Steuber Flowers: Born, Bred and Blooming in Chicago

By Kristin Boza∼
Steuber Florist and Greenhouses, 2654 W. 111th St., has been family owned and operated since 1943. Scot Steuber, current owner, is the third generation to run the business and still utilizes some of the old-school growing techniques that his grandfather used.
As a working greenhouse, Steuber and staff cultivate some of their plants directly from seeds. This is unusual in this day and age, considering the amount of corporate growers who supply plants and flowers to large garden centers.
“Growing from seeds is a bit out of the norm; many places don’t grow directly from seeds anymore,” Steuber said. “We’re a growing and working greenhouse, which takes place right on our premises.”
The advantage of growing directly from seeds is the expense: it’s relatively cheap to do. However,  Steuber notes, it does take a lot of time to germinate the seeds to make them something that consumers can easily grab and plant in their own gardens.
“We grow in a corrugated paper mache box, which we’ve been doing forever,” Steuber said. “We feel
we get a better quality plant in those little boxes. More care is taken since we’re growing from start to finish. You don’t find that too often, especially in the city.”
Steuber found that begonias, petunias and impatiens are the best to grow from seeds. He finds it beneficial to purchase rooted plugs or cuttings for plants that are more difficult to grow from a seed. Steuber literally grew up at the shop, having been raised in an apartment above it. He started working at a young age and as a result has years of experience raising plants and flowers for the community.
The greenhouse and structure of the building are all original, even before the Steubers purchased the business in 1943, it was a flower shop and greenhouse.
“We added a couple of greenhouses and replaced the glass, but the frame of the greenhouse is all the original structure,” he said.
As the planting season winds down in June, Steuber remains a year-round business as a florist for every occasion. “We have a full staff of very talented designers here to design the cut flowers, which are all imported, for weddings, proms, and funerals,” he said.

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