The dye-infused plant debate lives on–at least for one more week.
Last week, we posed a dye-infused-plant-related question to GreenhouseGrower.com readers. The question: If consumers are interested in dye-infused plants such as ‘Blue Mystique’ orchid and ‘Princess Alexia Yellow’ anthurium, should such plants be made available to them? More than 87 percent of readers who responded to the question say “yes” (including 61 percent of readers who accentuate their answer with an “absolutely yes”).
“We are an industry of plant nerds who hold our plants and Latin naming on a silver platter,” says Olivia Sellards, Syngenta Flowers. “But we are first a service industry and should hold our customer demands before our personal preferences. Absolutely sell a (dyed) plant, a glittered poinsettia or a bunch of blue tie-dyed cut flowers. Remember, if they aren’t buying real plants, consumers will buy fake ones.”
Paul Riddell, the owner of the Texas Triffid Ranch in Dallas, agrees dye-infused plants should be made available to consumers if they want them. But he issues a word of caution to the industry.
“Let’s make sure that people actually do want to buy these and that they’re not just asking for them and then refusing to come back to buy them,” he says. “I just see this over and over in the trade: lots of hype about new interesting plants and presumably lots of interest. There’s a big difference between the oohing and aahing about a new plant and the oohing and aahing followed by the customer carrying it home.”