Maintain A Great Pond Plant

pond plant

How to maintain a great pond plant retail display.

A simple pond display area can be established without a great deal of cost or effort.

What will you need to sell aquatic plants?

  • A suitable display area
  • Waterproof, display tables for the plants
  • Clear helpful point of sale signage and information
  • Healthy plants and a good supply of water
  • Some knowledge of the plants that perform well in your region

Retailers

The Display for Retailers

Keep your display area simple so that it is easy to maintain.

A practical display area can be composed only of plastic tubs containing plants, but even this can resemble an aquatic garden with a little imagination.

The best site for an aquatic plant display is an open area away from trees and shade, with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight that is ideally protected from strong wind. However, keep in mind that shallow pools in direct sunlight all day can overheat and are more prone to algae blooms. Buildings on site can provide some shade.

In order to sell a collection of aquatic plants, present them in a suitable display

table. Large rectangular displays can be purchased or made from landscape timbers, with either black liners or plastic trays. Stock tanks made of galvanized metal with similar trays may also be used.

It is essential that all trays have suitable drainage holes, as changing the water on a regular basis not only helps the plants flourish, but also keeps your display looking clean and tidy. Flooding the benches overnight and draining during the morning helps reduce algae and keeps plant pots cleaner for longer.

The use of the above type of trays also means your display is mobile rather than fixed, allowing you to utilise the space for the sale of different goods at other times in the year.

The plants

The plants themselves are split into 5 main types:

Margin and Damp ground grow at the very edge of the water
Oxygenators grow in deeper water and release oxygen into the pond
Water liliesprefer deeper water
Floating aquaticshelp maintain water clarity
Moisture loving, fernsthrive in partially shaded, damp ground and primulas at pond edges

Our advice is to buy little and often. This reduces the work involved in maintaining your display and ensures more colour, more often, during the season.

On receipt of the plants, remove them from the plastic outer tray and place them in your display in a tidy, uniform manner, with all the labels neatly facing the front. It is imperative the plants do not dry out. Keep the taller plants at the back and smaller ones to the front.

1 litre and 3 litre plants are the most popular as they are generally more established. They come in their own aquatic basket which can be placed straight into any water feature.

Our 5 litre and even 10 litre plants are becoming more popular as they provide a more ‘instant’ visual result and have the ‘wow now’ factor. These larger sized plants will also act as ‘living adverts’ to your overall display, showing your customers what to expect of their plants in future years.

The smaller 9cm plants come in a solid pot and will need to be re-potted by your customers into an aquatic mesh basket. You will therefore need to provide suitable pots and soil for your customers to purchase with their young plants in order for them to thrive.

Water lilies need to be placed in a deeper display container, allowing for deeper, cooler water. Oxygenators similarly, will prefer deeper water.

Point of sale

boards, information and helpful sundries.

Our point of sale material gives an informative, professional touch to your display and help guide your customers on which plants to choose, making self-selection easy and reducing questions for your staff to answer.

  • Eye-catching story boards attract your clients to your display
  • Lower level mini story boards for the front of your display. These help to promote top sellers and inform your customers about which plants are best for their pond
  • Informative labelling, including planting and care instructions for your customer, reducing after sales queries
  • Handles on the lily baskets are in various colours, denoting the colour of the flower that will be produced. (The flower may not always be visible in the early part of the season)
  • Marginal and Lily bags are available to wrap plants at the display area, to avoid potential water spillage. (A ‘Grab and Go’ option is also available)
  • Aquatic baskets in a variety of shapes and sizes are available. These will allow your customers to repot plants as desired
  • Aquatic compost (20 litre bags) to fill the above pots as necessary
  • Pond clear – Barley straw – keeps water clearer for longer

Barcode information is provided for your EPOS system. All plants are individually coded per size and variety. This also enables you to monitor sales of plant and size specifics.

UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE

Periodically, plants will need to be trimmed and divided. Yellow, sickly foliage should be removed on a regular basis to avoid a build-up of organic material in the water. Regularly inspect the crowns of aquatic plants for signs of overcrowding. Smaller flowers and foliage indicate the need for division. Root-bound plants also need to be divided on a recurring basis. All plants can be overwintered and come with trimming instructions. This is where ordering little and often comes into its own as a quicker turnover of plants reduces the upkeep.

MARKETING AQUATICS

Early spring and summer are the busiest time for sales of water garden products, (although this will be more specifically dependant on spring weather and your geographical location.)

Many customers say that offering deals on multiple purchases is a great winner. For example, if you sell a 3litre marginal at £12.99, offering 2 for £24 or three for £35 is often a great way to sell more. You will know your own price points best of course. These are merely suggestions.

aquatic plants

Other Successful Strategies And Tips For Selling Aquatic Plants

1. Link your summer sales to the aquatic garden: grasses, heat-loving annuals, and summer perennials can be displayed in or near the aquatic area. These plants offer a balance between land and water plants in the homeowner’s garden.

2. Provide a repotting service to your water garden customers. This service can include new containers, soil, slow release fertilizer, and gravel.

3. You may also decide to stock some hard goods related to aquatic gardening. Pots, whiskey barrels, fountains and bird baths may add to your overall display, but care should be taken in adding too much to your inventory, especially at the outset.

4. If you are lucky enough to have a large water feature or pond on site, plant it up knowing it will provide a dazzling display advertising your plants.