View Full Version : Where Have All the Houseplants Gone?

Monday, January 12th, 2009, 06:29 PM
I had wondered why I have not seen as many houseplants for sale in the last year or so.

The weatherís been bad lately ó much colder and snowier, earlier than usual ó and Iíve been so busy Iíve barely had time to sit down occasionally. So I figured that a couple of new houseplants would brighten my house and my spirits. I wanted something new, something I hadnít grown before.

While I was attending the Garden Writers annual symposium in Portland, Ore., in September, I sat beside a representative of the Florida foliage industry on one of our tours and I became all fired up about the exciting indoor plants she described.

Then I got back home ó and life happened. I forgot about houseplants as I planted bulbs, got the container garden ready for winter, cleaned up the garden, and all that sort of stuff. Then the holidays ó and accompanying out-of-town guests ó took over my attention.

But then I was reminded of my desire to add some new houseplants to my collection. I looked around at the supermarket when shopping for the weekly groceries, and didnít find anything out of the ordinary. In fact, it was mostly the same stuff in different sizes and containers.

So I tried another supermarket and, while the selection was better, the stock was low and the plants common stuff Iíd grown for years. I almost bought a gloxinia out of desperation ó at least it was blooming ó but I decided if that was my only criterion, Iíd be better off getting a moth orchid at Trader Joeís.

Well, I kept looking ó at a greenhouse, a nursery, a flower shop ó and still didnít find what I wanted. Iím sure the plant for me is out there and I just havenít found it yet. But I never recall having to search much before when I wanted a new plant.

As it turns out, I wasnít the only one to notice a dearth of houseplants, and my area isnít the only one to experience it. The topic came up on a listserv I belong to. Others had also wondered what was going on.

But instead of just being resigned to the situation, Doreen Howard, the Garden Diva, set out to find the reasons. And hereís what this well-known writer learned:

1. The big box stores undercut garden centers drastically on standards like poinsettias last year and this year, so they ordered less from growers. They canít make a profit on them. The same holds true with the standards like dracena, pothos, sanseveria, etc. Few houseplants are being ordered.

Full article (http://features.csmonitor.com/gardening/2009/01/08/where-have-all-the-houseplants-gone/)

Monday, January 12th, 2009, 08:35 PM
One of the economic benefits of large corporations. We need to stop shopping at these places and only shop at small businesses and trade with each other locally when we can.

Though I've noticed a lot of new varieties of plants coming about out of nowhere that you can order online. I think they are gene splicing them or something. Such as new dwarf varieties of banana tree and such.