Flower Fields in Carlsbad

Flower Fields
The Flower Fields is an ocean of colorful flowers.
Open March through May.

Flower Fields

First and foremost, even from the highway, you will see enormous fields of flowers. It is quite unbelievable until you go up close and see for yourself. Each strip of color is made with thousands of flowers of the same color. All the flowers in these fields are Ranunculus: a member of the buttercup family of plants.

Viewing Stations

Probably the first thing you will do is to "Ou and Ah" over the expansive numbers of flowers in the field - all 50 acres of it!. If you want to be more systematic, get a free Stamp Passport. This little booklet has a hand drawn map which will lead you through a self-guided tour. Each designated Viewing Station has a stamp. When you have gone through all the points of interest, your passport will be fully stamped.

Flower Fields
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Viewing Stations may change slightly from year to year, but basically include:

Look out Area: at the top of the hill, enjoy a panoramic view of the Flower Fields with rows & rows of Ranunculus; and the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop!

Artists Garden: This garden was designed by Patricia Patterson and it is a very beautiful alcove where you can sit, relax, & contemplate. There is a central pool of water, an aviary (a large cage of birds), and subtle details which create a "secret garden" atmosphere.

Picture Pavilion: This is a pleasant display of flowers centered around a bubbling water fountain. As its name suggests, it's a good place to take photos and capture the beauty of the flowers before you embark upon the rest of the Flower Fields.

Flower Fields

Flower Fields
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Historic Poinsettia Greenhouse: This Viewing Station celebrates the history of poinsettias by displaying over 20 varieties of poinsettias. Poinsettias were first introduced into California by Joel Roberts Poinsett in the early 1800's. But it was the Ecke family who cultivated and promoted the poinsettia so that it is synonymous with Christmas. Today, over 70% of the poinsettia plants sold in the USA are from the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas.

Rose Garden: If you love roses, this place is for you! The Flower Fields is an official "All-America Rose Selection" test garden. That is to say, rose breeders enter their flowers for competition, and winners are chosen based on their vigor, growth habit, disease resistance, foliage, flower production, bud & flower form, open & finishing color, fragrance, and stem & east-to-grow characteristics. If that wasn't hard enough, the roses must perform well for 2 years in a row before they win the competition. Previous winners (over 170 varieties) are on display in The Walk of Fame.

Flower Fields
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Flower Fields
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Santa's Village Playground: This is a delightful playground suitable for children ages 2 to 5. It's not really Santa's Village nor does it have a Santa theme. Its name is derived from the fact that many of the structures are from an attraction called Santa's Village in Skyforest, CA (in Lake Arrowhead). Santa's Village closed down in 1998 but some of the play structures were later donated to the Flower Fields.

Sweet Pea Maze: Fun! Reminiscent of the British mazes, this mini-maze allows you to run up & down aisles lined with flowering pea plants. Pretty to see and exciting to experience. Adults are at an advantage because the pea plants are only about 3 to 4 feet high so you can see your way out. For youngsters, it's just one big ol' maze. If you're stuck, take out your handy Stamp Passport - it shows you the way out.

Flower Fields
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Flower Fields
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Antique Tractor Wagon Ride: In this ride, an antique tractor pulls you along in an open-top wagon. It's a great way to see all the flowers without all the walking. At the top of the hill, you can disembark, browse, photograph, enjoy the view, and relax in the sitting areas. The tractor wagon ride is $5 and you need to buy the tickets at the entrance to the Flower Fields.

American Flag of Flowers: If you take the antique tractor ride, you will come to the field where the flowers are organized into an American flag. Not a small flag: one that covers a 300' x 170' hillside! Notice the red-white-and-blue flowers? Click to see the entire flag.

Flower Fields

Sluice Mining Attraction: This is run by the Carlsbad Mining Company. Here, kids can learn about mining and pan for semi-precious stones. If your Stamp Passport is completely stamped, you can get a $1 discount on this activity.

Composting Program: The program is designed to educate children about recycling and composting with worms (vermicomposting). It's a good place for kids to understand the importance of reduce, reuse, recycle and replant.

Special Events

Each year, the Flower Fields has special events (check the calendar of events). Events in the past have included:

Kids' Day
Red Hat Ladies' Day/Style Show
Flowers, Yoga & Music Day
Arts & Crafts Fair
Bulbs, Blooms & Beauty
Bluegrass Day
Zydeco Day
Jazz Day
Arts & Crafts Fair
Canon Photography Workshop
Blues Day
Orchids at The Flower Fields®
Spring Rose Show
Bonsai Show & Sale
Mother's Day Celebration
Flower Fields
Orchid Display: more photo

Flower Fields

Food, Drinks, Bathrooms, Shopping

There are many benches and picnic tables throughout the Flower Fields so you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it among the flowers. There is no food offered inside the Flower Fields except for a few vending machines and a quaint, lemon-shaped lemonade stand.

The Carlsbad Premium Outlet Center is a large shopping mall located just beside the Flower Fields. It is within walking distance and there's plenty of choices of food & drinks there.

Bathrooms, are predominantly in the form of porta-potties. They are scattered through out the Fields and they are relatively clean.

As you leave the Flower Fields you will exit through Armstrong Garden Centers. This establishment was founded in 1889 and is the largest retail nursery company in the Western USA. Needless to say, they've got everything: fresh flowers, potted plants, seeds, pots, ceramics, water fountains, and all things "Home and Garden." In addition, you can find Flower Field paraphernalia. For those who love to shop, you can easily spend an additional half to one hour in this gift shop / nursery.

Flower Fields
5704 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 431-0352

Located in Carlsbad, California, east of Interstate 5 off Palomar Airport Road, near Legoland and the Museum of Making Music.

March through May
9 am to 6 pm, daily
Free parking available. If necessary, can also park at Carlsbad Premium Outlet Center and walk back to the Flower Fields.

Prices: Day Pass   Season Pass   Wagon Rides  
Seniors 60+
Children 3 - 10
Children under 2


About the Flower Fields

Flower Fields

Ranuculus seeds are mixed in with sand and water and planted in rows throughout September, October, and November. Between mid March and mid May of the following year, the plants bloom and the fields are open to the public for viewing. During this time, growers walk through the fields and cut off any flowers that are the wrong color compared to the section that they are in. In April, growers tag the plants that have particularly large, brilliant, and full flowers. Later, these select bulbs will be saved and replanted for the following year.

The Flower Fields are closed to the public by late May. The flowers are allowed to dry and die back. The tubers (bulbs) are machine harvested and then manually cleaned & examined after which they are shipped to distributors and the bulbs are sold worldwide. Of the 50 acres of flowers planted, only 1% to 2% are cut and sold as flowers (= 3 million flowers!). The remainder are harvested and sold as bulbs. Flower Fields produces 200,000 bulbs per acre (= 6 to 12 million bulbs per year).

In August, the fields are cleaned and prepared for the next batch of flowers and the cycle begins again is September.