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...
all-america-selections-new-website-home-page

December 3, 2016

New Mobile Responsive Website From All-America Selections Offers Improved Navigation

All-America Selections has launched a newly redesigned and revamped mobile-responsive website that includes a more attractive design, enhanced search tools, and easier and simpler navigation.

Read More
Sea Breeze Catharanthus combo

December 2, 2016

Four Mixed Container Trends To Watch

Mixed containers are still one of the best-selling SKUs at retail. Pay attention to these four trends that are making their mark on multi-liner mixes and combination containers.

Read More
kelly-norris

December 2, 2016

Kelly Norris: How The “Me Too” Philosophy Affects Plant Breeding

When you’re selling the exact same thing as everyone else, it’s unrealistic to expect customers to buy only from you.

Read More
Latest Stories
Coreopsis 'Madras Magic' (Terra Nova Nurseries)

October 17, 2016

New 2016 Perennial Introductions For Zone 6 And Up

Some perennials are at their best in warmer climates, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used in colder areas for season-specific containers or grown with cool-crop annuals to add some unique offerings to a product mix. Here are 11 new introductions hitting retail in 2017 that are hardy in Zone 6 and up.

Read More
Bees on flowers

October 13, 2016

45 Pollinator Friendly Perennials Sure To Attract Bees

Pollinator friendly perennials are the foundation of a well-rounded pollinator garden. Check out this list of 45 perennials that are sure to attract bees.

Read More
Echinacea Butterfly Postman

October 12, 2016

16 New Perennials For Pollinator Gardens

Customers who want to attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators to their gardens need plants that will provide food, shelter, and protection throughout the year. Consider carrying a few of these 16 pollinator-friendly perennials for retail sales in 2017.

Read More
Rudbeckia × ‘American Gold Rush’ (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

October 10, 2016

20 New Cold-Hardy Perennials For A Rock Solid Line-Up I…

Low maintenance, pollinator friendly, naturalistic, long-lasting — perennials are all that and more. These 21 perennials are tough enough to take the cold, ensuring they will add color and texture in the garden until the first killing frost.

Read More
Anemone 'Harmony Scarlet' (Sakata Ornamentals)

October 6, 2016

Tender Perennials Can Create Marketing Challenges

Growers and breeders are entering new territory as more perennials with marginal zone hardiness make their way into the market.

Read More
Perennial Propagators survey result

October 3, 2016

Perennial Propagators’ Successes And Challenges: Resul…

A survey by researchers from Purdue University and Michigan State University report the hurdles growers face when propagating perennials, and the practices they use to root them successfully.

Read More
geranium-rozanne

October 3, 2016

Perennial Plant Products Launches New Perennials Brandi…

The new brands include two distinct programs for both growers and consumers.

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