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Colorful garden plants popular with European consumers

Spring has arrived. Lots of effort is being put into gardens to brighten them up. Which plants are consumers buying for their garden and which colours are popular?

The Business & Market Intelligence Department at Royal FloraHolland has monitored the purchasing behaviour of consumers for a whole year. They also examined the differences between the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK and Sweden.

Summer annuals are the most popular
In all countries, it is evident that summer annuals are purchased most often. On average, 35-40% of the purchases made by consumers for their garden goes on outdoor plants. In the Netherlands, that percentage is higher. We found that 50% of the purchases concern summer annuals. The perennial plants, which bloom repeatedly over several years, take second place and are responsible forr30% of the purchases. A striking aspect is that vegetable plants and fruit trees make up almost 20% of the purchases of outdoor plants in Sweden. Tomatoes, strawberries and cucumber plants are the most popular plants in this group.

Graph of Volume

Petunia and Lavender in top 5
The most commonly sold summer annuals are petunia, fuchsia, violets, geraniums and chrysanthemums. Among perennials, lavender is the most popular plant in every country. Together with winter heath and pot roses, they are placed in the top 5 in every country. In the Netherlands, hydrangea is also popular.

Multi-coloured are popular
Among the summer annuals, multi-coloured outdoor plants are selected most often in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK to brighten up the garden (around 20%). In France, red and pink are the most popular colours. In Sweden there is a slight tendency to choose white (17%). Among perennials in all of the countries surveyed, purple is the most popular colour. This can be explained by the preference for lavender, which holds top place everywhere. Pink and white are also popular in some countries.

Space in the garden
The majority of outdoor plants are planted outdoors in soil and preferably in the back garden. In the UK, in contrast to other countries, fewer outdoor plants are placed on balconies and on terraces in a pot (15% compared with 30-35% in the other countries). They prefer relatively more often to put outdoor plants in the ground in the back garden. This image matches what we see on offer at British garden centres, where many semi-grown products are sold rather than mature products. In France and Sweden, the front garden is more important than the back garden.

British buy many outdoor plants online
Consumers in France, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden prefer to buy outdoor plants in garden centres. About one-third of all outdoor plants are purchased through this channel. In the Netherlands, this proportion rises to 46%. In France, relatively many outdoor plants are bought from nurseries (19%). The UK leads with the online purchasing of outdoor plants: around 12% of the outdoor plants are obtained through this channel. In the UK online suppliers like Crocus, Primrose and BakkerSpalding have been working on improving this channel for years. Given their good reputations and the ease of ordering from home, many Brits order their outdoor plants online.

Graph of sales channels

Source: Royal FloraHolland
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