People across the nation share a love for houseplants but the understanding around what it means to cultivate this affection has been limited. The Plant Company is dedicated to changing that, as its mission is to reinvent the houseplant industry.
Founded in 2019, the company recognized that retailers deserved innovative, high-quality houseplants that were easier to source and didn’t require buying an entire truckload at a time. They provide retailers with the knowledge and support they need to make houseplants an essential element of garden centers and floral departments of all types.
While still a young business, many members of The Plant Company team have been in the horticulture industry for their entire lives, compelling an understanding of it that permeates multiple markets. To get a better sense of these details and how they’ll make an impact this year, we sat down with Jennifer Kuziw to learn the top new trends of this year, what sorts of challenges they’ve helped their buyers overcome, and more.
Floriexpo: What are some of the top color or design trends that have resonated with you this year?
Jennifer Kuziw: We’ve tended to stay with Earth tones and neutrals in our ceramics, and we’ve used seagrass and jute for added interest. In our plant lineup, while focused on unique varieties, we also consider varieties that are texturally appealing.
We have some varieties like the Alocasia Dragon Scale and Alocasia Ninja, which have really interesting textures. So along with really eye-catching color, the plant evokes fun for the consumer with its beautiful texture.
People sometimes think varieties are artificial because the texture is so unique and we encourage them to touch it, and that opens up a whole new sensation for them.
I imagine that enables a different level of connection with buyers that they want to bring into their departments and enable for their customers, doesn’t it?
Yes, and that’s really what we’re going for and why we’re going to breeders to ask them about what they have that’s new or that no one else has seen. We want to find something that looks or feels different, or gets someone to literally say, “wow, I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else.” It’s all unique, really appealing high-end varieties and connected to our “bring nature indoors” tagline.
That took on a new life in a pandemic, as everyone was trapped inside and plants helped them to make a nice little sanctuary inside their house. It’s not necessarily a green plant anymore. Plants weren’t just something you had around but they became something people really cared about. They can make you smile every time you see them, and it makes a happy place in your home where you’re stuck at a lot more than you have been in the past.
So we’re still very much focused on bringing nature indoors but also want to see how that evolves as these little sanctuaries grow.
What are some of the things you’re doing to support retailers in terms of logistics and how they can best position your products to their customers?
On the logistics front, we have worked to address different volumes needed for different retail locations. We’ve made pricing simplified by being all inclusive with tags, pots, and all shipping costs reflecting the complete pricing to your door. We have developed packaging that enables us to ship cross country throughout the entire year in smaller quantities. The goal is to freshly restock on a regular basis. So, not inundating stores with lots of product that seems overwhelming, doesn’t necessarily get well taken care of, and doesn’t sell through at a fast pace. These were all points we wanted to directly address to ensure our customers’ success.
We very much want that ease of logistics to transfer into the customer-buying experience. Our products come in a basic grower’s pot, which uses post-consumer recycled material with a wooden stake and an actual label on it that represents the actual variety. Tags show a picture of the variety that tells you the correct variety name. It tells you where that variety best fits into a house environment in order to thrive—high light, low light, high humidity, or small spaces. The tag has complete care instructions. The plant is leaf shined, it’s beautiful, and if you want it in an upgraded pot, we do that as well.
Anything new for you this year? What’s one thing you’re excited to showcase or discuss with attendees at Floriexpo this year?
Our H20 product line, which is essentially a hydroponic line, is really exciting. They are a garden in a glass bottle. Low maintenance, carefree and trendy! The plant is inside of a glass container with a cork on the top. They’re super easy for homeowners and people with pets who are afraid that their pet is going to eat or otherwise make a mess of their houseplants. They can be placed anywhere is the home and require no care other than adding or changing the water every couple of months.
Another beautiful option is the H20 Bowl. Plants come leaf-shined in a glass bowl topped with a cork with an opening that the plant actually grows out of on the top. Another easy way for customers to take care of their plants and enjoy anywhere in the home!
Outside of that, we’re very excited about the number of new varieties we’re getting, as we have anywhere from fifty to seventy-five new varieties and trials in our greenhouse at any given point. We are always working to keep our assortment fresh and cutting edge!