Thursday, December 28, 2017

If you would start a Gesneriad Farm...

Mini Sinningias - Assorted

If you would start a Gesneriad Farm, what would you do?

            Let’s suppose that the houseplant boom of the 1970’s is starting again.

            The leading commercial horticulture trade magazine, Grower Talks, gave its lead story to this idea.  The Sill, of NYC, gets a mention as a rising star by building a retail mail order source for foliage houseplants.  They also just opened their second storefront in Manhattan.

            If every apartment dweller in NYC suddenly sees the need for a plant, we will need a lot of plants.

            The grower at Costa Farms, FL, makes this novel observation:  “Urban markets are exploding with small apartments and rental units, and houseplants are, in a way, taking the place of pets.”

            Last time, the supply never did catch up with the demand.  Then it peaked, and houseplants proceeded to crash toward zero.

            While starting with easy surviving foliage plants, it quickly moved into more interesting oddities and flowering plants.  Enter---- Gesneriads.

            African Violets, the leading flowering houseplant in the World survived ---- most others did not.

            Are indoor gardeners ready for Streptocarpus, Nematanthus, Columnea, Aeschynanthus, Primulina and Sinningias?  Since there is very little supply, nobody knows.

            As Seth Godin says:  “Start small, start now!”

Streptocarpus 'Rose Halo'

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