has a greater ROI. You can consult your bank to fund your start-up, that is if you don’t enough money to invest yourself. Once, you’re established consider, employing competent people on your team to help you out.


Don’t procrastinate anymore. Before you close this page, get a pen and paper write out what you need to start, and have a plan of action. Remember that a bad plan is better than no plan at all.

Five years from now rose flower business in Kenya is going to be a gold mine and not only for the usual ‘big boys with big bucks’ but for any innovative entrepreneur. Kenya has really improved its ease of doing business and it’s your time to shine.

Should you need any help at any stage setting up your business, I’m at your service.

Feel free to contact me with any comments, feedback or reaction.

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27 thoughts on “How to Start a Rose Flower Business in Kenya”

  1. Hello Chris – I want to start a small Rose Flower business in Cameroon. Can you help??

    • Hey Rose,

      The cut rose flower business is an international thing. That means that most standard operating procedures are the same across different demographics.

      So, yes. I believe that I can help you with a few things. However, when it comes to legal requirements and the sort each country has its specific laws.

      Should you need any more specific information just feel free to contact me by heading over here.

      • I have always had this desire to set up a flower business since I have previously worked with flower farms could there be someone of like mind to pool our resources together and fly this flight of flowers I have enough land and water

  2. Hi Chris,
    I am in Kenya and is interested in the export industry for fresh cut flowers having been an employee in the sector for years.Would you assist in getting a reliable client to enable me realise my dream of being a supplier of fresh cut flowers.Kindly get in touch with me on my email address.

  3. Hey Chris
    Alex from Zambia I would like to start a small business in roses,I kindly need your advice

  4. Hi chris i want to buy from flower farms and export roses (cut) what papers or legal docs that i need

  5. Am Mary from nakuru County and am so inspired by this article. I have been in the flower industry for some time and now I would want to export some few cut roses to the USA through a friend who is there who can find customers easily how do I go about it?

    And where can I get flower arrangement course for me to become a florist?

  6. Hi chris
    Thank u 4 the article.I would like to start a small scale flower farm.How do I get market for my produce citing that al be in nyeri county.

  7. hi chris my dream is running a fower farm..i really love this atircle.but how do i get market from holland

  8. I am seriously looking into growing roses in West africa to serve USA and Europe

  9. Hi Chris
    I would like to start a flower farm. I live in Angola, Huambo.I have got a degree in Agronomy. I have disponibility of land and water (more than 10 ha)I need to be trained in floriculture. can that be done in Kenya? Have youany references there? And in Zimbabwe?

    • Hi Tarcisio, thanks for dropping by. Some institutions in Kenya are offering short courses in Floriculture such as Egerton University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Science & Technology.
      However, I’d advice against such courses as they offer too much theory and no real life knowledge. The best option for you is to learn within the industry by attending Floricultural events such as IFTEX held in June of every year in Nairobi, Kenya. This is a good opportunity for you to connect with relevant players in the industry. Alternatively, you can organize for farm visits. For example, in Zimbabwe, you can visit a farm like Luxaflor which is doing pretty good. In case you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact us directly – through the contact page.

  10. Dear Chris
    It’s Tarcisio again
    I hope you are doing pretty weel.Your latest comment was very helpful to me as I toldy ou,and I’ll need your help in defining the strategy I’ll use. I can attend a Floricultural event such as IFTEX,and there, contact the potential growers from Zimbabwe,for instance, and ask for techical support in the issue, through farm visits in their country or just without the participation in the event,just tofinding their contacts and prepare a farm visit or farm visits. I think that the combination of the 2 approachs would be better and I’m asking you to help me in structuring the proposal to them,and also tocontact some of them. As I told you,I want to start growing flowers.I think that we could have a previous contact,before the event, other/s during the event and finally in their country.
    Thankyoufor your patience.

  11. I would like to start a rose flower business in Lagos Nigeria. I have land about an acre but no experience at all. Where can I get seeds?

  12. Hello Chris. Thanks for such an informative article. I’m interested in planting roses, lilies and tulips for sale. I’m in Botswana. For a small start, how expensive can it be. Do I need a green house for better yields?

  13. Hello Chris,i have started a small flower farm in Kenya, I need an expert who can do a feasibility and comprehensive business plan for me ?…i can be reached on WatsApp 0721841313

    • Hello Charles, thanks for dropping your comment. I’ve already reached out to you via WhatsApp on the number provided.

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