3 Ways To Extend The Fall Selling Season

Fall-CoolWavePansy-13239With only a few-month’s selling season, greenhouse growers can always use new ideas to extend sales into fall. In fact, the onset of cooler weather traditionally brings customers to greenhouses in search of fresh varieties and décor to suit the season.

There are plenty of opportunities unique to the fall season that can be enhanced by a beautiful plant pairing, says Bill Calkins, Ball Seed’s retail business manager.

“For example, you can spark sales with school and team colors that go hand-in-hand with fall flowers,” Calkins says.

Embracing the fall season’s traditions and working with existing product can lengthen the selling season and give consumers a new experience.

Update Mums With Non-Traditional Pairings

While mums will always be king of the fall selling season, consumers are looking for new plants with which to decorate their doorways, according to the 2012 Mum Pals multi-year research program at PanAmerican Seed/Kieft Seeds, created to address the growing marketplace need.

The program researched annuals and first-year-blooming perennials, collectively called Mum Pals, that are easy and inexpensive for growers to produce, offer a wide variety of plant habits and flower types, focus on autumn colors and offer reduced-price competition items at the wholesale and retail levels.

The three-year research program produced a lengthy list of Mum Pals that can easily be combined with the mums, pansies, cabbage/kale and ornamental grasses that are popular in the fall season.

“Taishan marigolds, Zahara zinnias, Purple Baron ornamental millet and Black Pear ornamental peppers are a few of the Mum Pals specified as possible pairings to create interesting displays,” Calkin says.

Calkins also recommends Ball Seed’s ‘Romeo Orange’ Basket Diascia, ‘Celestial Twilight’ viola and Intenz celosia to add to your late-season product assortment.

Pair Plants With Multi-Season Interest

 Another way to extend the fall season is to ease into the transition to fall by pairing plants with multi-season appeal, says Ryan McEnaney, communications specialist at Bailey Nurseries.

Pairing spring and summer flowers with fall varieties is both practical, in that it makes use of older product and provides consumers with a unique option that fuses two seasons’ colors in an attractive way.

McEnaney recommends Bailey’s ‘Red Flame’ hypericum collection that pairs spring and summer yellows with deep autumn reds, such as when the yellow spring flowers are followed by a bright red, long-lasting berries.

Or, McEnaney suggests, pair ‘Tiger Eyes’ cutleaf staghorn sumac with fall grasses, mums or kale because “the striking fall color of the sumac combines greatly with the other varieties.”

It’s also important, McEnaney notes, to offer varieties that age beautifully as they drift into fall. He recommends trying Bailey’s  ‘Strawberry Sundae’ or ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ hydrangeas, that move from the beautiful milky white to pink and strawberry red as the season progresses.

“Their panicles provide amazing summer beauty, but growers can capitalize on the beautiful fall color as a selling point,” McEnaney says.

Use Halloween To Pump Up Sales

Growers should also take advantage of Halloween décor to extend the fall selling season, Calkins says, as Halloween ranks No. 2 behind Christmas in terms of decoration popularity.

Calkins suggests growers should use this popularity to their advantage by offering traditional decorations and experiential opportunities for families such as fall festivals.

“From LED-lit zombies and glowing ghouls to corn stalks and straw bales, garden centers across North America sell the décor and host family-friendly festivals and events for kids and school groups,” Calkins says.

Growers and e-retailers can also use the traditional straw bales and corn stalks as displays to promote their plants by adorning them with pansies, mums and fun choices like black petunias and violas, purple-leafed plectranthus and ornamental peppers.

“When you have the foot traffic, load up on flowers,” Calkins says. “It may seem like the selling season is winding down, but no one can resist blooms when winter is on the horizon.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About Varieties; They Talk About Solutions

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Latest Stories
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About …

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from Cali…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Sprin…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Cosmos ‘Apollo’ (Floranova)

March 14, 2017

Begonias, Dahlias, and More for 2018 from California Sp…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Pennisetum First Knight Feature

March 11, 2017

Now is the Time for Growers to Plan for Fall Perennial …

If you haven’t already put in your orders for the items you’ll sell this fall, it’s time to start now.

Read More
Dianthus Pink Kisses Selecta Feature

March 8, 2017

Growing Tips for Selecta’s Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’

Kyle Peterson, Production Manager at Fessler Nursery, grew Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ on a trial basis and says he was pleased with its performance.

Read More
Limbo GP burgundy picotee

March 7, 2017

New Petunias and Calibrachoas for 2018 from California …

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new petunias and calibrachoas that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Butterfly on a Pollinator Plant Feature

March 7, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why You Should Focus on the Functionali…

New crops are great, but Armitage says selling plants by function makes more sense.

Read More

March 5, 2017

2016 Young’s Plant Farm Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More
kelly-norris

March 4, 2017

Kelly Norris Describes How Growers Can Help Plant the F…

The tough plant varieties unique to their regions could be the urban superstars of tomorrow.

Read More
Welby Gardens field trials

March 2, 2017

2016 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Zinnia 'Zahara XL Fire Improved'

March 1, 2017

2016 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Read More
Geranium Combos feature

February 27, 2017

Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…

Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.

Read More
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Christmas Joy Marble'

February 20, 2017

5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition

With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.

Read More
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More