Plant Talk

Plant Talk

by Danny Summers

We can take this conversation in so many directions. A very important one is how attached countless new "Plant Parents" are to their new plant-family additions. It doesn't take long when browsing social platforms to see this in full display. In fact, the photo above (minus my title "Plant Talk" added) was found on a blogger's page with the title "DIY - Speech Bubbles for Your Plants" as she shows you how to make your own conversational signs. She related it to having reminders of how a plant needs certain care in order to thrive. Doing a simple search like "Plant Talk" will quickly yield a huge number of discussions like "How to Talk to Your Plants" or even "Is it Normal to Talk to your Pets and Plants?"

This illustrates the growing importance of plants to so many of your guests today. So... if they are being encouraged to make their own plant conversation signs, should you be considering doing the same? We already have several examples here within The Group to share and think about. All of these are in the area of positioning plants to be the salesperson or at least the one to initiate an emotional connection!

The Plants Become the Sales Person

I have shared this before here in GROUPtalk. Jonn Karsseboom at The Garden Corner (Tualatin, OR) was one of the first Group Centers to share ideas on how to make what he calls Plant Bubbles work. He said, "The key to these bubble signs is that they work 24 hours a day, give a key feature (in a second), and come across in a friendly, conversational way. And they worked! We have switched since then just to keep things interesting over the years. (Though the technique to focus on a primary benefit for each plant still continues.) Overall, I absolutely loved that the signs forced me to focus on the main primary benefit of each plant. It kept my focus and still does in my signs today."

The original Plant Bubbles Jonn referred to were produced by GrowTech Solutions who provides Group Centers with a large number of affordable tag and sign options. GrowTech's Sam Burks said last week, "The Plant Talkers are 4 per page, made from our heavy-gauge media now with the integrated clip-on design so that it can hang from a branch, with the Talker outline or graphics and text all printed on-demand, and all 4 tags break down with just 2 rips."

He added, "I’ve decided to change the orientation of the Plant Talker from Landscape to Portrait. It makes it easier to clip onto a branch and it has a bit more versatile aspect ratio. See attached PDF. I’ll be putting it into production next week, so I’ll have actual product in hand about mid-November."

Below are a few ideas he sent but keep in mind the stock is blank and you create your own tag. Sam has templates available as well as the great color laser printers and supplies they have always been known for and recommended by our Group Centers! Sam sent a PDF for more details. You can download it HERE.

And while we are talking about Plant Talkers we have to revisit what Group Centers have been doing for a number of years now... naming their Christmas Trees! Here's a collection of just a few I have gathered:

The one on the left is from White Oak Gardens. The middle is from Watters Garden Center, and the one on the right is from B.B. Barns.

When looking for the White Oak Tag above I also ran across this sample post card they produced for Christmas 2019. The tag which says "If Trees Could Talk..." caught my attention.

Eavesdropping on Plants?

And if we really want to take this Plant Talk conversation even further, we could explore some amazing science. Sam Burks sent me several links on this subject. One of which is Dr. Jack Schultz of the University of Missouri. The title of this TedTalk was "Eavesdropping on Plants" and if you take 19 minutes to watch his presentation, I guarantee you will be amazed. I was! Keep in mind this talk was given in 2012 so we don't know what progress they have made since. Here's the preface introduction to his presentation:

Dr. Jack Schultz has been watching insects eat plants for four decades. He discovered that plants complain about being eaten and call for help. There is a "conversation" going on all around us; plants are "talking" to other plants, to microbes, and to insects. He thinks that if we can learn to listen, we can interrogate plants about their experiences. "Do you have a disease?" "What has been eating you?" "How's the soil?" "Tell me about air quality." Schultz directs the interdisciplinary Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.


I invite you to watch Dr. Schultz make this amazing presentation. Just click on the image above.

In watching the presentation above, I think we all will have even more appreciation for the plant world in which we are in every day. Plant Talk is not just the tile of a blog article. It is an important part of the plant world.

Whether you create ways to have plants talk to people through signs, create unique conversations in your marketing messaging where the plant talks, or share any details on how plants talk to each other, see how you can explore and share Plant Talk with everyone around you.

It can make a difference!

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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