Ellen C. Wells
That familiar SUPERthrive label—literally crowded from corner to corner with product benefits and testimonials—is one of horticulture’s most iconic sights. That bottle has been sitting on garden center shelves for … gosh, well, since garden centers first existed, I suppose. The product and company’s founder, Dr. John Thomson, invented this plant vitamin solution back in the late 1930s to help folks have healthier plants, and from the stories I’ve heard from gardeners, SUPERthrive truly is the magic elixir for all things green and growing—and even some things brown and nearly dead.
Dr. Thomson passed away about six years ago, just days after his 100th birthday, but the North Hollywood-based SUPERthrive business has kept ticking. The latest news for the nearly 80-year-old company is that it’s been acquired by Plantation Products of Norton, Massachusetts. SUPERthrive is a product that’s quite a bit different for Plantation Products, which is the largest packet seed and seed starting company in North America. But Plantation Products’ strengths lie in managing brands that have been around a long time, such as Ferry Morse and Jiffy, for example. Per a press release: “SUPERthrive has passed the test of time and our job is to get the product into more people’s hands, so they can experience the benefits of SUPERthrive themselves.”
I emailed the folks at Plantation Products to ask what their plans are for changing the way SUPERthrive is marketed and sold. President and CEO Michael Pietrasiewicz responded, “We are proud that SUPERthrive is one of the few brands in lawn and garden that have survived the test of time. We realize that the packaging is ‘unique,’ but it is certainly recognizable for sure. We will be very careful in regards to packaging changes, but our goal is to introduce more SKUs and get the product into deeper distribution. The product works amazingly well and is used by a lot of professional growers. We are hopeful to get the product into the hands of more consumers, so they can benefit from the same products that professionals use for their crops.” GP