We’ve been hearing about the HGTV Home Plant Collection for months, dating back to late 2011 when select breeders were chosen to make their pitch to HGTV. Ultimately, Dümmen USA won the exclusive rights to produce the first annuals for the collection. For the first time Tuesday at the California Spring Trials, we saw which Dümmen genetics are featured in it and how the Agricola Management Group is positioning it.
Coming from Southern California where we started our Spring Trials run four days earlier, the HGTV launch is one of the greatest stories of the week. By now, everyone knows the HGTV brand is heavily skewed to the “Home” and not so much the “Garden.” So the launch of this plant collection should help refocus the brand and elevate the concept of gardening to those who may not know much about plants but at least know HGTV.
“The good thing is HGTV does realize the ‘G’ in HGTV has been silent,” says Maria Zampini, director of plant development for Agricola. “I think this collection has to drive the shift and balance the name.”
Zampini adds that the collection will be available to an assortment of retailers, including independent garden centers. The collection will launch this May and June at 375 locations across the United States, including select Meijer, Menards and other stores. HGTV may ultimately have a presence at the box stores, but if that’s the case it is likely that one retail channel or another will get some exclusive genetics or a unique presentation to differentiate their offering from a competitor.
“HGTV has an expectation that this line will be made available to all retailers,” Zampini says.
Beyond this spring, HGTV will launch a holiday program at stores late this year called Poinsettia Perfection. This particular program will launch with three Dümmen-bred poinsettias, including ‘Bravo,’ ‘Premium Crystal Ice’ and an impressive white called ‘Glace’ that truly looks white on HGTV’s literature. The program will feature 6 ½-inch pots, a custom-woven pot cover and a branded sleeve.
Pots used for the May-June soft launch will have an attractive look, too. HGTV is launching the program with a pure white pot that sports the HGTV Home logo plastered on its side. Thirty-four varieties will be grown for the soft launch, and varieties will be available in gallons, hanging baskets and patio containers.
The collection will expand next year with some of Dümmen’s top genetics. The hit Confetti Garden program will play a role in HGTV, as will the Garden Party combos Dümmen unveiled at the 2011 Spring Trials. Garden Party will be called Friendly Fusions under the HGTV label. Some other existing Dümmen genetics will shift over to HGTV, as well.
The launch with annuals is only the beginning for Dümmen and HGTV. Although Dümmen is currently the program’s exclusive source on annuals, HGTV is interested in expanding into a larger assortment of annuals – including those Dümmen does not currently breed. So Dümmen is tasked with finding new genetics to expand the annuals program in the coming years. In the future, Dümmen will also be asked to help find the best genetics in perennials, edibles and other categories in which HGTV wants to explore.
Overall, launching a program with HGTV is a no-brainer. Ask the woman on the street to name her favorite plant brand, and you’ll probably hear names like Proven Winners or Wave from a few. But generations like mine (Generation Y) know little about gardening, so it’s going to take recognizable names like HGTV to get us excited about gardening. We’re already looking to HGTV for ways to deck out our homes; hopefully now we can look there for ways dress up our gardens.