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A Snapshot of Native Plant Growers In the U.S.

Thu, Apr 27th, 2023, created by Alicia L. Rihn

In 2022, I had the opportunity to dive deep into production factors that native plant growers use and how that compares to firms growing and selling non-native plants in the U.S. To set the stage, 4,641 U.S. growers participate in the study with 43% growing native plants and 57% growing non-native plants. Most growers were in the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, and Appalachian regions. We found that Northeast and Appalachian regions had higher portions of native plant growers than non-native plant growers. Interestingly, firms selling native plants use a more diverse set of sales channels (1.3 channels) and average number of plant types sold (4.6 plant types) than non-native plant sellers (0.7 sales channels, 2.0 plant types). Native plant sellers also had a larger portion of their business designated as wholesale and retail (42% wholesale, 27% retail) compared to non-native plant sellers (37% wholesale, 24% retail). But a smaller portion of their businesses were designated as landscape services (15.8% for native plant sellers, 21.2% for non-native plant sellers). Native plant growers also reported using a more diverse array of IPM strategies than non-native plant growers, which may reflect the broader range of plant species grown and their unique care requirements. Regarding plant types sold, non-native plant growers had a larger portion of their annual sales from annuals, flowering potted plants, foliage plants, and other plant types than native plant growers. Conversely, native plant growers had a higher portion of perennials, shade trees, evergreens, deciduous shrubs, and broad-leaf evergreen shrubs. To read the full report, please visit

About the Author:

Alicia L. Rihn

Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

Alicia has been at the University of Tennessee since July 2020. Her area of expertise is in marketing and consumer behavior with an emphasis on ornamental horticulture products. She also addresses niche markets, value-added ag, willingness-to-pay, and promotional strategies to encourage plant purchasing behavior. 

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