Retail plants

A guide to species and cultivars of popular plants for retail in garden centres, with supplier's tips on how to use and sell them.

Malus transitoria

Hardy Plant Focus: Crab apple (Malus) — star billing for showy fruits

Crab apples should have star billing in their own right because they often give them one more season of interest and provide nourishment for birds and other wildlife in autumn and winter.

Magnolia 'Royal Purple'

Hardy Plant Focus: Magnolia — large-flowered hybrids for the garden

This is a genus that contains unarguably some of the most beautiful shrubs and trees, in terms of both flowers and fragrance, that we are blessed with being able to grow in our temperate UK climate.

Dahlia 'Jomanda'

Dahlia

Dahlias are back in fashion, come in a multitude of shades and offer retailers a double hit, writes Sally Drury.

R. idaeus ‘Malling Jewel’ - credit all images: Floramedia database

Rubus idaeus

The health benefits of raspberries make these very popular plants an ideal choice for retailers, according to Sally Drury.


T. ‘Zurel’ - credit all images: Floramedia

Tulipa

Tulips offer a vast variety of flower colours from February through to May and command attention, says Sally Drury

R. hirta ‘Toto Rustic - all images: Floramedia

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia is a star of ?garden borders and patio containers.

D. ‘Camelot Lavender’ - credit: Floramedia

Digitalis

Foxgloves are easy to grow and produce tall spikes of flowers that are magnets for pollinators, writes Sally Drury.

M. ‘Heaven Scent’ - all pictures credit: © Floramedia Database

Magnolia

Good pictorial labelling and effective use of point-of-sale material is crucial for these showy flowers, says Sally Drury.

C. mas ‘Jolico’ - all images: Floramedia

Cornus

This diverse and ornamental genus presents opportunities for retailers as well as landscapers, writes Sally Drury.

M. ‘Evereste’ - all images: Floramedia

Malus

An abundance of spring blossom ensures flowering crab apple trees’ reputation as jewels of the landscape, notes Sally Drury.

Malus domestica 'Granny Smith' - all images credit: Floramedia Picture Library

Malus domestica

Apple trees’ wide variety of fruit and splendid flower displays should appeal to new gardeners, Sally Drury suggests.

C. × durandii - all images: Floramedia

Late-flowering Clematis

With stunning displays lasting until late autumn, now is an ideal time to promote these colourful gems, Sally Drury advises.

Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ - all images: Floramedia

Dwarf Narcissus

These well-loved flowers can help to sustain passion for growing that built up during lockdown, Sally Drury suggests.

C. ‘Waterlily’ - all images: Floramedia

Colchicum

These autumn wonders produce colourful flowers that make for a sensational display, says Sally Drury.

Hebe albicans - all images: Floramedia

Hebe

These plants are enjoyed for their dense spikes, panicles or racemes of flowers and for their foliage, writes Sally Drury.

Dianthus 'Pink Kisses' - all images: Floramedia Database

Dianthus

A impressive variety of shapes and shades makes these plants popular in the garden as well as for floristry, writes Sally Drury.

Pelargonium Tango Neon Purple - all images: Floramedia

Zonal pelargoniums

These essential plants for a showstopping border or container bear vibrant flowers all through summer, writes Sally Drury.

Alstroemeria mix - all images: Floramedia

Alstroemeria

These exotic flowers are easy to grow and produce dazzling displays in borders and patio containers, writes Sally Drury.

Dahlia mix - image: Floramedia

Summer-flowering bulbs

September-to-October is an accepted part of the gardening year for bulb planting, and many of these are for the heralds of spring — the crocus, the narcissi or the tulip.


Heuchera sanguinea - all images: Floramedia

Heuchera

Year-round colour and neat clumps of foliage make these perennials very marketable, says Miranda Kimberley.

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ - all images: Floramedia

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are beautiful shrubs that grace many gardens in the UK. They are easy to grow and can provide a variety of flower head shapes and colours.

Spathiphyllum 'Petite' - all images: Floramedia

Spathiphyllum

The air-purifying ability of the peace lily has been widely marketed to generate more sales, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Carex comans ‘Frosted Curls’ - all images: Floramedia

Carex

Evergreen grasses and sedges provide year-round structure and move with the wind, Miranda Kimberley writes.

Disporum cantoniense - all images: Flickr

Disporum

These elegant woodland plants produce leafy green stems and bell-shaped flowers, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Purpusii’ - all images: Floramedia

Tradescantia

These unfussy plants offer a welcome splash of colour in the garden or as a houseplant, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Trollius x cultorum 'Lemon Queen' - all images: Floramedia

Trollius

With their papery blooms, these popular perennials are a welcome addition to borders, says Miranda Kimberley.

R. pinnata - image: Floramedia database

Rodgersia

These versatile plants are described as 'bombproof' and 'wonderfully unfussy', Miranda Kimberley finds.

V. phoeniceum mix - all images: Floramedia

Verbascum

Fantastic spikes of flowers bring height, structure and colour to the garden border, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Agapanthus 'Liliput' - all images: Floramedia

Agapanthus

These exotic plants are easy to grow and a great addition to any garden in pots, beds or borders, says Miranda Kimberley.

Potentilla fruticosa ‘Daydawn’- image: Floramedia

Potentilla

These easy-to-grow plants provide a vibrant set of flower colours from hots to pastels, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Nemesia strumosa mix - all images: Floramedia

Nemesia

With their bright blooms and nice petals these plants look like a bedding version of orchids, says Miranda Kimberley.

S. cineraria ‘Silver Dust’ - all images: Floramedia

Senecio

This diverse genus offers varieties that work well inside as well as outdoors in many sizes, says Miranda Kimberley.

Anemone × hybrida ‘Königin Charlotte’ - all images: Floramedia

Anemone

These uncomplicated plants produce beautiful flowers for most of the growing season, says Miranda Kimberley.

Helleborus orientalis hybrids - all images: Floramedia

Helleborus

Customers keep coming back for these strong plants that offer colour when it is most needed, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Corrie’s Gold’ - all images: Floramedia

Gaura

These robust plants can repeat flower from April to October and nice foliage adds interest, says Miranda Kimberley.

A. amellus ‘King George’ - all images: Floramedia

Aster

Brightening up gardens in autumn, these daisies are seen as a gem in the gardener's arsenal, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Astrantia major - all images: Floramedia

Astrantia

Customers can be confident that these hardy, easy-to-grow plants will return the following year, Miranda Kimberley finds.