In the past, nurseries were involved in almost all aspects of the
production and culture of plants. They grew a wide variety of plants,
and they sold them both wholesale and retail, as well as supplying a
wide range of allied products and services. Today, all but the largest
nurseries tend to specialise.
Production nurseries, which are also known as propagation or wholesale
nurseries, propagate plants. They then either sell their product
directly to retail outlets, landscapers and council parks departments,
or wholesale them to growing-on nurseries.
Success of production nurseries is affected by:
Growing-on nurseries buy bulk quantities of seedlings or small plants
from propagators. At the time of purchase, the plants are growing in
plugs, trays or tubes; the plants are then
potted into larger containers and grown on for a period of time, adding value to the nursery’s original purchase.
In addition to increasing the plants’ size, specialised growing
techniques, such as topiary, may be used to add value to the plant
during the growing-on phase.
The most critical aspect of production in growing-on nurseries is
developing a quality product for the retail market. At the time of
resale, every plant must be at its peak, displaying healthy, vigorous
and sturdy growth. The plant must be presented appropriately, in a
clean, attractive pot, with fresh potting mix (no weeds or residues on
the surface) and appropriate support (small stake or trellis) if
necessary. Labels must also be supplied (but not attached).
Retail nurseries buy plants from production/propagation nurseries and
resell them at a profit. ‘Green-life’ (a term used by the industry to
distinguish plants from other nursery products) sold by the retail
sector includes seedlings, bulbs, containerised and bare-rooted
plants and trees. In addition, garden centres sell associated products
such as dry goods (pots, packaged potting mixes, fertilisers, sprays)
and bulk landscaping materials.
There is an increasing emphasis on the supply of ‘lifestyle products
and services’ in retail outlets, such as outdoor furniture, gift lines,
display gardens, cafés and landscaping services.
Are you interested in learning more about nurseries? Updating and improving your knowledge?
Self Study courses and Ebooks
Tutor Supported Nursery Courses