Tropical plants and succulents see 300% sales increase at garden centre

Burford Garden Company in Oxfordshire says it has seen a 300% increase in sales of tropical and succulent plants.

Succulents and tropical plants featured on the Hartley Botanic/Longview Design stand at last week's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, built by the Outdoor Room.

RHS-endorsed supplier Hartley Botanic's Victorian Grand Lodge glasshouse featured architectural tropical and subtropical species. Airplants, palms, bananas, Gloriosa vine and Stephanotis were featured, also large foliage "exotic" houseplants such as Ficus lyrata and "cheese plants".

Hartley Botanic's Grange greenhouse featured edible plants, illustrating the possible influence of this year's supermarket vegetable shortages on a 25% year-on-year uplift in 'grow your own' at Burford.

The Westminster greenhouse has herbs in it reflecting an 18% increase in herb plant sales this year, attributed, in part, to the UK's warming climate and use by TV chefs.

Hartley Botanic's Opus glasshouse is filled with orchids. Sales of the plants have grown over the last 5 years, including a 25% uplift in the last year.

Paphiopedilum slipper orchid as well as the South American Zygopetalum and Masdevallia species feature.

Hartley Botanic managing director Tom Barry said: "We wanted the plantings on our trade stand this year to reflect the plants and themes that are most popular for modern greenhouse owners and also to suggest the diverse ways in which greenhouses are actually used.

"A greenhouse can of course be an extremely practical tool providing fresh fruit and vegetables all year round but can also provide a way to indulge a very specific plant collecting passion - whether orchids or air plants."

Burford Garden Company horticulture director Glen Sheldrake added: "At Burford Garden Company we have seen a growing trend for plants that can be grown under glass. Herbs and vegetables of course remain hugely popular but interestingly we have seen a sharp increase in the sale of Orchids and tropical plants." 

Greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic wins the 5 Star Tradestand award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. Left to right: Tom Barry Managing Director of Hartley Botanic, Glen Sheldrake Horticulture Director of Burford Garden Company, Joe Perkins Co-Director of Longview Design and Martin Toogood Chairman of Hartley Botanic

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