The Downs and Ups of Houseplants

Ellen C. Wells

Recently, I asked about your top-selling houseplants as part of some research for the May issue. Gary Hunter of Gary’s Specialty Plants in Drumore, Pennsylvania, wrote in with his 10 top sellers for 2019. Those are:

• String of Dolphins
• Chinese Money Plant (pictured)
• String of Peas Senecio
• Peperomia Raindrop
• Aloe
• Peperomia Hope
• String of Hearts
• Blue Job’s Tears
• Neanthe Bella Palm
• Watermelon Peperomia

Gary grows these as 2.5-in. pots and sells them wholesale to upscale IGCs and e-commerce outlets.

What’s selling now? Not a heck of a lot, Gary said (at the beginning of May). Business dropped off when the stay-at-home orders began nationwide. That’s especially true of the brick-and-mortar customers. His online customers have the problem of not being able to keep up with demand, so those have been his major orders. Once garden retailers open to (socially distanced) foot traffic, Gary suspects those houseplant sales will pick back up. Houseplants are different from a flat of pansies, after all. Folks like to touch them, gauge the size and all the rest. They’ll be housemates with the houseplants, after all. GP