The Types and Purposes of Plant Nurseries
Be honest, when you hear the phrase “plant nurseries”, you tend to think of a place that simply sells plants, and that’s about it. But there are actually a variety of nurseries out there, many with entirely different purposes.
In this article, Windy Willows gives you all the information you need to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing a nursery that suits your needs as a plant parent.
The Different Types of Nurseries
There are different types of plant nurseries available, but here we focus on growing-on, production, and retail nurseries.
- Growing-on: These outlets buy seedlings and small plants in bulk from propagators. They then replant these into larger pots and allow them to grow over time. This increase in the plant’s size and the specialised growing techniques often used add to the retail value of the plants. The key aspect for this type of nursery is to deliver quality products for retail, so they ensure that every plant is in peak condition before putting it up for sale.
- Production: These are also known as wholesale plant outlets and are where plants are propagated. Stock is then sold directly to other nurseries (like growing-on or retail outlets) or landscapers. Innovation is key with these outlets as they need to stay ahead of the curve and must be able to foresee trends in gardening.
- Retail/garden centres: They also buy their products from production outlets and then sell these plants for profit. However, they do not replant, but, rather, sell the newly purchased bulbs, seedlings, and young plants. A retail centre also tends to be more diverse when it comes to its product offering and will usually sell gardening appliances along with landscaping services, much like the array of products and services available at Windy Willows. They tend to focus on the lifestyle aspect of gardening and are, thus, more equipped to handle the needs of most clientele.
The Different Purposes
Nurseries’ purposes can be entirely commercial, so they will produce and distribute a variety of plants, while some may focus only on ornamental plants, and others may sell vegetation plants for home gardens, or even combine the two. Some outlets are specifically run to plant and raise seedlings, which they will then sell to retailers, and there are even rehabilitation centres used for the conservation of some plants.
The key takeaway is that a nursery is where plants are raised until they are at a desirable size for retail selling. The main purpose is facilitating the growth of plants and maintaining their health until they are “re-homed”.