Anything Goes in a Pot

If anything goes in a pot, why do we find it so challenging to sell pots and containers?


Whether young people are renting or older people are downsizing, everybody can have a planted container. It's a category that gives us lots of opportunity for sales and more importantly, repeat sales.
For pre-planted containers, it's an easy message: "You can have all the pleasure without any effort. Simply position, water, sit back and enjoy.
For empty pots and containers we all have to work a little harder. Some of us relinquish responsibility to suppliers to merchandise the “Container Area” sealing our fate of appearing the same as their other clients. Their brand takes pride of place and our point of difference shrinks to oblivion.
With a little thought, our Pots and Container areas can inspire more sales. Like everything, it comes down to innovative thinking and strategies that will sell
Education – recommend or suggest
  • Best types and shapes of containers and baskets; what’s hot in plant pots – trends, latest colour & styles
  • Best container mix with fertiliser and water retention tips
  • Best plants to grow - sun, partial sun and shade; the importance of matching water and light requirements of the different plants in the pot
  • In store demonstrations; posters;
  • How to brochures to read and take away; create a container gardening page on your website; use laminated magazine pages showing inspired examples
  • Containers are Versatile – grow anything from flower and vege seedlings to small trees.
  • Manage seasonality with containers – enjoy containers with tender plants in the summer, remove them to the greenhouse for winter
  • All you need to feed your family – in containers
  • Alpine garden or beach garden – in a container
  • Plug gaps in the garden, create a focal point; make a ‘water garden’, brighten a fence with climbing plants – with containers

Inspiration – designing with plants

  • Single plants or large tropicals for a bold architectural statement or a formal look
  • Thrillers, spillers, fillers, - large containers with a statement plant, a mix of upright plants for fillers and spiller plants to cascade for a frothy or country look
  • Easy care container designs – offer ‘recipe cards’ inspired by the use of catchy titles: ‘urban chic’; ‘keep it simple’; ‘meadow posy’; ‘safari sunset’; ‘bold and bright’; ‘go for gold’; Berry panna cotta
  • Plant up sample pots beside colour stacks of containers to show different ideas. If they are red pots, show one planted up with bronze foliage and hot colours or silver with green. If it’s funky bowls, use succulents or sub-tropicals.
  • Establish a container boutique or potting bench for a custom-made service.
  • Use story boards and banners showing lifestyle images of the latest trends

  • Merchandise your container range by colour, then style and size
  • Create end cap displays with everything you need for successful container gardening
  • Keep displays fresh and rotate new products in as they sell
  • Cross merchandise with plants throughout the garden centre where appropriate

Linked Sales

When customers buy a container offer great customer service by making sure they leave the checkout with everything for success – potting soil, fertiliser, water retention granules, maybe a plastic insert for the pot, pot feet, decorative mulch AND plants.