DIY Gone Wrong—Where We Stand

Ellen C. Wells

While we like to think what we offer to the public, plant-wise, are hobbies or décor, for a good portion of our customers our products would be considered as part of a do-it-yourself project. And like many DIY projects, there’s a certain amount of success and a certain amount of failure. When it comes to success and failure, where do horticultural endeavors fall?

Like most things, there’s been a study to determine the how folks feel about DIY projects.’s study surveyed 2,000 people who had a DIY project go wrong. Here are some of the results pertaining to us:

• 20% of those surveyed had attempted to plant trees and shrubs, second only to interior painting (40%). And 13% had attempted to design their own landscape.

• Of the 32 different types of DIY projects, adding trees and shrubs came in 31st in the list of most regretted, meaning they didn’t regret doing it much at all. Designing a landscape came in 16th. The most regretted was installing tile floors.

• When it came to expectations, designing a landscape was in the top three for both the “physically harder” and “cost more” categories; i.e. it cost more and was harder to do than they thought it would be.

• For folks who were disappointed in their DIY project results, adding trees and shrubs was in the top three for the “disappointed because it didn’t hold up over time” category.

• When it comes to sources of guidance, YouTube videos were used by 65% of the respondents, while store clerks were consulted by just 20%.

How might these results change the way you engage with customers looking to do their own design work and plant installations? GP