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How Garden Centers Vary Region to Region

April 08, 2015

Did you know that The Home Depot Garden Center merchants work with growers over a year in advance to determine what plants will be available in your local store? And while a quick glance around reveals a wide variety of live goods for the picking, there’s a lot that goes into determining what products are available in your aisles.

Merchants work hard to make your Garden Center specialized to your specific region. While some gardening goods thrive nationally, The Home Depot makes sure they are providing products that make sense for your location. Many factors play a role, but the biggest elements taken into account are climate and lifestyle.

Climates Drive Decisions

Climate has the biggest impact for what’s in your Garden Center. Not only do different plants thrive in different regions, but the timeframe for planting and gardening also varies from state to state.

“In South Florida, we are gearing up for live goods in January and February and then it tends to slow down in March. Stores up north, however, may not get their plants in until Mid-April or May,” shares Mike DuVall, Senior Merchant for Live Goods Program and Product Development at The Home Depot.

The company has 12 regional merchants—each working with an average of 10-15 growers—who help prepare the Garden Center. This means you’re in good hands when it comes to the perfect selection of plants for your precise needs.

Impact of Lifestyles

Lifestyles and available space in the average home also affect items in-store. There’s a big difference in urban versus suburban locations. “You really notice a change in a Garden Center in Manhattan versus a store in Long Island. Urban stores have more compact growing plants and less trees,” notes Mike.

Patio-ready plants are also popular in big cities. “We even have shrubs and small trees in containers that specifically work well on patios,” says Mike. Metropolitan dwellers aren’t only looking for flowers that look pretty—edible plants are also in high demand. Fruits and vegetables that can be grown in these tiny spaces are becoming more widespread.

Garden Staples and New Plants

Though plants may differ from store to store, reliable garden staples are available year after year, and The Home Depot is constantly looking for new products that will bring your garden to the next level. Mike says new live goods make up roughly 25-30 percent of what’s in-store. Edible plants and shrubs are just two areas of focus that are really expanding across the country.

Experimentation with flower colors is also a big trend right now, “Orchids use to be pink, white and lavender, but now with special dyes, we have them in many colors. The blue orchids are really captivating,” shares Mike.

If you’re not sure which plant is best for your needs—just ask. Associates are trained and ready to help. It’s estimated that each store has about 10,000 live good products during the spring and summer months. Having a wide variety to choose from guarantees you get the best plant for your garden, patio or porch.

Check out some plants that are unique to specific regions, and see if you can spot them in your local store.

Check out some plants that are unique to specific regions, and see if you can spot them in your local store.