Feb 14, 2024 - News

Most Valentine's Day flowers come to the U.S. through Miami's airport

Illustration of a airplane wearing a flower lei

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Whether you're giving or receiving flowers for Valentine's Day, chances are the bouquet made its way through Miami International Airport.

  • According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, about 90% of all Valentine's Day flowers pass through the city's airport from South America.

By the numbers: In the weeks leading up to the big day, hundreds of flights stop through Miami's airport carrying some 18,000 tons of flowers, the Associated Press reported.

  • This season, around 460 million flowers came from Ecuador and Colombia, Diogo Elias, senior vice president of Avianca Cargo, said Monday during a news conference in Miami.

The intrigue: Upon arrival, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists check the flowers for plant, pest and foreign animal disease, the AP reported.

  • From mid-January to Feb. 8, agency specialists processed about "832 million stems of cut flowers," examined 75,000 cut flower sample boxes and blocked 1,100 plant pests, Danny Alonso, the airport's port director, told the AP.

What we're watching: Valentine's Day is "one of the most demanding" times of the year, Alonso said. The next big day is Mother's Day in May.

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