Growing healthy, strong and uniform plants is the ultimate goal and the biggest challenge at the same time. Wick & Grow, developed by Visser Horti Systems and Costa Farms, helps growers and retailers not to worry about watering their plants in the greenhouse, during transport or in stores. "Using Wick & Grow results in strong, healthy plants and less waste."
Wick & Grow can be implemented before or right after the growing phase. Using Wick & Grow during the growing process is called ‘Grown with WaterWick’.
How it works
The top half of the wick is inserted into one of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and is in contact with the potting mix. The bottom half of the wick dangles into a water reservoir taking only as much water as the plant needs.
With Wick & Grow, watering the plants can now be done by filling trays instead of watering each plant individually, which saves time and is easier and more efficient. Plants then are healthier and result in less shrink at retail. Scot Brunschwig, Senior Sales Director at Costa Farms: “You get a much more consistent look in the stores as far as the health of the plants go. Because now each plant takes up the water as they need it. In the winter months when it’s a little bit dryer, the plants are going to need more water, or in the summer months when it’s warmer and they drop water a little bit slower, the plants are always going to look great on the shelf.”
Innovating the supply chain
Visser Horti Systems and Costa Farms aim to make the whole supply chain for plants more efficient and successful. After growing plants in the perfect water conditions, plants can be placed in special (transport) trays to make sure plants stay hydrated during transport to stores. After transportation, the trays can be used in-store as well. This benefits the grower, retailer, and consumer. Wick & Grow has proven itself at all the major retailers in the North American market. Plants with a wick are becoming the standard in the North American retail environment with an increase in volume every day.
The Apopka facility of Costa Farms has been using a brand new automated wicking machine which can wick 8,000 pots per hour. This new automation solution enables Costa Farms to scale up the Wick & grow project to meet the increasing demand in North American market for this added value product.
The vision, the mission
Mike Rimland, Vice President of Research and Development and Company Global Ambassador at Costa Farms: “The dream, the vision, the goal is for it to become a standard. Something that is used with every single plant and potted plant on the face of the earth. It will make the consumer more successful. It makes it easier and faster for them to become successful. And that always has been the goal, to make it a standard. Just like the plant is in a pot, the plant has soil, our goal is that the plant will always have a WaterWick. Every plant, in the entire world.”