The Carlsbad Flower Fields Are Blooming In San Diego

Carlsbad Flower Fields in Bloom - Getty Images

Each Spring the 50-acre Carlsbad Ranch flower fills with nothing but blossoms and is covered in red, orange, yellow, green and purple flowers.  The fields open up for a once a year flower show starting March 1st - May 10th.

The flower fields are so popular in fact thtat they create a tourist attraction every spring.  Whether the flower fields are just a passing by experience or they are something you've always wanted to check off your bucket list, they certainly make for a beautiful destination.

Tips for enjoying your visit to the Carlsbad Flower Fields

  • The flowers peak about 3 weeks after the fields open to the public
  • Know what to expect: The flowers are gorgeous but may not be as thick as you've seen in photographs
  • Allow at least an hour or two for the entire visit.
  • The flowers love to be in the sun but you may not.  Bring a hat, sunscreen an and water.
  • Leave the pets at home, only certified support animals will be permitted
  • Weekdays are the best time to go, weekends are just crowded
  • Remember you aren't the only one trying to enjoy the flower fields.  Don't ruin it for everyone else and
  • Don't trample the flowers or anyone else

History of the Carlsbad Flower Fields

The flower fields date back to the 1920s and actually started in Oceanside with the dedication of three families: Luther Gage, an early settler and grower; Frank and Edwin Frazee, a father and son farming duo and Paul Ecke Jr., who carried on Frazee's legacy long after his retirement.

The flower fields moved to its current location in 1965 and joined forces with a grower company in 1993 to keep the business going.  Today a San Luis Rey-based company maintains operations and the Ecke family still owns the land.

The Carlsbad Flower Fields staffs around 60 people each season to cut flowers seven days per week for 10-15 weeks each year.

Each season, the flower fields produce more than 70 million flowers at the 50-acre site; 7 million ranunculus are cut and sold across the nation.  These flowers are popular because they have a long vase life of 7-10 days once they are cut. 

What is a Ranunculus

Ranunculus is a flower that is a member of the buttercup family and is native to Asia Minor.

Now the Flower Fields can be found on Carlsbad Ranch and every spring the land is opened up to the public to come and enjoy the various types of flowers.  

Ranunculus have no scent and are wind-pollinated, meaning they don't need bees to do it for them.

Ranunculus need a lot of water meaning two - three times per week and therefore the Carlsbad Ranch uses a highly efficient drip line system that are buried in the flower beds

Traditionally they come in white, red and yellow, but thanks to cross-pollination and creative growing you can now get vibrant pinks, purples and orange.

Don't Miss The Patriotic Petunias

After 9/11 the flower fields created a very patriotic flower design. They planted a 300 by 170 foot floral American Flag which produces nearly 10,000 red, white and blue petunias.

Photo: Getty Images

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