Predictions: What Will The Next 30 Years Hold For Growers And Greenhouses?

GG 30th anniversary logoSince Greenhouse Grower was founded in 1983, our industry has evolved in ways we never could have predicted. Only time will tell what the future holds for us. Will growers change their crop mixes to appeal to health-minded consumers? Will eCommerce change the face of garden retail forever? And what impact will technology have on how and where growers produce plants?

Here are a few predictions for the next 30 years. What are your predictions? Tell us in the comments below.

“Urban gardening, including rooftop gardening, vertical gardening, municipal landscaping and grow-your-own, front-yard plots, will evolve and become more prevalent as Generation Y and Generation Z become stronger buyers seeking experience-related hobbies to help them take prescribed ‘technology breaks.’

“Healthy lifestyle choices will become even more important as healthcare costs continue to skyrocket. This will translate to an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and demand, as well as more active lifestyles that include ornamental and edible landscaping and gardening.”

Laura Drotleff, Editor, Greenhouse Grower

 

“Greenhouses will be able to grow plants using multiple layers in the greenhouse with the use of LED technology. We will no longer need as much square footage to grow our products. We will also use the science of producing plant pheromones through LED stimulation to grow plants with zero chemicals.”

Rob O’Hara, Head Grower, Rainbow Greenhouses

 

“I think eCommerce is going to penetrate big time and the consumer will be so used to getting their things directly delivered at their house that plants will be one area that will definitely be convenient to get, especially if they have a project in mind. One of the big draws for eCommerce is convenience for the consumer — that’s going to deliver it. There are other perishables that have done it. Our industry needs to look to those examples to figure out how to do it well.”

Marta Maria Garcia, Marketing Manager, Costa Farms

 

“Garden centers must respond to a rapidly changing customer, one that is accustomed to using technology to learn everything she wants and who expects stores to make purchasing as easy as possible for her. That means that the current shake up in how retailers order plants will continue to change. Orders will be on even shorter notice and more varied.”

Carol Miller, Editor, Today’s Garden Center

 

“There will be a need for flowers and plants that will grow well in gravity-free conditions for those living in outer space.”

Troy Thorup, Plant Breeder, PanAmerican Seed

 

“Greenhouse production facilities will not exist in 30 years. I think that all plants are going to grow in warehouses because of all the LED technology that’s coming.”

Susie Raker, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, C. Raker & Sons

 

“Growers will be able to link energy-efficient light sources such as LEDs with local sources of free or cheap renewable energy, such as the thermal waste from power plants and the biomass waste from landfills and other sources. Research is developing the necessary protocols for lighting of specialty crops, which will occur continuously over the coming five years.”

Dr. Cary Mitchell, Professor of Plant Physiology, Purdue University

 

“By 2043, growers will have evolved into two different animals. The largest growers will be even bigger and will service the mass merchandisers exclusively with hyper-efficient, high-quality production. Small growers (and the 2 to 5 acre growers who are willing and able to adapt) will find healthy, profitable niches producing more unique offerings for independent garden centers, boutique shops and other unexpected retail locations, and most importantly, online. Plants and flowers will be available to consumers in any form that suits them, at any time, just about everywhere they look.”

Richard Jones, Group Editor, Greenhouse Grower and Today’s Garden Center

 

“Houseplants will make huge a comeback. Because consumers are so connected to technology for work and play, they crave a connection back to the earth while they are indoors. Breeders will develop new genetics for growing today’s outdoor annuals in healthy and thriving indoor gardens. Half of all plant sales will happen online.

“As suburban sprawl builds homes where greenhouses and farms used to be, the greenhouse will move back into the city centers, feeding the buy local trend. Greenhouses will supply product year round — the busy season will last 12 months of the year. Production will be automated to carry out the hard-labor tasks of the greenhouse, but the grower will still provide the knowledge required to produce a healthy crop.”

Sara Tambascio, Senior Editor | Online, Greenhouse Grower and Today’s Garden Center

 

“Greenhouses will be converted to glass warehouses to generate solar electricity to power high-efficiency, low-cost lighting.”

Carey Senders, iGROW

 

“There will be fewer independent garden center brands but more locations, with franchised garden centers next to Starbucks and McDonald’s. All plants will be branded, the franchise will be the brand. Imagine 100 little Wojo’s locations selling only Wojo’s branded plants.”

— Joe Lutey, Retail Manager & Buyer, Wojo’s Greenhouses

 

“There is only a future if the whole chain can make a profit.”

Ruud Brinkkemper, Plant Breeding Manager, PanAmerican Seed/Kieft Seed

 

“I believe it is just a matter of time until you will be able to place an order online and have plants show up the very next day. Amazon, I know, is already talking about it.

“There’s going to be a lot more to do with augmented reality where people can actually see plants grow. We’re moving into a lot more digital anyway and there’s going to be a whole new shift into seeing what your garden can look like in five to 10 years through augmented reality.
“Also, it would be very interesting to have a reality show about gardening, like a competition similar to what the cooking shows and even fashion do now. Real people or — even better — celebrities would be given a house and a budget to rework the garden. That’s the kind of fun exposure gardening needs! That’s really what has helped make cooking sexy.”

Christine Lonergan, Director of Sales & Marketing, Garden State Growers

What are your predictions? Tell us in the comments below.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Predictions: What Will The Next 30 Years Hold For Growers And Greenhouses?

  1. Should we ask ourselves the question: Is our mission to educate people on the benefits of gardening – or – should we be doing more to show them how to incorporate plants into their life style.

    The two biggest factors I see that impact buying and growing plants are;
    1. The space where we live our lives.
    2. The time we willing to allocate to tending plants.

    We can apply all the technology, emails, web sites, QR codes , social media, Aps…etc…but if we don’t provide the product/message the consumer wants we will not develop and grow our market.

    Do we need to “Think Outside the Garden”?
    The new American Garden is the porch, deck, balcony, patio and containers in the garden.
    Gardening in the ground is like cooking from scratch…fewer and fewer people do it or want to do it. Container Gardening holds huge potential growth for our industry. We might want to spend more time showing consumers how to ‘use’ plants in their enviornment and less time on how to grow plants.

    Smoke Signals on the horizon….

    Where do we live? Where will we be living?

    Multifamily housing comprises 14% of all suburban housing. (US Census Bureau, 1973-2005)

    Multifamily building starts, are up 115 percent in December 2012 – National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

    The NAHB economic forecast for multifamily construction projects another 31% increase in 2013.

    Multifamily building permits are now being issued at a rate of more than 300,000 units per year, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

    Condo sales are up a whopping 33 percent from 2011, NAHB data reveal.

    Estimates show there are more than 40 million existing decks in the U.S.

    How Much Time do we have to garden?

    42% of US families are dual income families. US census.

    Single Parent Households with Children. US census.
    1980 > 19.5%
    2008 > 29.5%

    “When people who live in single family homes hear the word gardening they hear the word ‘work’.”

    “When people who live in multifamily developments hear the word gardening they think it doesn’t apply to them.”

    To own and enjoy plants, no matter where you live or how much time you have to tend to your plants is a challenging marketing message.

    Gardening is alive and well and evolving.

More From Business Management...

February 3, 2016

New Plants, Products, And Trends From TPIE 2016

Tropicals, foliage, and succulents may be the way to new consumers’ hearts, based on the cool ideas, products, and trends presented at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association’s (FNGLA) 2016 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), January 20-22, 2016 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The theme this year, Elevating Expectations, was fulfilled, renewing and reinvigorating attendees to carry forth their businesses into 2016 and beyond. TPIE showcases the latest trends in foliage, floral, and tropical plants, with a tradeshow of more than 200,000 square feet of show-stopping displays. While checking out new plants and products is a great excuse to travel to South Florida in late January, the threat of Storm Jonas bringing the snowstorm of the century to the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states had some show attendees booking flights early to get home before they were stranded. Still, reports from FNGLA said this year’s TPIE […]

Read More

February 2, 2016

19 Strategies To Strengthen The Horticulture Industry

In Greenhouse Grower’s annual State Of The Industry Survey, we asked how your operation is living the GROW initiative’s five pillars: cultivate new customers, demand quality, drive consumer success, invest in the industry, and sharpen business management. Here is what you had to say.

Read More
Costa Farms

January 29, 2016

Costa Farms Named International Grower Of The Year

Costa Farms was the night’s biggest winner during an awards gala presented by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and held at IPM Essen in Germany. (Read more about the business culture that’s driven Costa’s success in Greenhouse Grower’s January 2016 feature story.) The Florida-based grower was named the International Grower Of The Year, and was chosen from a group that included eight other international companies. “This award is a reflection of our entire team, and we are all dedicated to being the best at what we do and making this company successful for the long term,” said Jose Costa, Executive Vice President of Costa’s foliage division. The AIPH awarded gold, silver, and bronze awards in three categories — Finished Plants And Trees, Young Plants, and Cut Flowers — prior to naming the big winner. Costa was the gold winner in the Finished Plants and Trees Category. Each of […]

Read More
Latest Stories

February 3, 2016

New Plants, Products, And Trends From TPIE 2016

Tropicals, foliage, and succulents may be the way to new consumers’ hearts, based on the cool ideas, products, and trends presented at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association’s (FNGLA) 2016 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), January 20-22, 2016 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The theme this year, Elevating Expectations, was fulfilled, renewing and reinvigorating attendees to carry forth their businesses into 2016 and beyond. TPIE showcases the latest trends in foliage, floral, and tropical plants, with a tradeshow of more than 200,000 square feet of show-stopping displays. While checking out new plants and products is a great excuse to travel to South Florida in late January, the threat of Storm Jonas bringing the snowstorm of the century to the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states had some show attendees booking flights early to get home before they were stranded. Still, reports from FNGLA said this year’s TPIE […]

Read More

February 2, 2016

19 Strategies To Strengthen The Horticulture Industry

In Greenhouse Grower’s annual State Of The Industry Survey, we asked how your operation is living the GROW initiative’s five pillars: cultivate new customers, demand quality, drive consumer success, invest in the industry, and sharpen business management. Here is what you had to say.

Read More
Costa Farms

January 29, 2016

Costa Farms Named International Grower Of The Year

Costa Farms was the night’s biggest winner during an awards gala presented by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and held at IPM Essen in Germany. (Read more about the business culture that’s driven Costa’s success in Greenhouse Grower’s January 2016 feature story.) The Florida-based grower was named the International Grower Of The Year, and was chosen from a group that included eight other international companies. “This award is a reflection of our entire team, and we are all dedicated to being the best at what we do and making this company successful for the long term,” said Jose Costa, Executive Vice President of Costa’s foliage division. The AIPH awarded gold, silver, and bronze awards in three categories — Finished Plants And Trees, Young Plants, and Cut Flowers — prior to naming the big winner. Costa was the gold winner in the Finished Plants and Trees Category. Each of […]

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More
John Daley Featured

January 25, 2016

How To Retain Motivated Young Growers At Your Greenhous…

Wholesale grower John R. Daley says engaging young growers and making them a viable part of your operation is the best way to ensure you keep young talent for the long term.

Read More
Katherine Wolper

January 24, 2016

Ludvig Svensson Hires Katherine Wolper As West Coast Sa…

Wolper says she looks forward to listening to growers and understanding the concerns, obstacles, and opportunities they face.

Read More
Israel Greenhouse

January 23, 2016

Sign Up Now For A Horticulture Tour Of Israel Taking Pl…

The tour is being organized by John and Kelly Schroeder of Valleybrook Gardens, and will include visits to greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries, and local historical sites.

Read More
Houseplant Featured Image

January 21, 2016

How To Improve Consumer Interest In Indoor Foliage Plan…

Researchers discover why there is decreasing consumer demand for indoor foliage plants and suggest ways to overcome hurdles to purchasing.

Read More
State of the industry 2016

January 21, 2016

Green Industry Is Set For Continued Growth In 2016

Economist Charlie Hall says the outlook for the green industry is promising despite the havoc wreaked on plant sales by the downturn in housing.

Read More

January 20, 2016

Tips For Overcoming Challenges In Family Business From …

Our industry is run by a collection of family businesses, and every one, no matter how big or small, has its share of management issues. But there are several differences between one that is run successfully as a business and one that allows family politics to distract from the organization’s goals. In this year’s State Of The Industry Survey, we noted that labor recruitment and succession are two areas where growers struggle. In talking with the owners of Costa Farms for this month’s cover story, I thought some of the values they have incorporated into the operation’s management structure really stood out as practices that other family businesses could use. The participatory management approach to business and team building is one that Tony Costa, the second-generation owner of Costa Farms, instilled in his children, Maria Costa-Smith and Jose Costa, and son-in-law, Joche Smith, the current owners of Costa Farms. In […]

Read More

January 20, 2016

Color Point Creates New Marketing And Communications De…

According to Color Point co-owner Ken VanWingerden, Maloney’s leadership in the new department will help the company better manage its recent growth both internally and with the entire industry.

Read More
Janeen Wright

January 18, 2016

Five Thought-Provoking Ideas From GROW Summit 2015

Here are five ideas from Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 GROW Summit ranging from big-picture ideas to smaller initiatives that can help move the industry forward.

Read More
How will growers' production in 2016 compare to 2015

January 18, 2016

2016 State Of The Greenhouse Industry Numbers At A Glan…

Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey shows some promising trends for the new year. Here’s a look at the greenhouse market for 2016, in graphics.     For a more in-depth analysis of where the industry stands, read Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry article, “Growers And Suppliers Move Forward With Cautious Optimism In 2016.”

Read More
Top Concerns sidebar

January 18, 2016

Growers And Suppliers Move Forward With Cautious Optimi…

A year of growth in 2015 also had its share of challenges, and as a result, growers and suppliers are a bit more guarded going into 2016. After a few years of extreme weather and drought, a massive ongoing labor shortage, a shaky economy, and increased government regulation, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey shows growers and retailers are moving forward with cautious optimism. Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey included separate questions for growers and for suppliers. Of our 358 respondents, 103 were suppliers, 111 were grower-retailers, 109 were wholesale growers, and 35 were young plant growers. Among growers, 57% indicated their operations were small (less than 100,000 square feet), 21% were medium-sized (100,000 to 399,999 square feet), and 22% said they were large growers (400,000 square feet or larger). Sixty-eight percent of the grower respondents said their sales grew in 2015 over 2014, down […]

Read More
SAF CAD

January 18, 2016

Sign Up Now To Attend SAF Congressional Action Days In …

Congressional Action Days is a great chance for Society of American Florists members to meet their state’s lawmakers and discuss the most critical issues they are facing.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

January 15, 2016

Allan Armitage: Why The Deck Has Becomes The New Hot Sp…

Armitage says decks and small spaces allow younger generations to enjoy all the benefits of a garden without the work.

Read More
State of the industry 2016

January 14, 2016

Craig Regelbrugge Says 2016 Will Be A Year Of Waiting F…

The 2016 presidential election will make for slow progress on critical regulatory issues like health care, pollinator health, and immigration reform.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]