March 2023
Trends in houseplants By Teresa McPherson

The March issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer includes rare tropical houseplants and eco-friendly products and practices at the garden center.

One of my favorite things about being part of the green industry is hearing what brought others into horticulture.

Take Karli Heineman, who opened a rare and unique plant boutique, Plant Vault, last year. She came to the industry from a fashion background, which, surprisingly, has only helped her business succeed.

“I didn’t expect to be drawing on so much of my knowledge of trendspotting and contacts within the fashion industry,” she says. When she opened Plant Vault, she wanted to offer different plants than typical retailers, with the best prices and service. And her fashion industry experience allowed her to “curate accessories to go along with the plants … unique planters, unique watering bottles, gardening aprons, gardening boots — anything that’s different than all the things that you typically see in a regular gardening store.”

Read more about Heineman and her plans for the future of Plant Vault here.

Speaking of unique and different, our editorial director Abby McGarry brought back some retail plant material merchandising ideas from the 2023 Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) in Tampa, Florida. Click here to read more.

Growing plants successfully at the garden center isn’t so different from what customers go through at home with houseplants, says Noelle Akin, manager of training and education at Petitti Garden Centers in northeast Ohio. She shared with me some of the eco-friendly products and practices they’ve incorporated into their nine retail locations, including nifty double-decker plant benches that make watering those houseplants more efficient. Find the story here.

Calling All Innovators!

The 2023 Lawn & Garden Retailer Innovator Awards will recognize garden centers that elevate the customer experience in progressive ways. We’re looking for IGCs that excel in one or more categories, including: community involvement, merchandising, social responsibility, technology and more.

Nominations can come from garden centers themselves or other industry professionals, including suppliers and consultants. Click here for more details; the deadline to enter is May 1.


Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].