Christmas, catering and gifts helped Garden Centre Association (GCA) members to keep numbers respectable, but sales of plants and sundries as well as houseplants all suffered.
GCA chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "Not as many have been planting so they have been buying for Christmas instead. People are wanting to spread the cost by buying early."
Section September 2010 Year to date
Outdoor plants Down 10% Down 1%
Houseplants Down 7% Down 9%
Seeds and bulbs Down 2.65%
Sundries Down 8% No change
Furniture and barbecues Down 2.5% Up 4%
Pets and aquatics Down 0.5%
Gifts Up 3%
Christmas Up 19.5%
Hard landscaping Down 17% Down 7.5%
Foodhall Down 3%
Clothing Up 5.5%
Overall Down 4% Up 1.25%