Petunia set to boost QVC's plant sales with exclusive launch

A new plant branded a "world first" is set to help a TV shopping channel strengthen its hold on the bedding plant retail market this spring.

Petunia 'Tidal Wave': set for sale on TV. Credit: QVC
Petunia 'Tidal Wave': set for sale on TV. Credit: QVC

Sky, Freeview and Virgin TV channel QVC will release the first climbing petunia, called 'Tidal Wave', for sale on 21 March. QVC reported record horticultural sales in 2007 - selling eight million plants - which it plans to exceed this year.

QVC presenter Richard Jackson said big-name nurseries were "queuing up" to sell their plants on TV. "QVC's growth in the gardening sector has been phenomenal. It's because we're offering something for every type of gardener," he said.

To meet demand, the channel will exclusively offer 25,000 plant packs of Petunia 'Tidal Wave', each containing 15 plug plants of three varieties. The packs, set to retail at £11.96, also contain a new fertiliser and moisture-retaining gel.

The TV channel is targeting consumers by marketing the plant, which can climb up to 5m, as resistant to summer storms. The silver type included in the packs has won a Fleuroselect Quality Mark and All America Selections award.

Jackson added: "P. 'Tidal Wave' is a special hybrid. It works as a ground cover plant, too, but will form pyramids of colour on patios."

It is not the first time QVC has launched a novelty plant on TV. Its release of the world's first yellow geranium in 2006 saw all 17,000 plants sell out within minutes.

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