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.
Healthy plants lead to healthy profits, especially if you’ve mastered the art of selling year-round.
Whether you're thinking of diving into perennial production for the first time, or are looking to expand your current production, there are several questions you need to ask yourself upfront.
They emphasize really understanding your timing & facility constraints along with the kind of assortment (want to be a niche supplier or someone who has it all?) that you want to offer to your customers.
In fact, Dave Eastburn and Kathy Paige from Gro'n Sell have 9 questions to get you started.
Jumping Into Perennials: 7 Things Annuals Growers Need To Know To Get Started:
A perennial boom is definitely upon us – so should you begin producing crops in this category? There are a few things annuals growers should take into consideration before making the leap into perennials. Terra Nova Nurseries’ Sales Manager Scott Christy shares his advice on how to decide if it’s the right move for your operation.
1. Don’t start growing perennials without an established customer base. Perennials are hot right now, but Christy doesn’t recommend getting into growing them just because everyone else is. There are many niches to investigate with perennials, so make sure your customers are interested before you start producing.
“If you don’t have a marketplace to take your product to, you can be in some serious trouble right up front,” Christy says. “Just because you're selling annuals to a client base doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily buy your perennials, too.”
2. To do it right, you need to see first-hand what consumers want. Knowing what retailers know (or should know) helps growers understand what consumers want. Christy says he’s amazed at how few retailers have gone into the retail setting to see how consumers react and respond to products. Taking a field trip like this can help because of regional differences and preferences for plant material.