Here's our recap of what was interesting and impactful in the world of hort this week.
Perennials are on the upswing again, and one of the reasons is that they display so much better at retail now. When I first got into this business, only the early spring-blooming perennials showed color. The rest were small green clumps. The clumps had lots of potential, but only knowledgeable gardeners could see it.
If you had the opportunity to share your product assortment and valuable growing tips with one prospective customer, you would put a considerable amount of time and thoughtfulness into what information would be most valuable to them and ensure that they walk away more knowledgeable about your products.
Now, what if you could take that same effort and reach 100 people or more?
That’s what webinars can do for your business. They can take the personal touch of a sales call and turn it into a professional and efficient sales tool with far more reach and effectiveness. The beauty of it is the customer wins, too. Often, customers don’t have time to engage in a two-hour sales call in the middle of their day, but a 45-minute webinar they can watch from the comfort of their own office offers a lot of value to them.
I certainly don’t propose that webinars should replace all personal engagements with your customers and prospects. However, they can add a tremendous advantage to your business and to the customers you serve.
Webinars offer distinction to the companies who do them right, but most importantly, they bring value to prospects and customers with educational, timely, and helpful information that will help them be successful.
Long before Qualitree, launched its Ready for Retail program, Tony Van Oort and his founding partner, Gary Neels, created the company on paper as part of a college project.
Topics: Retail Garden Center
If you’re able to capitalize on popular trends and meet the demands of Millennials at retail, profits are almost guaranteed and repeat business is likely.
Topics: Retail Garden Center
Healthy plants lead to healthy profits, especially if you’ve mastered the art of selling year-round.
Easy maintenance and versatility make them an easy choice for consumers.
A few years ago, if you were asked what kind of plant came in hundreds of shapes and sizes, dozens of colors, could thrive in virtually any type of container, be used in wedding bouquets, and required almost zero maintenance, you probably would have answered, “artificial.” Now you would probably answer, “succulents.”
Succulents indeed fill all those qualifications, and more. They have become, as plant guru Allan Armitage said recently, “the hippest plants on the market.” Succulents have moved from back benches of the greenhouse to the forefront of, well, nearly everything remotely related to flowers and gardening. Place settings for a dinner party? Check. Bridal arrangements? Check. Fairy gardens? Check. Potted patio containers? Check. From green roofs to xeriscaping, succulents can be found everywhere.
Some popular crops unfortunately are difficult to root, taking longer on the bench, more time in the mist house, and requiring more heat during those early weeks than more easily rooted plants. Of course, that means increased costs of production. Growers unhappy with this situation should explore the option of purchasing callused cuttings, which have already gone through this high-cost, high-maintenance stage and are ready to be stuck and grown on.
I would like to share with you one thing that stuck in my mind from the last meeting at Metrolina greenhouses. The Van Wingerden trio got their message across very clearly: quality is the number one reason people buy plants, price is second and color third. They also said that plants not cared for were the main reason why customers walked away from the garden center without buying anything. It actually felt very good hearing that one of our largest growers in the country is all about quality. We are on board, quality was always a part of Gediflora’s culture and we are stressing this in every aspect of our business. Our main goal is to help growers deliver exceptional quality plants so no one walks away from the garden center without a purchase. Even with the best genetics from Gediflora we still have to execute each step of the production process flawlessly. For the upcoming garden mum season, you can improve the quality by simply following these production practices described below.
None of them require additional investment but only attention to details:
Choosing from the vast number of varieties requires careful selection, discipline and attention to customers’ needs
For industry veteran Gary Falkenstein, managing your product line is all about simplicity, both in the number of varieties to offer and in the sizes to grow. Falkenstein, owner of ePlant Source, an online provider live goods to professional greenhouse growers and garden center retailers, knows the decisions growers face regarding their product offerings each year aren’t easy. But he says it is vital to go through the proper steps to analyze your offerings — both to keep their numbers manageable and to have the right amount and sizes available at the time customers need them.
“The number of varieties available today from breeders is astronomical,” Falkenstein says. “Just a quick look on our website shows more than 1,000 varieties of petunias and 226 calibrachoas. And there’s always a tendency when new varieties come along, whether you are a finisher or a young plant supplier, to add to the mix. You may have calibrachoas from three breeders already, but when another one comes along, you add it instead of subtracting or even use the principle of the best of the best."
Topics: Professional Greenhouse Grower