Thursday, December 1, 2016

IN(the)DOOR Houseplant Care

IN(the)DOOR Houseplant Care

Looking for an upward trend to start your new year with excitement? Look no further than indoor houseplants. Specifically, mini plants. Miniature plants are in, in a big way! They’re surging in popularity at retail in all forms—succulents, mini orchids, cyclamen, kalanchoes, gerberas, mini roses and more. It’s also one of the fastest growing segments for gift giving.
The fun of mini plants is accessible to everyone, novices and skilled green thumbs alike. Are you prepared to help your customer be successful with their new purchase when they get home and in the door?

Need-to-Know Care Instructions
Plant tags have improved considerably over the last 10 years or so, communicating plant-care basics much more clearly than they did in the past. Often, tags help a consumer understand the optimum conditions for their new plant (e.g., sun, shade or filtered sun) along with important guidance on watering. Watering direction may be the single most important component to plant survival: Underwatering a plant, especially indoors when the heat is turned up, takes a toll on plant health.
At times, however, tagging isn’t always available or isn’t noticed by the consumer. Be sure to supplement or reinforce variety-specific plant care information with in-store signage. Short bullet points are best, and legibility is key: signage should be easy to read from 4-6 feet away. Long-winded instructions are difficult to remember, and fine print is both challenging to read and easy to overlook. For consistency, have the same person write the messages on all of your plant-care signage.
If you have the resources, print on moisture-resistant cardstock to keep your signage looking great for a long time. Lamination is another option to block moisture.

Subtle Suggestions
Progressive retailers will position relevant products (i.e., plant foods) near the plant varieties at the point of decision, the plant bench. Products to feed and water their purchases should be close by. The proximity subtly encourages consumers to make a pairing that will enhance their success as well as your bottom line.
The most common objection to this strategy is that product packaging gets shop-worn or fatigued and, ultimately, thrown away or used in-store. There are ways to combat this in any greenhouse or store table. A display prop like a brightly painted crate that’s topped with a sheet of Plexiglas or polycarbonate can easily be placed with the plants to protect products from errant watering.
Another key selling addition is to stage a vinyl saucer display along return paths from the greenhouse to the registers. It’s another easy way to increase ticket sales!

The Newest Diets

The plant-fertilizer category for houseplants has undergone huge changes in packaging and product selection. Even the largest manufacturers in our industry can’t resist entering the mix. Espoma and Bonide have recently joined the race for shelf dominance with new houseplant foods and remedies. They’ve created moisture-proof, off-shelf displays; colorful, water-resistant packaging; easy-to-read labels and even unique chemistry. Espoma has developed organic indoor foods that contain natural proteins and beneficial microbes while minimizing salt build up. Jobe’s and Nature’s Source have also developed an organic water-soluble fertilizer product that’s OMRI-listed and is a unique performance alternative. With the continued emphasis of fresh, organic, and natural in marketing efforts, these products are welcomed additions to time-tested favorites like Jack’s Classic and Schultz. Take the time to explore new opportunities with indoor houseplants and keep in mind the four “P’s” for a great product launch: performance, package, promotion and placement!

This Month's Featured Products

Indoor! 2-2-2
No. 80030165-419

Buy Now

Violet! 1-3-1
No. 80030167-419

Buy Now

Jobe’s Organics®
Vegetable & Tomato 3-1-2
Water Soluble Fertilizer
No. 80180327-655

Buy Now

Jobe’s Organics®
Orchid 6-1-1
Water Soluble Fertilizer
No. 80180331-392

Buy Now

Jack's Classic
Houseplant Special 15-30-15
No. 80060007-425

Buy Now

Nature's Source
Organic Plant Food 3-1-1
No. 80610010-875

Buy Now

Liquid African Violet Plant Food
No. 80100797-257

Buy Now

Liquid Cactus Plant Food
No. 80100798-257

Buy Now

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Special Tweet: Dinner is Served!

When it’s finally too cold and/or snowy to go outside, winter still holds fantastic entertainment value in the form of wild birds. Turn your customers on to the delightful sights and sounds a wild-bird feeder can provide outside their window at home! With a bit of planning, nature can provide an enticing visual display and soothing soundtrack to take the edge off a chilly day for young and old alike.

Setting the table
Wild birds have three necessities for survival: food, water and protection. Consumers can assist them by providing extra food and water options at or near their homes.

Birding experts recommend that feeders be cleaned regularly to prevent diseases that are common among birds throughout the year. Some of the leading feeder manufacturers offer models with removable tops and/or bottoms for cleaning convenience. One of the best, Aspects, has a top-quality feeder that offers all the best features and a lifetime warranty.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology recommends feeders be cleaned every two weeks. Your customers don’t have to feel intimidated; let them know it’s easy to do:
  • Simply remove the feeder and soak in warm, soapy water.
  • Using rubber gloves, brush crevices and perches with a bristle brush. 
  • Mix a solution of one part household bleach and nine parts tap water, and pour it over the feeder to disinfect.
  • Allow the feeder to dry completely and refill with fresh, clean seed.

Most folks instinctively want to place bird feeders near their windows; educate your customers on how to lessen the risk of birds flying into clear window panes. Here are a couple of tips you can offer:
  • Apply some reflective tape on glass surfaces, or hang CD discs to break up birds’ sight lines
  • Position feeders within three feet of your home; doing so offers some good views and lessens the birds’ takeoff speed to impact with glass

Different bird species feed where they feel most comfortable. The most common way to hang a feeder is by suspending by a hook from a tree branch. The security of a tree is a huge benefit for birds from predators like cats and hawks. Surrounding shrubs can also offer protection and security. Many avid bird watchers use multiple feeders and foods to attract the greatest variety of bird species. These should be placed at various levels for best results.

What’s on the menu?
Birds require more protein and fat in their winter diets to maintain warmth and energy levels. The most commonly sold fuel for birds is black oil sunflower seed. Meaty seed offerings provide some oil content and lots of protein. Lyric Delight is a hullfree, waste-free bird food that features a mixture of five high-quality seeds and nuts like pumpkin seed, pecan pieces, sunflower hearts, pistachio chunks and shelled peanuts. These meatier seeds are fantastic for wild birds in winter! Another solid favorite is Coles Special Feeder food. It features a mixture of black oil sunflower, sunflower meats, striped sunflower, raw peanuts, pecans and safflower.

You may also consider stocking another homeowner favorite -- suet -- to your bird-feed assortment. Pine Tree Farms is a New York-based company that offers some of the finest suet products available. High quality seeds, grains, peanuts and their time-tested rendered beef kidney-fat formula, make their selections unmatched in variety and a consumer favorite.

Party crashers and unwanted guests
We’ve all experienced unexpected guests to arrive for dinner at some point in our lives.
The common gray squirrel is one of the busiest creatures during the fall, gathering acorns and other foods, and burying them everywhere imaginable. Yet, they’re still drawn to bird feeders like a magnet. Thankfully, you can offer several alternatives for customers who didn’t invite squirrels to their backyard party.

Squirrel baffles are worthy complements to any feeder offering; styles exist for mounting both above and below bird feeders. Squirrel-proof feeders are another option for consumers. Brome is a splendid manufacturer of great squirrelproof feeders and a top choice of consumers nationwide.

Pepper-coated feeds turn up the heat for squirrels, but they won’t bother the birds. Cole’s offers three outstanding foods like Hot Meats, Cajun Cardinal and Blazing Hot Blend, all of which offer a 100% natural and chemical-free liquid habanero chili pepper coating to spice things up a bit.

Eat, drink and feel merry
Wild birds occasionally have some difficulty sourcing water when outdoor temperatures turn truly frigid. Help your customers keep a steady flow of feathered friends by offering small water heater elements to install in their bird baths. Another unique item is the antique-looking Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer from Perky Pet. The birds will appreciate the steady and easy access to fresh liquid refreshment!

Stock up and save promotion
Restock or expand your wild-bird department with these great products from Griffin, now available at special prices to help you heat up your sales during the cool season!

Quick-Clean Tubular Feeders

Offers a simple solution to keeping feeders clean. Convenient removable base without the need of tools even with   seed tray attached. Constructed of heavyduty zinc die cast components, UV stabilized polycarbonate tube, and stainless steel hardware. Small 3⁄4 qt. cap, Medium 11⁄4 qt. cap, Large 13⁄4 qt. cap.
AB - Antique Brass
S - Spruce
BN - Brushed Nickel

Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80480043-2049 Small AB 026451123945 394 6/1 $34.49
80480044-2484 Medium AB 026451123952 395 6/1 $41.49
80480056-2484 Medium S 026451124249 424 6/1 $41.49
80480037-2111 Small BN 026451123914 391 6/1 $35.49
80480038-2608 Medium BN 026451123921 392 6/1 $43.49
80480039-3229 Large BN 026451123938 393 6/1 $53.99


The X1, squirrel-proof bird feeder, features a metal sliding sleeve that closes all ports simultaneously when a squirrel's weight is applied to any perch or the roof.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
81210001-2381 4.2 lb. 815562011100 11 4/1 $39.99

Special Feeder™

This unique mix is a high energy treat for many birds. Cole's most popular blend because it attracts the greatest number of wild birds than any other mix out there. Plus woodpeckers absolutely love the pecans.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80370005-713 5 lb. 751478100333 SF05 6/6 $10.99
80370006-1348 10 lb. 751478100340 SF10 4/4 $19.99
80370007-2532 20 lb. 751478100357 SF20 2/2 $37.99

Blazing Hot Blend™

100% all natural, chemical free way to increase the number of birds visiting your feeder. It combines a patented habanero chili oil formula with the most preferred seeds of backyard songbirds. Woodpeckers, grosbeaks, buntings, cardinals, chickadees, bluebirds, gold finches, and more find this mix irresistible.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80370051-870 5 lb. 751478102535 BH05 6/6 $12.99
80370052-1662 10 lb. 751478102542 BH10 4/4 $24.99

Squirrel Buster Classic™

The Squirrel Buster Classic feeder is guaranteed squirrel proof! Clinging and perching birds have easy access to the food ports that are aligned with the wire shroud. Dismantles for easy cleaning.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80430002-3328 1.4 qt. 628209010158 1015 2/1 $55.49

Delite High Protein Wild Bird Mix

Many people are reluctant to feed wild birds during the warm months because the bird seed germinates and causes weeds. Bird food shells make decks, patios and lawns unsightly. This mix is waste-free, messfree and weed-free. It's also a great value, because you don�t pay for the shells. Ingredients: Shelled Peanuts, Sunfl ower Kernels, Pecans, Pistachios, and Shelled Pumpkin Seeds.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80350149-834 5 lb. 088685190674 26-47403 8/8 $13.99
80350150-2915 20 lb. 088685472916 26-47407 100/1 $48.99

Birdwatchers Best - Nutty Butter Suet

Ingredients: Rendered Beef Suet, Fine Cracked Corn, Chopped Peanuts.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80450024-099 11 oz. 748884020126 2012 12/12 $1.79

Birdwatchers Best - Superior Blend Suet

Ingredients: Rendered Beef Suet, Fine Cracked Corn, White Millet, Chopped Peanuts.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail

Seed & Suet Cake Hanging Feeders

Holds large and small suet and seed cakes. Made with vinyl coated wire.
Large: 8.25" x 3" x 7"
Small: 5" x 4.75" x 1.75"
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80450088-450 12 oz. (Lg.) 748884014514 1451 12/12 $7.49
80450089-142 8 oz. (Sm.) 748884014552 1455 8/8 $2.49

Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer

Offers fresh, clean water to attract a larger variety of birds while adding a rustic look to any bird lover's yard. The blue color of this bottle is reminiscent of vintage blue glass canning jars used in the 1800's.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80191103-1223 1 qt. cap. 078978515079 783 2/2 $20.49

Going Green Deluxe Bamboo Feeders

Built with naturally durable bamboo. Resistant to weather, squirrels, and insects. Removable powder coated metal screen for drainage and easy cleaning. Hinged roof for easy filling. Environmentally friendly and an ultimate renewable resource.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80440260-1931 No Cages 047977011073 RANCHB1 4/4 $32.49
80440261-2574 Suet Cages 047977011080 RANCHB2 2/2 $42.99

Promo Bird Bath

This durable bird bath is 25" high and the bowl is 17" in diameter. Two piece construction allows for top fill of sand or gravel for added weight. Comes with 3 set screws.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80920788-982 White 811214020773 270-10 6/6 $16.49
80920789-982 Peppercorn 811214020780 270-60 6/6 $16.49

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Different Kind of Protection: Moisture Control

At this point in the year, fall bulbs should be at the ready, with soil turned and prepared for planting. But wait, there’s one additional step to ensure spring plants survive and bloom. Moisture control is something we don’t typically think about before winter, but readily see the need once spring arrives. Plants undergo tremendous extremes in many areas of the country, especially where winter winds and temperatures fluctuate.

The main cause of winter damage to trees and shrubs is through desiccation, or drying out. When the ground freezes, plant roots are unable to take up water from the soil, so they quickly begin to use up all the water stored in their leaves and stems. Plants that don’t drop their leaves or needles are vulnerable to this condition. Summer, like the one we just experienced in 2016 with dry conditions and oppressive heat, will stress plants including their moisture uptake.

An anti-transpirant is a product that helps reduce moisture loss due to windburn, transplant shock, drought and winterkill. In regions where winter is particularly harsh, two applications are recommended in November or December, and again in February when daytime temperatures are suitable for spraying.

One of the most recognized products of this type is called Wilt-Pruf. It’s been sold commercially and nationally at retail for more than 60 years. This plant protector is an anti-transpirant that produces a film to prevent wilting. The all-natural formula is made of pine-tree resin and water. Most anti-desiccants are marketed as biodegradable, although not all are using natural ingredients. A chemical compound known as Moisturin is used in other popular treatments. It’s a polymer that binds to plants and provides a coating that protects against evaporation.

During the holiday season, many retailers stock and sell the ready-to-use formula of Wilt-Pruf to spray and treat live evergreens and garlands used for exterior decorating. In areas of the country where ball-and-burlap (live) Christmas trees are sold, consumers may elect to spray well in advance of bringing their tree indoors.

As an alternative to sprays, to protect plants from losing moisture, consumers may opt to wrap their tender plants with burlap affixed to hardwood or steel stakes surrounding their plant(s). This will cut down on winter winds that can penetrate and damage plant life. Roses are also protected by placing Warp’s Rose Collars over canes that are slightly reduced or trimmed to allow fitting close to the ground. Many rosarians will mound fresh mulch or dirt 4-5 inches above the tender bud union (the point from where the canes sprout) on the rose prior to installing rose collars or burlap protection.
Remind your retail customers to think about their moisture-protection needs before winter arrives, and teach them about its importance. Then, they can relax and read the Old Farmer’s Almanac during the winter months and start dreaming big for spring.   

This Month's Featured Products

Anti Transpirant

The safe way to reduce moisture loss when plants are under water stress due to winter kill, windburn, transplant shock and drought. Dries to form a clear and flexible protective coating. Organic, biodegradable, non-toxic and non-hazardous. Wilt-Pruf is a long-lasting (3 to 4 months) film forming polymer.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80380001-950 32 oz. RTU 035951070000 WILT- PRUF 07000 12/12 $15.99
80380002-1142 16 oz. Con. 035951070079 WILT- PRUF 07007 12/12 $18.99
80380003-1867 32 oz. Con. 035951070093 WILT-PRUF 07009 12/12 $30.99
80380004-5825 1 gal. Con. 035951070116 WILT-PRUF 07011 4/4 $96.99

Bulk Hardwood Stakes

Kiln-dried for straight stakes which provides extra strength. Pencil sharpened. Ideal for trees, shrubs, vines, tomatoes and vegetables.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80340080-207 2'x1/2"x1/2" 035355920062 92006 6/6 $3.49
80340080-207 3'x1/2"x1/2" 035355930061 93506 6/6 $5.49
80340082-615 4'x3/4"x3/4" 035355940060 94006 6/6 $9.99
80340083-787 5'x3/4"x3/4" 035355950069 95006 6/6 $12.99

Heavy Bamboo Stakes

Bamboo stakes are all natural, strong, lightweight, inexpensive, weather well and last several seasons in the garden. Use these stakes as plant stakes and markers, or as supports for potted plants. Comes in a retail poly bag.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80340016-332 4' 035355004403 440HD 40/40 $5.49
80340020-387 5' 035355005400 540HD 40/40 $6.49
80340025-425 6' 035355006407 640HD 40/40 $6.99

Rose Collars

For winter protection of rosebushes. White color and open top reflect sun and stop heat build-up to prevent premature sprouting in spring. Snaps around rosebush base. Easy to remove and store flat so that they last for years. Three collars in a colorful display package.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80240014-444 9"x12" 042351471108 RC 12/12 $7.49

Old Farmer's Almanac

Counter display. Recognized for generations by its familiar yellow cover, America's best-loved annual and oldest continuously published periodical (now in its 224th year!) promises to be useful, with a pleasant degree of humor, once again fulfilling both the mission set forth by its founder, Robert B. Thomas, and readers' expectations. This edition is packed with wit, wisdom, tips, advice, facts, fun, recipes and much more.
Item # Desc UPC Vendor CS/UOS Retail
80460001-494 2016 014021025331 1024 24/24 $6.99

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall-filling Sales Opportunities Await!

Fall is here! Turning the calendar page to September seems to happen quickly. We look forward to the harvest, back to school, football, tailgating and, believe it or not, some more gardening. Are you ready for some very fast-paced customers? Have you proactively stocked your store with seasonal goods that will sell “fast and furious” when consumers venture in, once or twice more before Christmas?

While some retailers think of fall as the stepping stone to Christmas and holiday sales, many others consider it to be the end of the season. Time to close up shop and relax. But, for those still open for business, Griffin has many products to stock up and sell (and, of course, save using our Retail Expo show book for their immediate orders!) Spoiler alert: Your season doesn’t have to be over!

The Lawn

This year was one of the more oppressive on record for temperatures and higher humidity in many regions. The lawn took a beating with disease, weeds and slowed growth. Those homeowners who wanted to conserve on their watering (by choice or by mandate) saw their lawns dry up and go dormant. Renovation should be one area that many homeowners will to perform on their lawns in September and October.

A good place to start is by testing the pH of the soil, and adjusting acidic soils upwards with lime. Thatch build-up happens when grass dies or as a characteristic of Kentucky bluegrass-type lawns. If a customer is interested in re-seeding, advise them to consider dethatching; removing the layer of thatch ensures good seed-to-soil contact for germination success. Fertilizing the lawn in the fall helps grass establish sturdy roots and provides needed re-nourishment prior to winter.

Fall is for Planting

Fall isn’t just great for the lawn; it’s prime time for planting trees and shrubs, too! Great buys are often available on leftover stock. These plantings benefit from cooler weather; root systems can still stretch out and become well established during the run-up to winter. Newly planted trees will need a good planting medium, mulch and, likely, a tree stake kit.

Some garden centers have reduced their bulb offerings in recent years, but I encourage you to think twice before giving up on this category. Consumers still value the first signs of spring with crocus, daffodil and tulips in their yards. Your display should include planting basics like bulb food and bulb planters. Customers with dogs or other digging animals in close proximity may also require a repellant to spread across the topsoil.

Of course, the success of a customer’s new planting is only as good as his or her planting know-how. Use signage or staff near your display to educate on the basics of soil preparation, planting depth and plant care. Planting depth for bulbs, for example, is generally 2½ times the bulb’s size.

Indoor Greens

Indoor gardening through the winter continues to be on-trend, thanks to lifestyle networks like HGTV and the Cooking Channel, as well as healthy-cooking programming on other channels. Windowsill herbs, in particular, are very popular; they can also drive impulse sales. Fall is a perfect time to plant up indoor herbs and watch them develop in sunny, brightly lit areas of the home.

Some homeowners also begin bringing tropical plants into their homes at this time of year, to protect them until spring returns. Give them a hand with supplies such as dormant oil and houseplant insecticide (e.g., Merit) to prevent unwanted pests from migrating indoors, too. Supplement your product offer with tips for trimming and repotting tropicals. Fall is also prime time for houseplants, as consumers look to liven up their indoor spaces for the winter. Don’t forget to restock your vinyl saucer display and order up your trunk mat liners.

There’s still plenty of time (and daylight) for consumers to make lawn and garden purchases before winter! We should be at the ready to fulfill those needs when they come calling.

This Month's Featured Products

Scram For Dogs™

Train dogs to keep out of your garden, bushes and yard the environmentally safe, naturally organic way. This unique organic formula provides strong, natural repelling power that trains dogs to stay away from these areas around your home without harming people, pets or the environment.
Type UOS CS No. Price
3.5 lb 6 6 80580019 $10.71

Organic Seed Starter

A rich, premium blend of sphagnum peat moss, peat humus and perlite that has been enriched with Myco-tone®. For all seedling and cuttings. Promotes root growth and improves moisture retention.
Type UOS CS No. Price
16 qt. 5 120 80030097 $5.33

Fall Magic™ Mixture

A rich, premium blend of sphagnum peat moss, peat humus and perlite that has been enriched with Myco-tone®. For all seedling and cuttings. Promotes root growth and improves moisture retention.
Type UOS CS No. Price
3 lb. 15 15 81430033 $10.85
7 lb. 7 7 81430034 $24.78
25 lb. 1 1 81430035 $59.39

Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer 10-0-20

Fall and winter feeding formula keeps your lawn greener later into the year. Provides a well balanced formula, ideal for winter turf protection. Iron, sulfur and 30% slow release nitrogen help to keep the lawn a deepgreen color. A true fall/winter formula that promotes root growth and stores nutrients for the spring. Contains humates for root development. Ideal to use with a fall seeding.
Type UOS CS No. Price
5M 1 1 81430005 $13.71
15M 1 1 81430107 $34.26

Systemic Houseplant Insect Control

No odor, easy to use granules provides insect control for up to eight weeks. Contains the active ingredient imidacloprid (Merit)
Type UOS CS No. Price
8 oz. 12 12 80100043 $4.18

Spring Brace Rake

Fan-shaped head combines flexible tines with durability of metal. Stress distribution bar that prevents tines from twisting or breaking when pressed on. Coated frame and tines resist rust. 54" Long wood handle.
Type UOS CS No. Price
24" 6 12 81380048 $12.51

Trunk Liners

Protects seats and trunks from dirt and water. Printer with Guide for Plant Care & Insect Control. 33"x44", 500 sheets to a roll.
Type UOS CS No. Price
500pc 1 1 80330001 $208.00

Clear Plastic Saucers

Protects surfaces from water leaks and stains. Interior ridges keeps plant from sitting in pool of water. Keeps your plant roots healthy. Ideal for use with round planters.
Type UOS CS No. Price
4" 25 25 80340053 $0.12
5" 25 25 80340054 $0.17
6" 25 25 80340055 $0.19
7" 25 25 80340056 $0.23
8" 25 25 80340057 $0.28
10" 25 25 80340058 $0.40
12" 25 25 80340059 $0.60
14" 25 25 80340060 $0.85
17" 25 25 80340061 $1.18
21" 25 25 80340062 $2.09