Companies in this industry grow and sell nursery stock such as plants, shrubs, sod, trees, and seeds. Major US companies include Costa Farms, Ball Horticultural, Color Spot Nurseries, and Monrovia Nursery.
Demand is driven by consumer income, home sales and new home construction, and commercial real estate construction. The profitability of individual companies depends on anticipating demand for various types of plants, efficient distribution, and competitive pricing. Large operators have economies of scale in distribution. Small operators can compete successfully by raising specialty plants or serving a local market. The US industry is fragmented.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Products include flowers and flowering plants, shrubs, Christmas trees, sod, and seeds, as well as food plants like tomatoes. Large commercial growers concentrate on producing container-grown ornamental plants for indoor and outdoor use, including bedding plants (usually grown in flats and transplanted into beds by the end-user); shrubs; and flowering potted plants. Products include annuals like marigolds and petunias; perennials like day lilies and clematis; evergreens like azalea, box wood, pines, spruce, and juniper; tropical flowering plants like Bougainvillea and hibiscus; "holiday" or "seasonal" plants like Easter lily and poinsettia; and specialty plants like bonsais, ferns, and trellises. Cut flowers are a smaller segment. Because of weather limitations, most single-location growers can produce only several hundred varieties of plants, but national growers can produce several thousand.