Michigan Garden Plant Tour best performing annuals shared at Greenhouse Growers Expo

Feedback from attendees and a presentation on the “best of the best plants” from the 2015 Michigan Garden Plant Tour will be shared at the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo on Dec. 8, 2015.

Michigan Garden Plant Tour best performing annuals shared at Greenhouse Growers Expo

The Michigan Garden Plant Tour is a free, coordinated open house of leading young plant producers and Michigan State University, and this year was held from July 27 to Aug. 7. Attendees could see the latest in new annual and perennial plant introductions as well as compare existing cultivars across numerous offerings from multiple propagators. Participants were able to see plant performance at different locations in order to make more educated decisions for their usage and production.

The two-week open house was hosted by five leading young plant producers: C. Raker and Sons, Four Star Greenhouse Inc., Mast Young Plants, Pell Greenhouses Inc. and Walters Gardens Inc., as well as MSU’s Horticultural Demonstration Gardens. Over 1,100 individuals visited the various host sites. These participants were retail and wholesale greenhouse growers, landscapers, grounds managers, horticultural supplier sales representatives and Master Gardeners. They came from 24 different states and four countries. Approximately 99 percent of attendees indicated the display trials either met or exceeded their expectations in 2015.

In addition, 90 percent of the attendee responses to a post-event evaluation indicated they would be adding as many as 20 new plant offerings in 2016 as a result of seeing those plants on the 2015 tour. This represents over $100,000 in new plant sales for these retail and wholesale growers. Approximately 90 percent of those attendees that responded to the evaluation indicated they would be attending the Michigan Garden Plant Tour in 2016.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. at the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the session “Best Performing Annuals from the 2015 Michigan Garden Plant Tour” will be presented by Daedre Craig, MSU Department of Horticulture, and me (Michigan State University Extension senior educator). We will highlight the “best of the best” from all the host sites. Copies of the best plants list will be available at the session and will also be available afterwards from the presenters.

The 2016 Michigan Garden Plant Tour will be July 25-Aug. 5, 2016. Please mark those dates in your 2016 planner. For more information on the tour, visit the Michigan Garden Plant Tour website.

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