Wednesday, January 28, 2015

There's a whole lot of consumin' going on out there!

The Snickers Impulse

Story # 152,

            I now know of two Florida foliage growers who are each shipping over 10,000 small pots a week to wholesale customers nationally.

 Why are gardeners buying these huge quantities of small plants (under 3” pot size)?

I ask everybody who is involved with small plants what they think is happening here.  Nothing is sold unless it has a name and a use.  The ‘use’ is the unknown.

I talked with Ray Roberts and his son Matt Roberts of Central Florida Ferns, who are a major force in producing small plants.  Their impression is that affordability and cuteness is the motivation for sales.  They are used in mini gardens, terrariums and as gifts.

Matt says it’s like the ‘Snickers’ bar at the checkout.  The impulse is --- It’s not much cost and you gotta have one.

It just may be as simple as that!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Primulinas in Sight!

Primulina 'Loki' grown by Gary's Specialty Plants

Story # 151,

            I’m back from a once in a life time trip to the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), the trade event showcasing the latest trends in foliage, flora and tropical in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

            There were amazing displays of colorful foliage in all sizes. But NO Primulinas.

            I searched out all the ‘Mini’ plants that I could find.  Small plants are a serious trend.  There were vendors showing everything from unrooted cuttings, to cell pac liners, to 2” pot.  Three categories are trying to fill the current demand --- Succulents, Ferns and Foliage.

            No one showed Primulinas in their foliage mix.  Since every grower trying to catch up with this demand is adding varieties as fast as they can, it would seem that Primulinas would fit, if there were supply.

            The most logical power grower to investigate Primulinas would be Holtkamp Greenhouses, the leading African Violet grower in the World.  Mr. Reinhold Holtkamp told me they are not working with Primulina at this time.

            Steve Blank, the genus thinker who has reframed the theory of a start-up business would tell you that promoting Primulinas is in a ‘New Market’.  It is a product where you could be the first to create a monopoly.  You would have no competition but the catch is there may be no customers.

            The search at TPIE proved that there are no Asian Violets in sight.  The commercial barrier has not been broken yet.