Sunday, August 2, 2015

The 2015 State of the 'Mini Plant' Industry

Mini plant - 'Fluffy Ruffles' Fern
            The trade magazine Today’s Garden Center has a report by Steve Bailey, a retail financial advisor, for independent garden centers.  He is optimistic because sales are up.  He points out that the best categories from the best garden centers are Annuals, Shrubs, Perennials, Herbs and Veggies, Tropical plants.  Tropical plants are both indoor and outdoor and that demand for indoor houseplants has risen.  His conclusion is these traditional major categories are too important to not give them your full attention.

            It’s unclear whether my ‘Mini’ plants for Miniature Gardens are included in the ‘Tropical Plants’ grouping or if they are considered one of those new angles to garden center products.  At least there was a comment from the 2015 State of the Industry survey:  “…Mini plants are still hot…”

            My own survey from talking to vendors at Cultivate15 in Columbus, OH is that the trend is still up.  A new source in Florida is feeding the 2” foliage market and doubling sales each year.

            The IGC East trade show starts Tuesday in Baltimore.  Interestingly, not one of the 4-5 exhibitors from 2014 in the Mini plant category is returning this year.  What to make of that??

            Also from Ohio, I met a foliage distributor in the mid-west who thinks that Florida foliage growers are coming on-line with new volumes that will drive down prices of the 2” plants.

            My reaction to that is that many of the plants that I’ve selected cannot be sold for less because the input costs are too high.  The plant does matter and unique plants seek their own level.

            These are just impressions.  No one can predict what is going to happen.

            All I know for sure is that every customer of mine, who displays ‘Mini’ plants, sells some every week of the year! 

Mini plant combination

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