Promote The Purpose Of Perennials

Pollinator-friendly perennials are a big hit with eco-concious consumers
Pollinator-friendly perennials are a big hit with eco-concious consumers

Growers and breeders are beginning to capitalize on higher demand for perennials, market by marketing them with an emphasis on what they do, how they can be used, and what, exactly, they bring to the garden. And it’s a concept you can easily implement at your business, as well.

Hardier, less demanding, longer blooming, water-wise perennials hit the sweet spot of buyer motivation, and good marketers know it. Throw in native perennials for the environment and pollinator-friendly ones for bees and other wildlife, and you have an enticing package that offers real value, but it’s all about how you position it.

Keep It Simple, Keep It Accessible

Terra Nova Nurseries, a breeder in Canby, OR, created a Garden Decorating Guide as a way to help its sales reps to talk about and sell perennials. Nathan Lamkey, Director of Sales and Marketing/Assistant General Manager, says he likes to think of it as a beginner’s guide to the breeder’s catalog, bottled in a small, portable package.

The guide, inspired by garden decorating magazines and the Pantone Color Match system, has a wheel-shaped design of sturdy 9 by 2 ½ inch cards, bound together with a pin. Reminiscent of paint chips in a hardware store, the guide takes a similar approach, grouping and displaying new plant introductions according to color to make selection easier. Each card includes close-up beauty shots of each plant, companion plant recommendations based on complementary hues, textures, shapes and growing conditions, and ordering information.

Lamkey says the Garden Decorating Guide fills different roles for different people, from the broker rep assisting a retail grower with building a program with a full color assortment to the landscape designer matching plants to a homeowner’s patio furniture.

“Gardening is decorating, and that creates excitement,” he says. “So we asked ourselves, ‘How do we make gardening and plants easy to sell?’ The Garden Decorating Guide was the natural result, and we’ve been pretty happy with the customer response we have been getting.”

Sell Solutions, Not Plants

The Perennial Farm, a grower in Glen Arm, MD, has a theory about customer response. When a customer sees a perennial as a solution to a problem, it elicits an emotional response that increases the perceived value of the plant.

Take deer, for example. It is difficult to find a gardener who doesn’t seethe when a deer mows down her carefully tended garden. The Perennial Farm’s Deer-Leerious program addresses this common problem, promoting perennials that deer won’t eat and making it easy for gardeners to select them.

Allan Armitage talks more about using perennials to satisfy solutions in “13 Ways To Repackage Perennials.”

Educate, Educate, Educate

North Creek Nurseries (Oxford, PA) and Walters Gardens (Zeeland, MI) use education as their conduit for relaying information on how and where to use perennials. Walters Gardens highlights new perennials on its website, sharing trial information, culture notes, and videos. It offers “Simple, Sensible Solutions: A Grower’s Guide to Finishing Perennials,” an online e-book/pdf. North Creek Nurseries offers planting guides on its website that recommend perennials for erosion control, fall and winter interest, rain gardens, and groundcover and green roofs. The company offers similar resources in its catalog.

The Perennial Plant Association, Greenhouse Growers’ 2015 Medal Of Excellence in In Marketing award winner, has had a big impact on perennial marketing, as well, and is a great resource for growers and grower-retailers. One of its most effective tools is the Perennial Plant of the Year program, for which the association creates marketing materials, to encourage use and sales of highlighted plants.

Communicate Perennials Extended Value In Your Own Way

Education helps call attention to the overall package of benefits and value that perennials offer. Follow others’ examples and find creative ways to communicate the how and why of growing perennials with a selling strategy that is the right fit for your business. If you tell your story right, sales will follow.

Page 2 – 2016 Perennial Plant Of The Year Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Perennials...
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

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

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
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

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
Eason 2017 Perennials Guide

May 25, 2016

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials G…

The two guides are available in digital and print versions and offer information from several breeders.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

May 25, 2016

15 New Perennials For Bees, Butterflies, And Other Poll…

These 15 new perennials, available for retail in 2016 and 2017, will produce colorful flowers and foliage year after year, providing habitat and food for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other pollinators.

Read More
Sedum ‘Dark Magic’ (Terra Nova Nurseries)

March 24, 2016

19 New Deer-Resistant Perennials

If you’re looking to offer your customers a choice of deer-resistant perennials, consider these 17 new varieties, hitting retail in 2016 and 2017.

Read More
Sedum 'Chocolate Cherry' Cultivaris March 2016

March 22, 2016

Flower Breeders To Debut Hot New Perennials For 2017 At…

Perennials are becoming more mainstream as consumers look for that long-term, added value of lower maintenance, season-long color, and reblooming plants year after year. And perennial growers and retailers like them for the higher price point perennials offer. So if you’re keeping your eyes open for what’s coming next year, you’ve clicked on the right story. Flower breeders exhibiting at the 2016 California Spring Trials (CAST) have a huge crop of new perennial varieties to show off for the 2017 spring season. Before you head to California in a few weeks, take a look at the slideshow to get a preview of the colorfully delicious perennial genetics coming to the market. These new perennial introductions have all the great characteristics you’ve come to rely on from breeders. Which ones will you incorporate into production for 2017?     If you missed our annuals slideshows the last couple of weeks, don’t worry — you can […]

Read More

March 17, 2016

13 Ways To Repackage Perennials

Allan Armitage says perennials are in serious need of repackaging. The good news is that it is easy to do.

Read More
Terra Nova Nurseries’ Garden Decorating Guide groups and displays new plant introductions according to color to make selection easier

March 10, 2016

Promote The Purpose Of Perennials

Breeders and growers are changing the way they market perennials, to focus on a simple message to communicate plant benefits that offer more value than good looks.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

March 4, 2016

Kelly Norris Says There’s Great Potential In Land…

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Norris says landscape plugs have the potential to pave the way for new perennial varieties and nature-based designs that appeal to consumers’ changing priorities and lifestyles.

Read More
Phlox ‘Forever Pink’ (Green Leaf Plants)

October 15, 2015

10 New Perennials For 2016 Coming To A Garden Near You

New perennial varieties promise fall color, greater heat and drought tolerance and pumped-up flower power. Here are 10 new introductions available in 2016.

Read More
Hydrangea Test Garden Heritage Museums

October 13, 2015

New Hydrangea Test Garden Announced For Heritage Museum…

The test garden will showcase new plant varieties and support research by expert growers including Bailey Nurseries, Ball Horticultural Company and plant expert Michael Dirr.

Read More

October 12, 2015

The Recipe For Growing Beautiful Perovskia

Growing impressive finished Perovskia plants in the greenhouse takes careful attention to lighting and finishing.

Read More
Heuchera 'Red Lightning' (Terra Nova Nurseries)

October 6, 2015

14 New Perennials For Containers, Pollinators, Beds And…

With an abundance of blooms and textures, new fuss-free perennials add interest to the garden year after year. Here are 14 perennials new for 2016 to consider for your growing operation.

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

September 1, 2015

Perennial Plant Association’s 33rd Annual Symposi…

The Perennial Plant Association's 33rd Annual Symposium, held July 27 to August 1 in Baltimore, Md., delved into the rich history of perennial suppliers and landscape architects in the Baltimore area and their influence on the perennial market today and its bright future.

Read More
Kaleidoscope Abelia (Plant Haven International)

June 17, 2015

PlantHaven International Launches National Campaign To …

PlantHaven International has partnered with BlueSkye Creative to initiate a national consumer ad campaign that carries across radio, video, print and social media to increase sales of Abelia Kaleidoscope.

Read More

May 1, 2015

18 New Grasses To Grow

Ornamental grasses fit in with the needs of today’s landscapers and consumers better than ever. Whether your customers are looking for creative solutions for patio containers or a mass planting in a landscape, some of the 18 new varieties included here are sure to meet the need.

Read More

April 15, 2015

All-America Selections Launches New Perennial Trial

All-America Selections (AAS) in partnership with Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will launch an herbaceous perennial trial, with entries due this July. It will follow many of the basics of the recently launched AAS Vegetative Ornamental trial. Entries accepted will be herbaceous perennials propagated from seed, cutting, tissue culture or bare root.

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