Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyle Choice

Once an afterthought in the home, houseplants are now valuable assets that add a touch of class to interior design schemes. Consumers are asking for tropicals and foliage plants that are less mainstream and more unique. And they want functionality and emotional connection all wrapped up in an easy-care package. In short, houseplants have become a lifestyle choice, thanks to marketing campaigns that promote their long-term benefits.

Marketing Efforts Address The Why And How Of Growing Houseplants

Programs comparable to Costa Farms’ O2 For You and Delray Plants’ Plants With Benefits promote the physical and psychological benefits of plants and convey the message that they’re an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Even more essential, these types of programs provide a way for companies to communicate the why and how of growing houseplants.





Social media is also a powerful platform for companies to air their messages and stay up to date on current trends. Bell Nursery, a large wholesale grower in the Mid-Atlantic, keeps an eye on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to see what garden ideas consumers are implementing. Once it identifies what the popular trends are, it gears its own social media profile to match and gauges the reactions from its customers.

“By monitoring shares, favorites, and pins, we are virtually hearing what our consumers are into before they visit a store,” says Mat Van Rhoon, Marketing Director at Bell Nursery.

Tropical And Foliage Plant Trends Reflect Consumer Lifestyles

The use of plants for home décor is one trend that is hot right now on social media, and companies are using it effectively to market and raise plant awareness. Costa Farms, a Miami-based grower has worked hard to create on-trend, upgraded combo containers that make it easy for consumers to bring stylish plants into their homes.

And Delray Plants, another Florida-based foliage grower, recently hired an outside company to conduct a research project that breaks down how the consumer shops by room. The company hopes to gain fact-based research that will help enlarge the overall live-goods market to include tropical foliage, says Natalie DiSciascio, Director of Trade Marketing at Delray Plants.

Phyto-design, or using plants and flowers to create a peaceful atmosphere and eco vibe in the home, is driving many of the current houseplant trends. Modern-day interior designs featuring simplicity and clean lines reflect people’s busy lives and favor foliage plants known for their architectural qualities like sanseviera and the areca palm, as well as ones that make artistic statements such as the pony tail palm and yucca (Yucca elephantipes).

Air plants are also super trendy because they are sculptural and easy to grow. Millennial and GenX consumers are especially attracted to combinations that mix air plants with succulents, says Justin Hancock, Consumer Marketing and Digital Specialist at Costa Farms.

Colorful plants like red aglaonema and jewel-toned cacti are also in demand. Costa Farms’ Desert Gem line of cacti and Exotic Angel Plant varieties including Gynura ‘Purple Passion’ and the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) are great examples of plants that fit this category.

Another influence driving tropical sales is the size factor. People are calling for smaller plants to fit small spaces. In response to this growing trend, Delray Plants has renewed its focus on 4-inch tropical foliage that works well for downsized interiorscaping.

Younger Customers Want Houseplants That Stand Out From The Norm

Perhaps most important to the current direction of the market for tropical and indoor plants is providing product options that allow people to express their individuality. Consumers, especially younger generations, are after distinctive plants that are a far cry from the typical 70s feel, when ferns and spider plants were as much of a staple as the kitchen sink. And the containers housing those plants have to be as exceptional as the plants themselves.

Bell Nursery is seeing more momentum with combo planters and houseplants in contemporary containers, Van Rhoon says, which is a good indication that consumers are leaning toward simple, finished products with instant impact.

Orchid Growers Supply The Distinctive Products Consumers Crave

Similar to other growers, Bell Nursery faces the challenge of catering to its already established market of gardeners, while also offering unique products that appeal to younger generations. The company addresses this need by providing upgraded, high-end options such as orchid gardens, inked orchids, and exotic orchids (Vanda and Lady Slipper).

With the variety of orchids available and their lower price point, consumers are finding it more affordable to make a statement that reflects their personalities. The Phalaenopsis orchid is still a top choice, and suppliers are coming up with new ways to update this favorite.

“We’re excited about how the higher levels of design are elevating the Phalaenopsis’ relevance with consumers,” says Maxwell Sherer, Sales Director at Green Circle Growers in Oberlin, OH. “With the creation of Triple-Crown triple-spike orchids, waterfall orchids with large and cascading blooms, new colors for dyeing orchids, well-crafted dish gardens, luxurious multi-orchid planters, and novelty sizes like the mini orchid, it’s clear that the

Phalaenopsis variety has lots of ongoing excitement that consumers are definitely enjoying.”
Green Circle focuses on Phalaenopsis orchids to fit every moment and every space. It offers orchids under its Just Add Ice brand, along with other Just Add Ice products like anthuriums, bonsais, money trees, and easy-care bromeliads. The company concentrates on making the consumer experience with orchids successful, It messages that orchid care is easy — just add three ice cubes per week.

“Accessible pricing has jumpstarted the orchid category,” says Marcella Lucio-Chinchilla of Silver Vase. “For less than $20, they can venture into the orchid world and learn about this very forgiving plant.”

While the demand for disposable income is high, value for those dollars is important, too, because the combination of high-quality plants with a lower price point leads to expanded first-time and repeat purchases, says Maxwell Sherer of Green Circle Growers, noting that increased sales in the category attract innovation dollars to the industry that ultimately help improve the consumer experience.

Florida-based Silver Vase, an orchid and bromeliad grower known for the innovative ‘Blue Mystique’ orchid introduction, also focuses on orchids that accommodate a variety of spaces and have different looks to match a season or a specific mood or feeling. Marcella Lucio-Chinchilla, Vice President of Marketing at Silver Vase, says the company’s new Innovation line of orchids featuring select varieties grown into various shapes ties in well with holiday gift-giving and allows consumers to express emotions like love, for example, with the heart-shaped ‘Hugs and Kisses’ orchid. And Silver Vase’s new ‘White Swan’ orchid is meant to convey feelings of tranquility and serenity.

Closely aligning with the growing demand for smaller plant sizes and distinct products, mini orchids such as Silver Vase’s 2-inch Tea Cup and Espresso orchids and Green Circle Growers’ Just Add Ice minis have become a big hit with consumers as starter orchids. And at Bell Nursery, the smaller-size trend has created a demand for planters that combine orchids with succulents, tropicals, and tillandsia.

As orchids become more mainstream, brick-and-mortar sales are beginning to migrate online. Green Circle is seeing an increase in e-commerce gift giving that translates very well to orchids. And Sherer says gift giving has a hidden benefit. It removes the fear-of-care barrier for the giver and lets the receiver have an ownership experience with low risk. And a positive experience makes it possible to convert gift receivers into future givers or repeat owners, benefiting everyone involved.

Page 2 – Sidebar: Economical Luxury Orchids Grow The Market

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Foliage & Tropicals...
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 18 New Plant Introductions For 2017

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
Latest Stories
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More

January 14, 2015

Liven Up Indoor And Outdoor Living With 24 New Tropical…

Uniquely colored foliage and vivid blooms are just two of the great features new tropicals and foliage plants add to energize indoor and outdoor spaces.

Read More

December 31, 2014

Engage Busy Consumers With Modern-Day Tropical And Foli…

Contemporary tropical and foliage plants fit right in with the hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century. Their versatility lends itself to countless uses both inside the house and out on the patio.

Read More
Basics & Beyond: New Kalanchoe For Cultivation

November 24, 2014

Basics & Beyond: New Kalanchoe For Cultivation

Several species of Kalanchoe show promise for commercial production as flowering potted plants. Learn how to improve quality and flowering for these underused varieties.

Read More

March 20, 2014

13 New Tropical Plants For 2014

New tropical varieties are great options for containers and combination planters, and boast bold-colored foliage which is sure to draw attention to patios and landscapes.

Read More

September 16, 2013

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘White Lava’…

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘White Lava’ is the latest in the elephant ear breeding of Hawaii’s Dr. John Cho. ‘White Lava’ forms a tight clump that provides a tropical look in the garden without sacrificing premium real estate. Large glossy green leaves are adorned with a wide band of creamy white down the center of each leaf, later radiating out into the side veins. Each leaf is further highlighted by a large purple spot where the leaf attaches to the stalk. ‘White Lava’ is a medium grower reaching 48 by 36 inches at maturity. It makes an ideal 6-inch pot, 16 by 12 inches. It is perfect for large containers, garden borders or mass landscape planting. For more information, contact PlantHaven International, Inc. at 805-569-9179, email [email protected] or visit the PlantHaven website.

Read More

July 16, 2013

Hot New Potted Plants And Tropicals From 2013 Californi…

Each stop at Spring Trials offers exciting new plants and products and this year, that included a lot of new potted plants and tropicals varieties. Take a look at some of these unique new varieties you can put into next year’s program.

Read More

February 28, 2013

Logee’s Introduces New Fruiting, Rare And Tropica…

For more than 120 years, Logee’s has been the go-to source for fruiting, rare and tropical plants. For 2013, the family-owned company has introduced 75 new plants that are sure to delight both experienced and novice growers. The new plants for 2013 include a “condo mango” tree that is small enough to grow in a pot, and an striking flowering houseplant called a lifesaver plant because its flowers boast a dark red lifesaver rim. “Fruiting plants that can be grown in containers and flowering tropical plants are easy to grow both indoors and in outdoor living areas such as patios, balconies and porches,” says Byron Martin, a third-generation owner of Logee’s. “We are proud that Logee’s has become America’s favorite source for tropical and fruiting plants from all over the world.” Logee’s catalog and website is known for its vast selection of tropical container plants, dwarf citrus trees, vines and […]

Read More

February 27, 2013

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Kona Coffee’ Is Compact For S…

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Kona Coffee’ from PlantHaven International has a unique dwarf compact habit with an ultimate height of 2 to 3 feet. It forms a tight clump that provides a tropical look in the garden. This introduction by master breeder Dr. John Cho of Hawaii is topped all summer with glossy slightly cupped foliage that ranges from dark forest green to roasted coffee-bean brown held on dark petioles. Colocasia ‘Kona Coffee’ grows well in full sun or part shade and prefers moist soil. It’s perfect for that wet spot in the yard next to the downspout. Colocasia ‘Kona Coffee’ makes a great container plant or addition to the garden where it can be used en masse with contrasting colors. This variety is robust and disease resistant while not exhibiting any signs of runners. For more information, please contact PlantHaven International Inc. at 805-569-9179, eMail [email protected] or visit the Plant […]

Read More

December 20, 2012

Slideshow: 8 Tropical Plants Your Customers Will Love

PlantHaven The Royal Hawaiian colocasia series from PlantHaven has been bred to be sturdy garden performers and container specimens. Each is disease-resistant with fabulous foliage, stem interest and a tidy clumping habit. Colocasia ‘Maui Gold,’ which has unique white stems, and Colocasia ‘Hawaiian Punch,’ with its bright-red stems, are the latest additions to the series and provide striking complements to the series’ other cultivars.

Read More

December 11, 2012

An Inside Look At The Tropical Plant Trend

Green industry experts explain which plants have become highly popular choices, as well as reveal the up-and-comers they are most excited about.

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