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.
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
Why subtracting from your product mix can add to your bottom line.
With hundreds of new varieties being introduced this year, to be added to the hundreds that were introduced last year, on top of the year before that, how do you begin to make choices that are smart for your business? How many new varieties should you add? How much should you rely on popular old favorites? Should you offer a large assortment of sizes to be sure to accommodate your customers’ needs or trim down to focus your resources but risk losing sales? It’s a tough question that growers and brokers wrestle with every year – with good reason, because their choices have a big impact on the bottom line.
Topics: Professional Greenhouse Grower
We recently had the opportunity to hear from Josh Schneider about all of the exciting things going on at Cultivaris. He gave customers a fantastic overview of some of the most exciting breeding breakthroughs. His 45 minute presentation included culture information for the best growing conditions, as well as plant features to ensure its successful retail implementation and marketing.
EuroAmerican has had great success selling succulents on the California coast, and because of their continued popularity, succulents will be available for purchase on ePlantSource.com this season.
One of the most important things at retail is staying up on trends. Positioning yourself as the place to go for customers to shop for what is new and what will work for them is the best way to create customers for life. One of these such trends are edibles that are consumer friendly and will make people proud that they grew something that not only was good for them, but they had fun doing it.
This season, Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, will be offering about 100 varieties of certified organic herbs and 80-90 varieties of certified organic vegetables for retailers on ePlantSource.com says Stephanie Whitehouse, Peace Tree’s sales and marketing manager.