Hort Couture Streamlines Supply

Hort Couture Streamlines Supply

Fashion-forward plant brand Hort Couture has streamlined its supply network for spring 2010 by partnering with select breeders, brokers and propagators.

Instead of supplying a national market through a network of finished plant growers, three brokers will be the exclusive channels–Eason Horticultural Resources, Fred C. Gloeckner & Co. and McHutchison. At the propagation level, Raker will produce Avant Garde Annuals and Culinary Couture Urban Vegetables and EuroAmerican Propagators will produce Sunny Succulents and Runway Ready Grasses. Agristarts will supply tissue cultured Tres Chic Tropicals. Cuttings will be produced by Floraplant in Mexico.

“Before, we had accessibility issues with the program. Retailers have had a hard time sourcing the plants,” explains Hort Couture’s founder Jim Monroe. “Now that we’re selling through brokers, anyone can grow Hort Couture. We’ve been doing a lot of plant evaluation and will have our own genetics of vegetative annuals from A to Z. We will have 130 proprietary varieties for 2010.”

Key breeding lines include lobelias and calibrachoas from Westhoff, bacopas and scaevolas from Amerinova, petunias bred by David Kerley in England, gerberas from Lekkerkerk and diascias and nemesias through PlantHaven. Series names will support a fashion theme with Catwalk calibrachoas, Diva diascias and Panache petunias.

Raker’s Gerry Raker says he likes that this group is open to doing things differently. “We’re trying to build from the retail perspective up instead of the plant out,” he says. “Yes, genetics are important and we want to make sure we have great stuff. We’re not proving we have the best plants but presenting marketing that inspires women to buy plants. It’s really for independent garden centers to commit space to it and build displays for a year-round program. It’s going to be a complete collection of plants, not just spring annuals. The idea is it’s fun and sophisticated and will bring you pleasure, not anxiety on how to grow or make you feel you need to be an expert.”

He also likes that Monroe is open to Raker developing the processes to deliver. “We can produce in our tray sizes and use our box with a Hort Couture skin. It’s not, ‘Here we have a program, here’s how you do it.'” Raker says.

Monroe owns Greenbrier Nurseries in Virginia and West Virginia. While most brands originate with breeders or propagators, Hort Couture was established with grower-retailers like himself in mind. When he presented the Hort Couture concept at OFA’s Short Course two years ago, he never imagined the response would be so strong.

“I never expected an instant hit,” he says. “In our first two years, we have established a level of market acceptance. We sold several million plants the first year and have our POP (point-of-purchase) materials in hundreds of garden centers. We spent the first two years working the kinks out with pots, designs, varieties and vendors. We’re ready now!”

Hort Couture has streamlined the packaging side, too. “For the first time, when you order plugs through Raker, you can get the pots and tags in the same shipment,” Monroe explains. “For Raker, the pricing is all inclusive. The plant, delivery, tag, marketing royalty and pot are all in the price. POP will ship, too, but in a much more orchestrated way for the grower-retailer to experience the brand. I like to call it branding made simple.”

Elaborating on pricing, Raker says, “If you’re holding an 80-cent liner in your hand, then you just need to calculate the cost of the media and the cost to finish the crop to figure out the sales cost and if you’re going to make money on it.The pot is provided as part of the liner cost.”

After ironing out the supply issues, Monroe is looking forward to pursuing innovative marketing concepts. These include bringing digital television content to enhance the retail experience online and in garden centers and partnering with gardening celebrity Rebecca Kolls as a spokesperson.

“Gardening TV will launch at the IGC show this summer,” he says. “Hort Couture is the key content partner in this. It has been very successful in the United Kingdom in garden centers. We’re also in negotiations with a major cable provider as a loop into their news broadcast nationwide. We want to reach the Gen X customer in all of our media ventures.”

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Hort Couture Streamlines Supply

  1. Can I buy your unrooted cuttings through the brokers like I can all the Sygenta material?

    Unless you do volume Raker is the most expensive plug grower in the US.

    I have no problem with the requirement of your tag.

    As an independent garden center that grows I am trying to build my brand America’s Best Flowers

  2. I noticed in the press release you stated you are not about proving you have the best plants but basically the best marketing for women.

    Are you willing to let the women who are buying Hort culture plants know that there are better varieties.

    I guess it is like food. Great packaging sells. It could be loaded with bad things to eat but as long as it tastes good and looks good we buy it.

  3. Can I buy your unrooted cuttings through the brokers like I can all the Sygenta material?

    Unless you do volume Raker is the most expensive plug grower in the US.

    I have no problem with the requirement of your tag.

    As an independent garden center that grows I am trying to build my brand America’s Best Flowers

  4. I noticed in the press release you stated you are not about proving you have the best plants but basically the best marketing for women.

    Are you willing to let the women who are buying Hort culture plants know that there are better varieties.

    I guess it is like food. Great packaging sells. It could be loaded with bad things to eat but as long as it tastes good and looks good we buy it.

More From Varieties...
finneran bee on snakeroot

September 28, 2016

Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?

If you are a grower looking for information on producing plants that are safe for pollinators, or which plant types can be marketed as good food sources for bees, the new publication “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes” provides a good resource.

Read More
phlox-fashionably-early-flamingo-walters-gardens

September 27, 2016

Walters Gardens Partnering With Darwin Colombia On Unrooted Cuttings

Beginning in spring 2017, Darwin Colombia will offer unrooted cuttings of more than 40 varieties of Walters Gardens’ new genetics, including many popular genera such as Agastache, Monarda, Nepeta, and Phlox.

Read More
Streptocarpus Ladyslippers Grape Ice (Green Fuse Botanicals)

September 27, 2016

9 New Blooming Potted Plants To Jazz Up The Home And Garden

Blooming potted plants are the ideal gift for anyone, from a homesick college student to a spouse in need of some cheering up. Check out nine these new introductions hitting the retail market in 2017.

Read More
Latest Stories
finneran bee on snakeroot

September 28, 2016

Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?

If you are a grower looking for information on producing plants that are safe for pollinators, or which plant types can be marketed as good food sources for bees, the new publication “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes” provides a good resource.

Read More
phlox-fashionably-early-flamingo-walters-gardens

September 27, 2016

Walters Gardens Partnering With Darwin Colombia On Unro…

Beginning in spring 2017, Darwin Colombia will offer unrooted cuttings of more than 40 varieties of Walters Gardens’ new genetics, including many popular genera such as Agastache, Monarda, Nepeta, and Phlox.

Read More
Streptocarpus Ladyslippers Grape Ice (Green Fuse Botanicals)

September 27, 2016

9 New Blooming Potted Plants To Jazz Up The Home And Ga…

Blooming potted plants are the ideal gift for anyone, from a homesick college student to a spouse in need of some cheering up. Check out nine these new introductions hitting the retail market in 2017.

Read More
clematis-taiga-feature

September 24, 2016

Plantarium 2016 Honors Winning Novelty Varieties

Novelties at Plantarium 2016 were judged by an expert committee from the Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society.

Read More
mukgenia-nova-flame-terra-nova-nurseries-feature

September 23, 2016

Growers Offer Advice On How To Grow Mukgenia ‘Nova Flam…

‘Nova Flame’ is best brought in as a summer or fall crop and bulked over the winter.

Read More
deutzia-yuki-snowflake

September 22, 2016

Allan Armitage Suggests Plants That “Even My Neig…

When the urge to garden strikes, every homeowner needs a few plants like these for their yard.

Read More
Phlox 'Pink Profusion' (Green Leaf Plants)

September 13, 2016

Aris Horticulture Names Blair Hoey As Managing Director…

Hoey brings more than 20 years of greenhouse production and management experience to Green Leaf Plants, a young plant supplier of perennials serving the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Read More
hibiscus-hollywood-hot-shot

September 12, 2016

New Variety Award Winners Announced At Farwest 2016

A panel of industry experts, as well as show attendees, selected a thornless blackberry and a hydrangea for the top honors.

Read More

September 7, 2016

Check Out The Best Annuals For Attracting Bees And Butt…

Public interest in protecting bees and other pollinators has initiated a new market for flowers that are good food plants for pollinators. Here's a list of annuals Michigan State University Extension recommends that are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Read More

September 6, 2016

10 Colorful Spring Plants For Sales In 2017

Trends with plants come and go, but color always sells. These spring crops for 2017 offer color choices ranging from bold and vibrant hues to understated, softer tones, and they’re versatile enough to be used in baskets, containers, beds, and borders.

Read More

September 5, 2016

7 New Shrubs And Foliage Plants For Spring Interest

Perennials and annuals aren’t the only plants that supply spring color to the garden. Shrubs and foliage plants also add color and interest and are a great way to round out your spring product mix.

Read More
Janikia Eckert

September 4, 2016

All-America Selections Presents Achievement Awards At I…

Jim Nau of Ball Horticultural received the AAS Medallion of Honor, while Janika Eckert of Johnny’s Selected Seeds took home the Breeders Cup.

Read More
Phlox 'Pink Profusion' (Green Leaf Plants)

August 30, 2016

14 Cool Season Plants To Kick Off The Spring Season

These new cultivar introductions for 2016 are spring bloomers that can take the cold for early-season sales.

Read More
Penn State University Trial Day

August 26, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Broaden Their Horizons

Allan Armitage says you can learn new ideas to help your business when you get out to visit plant trials and other growers.

Read More

August 23, 2016

Kick Spring Sales Up A Notch With 20 New Plant Introduc…

It’s time to look forward to the spring season and what plants will get your business off to the right start. These 18 new cultivars have all the traits of good breeding — uniform habits, bold colors, showy blooms, good vigor, and excellent branching.

Read More

August 23, 2016

Gardens Alive! Parent Company Buys Zelenka Farms

  Zelenka Farms, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, says LM Farms, which owns Gardens Alive!, has purchased the company and all of its assets. BFN Operations LLC and its affiliated entities, d/b/a Zelenka Farms, operated one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the U.S. Its products include shrubs, trees, perennials, roses, and groundcovers. The owners of Gardens Alive! have successfully purchased several other companies from bankruptcy and are experienced nursery managers. Niles Kinerk, Chairman of LM Farms, stated that “the opportunity to purchase Zelenka Farms assets and to continue the turnaround that is well underway is exactly the kind of opportunity that we look for. We understand the efforts of the management team led by Eric Ek and others have been successful, and we will support the management team in the coming months and years.” Zelenka Farms operates its six facilities across the key growing regions in the […]

Read More
Coreopsis-UpTickCream-19793-DarwinPerennials

August 20, 2016

Growing Tips On Coreopsis UpTick Series From John Wilso…

Editor’s Note: In this new feature, the Greenhouse Grower varieties team will choose one noteworthy variety each month we think is worth bringing to your attention. Then we’ll share growers’ and breeders’ perspectives on the best ways to produce it successfully at your operation. This month we focus on the hardy Coreopsis UpTick series, winner of Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Industry’s Choice Medal of Excellence for Breeding. Growing Tips From John Wilson, Seville Farms When asked about producing Coreopsis UpTick, John Wilson says he doesn’t have much to say because it was so easy to grow. Wilson, a Corporate Grower for Seville Farms, says based on the new series’ strong performance during the trialing he has done so far, the nursery ordered a large quantity of the plants for future growing. “If breeders were looking to come up with something that says ‘wow,’ they have done it with the UpTick Series,” […]

Read More
Eucomis arrangement from Golden State Bulb

August 19, 2016

What’s New With Blooming Potted Plants

From exotic orchids and lilies to flashy red cyclamen and jaunty gerberas, new blooming potted plants come in every shape, size, and color.

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