This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A National Overview of Plant Selection/introduction Programs and a State Survey of Growers and Retailers to Determine the Potential for an Alabama Plant Selection/Introduction Program




Harris, Emily

Type of Degree





Over the past fifteen years, many states have established statewide plant selection/introduction programs for the purpose of promoting and marketing selected plants to consumers to increase sales for the Green Industry. However, little to no research has been completed to compare the programs on structure, operation, and success. The first part of this research uses an internet survey to gather information on the programs across the country. The survey asked many questions including how the programs were set up, who was involved, how the plants are selected, and how they market the selected plants to consumers. The survey determined most programs were a partnership between a green association, university, industry, botanical garden and/or state arboretum. The majority of respondents had committee(s) to nominate and select plants. A little over half of the programs have plant trials as part of the selection process. Funding and program support were reported as problems from the beginning of the program. Programs were funded by grants, support from sponsors, royalties, and sale of promotional items. The second part of this research surveyed Alabama growers and retailers to determine their opinion about a potential plant selection program. The survey determined what level of involvement they would like to have in a potential program, how they would like the program to be set up, and general questions about their business. Over 90% of respondents wanted to have some involvement in the potential program including growing and selling the plants, serving on a committee, nominating plants, and marketing the selected plants. Most respondents thought a plant selection program could help their business. Results indicate potential for an Alabama plant selection program.