LSU AgCenter's Super Plants Program - Pro Landscaper Magazine USA

LSU AgCenter’s Super Plants Program

by | Jun 9, 2020 | Featured Slider, Horticulture, Plants

The Louisiana Super Plants program is an LSU AgCenter educational campaign that identifies superior plant material for Louisiana landscapes. Prior to inclusion into the program, Louisiana Super Plants have undergone rigorous trials at multiple locations across the state as well as being vetted and approved by the Louisiana horticulture industry. As such, Louisiana Super Plants are considered to be university-tested, industry-approved.

The Louisiana Super Plants program was initially funded in 2009 by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. In the years since, the program has become a hit across the state, becoming a mainstay at many educational sessions, trade shows, nurseries and garden centers throughout the state of Louisiana. The program benefits are multi-faceted, supporting Louisiana’s green industry and consumers alike. Louisiana Super Plants provide consumers with valuable information as to plant material selection, in order to ensure that purchases will thrive, provide continued aesthetics, and maintain that “fresh-look” through superior plant materials. Highlighting the latest-and-greatest plant materials and trends keeps consumers buying and satisfied with purchases. This in turn benefits multiple sectors of the green industry, from the wholesale nursery, to the retail garden center, to landscape contractors.

Pentas

One of the biggest dilemmas experienced by ornamental producers is what to grow. Unlike other commodities, nursery and greenhouse growers must predict from countless new and ever-changing varieties, cultivars and hybrids. Deciding what will come into style for the upcoming season and which will sell can make or break a season. Most growers have limited production capacity regardless of relative size, albeit some operations have much larger limits than others. Nobody can grow everything. As such, critical decisions must be made as to which varieties to produce and which will sell well in the upcoming seasons. Ornamental plant material is rarely pre-sold or contracted, and unsold material is often discarded due to lifecycle windows to sell many of our ornamental crops. Unsold materials can be a costly financial issue that many nurseries experience. A major aspect of the Louisiana Super Plants program is to provide the nurseries with a way to “hedge their bets,” as Louisiana Super Plants can provide insight as to some growing options, before the gamble must be made. Many local nurseries often see increased sales associated with newly selected Louisiana Super Plants for the year, and inclusion of material into the program is followed with reports of increased sales throughout the state. This is due to promotions creating targeted demand from the consumer, and allows the producer to build the supply. This demand also benefits retail nurseries and garden centers directly, as the program promote interest in new plants and renewing landscapes and gardens. Finally, landscape contractors benefit from the Louisiana Super Plant program through knowledge and satisfaction. Landscape contractors can choose Louisiana Super Plants for clientele and feel assured that the plant will thrive in the landscape. Moreover, customers have expressed high levels of satisfaction with landscapes containing Louisiana Super Plants. 

Taxodium

One of the primary goals of the Louisiana Super Plant program is to connect multiple sectors of the green industry. Growers, landscape professionals, landscape architects and retail operations can stay informed on new and superior plant material for the state, while promoting and renewing interest in public horticulture.

Jeb Fields is an Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist with the LSU AgCenter at the Hammond Research Station. Louisiana Super Plants are now part of the Certified Louisiana marketing program promoting local agriculture. For more information on Louisiana Super Plants, please visit www.LSUAgCenter.com/SuperPlants or contact Dr. Jeb Fields, JSFields@agcenter.lsu.edu. 

Our Latest Issue

May/Jun issue

Sponsors

Pin It on Pinterest