When Olin Nelson started his nursery business in Apopka over 40 years ago, he envisioned a company that would focus on the special needs of Florida. After establishing themselves with a variety of hardy foliage plants, he and his sons, B.P. and Earl, began to diversify. O.F. Nelson & Sons Nursery now produces a wide range of blooming plants with 25 acres in Nelsons' Florida Roses production and 15 acres of greenhouses of blooming indoor foliage plants.
Florida Roses on Fortuniana Rootstock
Roses can be and are grown successfully in Florida thanks to Fortuniana rootstock. Don't confuse other rootstocks with Nelsons' Fortuniana. Grafting a rose onto Fortuniana assures that the plant will thrive and prosper. Our blue pot will assure you of the finest quality roses for the State of Florida. Nelsons' Florida roses are grown in Florida specifically for Florida soil and climate. Our commitment to excellence has been proven for 38 years.
Fortuniana has a root system that is second to none. Dr. S.C. McFadden of the University of Florida Horticulture Department seeing the potential of Fortuniana teamed up with Nelsons' in the late 1950's to explore the possibilities of Fortuniana for Florida. He determined this rootstock, or understock, was very resistant to nematode damage and well suited to the sandy soils of Florida. Dr. McFadden also noted the vigor with which roses grafted on this rootstock grew. This sparked the interest of the Nelsons to pursue this rootstock. Several studies have been conducted on size, longevity and number of blooms as well as size of plants. In every test Fortuniana has proven to be superior.
Being around Florida for 38 years we have acquired some faithful customers over the years. Some of these customers have in their yards 300 or more rose bushes. Visiting these homes is an unforgettable experience.
Along with the homeowners we have customers in the public sector. Busch Gardens, Leu Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Epcot, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Sea World - all have seen the benefit of plantings of Nelsons' Roses in prominent places for their visitors to enjoy. Walt Disney World has extensive plantings of Nelsons' Roses. In 1996 Disney created the Rose Walk as part of the International Flower & Garden Festival held at Epcot every April. The Rose Walk exclusively featured numerous varieties of Nelsons' Roses on either side of a long winding path is the centerpiece for the festival - a breath-taking sight! The Rose Walk along with the other large rose plantings at Walt Disney World make it a highly visible show place for our roses.
After a Guest survey, the Rosewalk was so popular that the Festival tent was evolved into a permanent place in the middle of the Rosewalk.