Plant sale?

Lee Hadden hadden at WINGATE.EDU
Sat Feb 27 21:11:05 EST 1999

Our Biology Club held plant sales for years, both spring and fall
semesters.  Spring always went well around mid to late Feb. when warmer
weather was upon us [southern NC] and students wanted something green in
their rooms.  Plants begun late in the spring semester sold well early
in the fall semester when students wanted something to dress up their
dorm rooms.  [But someone has to check on them in your greenhouse over
the summer.]

We tried to offer a range of plant types and prices [but always
underselling Wal-Mart and K-Mart!];  foliage plants for room corners
[Dracena, Ficus] and shelf/table top plants in smaller pots.  Generally
shade tolerant plants moved faster since most rooms were not bright
enough for plants with bright light requirements.  But we always had a
mix of different light- and water-requiring plants. Philodendron was
always a good seller, as were Sansevieria, Tradescantia, Swedish ivy,
Boston fern, Kalanchoe, spider plant, and Aloe vera.  Cacti were popular
since they survived with neglect as long as there was adequate light.

Make sure you have committed and responsible students to carry this out.
If they won't make it happen and carry the ball, forget it!  No one
person can do this and do it well or for long.  You need to have teams
for propagating, repotting, preparing for sale, and students for the
sales table [we carted our plants to the student center for 4 hours
bracketing the lunch hour when student traffic was heavy.  The sale
usually lasted three days [unless we sold out which wasn't unusual!] 
Price them to move or you'll have to cart them back and maintain them
until next time [but of course then they were bigger and brought a
better price!]
Good luck--
Lee Hadden
Professor and Chair,
Department of Biology
Wingate University
Wingate, NC  28174

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