Forget work-life balance – nursery campaign promotes plant-life balance 

Nurseries around the nation are already reporting increased sales from a national campaign to translate the concept of work-life balance into plant-life balance, where consumers are encouraged to put more greenery into their indoor and outdoor spaces.
Plant Life Balance uses a free mobile app to encourage consumers to select plant species that suit their lifestyles and surroundings, and consider plant health ‘ratings’ for improvements to air quality and personal wellbeing.

Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) CEO Peter Vaughan said the campaign is an exciting development that harnesses science and innovative technology to put more plants in Australian homes, workplaces and communities.

“Initial feedback from retail nurseries has been positive, with plant choices made by consumers lifting demand and providing valuable insights to retail and production business, to allow them to plan for the future,” Mr Vaughan said.

“Nurseries in every state are embracing eye-catching and creative point of sale displays to remind customers about the health benefits of plants, in addition to their aesthetic qualities, to homes and workplaces, to encourage more green life sales.

“For instance, one nursery has seen increased sales of indoor plants by creating a Plant Life Balance display in a small, high traffic area of the nursery, and rotating plants, pots and giftware every few weeks to inspire customers to create their ‘ultimate’ green space at home or work.

“Many of their customers weren’t even aware of the air quality and pollution improvements that come with more plants indoors, so just from an awareness point of view, the app and campaign resources are very useful for staff to tell this important story.

“And as one retail manager said, ‘when you see staff get on board and not only talk about the campaign, but start to add to their own plant collection, then you know it’s working’.”
The industry collaborated with Hort Innovation and RMIT University to develop the Plant Life Balance app, which shows consumers seven different plant ‘looks’ for indoor and outdoor settings that suit a range of tastes.

“Consumers can take a photo of a space then drag and drop a select range of plants to see what their new green living or work space will look like, and get an idea of the extra benefits such as better air quality that the plants can provide,” Mr Vaughan said.

The seven styles include Sharehouse Heroes, which looks at low maintenance plants to suit a range of housemates and plant growing skills; Birds and Bees, plants that attract native insects and birds; Child’s Play, a range of non-toxic plants that can withstand some rough and tumble; and one to suit the forgetful plant lover – Desert Dreams, a succulent mix of cactus and tough sculptural plants that can survive with minimal water.

Following the feedback since the launch of Plant Life Balance three months ago, Mr Vaughan predicts there will be valuable benefits to the industry, but said nurseries need to continue to leverage off the campaign and use the full suite of marketing resources for the benefit of their business.

“This is just the start of what is a very positive campaign for Australia’s diverse and vibrant nursery industry, with more exciting developments for growers on the way,” he said.

“Growers can stay up to date about the campaign by visiting www.plantlifebalance.com.au and can hear more at this year’s nursery industry conference from Ben Peacock, who has been instrumental in the Plant Life Balance journey.

“We look forward to working with growers on the implementation of the program and to remind Australians of the happiness and health associated with more green life in our homes, our businesses and our communities.”

To hear more about Plant Life Balance and other levy funded projects revolutionising Australia’s nursery industry, register your attendance for the National Conference being held on 19 – 21 February in Hobart by visiting the official conference page.

Plant Life Balance is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery marketing levy and funds from the Australian Government, and forms part of the industry’s broader marketing effort to increase green space in urban areas by 20 per cent by 2020, under the 202020 Vision initiative.

The free app can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play and consumers are encouraged to join the Plant Life Balance online community via Instagram and Facebook.

ENDS.

For further information, please contact Sophie Keatinge, Cox Inall Communications, on 0430 938 515 or sophie.keatinge@coxinall.com.au

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