Industry News

2023 Green Industry Outlook

This year’s survey builds on the trends of past years while introducing some changes that will make it an even better tool for industry professionals. The largest change is one of timing, moving the survey itself to later in the year. This allows readers to put this survey to better use by supplying this new data when many are starting to slow down or end the season and begin developing business...Read More

Unconventional Applications

Being in the retail industry, and particularly the garden center industry, the No.1 challenge that comes up over and over again is the challenge in finding labor. ‘Help wanted’ messages fill shop windows, fast-food marquees, the backs of trucks, buses, vans and cars — even direct mail. It seems clear that so many entrepreneurs are in the same boat: not enough staff to run our businesses effectively and not enough applicants.  Read More

Midterms and the Irrigation Industry: A Breakdown

With the dust still settling in some races, the Fairfax, Virginia-based Irrigation Association’s Advocacy Director Nathan Bowen breaks down some of the key takeaways from this year’s midterms. According to Bowen, the outcomes of the midterms suggest there will be a few identifiable priority shifts in irrigation-related policy but that the increased likelihood of political gridlock could also have an impact on the industry. Read More

Proven Winners Announces 2023 National Houseplant of the Year

In partnership with The Plant Company of Virginia, Proven Winners has announced its 2023 National Houseplant of the Year — Feeling Flirty purple tradescantia from its new leafjoy houseplant collection. Widespread consumer promotions will begin at the start of the new year through Proven Winners, whose brand impressions are expected to top 14 billion in 2023. The Plant Company is gearing up to have an excellent...Read More

Burdens to Bear

This year has been a rebuilding year of sorts for Paige Landscape Company. As a commercial landscape and maintenance business, the company did not see the COVID-era boom in design/build work like others did. But now it looks like the company is back to its 2019 numbers and it’s still growing. “2021 was a good bounce back year from 2020,” Paige says. “Like a lot of people, we took a big hit in 2020. We don’t do any residential work...Read More 

USDA APHIS Updates Hosts List for P. ramorum

At the next compliance inspection, regulatory officials must inspect, potentially sample and test proven hosts and associated plants, and all plants on the proven host and associated plant list must be determined free from P. ramorum before they are shipped. Read More

H-2B Visa Cap Increase ‘Incredibly Important’ for Industry

The Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C., announced its plan to release 64,716 additional H-2B visas for the fiscal year 2023 in October, potentially providing relief for green industry professionals experiencing labor-related challenges. The H-2B visa program allows for the temporary admission of foreign workers to the United States to perform nonagricultural labor or services...Read More

Management — The Forecast for Workforce Issues

As a “frustrated wannabe meteorologist” who couldn’t handle the requisite physics classes, I often turn to weather analogies to describe dynamics in the policy space. When it comes to labor and the horticultural workforce, the official forecast now calls for a high probability of storms and gusty, damaging winds through the fall, with possible peeks of sunshine after the November midterm elections. Read More

Handling the Headaches

Business might be booming for most companies, but that doesn’t mean green industry companies aren’t contending several challenges that are impacting their bottom lines. One common issue is supply chain disruptions. Since early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like materials and equipment for all segments of the industry have been in short supply. “There’s been a labor and material shortage...Read More

Biden Administration Doubles Number of H-2B Visas Available for 2023

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) will be issuing a regulation to make available to employers an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary non-agricultural work visas for the fiscal year 2023. This amount nearly doubles the 66,000 H-2B visas normally available, providing much-needed labor relief and the opportunity for better business planning in the coming year. Read More

Managing Client Expectations Through Supply Chain, Inflation and Labor Issues

While the demand for landscape services has remained high, client expectations are also incredibly high. This can be a problem as there are a number of challenges landscape professionals face on a daily basis, including material delays, rampant inflation and labor shortages. The first step to managing client expectations through these issues is by having open and honest communication. Read More

Get Involved

Now is a vital time for green industries to advocate with their elected officials, citing issues like the soon-to-be-negotiated Farm Bill, labor reform and any legislation aimed at curbing inflation, says Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort’s executive vice president of advocacy, research and industry relations. And it’s necessary to do even if someone is tired of, worn out by or even ”disgusted” by politics, he adds. Read More

2022 State of the Industry: Uncharted Waters

Growers are in uncharted territory after two of the oddest years in history. Coming down from the massive pandemic-driven demand was never going to be easy, but supply shortages and inflation have complicated matters further. Input costs have been rising for two years, but hopefully they will begin to tail off in 2023. With a possible recession looming, many growers are playing it conservatively. Read More

Three Business Concerns That Should Be on Your Radar

The volatility of today’s business environment can easily keep you so laser-focused on immediate concerns that starting to think proactively about issues just around the corner may not be happening. We’ve discussed supply chain, labor, profitability, inflation, consumer behavior, etc. over the past several months, so I thought it high time to bring your attention to three less-mentioned items you need to keep in your sights. Read More

Garden Media Group Releases 2023 Trends Report

On Sept. 12, Garden Media Group released its full trends report for 2023, which outlines the seven trends retailers can expect from the gardening industry in the near future. Per the Garden Media Group: “The 2023 report features what we believe to be the moment’s two most significant driving forces, individuality, and accessibility. In a world dominated by uncertainty, the overarching trend of 2023 is rooted in self-reliance and personal empowerment, making room for a larger, more inclusive gardening community. Read More

Next Farm Bill Holds Promise for Horticulture

As blossoms and new growth renew the landscape, renewal of another kind is sprouting on Capitol Hill: The 2023 Farm Bill rewrite. For the uninitiated, the Farm Bill is a multi-year law to address agriculture and food policy, which Congress typically re-evaluates and renews every five years. Comprised of 12 “titles” that detail programs ranging from nutrition assistance to agriculture research, the Farm Bill promotes home-grown food, fiber, fuel, and flora for domestic consumption and export to markets abroad. Read More

Looking Ahead

Dr. Charlie Hall, AmericanHort’s chief economist and the Ellison Chair of Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences, said that 2022 was mixed performance within a great year. Growers reported sales up 20% as an across-the-board average. Nearly 40% of the growers Hall surveyed reported increases of between 1 and 10%, small increases compared to previous years. Still, Hall asked growers to consider where they were a few years ago. When comparing 2022 gross sales year-to-date to 2019, 63% of growers...Read More

New Web-Based Tool Helps Growers Mitigate Risk and Improve Plant Health

The Horticultural Research Institute, in partnership with the National Plant Board and the USDA, is pleased to announce the launch of an important new web-based tool for nursery and greenhouse growers seeking to improve plant production processes by identifying hazards (operational areas where plants could be contaminated or introduced to plant pests). Understanding these critical control points...Read More

Seed Your Future Launches Green Career Week

Seed Your Future has named Oct. 3-7, 2022 Green Career Week in an effort to connect horticulture, floriculture and agriculture companies with future generations. "In my first year as executive director of Seed Your Future, I heard of the resounding need to connect with the next generation of employees. With the help of volunteers, we did something about it," said Jazmin Albarran. Read More

Inflation Reduction Act Features Tax Credit for Commercial Grade Electric Lawn Mowers

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, and this new law includes a tax credit for electric vehicles. Within the definition, large commercial grade lawn mowers are included. The tax credit is 30 percent per vehicle/lawn mower, with a max of $7,500 per vehicle/lawn mower. The credit is available for sales made beginning Jan. 1, 2023, and the credit sunsets in 2032. Read More

The 2022 Plant Shortage

GoMaterials, a landscaper material procurement marketplace, recently released a report on the severity of plant shortages across the country, as well as the price increases of plant material in demand. Factors driving the plant shortage in 2022 include plastic containers being in short supply, fertilizer costs being up by 100 percent and wholesale nurseries being understaffed.  Read More

Why The Younger Horticulture Workforce Views Employment as a Partnership

Company culture is more important now than ever for employment, according to a panel of AmericanHort scholars at Cultivate’22. The younger generation in today’s workforce will be loyal to their employer, but they expect their employer to build a positive work environment and help them reach their goals. Dr. Melinda Knuth, an assistant professor at North Carolina State University, moderated...Read More

Congratulations to the Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards Class of 2022

Six individuals and one band of brothers were honored with 2022 Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards at a reception July 17 at Cultivate'22 in Columbus, Ohio. Editorial director Kelli Rodda and editor Matt McClellan detailed the achievements of each winner, and then presented them with their award. The Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards (HILA), sponsored by Syngenta...Read More

2023 Perennial Plant of the Year Announced

The Perennial Plant Association is pleased to promote Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’ as the 2023 Perennial Plant of the Year. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a stunning addition to any garden. At the height of summer, it turns up the volume for a long season of dazzling color right up to autumnal frosts. The bright golden-yellow flowers feature arching rays and a reddish halo surrounding dark chocolate cones. Read More

AmericanHort Asks for Labor Insight

AmericanHort is looking for industry members to take a Nursery and Greenhouse Employment Survey, in partnership with the the University of California-Davis and Arizona State University. Craig Regelbrugge, executive vice president, advocacy, research, and industry relations, and Sara Neagu-Reed, director, advocacy and government affairs, said that the purpose of this survey...Read More 

Hiring Non-Hort Workers

Given the growing number of horticulture operations that are struggling to find employees in the current labor shortage, it was no surprise that Al Martin’s presentation “Hiring from outside of the horticulture industry” was packed at Cultivate’22. Finding people with horticulture skills is becoming harder and harder. And it’s difficult for growers to find candidates with the experience that they want...Read More

2023 Garden Trends Report Recap

At Cultivate’22, Katie Dubow, president of Garden Media Group, delivered the 2023 Garden Trends Report: "I Believe In Me." According to Dubow, the moment's two most significant driving forces are the individual and access. And in a world dominated by uncertainty, the overarching trend of 2023 is rooted in self-intention and personal empowerment. Dubow said that consumers feel empowered when using garden...Read More

MasLabor Announces Merger With AgWork H2

MásLabor, a provider of comprehensive services for employers participating in the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs, has announced a merger with AgWorks H2, LLC, a Georgia-based H-2A and H-2B consulting firm. “AgWorks has a proven success model, with a deep compliance focus and highly knowledgeable leadership,” said Edward Silva, CEO of másLabor, who recently purchased...Read More

Cultivate'22: State of the Industry Address

The Short North Ballroom was packed to capacity for the AmericanHort State of the Industry Address, with attendees standing along the walls to hear the Monday morning keynote speech. Craig Fisher, president and CEO of AmericanHort led off the morning’s presentation with an overview of the association’s vision, mission and strategic goals. From there, he examined consumer spending – a key indicator of economic health. In fact, it represents 70% of our economic output, he said. Read More

Leadership Transitions

While baby boomers continue to dominate ownership and executive roles in the green industry, there’s an evolution of leadership occurring. Whether it’s a new generation taking over for parents, a retiree who’s appointed a young and eager person to lead the company, or a young entrepreneur starting their own operation, the generational shift is gaining momentum. Read More

Your Stuff is Coming (Someday)

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. The supply chain chaos that has dogged the whole economy the past couple of years is hitting every point of the uniquely perishable process of building landscapes. If someone in the landscape business says they aren’t having supply problems, they likely aren’t working. The many ingredients that landscape architects pour into realizing their designs are delayed, unavailable, on a boat somewhere, waiting for a truck, waiting for one little piece, and in general harder to price these days—and if you manage to get the thing...Read More

Plant Pricing Truths to Grow By

Let’s get real on a couple of points: First, we need to pay people better (way better) in our industry, and second, consumers are clueless when it comes to understanding how plants are or should be priced. This math does not compute. Low perception of value is still suppressing both plant prices, and thus wages, in the horticulture industry. So, what are we going to do about it? Read More

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Acquires Northwest Shade Trees

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. have purchased Northwest Shade Trees LLC, a grower of specimen shade, flowering and ornamental landscape trees. Operations at the 350-acre specimen B&B farm located near Salem, Oregon, will integrate with Schmidt production and sales cycles to become the sixth farm in the JFS nursery family and increase the company’s growing grounds to more than 3,000 acres.  Read More

USDA to Provide $6 Billion in Emergency Relief Payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments totaling approximately $6 billion through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset crop yield and value losses. Read More

AmericanHort Welcomes New Board Members and Slate of Officers for 2022-2023

AmericanHort announces the election of four new members to the board of directors, along with the election of a new slate of board officers. The official welcome and installation will take place at Cultivate’22 being held July 16-19, in Columbus, Ohio. “We are excited to welcome these leaders who come from various segments of the green industry and encompass diverse experiences, skills, and backgrounds...Read More

60 Years of Support

In September 1962, a small group of forward-thinking nursery professionals established the Horticultural Research Institute to provide funds that would support industry-driven, targeted research. Starting from a combined donation of $1,300 in the early 1960s to having supported a total of $9.5 in research grants and scholarships by its 60th year, HRI continues to grow—and to grow the industry. Read More

What Does the Future Hold for Battery-Powered and Electric Equipment?

The fate of gas-powered landscape equipment hangs in the balance of the governing bodies of states and municipalities. In October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill to phase out the sale of new gas-powered lawn equipment in the state by 2024. Residents of Lexington, Mass., and Washington, D.C., voted to phase out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits. Read More

Future Leaders

The American Landscape Institute educates, guides and nurtures students through a two-year program that accelerates their horticulture career path. Armed with on-the-job training, classroom instruction and encouragement from industry mentors, students earn 39 credits and a certificate in Landscape Installation, Maintenance and Design. These graduates are prepared for advancement and leadership opportunities in horticulture at a time...Read More

Pottery, Price Hikes and Perseverance

As the industry grapples with inflation and supply chain issues, 2022 might the most challenging year for retailers sourcing container supplies. As COVID-19’s domino effects continue to influence the economy two years on, garden centers and grower-retailers are feeling the toll. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index jumped 7.9% over the last 12 months, the highest in 40 years...Read More

APHIS Celebrates 50 Years of Protecting American Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating a major milestone – 50 years of serving the public as a Federal agency. USDA created APHIS on April 2, 1972 to consolidate animal health, plant health, and inspection duties under one roof. The new agency focused on protecting American agriculture and natural resources, along with ensuring the humane care of certain animals.  Read More

AmericanHort Hires Advocacy and Government Affairs Director

Effective April 11, Sara Neagu-Reed has joined AmericanHort as as Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs. She joins the Washington, DC-based advocacy team working alongside Craig Regelbrugge, Executive Vice President-Advocacy, Research, and Industry Relations; and Evan Lee, Director of Policy, and Government Relations. Neagu-Reed joins AmericanHort after a decade of working...Read More

Working with Difficult Clients: When to Stay and When to Go

As a lawn care or landscape company providing a service, you are bound to encounter difficult clients. While you can’t control another person’s behavior, you can control how often you end up working with these individuals and how you respond to them. If handled properly, you can even transform these ‘problem’ customers into loyal proponents of your business. Read More

Pesticide Preemption Bill Introduced in Congress

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced legislation to prohibit local governments such as municipalities, townships or counties from banning or regulating the use of pesticides at levels that are more stringent than state and federal regulations. The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) said this bill would fix a longstanding problem with federal pesticide law (FIFRA) that would...Read More

Hiring the Next Generation of Growers

As April moves along and approaches May, the current class of 2022 is getting closer to graduating from college and entering the workforce. These students are surely eager to start their careers, and given the current nationwide labor shortage, employers are just as eager to hire them. That includes the greenhouse industry. So, as growers work to run the best operation they can, what can they do to attract and hire the next generation of growers? Read More

What Landscapers Want in 2022

How can you strengthen relationships with your landscaper partners? These insights from leading landscaping firms hold the keys. Having solid partnerships with successful landscaping firms is a cornerstone of any greenhouse business. But keeping the “partner” in partnership strong requires commitment, understanding and communication, especially when pandemic pressures enter in. Read More

J. Berry Nursery Announces New Partnership

With the ongoing mission of “Creating Beauty That Inspires,” J. Berry Nursery announces its new licensing partnership with PlantHaven International, Inc. The licensing agreement of the J. Berry brands improves access to popular genetics, like Black Diamond Crape Myrtles, Déjà Bloom Azaleas, Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus, Emerald Empire Crape Myrtles, and Season to Season Gardenias, among others. Read More

Homeowners Will Spend More Time on Outdoor Projects in 2022

Americans will be doing more outdoor home improvement projects this spring — and they’ll be spending much more time on these tasks. According to the 2022 Axiom Home Improvement Outlook Survey, nearly 67% of homeowners say they will spend more time on outdoor home improvement projects this year than in 2021. Six in 10 respondents report they will spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on these projects. Read More

Overcoming Supply Problems

The year 2022 is shaping up to be a difficult year for growers. Materials shortages, manufacturing labor and trucking shortages, as well as increasing energy costs, are all adding to the problems growers face. Here are a few ideas that may help your business function a little smoother...Read More

Gardening Motivations of U.S. Plant Purchasers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Plant purchases experienced a surge during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine of 2020. Researchers used an online survey instrument completed by 1,211 U.S. respondents to investigate the diverse motivations for making plant purchases. Researchers compared three age cohorts to understand which plant benefits they derived from their plant purchases. Millennials (born 1981 to 1995) derived the greatest social benefit...Read More

NALP Members Stress Importance of H-2B Reform

Members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals recently participated in the organization’s Legislative Days. More than 120 NALP members participated in 100 virtual meetings with congressional staffers from all over the country, including Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Kurt Kluznik, president of Yardmaster in Painesville, Ohio, said NALP’s Legislative Days plays an important role...Read More

Popping up Profits

Temporary plant shops are popping up everywhere — in trucks parked along busy city streets, in vacant buildings awaiting long-term tenants and alongside both urban and rural business partners. Whether they’re parked for a few hours or planted for a couple of months, these pop-up shops help garden centers reach new customers, drive additional revenues and even scout new store locations. Read More

Bayer enters agreement to sell Environmental Science Professional business to Cinven

Via Golf Course Industry News, Bayer and Cinven have entered into a definitive agreement regarding the sale of Bayer’s Environmental Science Professional business for a purchase price of $2.6 billion, Bayer announced in a news release. “This divestment represents a very attractive purchase price and allows us to focus on our core agricultural business and the successful implementation...Read More

'Spongy Moth' Adopted as New Common Name for Lymantria dispar

"Spongy moth" has been formally adopted as the new common name for the moth species Lymantria dispar by the Entomological Society of America.

The ESA Governing Board voted unanimously last week to approve the addition of "spongy moth" to ESA's Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms List, completing a process started in July 2021 when the previous name, "gypsy moth," was removed due to its use of a derogatory term for the Romani people. The change is the first undertaken by ESA's Better Common Names Project. Read More

Tal Coley joins FNGLA as CEO

After a six-month national search, Talmadge “Tal” Coley has been tapped as the next chief executive officer to lead the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). "Over FNGLA’s 70-year history, we have employed only four CEOs," Sarah Spatola, FNGLA’s 2021-22 president, said. "The quality and tenure of our staff is a strength that has served us well in upholding...Read More

National Garden Bureau Offers Marketing Tools for Each “Year of the” Crop

National Garden Bureau (NGB) has created, and is making available, creative marketing tools to help the industry promote the 2022 “Year of the” crops. These tools are designed to make life easier for retailers and growers, and allow them to reap the rewards from this national marketing  campaign.  Anyone interested in using these materials can simply register here to receive a link to download...Read More

ONLA Changes Name to OGIA

The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) has announced a name change to the Ohio Green Industry Association (OGIA). The change is meant to be more inclusive and reflect our commitment to those working within the green industry and those professionals that fuel its growth, development, and success. “I am excited to be a part of the new chapter of the OGIA,” says Molly John...Read More

AIPH Releases 2021 Statistics Manual

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), in association with Union Fleurs, has released the 69th edition of the International Statistics – Flowers and Plants 2021. The International Statistics Flowers and Plants Yearbook has the most comprehensive collection of production and trade data for the ornamental plants and flower industry. It is now available to purchase...Read More

Hort 2022: Four foes you'll face and how to conquer them

When Dr. Charlie Hall speaks, people in the greenhouse industry tend to listen. Hall was busy in 2021’s fourth quarter giving industry talks centered around what he believes are three of the biggest challenges horticultural businesses will face in the new year, and how growers can overcome them. “The shape of the economic recovery...Read More

DHS Releases Additional 20,000 H-2B Visas

According to a press release, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) will publish a joint temporary final rule making available an additional 20,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022. These additional visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers...Read More

The Plan Collection shares 2022 design trends and predictions

It’s no surprise that home design is changing. The past 18 months have allowed homeowners to really assess what they want their home to reflect. As a result, the overarching trend in home design is creative expression, individuality and design freedom. “It makes sense as people have gone from having to be home to wanting to be at home in an environment that expresses their personalities and individual tastes,” says Laurel Vernazza, home design expert at The Plan Collection, the pioneer of online home design plans.  “Since no one could travel, homeowners had to bring those experiences into their homes.” Read More

Pantone Unveils 2022 Color of the Year

Pantone has announced PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri as its 2022 selection for Color of the Year. Here’s what inspired this year’s choice, per the Pantone Color Institute (full announcement below): Displaying a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, inquisitive and intriguing PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives. Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri places the future ahead in a new light. Read More

CARB Approves Proposal to Ban Sale of Gas-Powered Equipment in 2024

On Thursday, Dec. 9, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) approved the proposed amendments to the Small Off-Road Engine Regulations: Transition to Zero Emissions, which would ban the sale of virtually all carbon-emitting landscape equipment beginning with model-year 2024.  The meeting went on for nearly 6 hours. NALP along with 60 other associations, including the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute...Read More

A Cure for Supply Chain Disruptions

Whether you’re delivering products to your customers or relying on deliveries and inventories of those goods, supply chain disruptions and skyrocketing costs are impacting every garden center business. Regardless of where they lay in the supply chain, disruptions are taking a heavy toll on independent retailers, many of which have few resources...Read More

Several States Consider Gas-Powered Equipment Ban

After California became the first U.S. state to ban gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers earlier this year, more states, including New York and Illinois, are mulling over similar measures.  How quickly other states follow suit depends on the companies that make electric lawn care...Read More

Floriculture Crops Summary Expands to 50 States

The U.S. floral industry will soon have — for the first time — comprehensive data on domestic floriculture production and sales in all 50 states thanks to changes to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That survey, from which the Floriculture Crops Summary is compiled, will now include growers in all 50 states and data on more crops as well as changes (improvements/enhancements) to how sales are reported. Those findings will be compiled in a report to be published in May. Read More

Irrigation Association Selects Rankin as CEO

The Irrigation Association Board of Directors has named Natasha Rankin as its new chief executive officer. She will assume her new role on Jan. 10, 2022. Rankin brings more than 25 years of experience to the IA, including nine years in chief executive roles. Most recently, she served as the chief strategy officer/chief operating officer for the American Counseling Association, where she has helped the organization...Read More

Top 6 Gardening Trends

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), an internationally recognized organization founded in 1827, and the producer of the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show has released its top six gardening trends for 2022. "Adopting new trends offers gardeners the perfect way to revamp home gardens with new ideas and inspiration, while using gardening to promote year-round health and well-being," said Andrew Bunting, Vice President of Public Gardens and Landscapes at PHS. "This list of garden trends for 2022 is ideal for gardeners of all interests and experience levels to incorporate into their own gardens." Read More

Green With Envy

In September, Garden Media Group released its annual Garden Trends Report and predicted green will be the trending color for 2022 and beyond. Then, all the paint manufacturers released their Colors of the Year, and they agreed! Based on the Trends Report, in 2022, we’re “springing” forward into green. And hue-specifically, Clover Green. According to the head of color at WGSN, a global authority on consumer and design trends, “Nature will continue to be a huge driver [of color]; not only does it feel comforting, it also connects us to the outdoors.” And the bright shade of clover is rumored to attract the younger generations, too. Read More

Unlocking the New Consumer

How will you approach plant sales and marketing in 2022? Garden Media Group’s Garden Trends Report helps sort out what’s likely to influence consumers purchases. “Trends help you select plants, products, or services consumers want,” explains Katie Dubow, president of Garden Media Group. “Trends ignite a new business, product, service or customer experience. And trends can breathe new life into your current business.” Read More

Riding the Wireless Watering Wave

“We’ve been using the technology to be out in the field to turn things off even before the era of being mobile-ready became prevalent,” says Thompson, the project manager for the Portland, Oregon-based company. “It’s the kind of thing we’ve been doing for many years and people are starting to see the benefit of it. A lot of times, systems go in and aren’t used the way they should or aren’t hooked up just right. So, we’ll go in and get things up and running or do some consulting stuff and design help for people to figure out what one’s best for their property.” Read More

Hard Times for Hardgoods

I had the fantastic opportunity to listen to a talk presented by Dr. Charlie Hall just a few weeks ago. Dr. Hall is an economics professor from Texas A&M who specializes in horticulture economics, benchmarking and the industry’s situational outlook. With that description being in his bio, coupled with our current economic climate, you know why I’m always so interested in listening. Read More

What's in Style? You Are!

“It’s just rewarding. Fifty-three years of work has created something that’s special,” he says about his store’s newfound popularity. “Just knowing, watching the smiles, people complimenting how much fun it is, just makes my day. We’re blessed to have the opportunity and I thank God for the common sense to fight through all it took to get here. Read More

Chain Reaction

Nearly a year and a half after adapting to the demands of COVID-19, garden center owners have to rethink their business tactics once again as they face a different challenge: servicing the steady rate of customers with barriers to inventory. Now, as the industry fights the global tide of continued pot delays and plant scarcities, many owners have had to shift their strategies to prepare for the coming year and beyond. Read More

Pennsylvania Phasing in Ban of Invasive Japanese Barberry

The PA Department of Agriculture added Japanese Barberry, or Berberis thunbergii, to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The popular, non-native, ornamental shrub forms dense, prickly thickets that crowd out plants and disrupt native ecosystems.  It is also thought to harbor black-legged ticks that spread lyme disease. The ban on sale and cultivation took effect October 8, 2021. Read More

Proven Winners and The Plant Company Partner to Offer Unique Houseplants

The Plant Company and Proven Winners are announcing a new partnership. Under this partnership, The Plant Company, a source of unique houseplants in North America based in Stuarts Draft, Virginia, has joined forces with the consumer plant brand Proven Winners to market houseplant varieties under the Proven Winners brand. The goal of this new...Read More

An Update on Supply Chain Woes and Inflationary Pressures

The green industry has spent the past several decades perfecting a globalized “just-in-time” supply chain and the COVID pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of that globalized supply chain, illustrating the vulnerabilities of a usually-invisible pathway of growing, transportation, and logistics. The supply chain disruptions go back to early last year to the beginning stages of the pandemic and included not only plants...Read More

Pivot to Profit

The estimated 18 million new gardeners who flooded the market last year continued to hit garden centers this spring, driving spring 2021 sales over spring 2020 sales for nearly three-quarters of IGCs that participated in this year’s State of the Industry survey. Despite the challenges of staffing, supply chain issues and the always unreliable spring weather, 95% of garden centers are expecting...Read More

Production Obstructions

The challenges of COVID continue to force the green industry to be quick on its feet, and the effects are going to be long-lasting, according to Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M. “COVID has forced us to be better business managers across the board whether you’re a grower or a landscape service provider or a retailer,” he said during a Garden Centres Canada Speaker Series presentation. “We are not going...Read More

Power Over Plants

The number of independent garden centers growing their own plant material increased significantly in the past year. After 2020’s introduction of 18 million new gardeners — and enduring plant shortages — the trend isn’t surprising. But pandemic pressures don’t tell the whole story. The last two years have triggered new trends and accelerated trends already underway in the industry. We spoke with three grower-retailers about their expanding growing plans. Read More

Unlocking the New Consumer

Each year, the clever squad at Garden Media Group compile the Garden Trends Report, and this year’s account reveals how customers define horticulture in 2022 and beyond. “Trends help you select plants, products, or services consumers want,” explains Katie Dubow, president of Garden Media Group. “Trends ignite a new business, product, service or customer experience. And trends can breathe new life...Read More

Support Your Strongest Asset

As garden centers across North America experienced record-breaking sales in 2020, much of their success can be attributed to the tireless commitment of their workers. Now more than ever, retailers are strategizing how to retain one of their most valuable assets: employees. Here’s how three IGCs are enacting winning game plans that are rewarding employees while boosting their bottom lines. Read More

Garden Media Group Releases 2022 Trends Report

On Sept. 8, the Garden Media Group released its full trends report for 2022, which outlines eight trends retailers can expect from the gardening industry in the near future. Per the Garden Media Group: "The 2022 report shows the shift that has occurred in the green industry and beyond. It goes past ‘The Great Reset’ of 2021 and guides us through the customer mindset to better fit green products and services...Read More

Strength and Stamina

If grace and flexibility were the key words in 2020, this year’s theme could easily be endurance and adaptability. In last year’s State of the Industry report, we asked you to bend, not break. It’s apparent as we near the end of 2021, the industry has bent and not broken.  And each one of you should be proud of how you’ve handled what has got to be the oddest 18+ months of your professional career. Read More

The Cost of Doing Business

The rising cost of agriculture inputs is not a new phenomenon. The 2017 Census of Agriculture reported per-farm expenses at a record $159,821, up from $155,947 five years previous. Income over the period fell slightly, according to the census, from $43,750 in 2012 to $43,053. While a new census isn’t due until 2022, industry onlookers are not expecting much change on the input side. Burgeoning expenses for seed, fertilizer and plastic containers – combined with a shallow labor pool - has forced owners to raise prices and automate some processes. Read More

Understanding Gen Z

Here’s what we know about Generation Z so far, and why your business should start thinking about appealing to this demographic sooner rather than later. Here’s what we know about Generation Z so far, and why your business should start thinking about appealing to this demographic sooner rather than later. Read More

Houseplant Report: Blooming and Booming

It’s no surprise that garden centers saw stellar sales in their houseplant departments during 2020 as COVID-19 had customers spending more time at home. Building on the momentum driven by plant parents, biophilic design trends and plant collectors, the houseplant craze was driven to new heights last year. Read More

Plant Pricing Truths to Grow By

Let’s get real on a couple of points: First, we need to pay people better (way better) in our industry, and second, consumers are clueless when it comes to understanding how plants are or should be priced. This math does not compute. Low perception of value is still suppressing both plant prices, and thus wages, in the horticulture industry. So, what are we going to do about it? Read More

Together Again

The industry got a chance to reconnect at Cultivate’21 in Columbus, Ohio, and there was certainly plenty to catch up on. From COVID (and post-COVID) gardening trends to merchandising ideas to what’s coming in 2022, there was plenty of excitement. Read More

Bloomin' Easy adds Six Flowering Shrubs for 2022

Bloomin’ Easy is adding six new and improved flowering shrub varieties to its collection for spring 2022. From extended flowering and improved natural form, to fresh colors and strong reblooming, these novelties offer incredible value for young homeowners and plant lovers alike... Read More

Native Stingless Wasp May Benefit ALB Eradication Efforts

For 25 years, USDA-APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine program's Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication program has successfully battled back against the pest to significantly reduce its footprint. PPQ experts have established a solid response plan to eliminate the ALB and prevent its spread to other locations. Today, as part of PPQ’s ongoing efforts, scientists are evaluating a biological control (biocontrol) agent—Ontsira mellipes—for its potential to attack and kill ALB larvae. Read More

The New Gardener

When consumers started spending more time at home in 2020, they headed to garden centers in droves, many for the first time. A National Garden Bureau report found that 18 million Americans started gardening in 2020, and they got hooked on their new hobby. These customers came with lots of enthusiasm, little knowledge and different needs than the traditional IGC customer. While the gardening momentum doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon, the garden as we know it may be changing due to demands from this new demographic. Read More

Home Services Growth Looks Consistent for Remainder of 2021

Home service management software company Jobber predicts that revenue will consistently grow for landscapers and other home services in the second half of this year, continuing the positive trend that began more than a year ago. “The home service category has demonstrated resilience throughout the pandemic and continues to experience positive growth,” said Sam Pillar, Jobber CEO and co-founder. Read More

Jeffrey Scott Talks Supply Chain with LandscapeHub CEO and Founder

In the latest podcast, The Ultimate Landscape CEO, LandscapeHub B2B online marketplace founder and CEO Lisa Fiora sits down with LM columnist Jeffrey Scott to talk about the grower supply chain and where the supply chain is headed for the B2B consumer. Fiore is a fourth-generation nursery professional. She was previously President of Fiore Landscape and Nursery Supply (FLNS), a century-old nursery...Read More

Grow the Market

Find out what the consumer thinks of you and your services, and why they invest in their yards. In 2020, the green industry rose to the challenge of being an essential part of maintaining our landscapes and green spaces during these pandemic times. We were all learning new skills in technology to stay in contact. We found a way to service the growing population shift from urban households to working from home in larger suburban and rural households in need of more space. Read More

Spring Best-Sellers

Garden centers weigh in on what sold well during another busy spring and their predictions for the future. With another spring successfully in the books, we caught up with two independent garden centers to see what’s hot at their stores, what they expect this summer and their insights into next year’s busiest season. Read More

Why This Year’s Plant Shortage is a Perfect Storm

If you ask people in the green industry about obtaining plants, you might hear statements such as “unprecedented demand” or “the worst shortage in years.” Experts say this plant shortage predates beyond homeowners’ renewed focus on green spaces and the weather in Texas, back to the Great Recession, where many nurseries were left with an oversupply and slashed production, and many went out of business. Read More

High Performance: Why Rising Costs Should Equal Rising Prices

Almost everywhere we look, we see higher costs. The cost of gasoline, for example, has increased dramatically compared to previous years. Labor costs are skyrocketing as the workforce shrinks and demand continues to increase. Raw material costs have seen large increases as the global supply chain struggles to work its way out of a major pandemic-related disruption. Food costs have jumped. Read More

Bayer to Remove Glyphosate from Residential Products

Bayer announced yesterday that the company will replace glyphosate in consumer products with alternative active ingredients starting in 2023. There will be no change in the availability of the company’s glyphosate formulations in the U.S. professional and agricultural markets. Read More

Growing ‘green’ Kids

Before the term “plant blindness” was coined in 1998 by botanists James Wandersee and Elisabeth Schussler, the majority of people in the U.S. had lost their collective ability to notice the plants around them. What was common knowledge to our ancestors has become an obliviousness about where our food comes from, the importance of plants to the health of humans and animals, and a failure to appreciate the role of plants in the very survival of our planet. Seed Your Future has been working tirelessly to turn things around and inspire more people — especially youth — to appreciate the role of plants in our world and perhaps explore a career working with plants. Modest gains were being made. Read More

Crisis to Innovation

At Cultivate’21, Katie Dubow, president of Garden Media Group, shared the 2022 Garden Trends Report: Crisis to Innovation. As the industry emerges from COVID-19 and heads toward a renaissance, customers are responding by spending more money. Retailers can capitalize on the revolution by focusing their efforts on the individual and putting an emphasis on customer personalization, she said. Check out the eight trends that can help your business capture customers’ attention and better serve their lifestyles. Read More

PPA Announces 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year

The PPA has announced Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars as the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year. The wider selection of Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars allows the perennial expert in any region to select and promote the cultivars that do best in his or her location! PPA Board members selected top performers in their regions and shared appealing details about each one. Read More

Spotted Lanternfly Found in Indiana

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found in Indiana for the first time in Switzerland County earlier this week, the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species has a detrimental impact upon plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards. Read More

Spring Best-Sellers

With another spring successfully in the books, we caught up with two independent garden centers to see what’s hot at their stores, what they expect this summer and their insights into next year’s busiest season. Read More

Giving Bad Advice

I became a volunteer master gardener with our local cooperative extension a year before I became an employee at a local garden center. When I started work at Hyannis Country Garden, one of my fellow master gardeners made it a point to loudly complain about my new workplace. It seemed that the previous spring one of the employees had identified a six-pack of marigolds as tomatoes. Read More

Get Inside Gardeners’ Heads

The plant-buying boom of 2020 drove customers to IGCs all over North America, but what was the motivation behind the gardening craze? Professor Bridget Behe, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, dug into the trends, surveying both those who did and did not buy plants from July 15 to Aug. 21, 2020. Funded by the Horticultural Research Institute, the research project compared results from 1,211 Generation Z, Millennials and Baby Boomers, to see what drove their purchases. Read More

A New City Agency May Try To Save Chicago’s 4 Million Trees — And Plant More

Everybody has a tree story. That’s the mantra of Michael Dugan, the Director of Forestry at Openlands, one of the main organizations that helps the city of Chicago plant hundreds of trees a year. As he walked through Douglass Park, an expansive city park on the Southwest Side of Chicago, Dugan rejoiced about the benefits of green space, and the attachments to which Chicagoans place the trees within them. Read More

South Carolina Bans Sale of Invasive Bradford Pear Trees

South Carolina has taken the rare step to ban sales of the popular, but invasive, Bradford pear tree that is still sold in some nurseries as experts across the state fear the damage the spread of the tree has already done might not be undone for decades. Read More

Proven Winners Debuts Compostable Branded Container

To reduce the volume of single-use plastic containers and be better stewards of the environment, Proven Winners is debuting a brand new, fully compostable container called the Eco+ Grande. This 4 ¼ -inch  plant-powered container is made in the U.S.A. from starchy renewable plants like corn, switch grass and sugar beets and has organic nutrients built right into its walls. Read More

Here’s a ‘Hort Truth’ for You: We have a Women in Horticulture Problem

We have a women in horticulture problem. The problem isn’t that we don’t have plenty of women working in the horticulture industry — we do. The problem is one of access to power and adequate representation. Read More

How and When you Should Market to Men

Growing and thriving as an independent garden center means making meaningful connections and engaging with our customers on a level that feels authentic and natural. For our own sake, and that of our audience. When it comes to customer targeting and marketing, what feels natural to women and men often differs greatly. When deciding on whether to cater to one or the other, your choice and strategy...Read More

The Great Conundrum

We’ve moved from the Great Recession to the Great Shutdown to the Great Conundrum, said Dr. Charlie Hall at the State of the Industry presentation during Cultivate’21. “We’re in a period of probably growth but we’re constrained,” he said, “but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Pre-COVID, we were in an unprecedented period of 128-month economic growth. Housing was peaking, inflation was in check and consumption...Read More

AmericanHort Announces the HortScholar Class of 2021

For the past fifteen years, AmericanHort has identified and supported emerging leaders in the horticulture industry through the HortScholar Program. After a rigorous application process, six students are chosen who show qualities such as a passion for the industry, growth mindset, teamwork, and leadership. Read More

Crisis to Innovation

At Cultivate’21, Katie Dubow, president of Garden Media Group, shared the 2022 Garden Trends Report: Crisis to Innovation. As the industry emerges from COVID-19 and heads toward a renaissance, customers are responding by spending more money. Retailers can capitalize on the revolution by focusing their efforts on the individual and putting an emphasis on customer personalization, she said. Check out the eight trends that can help your business capture customers’ attention and better serve their lifestyles. Read More

Get Inside Gardeners’ Heads

The plant-buying boom of 2020 drove customers to IGCs all over North America, but what was the motivation behind the gardening craze? Professor Bridget Behe, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, dug into the trends, surveying both those who did and did not buy plants from July 15 to Aug. 21, 2020. Funded by the Horticultural Research Institute, the research project compared results from 1,211 Generation Z, Millennials and Baby Boomers, to see what drove their purchases. Read More

Build Your Online Community

As if online marketing and social media were not already uphill battles for many IGCs before the pandemic, these responsibilities have blown up over the past year. From Zoom calls to virtual events to Facebook groups, IGCs have done a lot to bring their customers together during the pandemic. Once in-person shopping returns at new-normal levels, how do you build on the digital momentum you have created and continue to leverage your online community? These will be some of the most important questions for IGCs as we move through 2021 and beyond. Read More

Transformative Tech

Just a few years ago, Chris Duckworth, owner of Duck Works Lawn Care in Cobden, Ill., lost something very important. That’s when he knew his dependence on paper needed to go. “Paper got really ridiculous in my life and I was sick of it,” he says. “I lost my calendar one day and realized that 100% of everything I had was in that calendar.” Read More

Why Plant Shortages Are the Hort Industry’s Biggest Problem Today

Whenever I am asked to take part in a horticulture industry discussion, as opposed to a plant customer discussion, invariably the conversation centers on problems. As healthy as our market is, as well as individuals have done, we can’t help ourselves — we are always trying to find a solution to the next big issue. Read More

May Retail Sales Reach Near-Record Level Despite Supply Chain Constraints

Retail sales remained at elevated levels in May despite month-to-month fluctuations that masked near-record performance, the National Retail Federation recently announced. “While May retail sales were down slightly, largely due to supply chain constraints, the more accurate indicator remains in the year-over-year data which, as the NRF calculates, showed growth of over 17 percent,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. Read More

The H-2B Workforce Coalition Applauds the Introduction of Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021

The H-2B Workforce Coalition, comprised of thousands of employers and their representatives from industries such as lodging, landscaping, seafood, restaurants, tourism, equine, forestry, amusement parks, golf courses, and other seasonal businesses, are grateful to Reps. Cuellar (D-TX), Joyce (R-OH), Keating (D-MA) Pingree (D-ME), Chabot (R-OH), and Harris (R-MD) for introducing the bipartisan the Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021. Read More

Not Going Anywhere

According to a recent Cornell University Integrated Deer Research and Management study, the population of white-tailed deer in the U.S. has soared from around a half-million in the early 1900s to around 25 million today. Densities of white-tailed deer may exceed 40 deer per square mile in some rural areas, and over 100 deer per-square-mile have been documented near many eastern metropolitan areas. Read More

On the Dry Side

Nursery Management editor Kelli Rodda talked to Chuck Pavlich, Terra Nova’s director of new product development, about his efforts to breed drought-tolerant plants. In its last Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, the American Society of Landscape Architects revealed the hottest sustainable design elements include native/adapted drought-tolerant plants (83%). Read More

Finding the Sweet Spot

Buying and committing to inventory … it is one of the most important functions of a successful garden center. Yet not all IGC buyers have the training or tools to make smart buying decisions based on hard data and solid marketing strategies. Too often, a lack of buying protocols and promotions leave you with bad buys based on fear. Read More

NALP Applauds the Introduction of The Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) which represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, today applauds Reps. Cuellar (D-TX), Joyce (R-OH), Keating (D-MA) Pingree (D-ME), Chabot (R-OH), and Harris (R-MD) for introducing the bipartisan Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021. This legislation would enact much needed H-2B reforms and cap relief...Read More