AR Seed Packets

Jennifer Polanz

Burpee recently acquired a line of seeds called Powerful Plants that feature augmented reality (AR) images on the front of the packets. The line is getting a relaunch through Burpee with seven new additions, for a total of 37 varieties with their own character.

Customers can download the Powerful Plants app from the Apple App Store or Google Play on their smartphone or tablet. When they open the app, they hold the device’s camera over the front of the packet to watch a video of the character. For example, the carrot talks about planting timing, soil depth for planting and other growing tips. Others include details about the actual variety type or history of the variety.

The line is also part of a larger initiative to recruit more gardeners and to help teachers with plant-based curriculum in schools. Burpee, through Powerful Plants, is sending out kits to educators that include curriculum written by Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the South Bronx in New York who helped transform his school with gardening curriculum.

“The one thing that was most appealing is that it was geared towards children, captures them in a digital space and gets their hands dirty,” says Burpee Business Development Manager Scott Mozingo, who notes the program helps to fulfill Burpee Chairman and CEO George Ball’s mission of doubling American gardeners by 2025.

The line will be supported at retail through the website,, as well as social media and more product introductions.

“We’ll be introducing each of the characters on Facebook on a weekly basis, provide recipes and continue to introduce for 2020 new characters,” says Graham Bowe, new business manager for Burpee. “We’ll hopefully also include seed-starting as well for retail.” GP