Smackdown: Should We Sell Plants In Bud Or In Bloom?

Instant gratification or the full experience of growing a plant from bud to bloom? While color may catch the customer’s eye at retail, does that make for a successful gardening experience at home?

“The joy is in the journey not the destination,” said Joe Lamp’l during his keynote presentation at OFA Short Course. “It’s nice to have plants in bloom when you put it in the ground, but that evolution is what we have to educate customers about.” The conversation continued during the Town Meeting discussion later that night. Here were some comments from participants:

  • Too many plants lead up to a climax of the retail ready shelf. That’s where plants are at their best and it’s all downhill from there. We’re paying the price of focusing on the retail display which will not give us long-term customers.
  • Growers want to hold plants down with PGRs to keep them shelf ready. We can’t expect the consumer to be successful if they get plants and can’t take care of the plant once it grows out of the PGR.
  • Are we training customers to only come into the store once a year because that’s the only time plants looks good and are in full bloom?
  • We’re an urban garden center, and pick the things that will take the heat and humidity to get customers in later in the summer. It’s hard to find growers who will ship smaller amounts. We’re receiving shipments in June, July and August and then fall crops and veggies in September.
  • I was taught to pick blooms off plants when I bought them so that they would grow even fuller later. Now when I garden, I look for plants with one bloom or even no blooms. We’re known for cutting flowers off people’s plants after they’ve bought them. We do a lot of business with school fundraisers, and we intentionally ship plants not in bloom, and nobody complains that much. We tell them not to expect them to be in bloom, and they don’t freak out. And they tell us, ‘When we get plants from you, they always outperform what we get from retail stores.’
  • We want to create successful gardeners, but with our generation, we’re not interested in the long term. We’re interested in the short term. We’re about instant gratification. Remember why your woman gardener is coming into shop.

So where do you fall on the spectrum? Could and do you sell plants in bud or do your customers want the instant gratification of plants in bloom? Somewhere in between? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Smackdown: Should We Sell Plants In Bud Or In Bloom?

  1. We sell mostly perennials, and have plants in every phase of growth, but there's no doubt–when a plant comes into best bloom, that's when it sells.

More From Varieties...

August 20, 2017

Proven Winners and Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association to Partner on Summer Outing

This year, KNLA is combining its summer outing with the Proven Winners Landscape Roadshow for an informative event that will take place on September 21.

Read More
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Varieties and Cultural Tips

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Latest Stories

August 20, 2017

Proven Winners and Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Assoc…

This year, KNLA is combining its summer outing with the Proven Winners Landscape Roadshow for an informative event that will take place on September 21.

Read More
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Variet…

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Candy Tops Snapdragons Series (Sakata Ornamentals)

August 3, 2017

Five Characteristics Breeders Want in Top-Performing Sp…

New spring annuals have to provide something for everyone — longevity, durability, performance, and more — if they want to meet breeders’ high standards for market-worthy plants.

Read More
Petunia 'Headliner Pink Sky" (Selecta)

August 3, 2017

Why Eccentricity is the New Black in Spring Annuals

Consumers judge plants by appearance, color impact, and ease of maintenance, which is why retailers want new spring annuals that are novel standouts.    

Read More

August 1, 2017

39 New Vegetables and Herbs for 2018

New vegetable and herb introductions for 2017 offer unique shaped fruits, distinctive foliage, intense flavors, improved disease resistance, high yields, and more. Here are 39 new vegetable and herb varieties to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More
2018 Griffin Catalog

July 31, 2017

Griffin Releases Print and Digital Versions of Its 2018…

The 250-page print catalog features more than 350 new varieties from leading breeders, while the enhanced digital version has extra features on crop culture, grower tools, and more.

Read More
Emerald-Coast-Growers-Guide-Feature-Image

July 27, 2017

Emerald Coast Growers Offers Updated Guide on its Newes…

This year’s guide features new varieties while maintaining Emerald Coast’s ornamental grass program and expanding its perennial plants line.

Read More
Terra Nova Shipping Box

July 20, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries, Dümmen Orange to Partner on Unroo…

Terra Nova Nurseries has contracted with Dümmen Orange to produce unrooted cuttings (URCs) from Terra Nova private stock located at Dümmen Orange’s Central America facilities. The URCs will fulfill orders in North America and Europe.

Read More

July 20, 2017

New Perennials, Trial Gardens, and Merchandising Were H…

Darwin Perennials Day has steadily become one of the must-attend perennial events of the summer. This year, even the weather cooperated.

Read More
2018 Ball Seed Catalog

July 17, 2017

Ball Seed’s 2018 New Varieties Catalog Now Available

The expanded guide includes breakthrough breeding from Ball in annuals, perennials, vegetables, potted plants, and more.

Read More
Pleasant View Open House

July 16, 2017

Pleasant View Gardens, D.S. Cole Growers Hosting Open H…

The event gives horticulture industry professionals the chance to check out nearly 80 new introductions from Proven Winners, as well as Pleasant View’s new Savor Edibles & Fragrants line.

Read More
All American Selections

July 12, 2017

All-America Selections Celebrates Milestone Anniversary…

Coinciding with its 85th anniversary celebration, AAS is hosting an open house at its new offices, and has also released its annual report.

Read More

July 8, 2017

Plant Patent Law: Protecting the Variety Pipeline

Breeders call for better cooperation in protecting intellectual property while considering how stricter laws and expensive patents could impact the future of innovation.

Read More
Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Holy Moly!’ (Proven Winners)

July 8, 2017

Are Utility Patents Tying Up Innovation With Litigation…

The opportunities for innovation in plant breeding could be greatly advanced by creating an industry-led patent licensing platform.

Read More

July 8, 2017

Fleuroselect and CIOPORA Offer Organizational Leadershi…

Learn why breeders feel these organizations should be emulated in an industry-led initiative to protect plant breeding efforts.

Read More
Thalictrum Nimbus White (Terra Nova Nurseries)

June 30, 2017

Kelly Norris Dishes on New Plants, Going to Seed, and B…

From woody perennials to genetically modified petunias, Kelly Norris gives his take on what turned out to be a busy spring.

Read More
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on …

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More