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Consumer Response to Containerized Foliage Plant Combinations

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022532/00001

Material Information

Title: Consumer Response to Containerized Foliage Plant Combinations
Physical Description: 1 online resource (145 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Stefanski, Emily
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: behavior, combinations, consumer, container, containerized, display, florida, foliage, gardens, growth, horticulture, marketing, plant, regulator, response, retail, survey, vigorous
Environmental Horticulture -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Horticultural Science thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The introduction of new and vigorous tropical foliage plants initiated a series of plant growth regulator (PGR) experiments, along with interpreting surveys on consumer preferences of foliage plant container gardens. In the first set of PGR experiments, tropical foliage plants Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy?s Revenge', Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea', and Xanthosoma violaceum were treated with paclobutrazol and flurprimidol applied as a spray or substrate drench. Spray concentrations ranged from 20 to 80 mg/L and substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 2.0 mg active ingredient (a.i.) per pot to determine the most effective, cost-efficient application method and chemical. Substrate drenches were the most effective for Colocasia resulting in the best control of both plant height and spread, however excessive stunting occurred with Xanthosoma. Xanthosoma violaceum, a smaller leaved foliage plant, responded best to foliar sprays of paclobutrazol at 20 mg/L ($0.02 per pot). In the second experiment Cordyline 'Sundance', Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were treated with substrate drenches of paclobutrazol and flurprimidol. Substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 4.0 mg a.i. per pot. At 6 weeks after treatment single, similarly treated plants of Cordyline 'Sundance', Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were transplanted together into 24.1cm x 30.5cm (12-inch) round terra-cotta colored plastic containers. After measuring carry-over PGR efficacy a representative container garden from each flurprimidol treatment was presented to consumers to measure their preferences on size, price, and intent to buy. Results indicated the recommended price range was $10.00 to $19.99 for 12-inch sized container gardens composed of three foliage plants. Plant sale consumers preferred the most robust (untreated control) container garden, while industry professionals and master gardeners preferred a moderately controlled foliage container (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.). As for the respondent's intent to buy, no factors within this study explained why they would or would not purchase the container. The third experiment was a directly administered survey that collected preferences and demographics of consumers purchasing foliage plant container gardens. This experiment included multiple pilot studies in preparation for the industry-based study conducted at Florida garden centers in the summer and fall of 2007. Implementing this study at actual retail outlets allowed further insight into the possibility of using tropical foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens. Three studies took place at Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, Fla. and Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla. A collection of similarly produced foliage plant container gardens were displayed in three different areas of the garden center: landing, transition and destination zones. Consumers purchasing foliage container gardens during both the pilot studies and the Florida garden centers corresponded to demographics of the national container gardening statistics (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). These consumers indicated unfamiliarity with the foliage plant material and impulse purchase behavior which may indicate a need for additional marketing strategies. Also the majority of consumers at both garden centers recalled seeing all three container garden displays in the store, however most chose to purchase from the transition and destination zone. This data may show the possible benefits of having multiple displays.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Emily Stefanski.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Gibson, James.
Local: Co-adviser: Nell, Terril A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022532:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022532/00001

Material Information

Title: Consumer Response to Containerized Foliage Plant Combinations
Physical Description: 1 online resource (145 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Stefanski, Emily
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: behavior, combinations, consumer, container, containerized, display, florida, foliage, gardens, growth, horticulture, marketing, plant, regulator, response, retail, survey, vigorous
Environmental Horticulture -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Horticultural Science thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The introduction of new and vigorous tropical foliage plants initiated a series of plant growth regulator (PGR) experiments, along with interpreting surveys on consumer preferences of foliage plant container gardens. In the first set of PGR experiments, tropical foliage plants Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy?s Revenge', Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea', and Xanthosoma violaceum were treated with paclobutrazol and flurprimidol applied as a spray or substrate drench. Spray concentrations ranged from 20 to 80 mg/L and substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 2.0 mg active ingredient (a.i.) per pot to determine the most effective, cost-efficient application method and chemical. Substrate drenches were the most effective for Colocasia resulting in the best control of both plant height and spread, however excessive stunting occurred with Xanthosoma. Xanthosoma violaceum, a smaller leaved foliage plant, responded best to foliar sprays of paclobutrazol at 20 mg/L ($0.02 per pot). In the second experiment Cordyline 'Sundance', Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were treated with substrate drenches of paclobutrazol and flurprimidol. Substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 4.0 mg a.i. per pot. At 6 weeks after treatment single, similarly treated plants of Cordyline 'Sundance', Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were transplanted together into 24.1cm x 30.5cm (12-inch) round terra-cotta colored plastic containers. After measuring carry-over PGR efficacy a representative container garden from each flurprimidol treatment was presented to consumers to measure their preferences on size, price, and intent to buy. Results indicated the recommended price range was $10.00 to $19.99 for 12-inch sized container gardens composed of three foliage plants. Plant sale consumers preferred the most robust (untreated control) container garden, while industry professionals and master gardeners preferred a moderately controlled foliage container (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.). As for the respondent's intent to buy, no factors within this study explained why they would or would not purchase the container. The third experiment was a directly administered survey that collected preferences and demographics of consumers purchasing foliage plant container gardens. This experiment included multiple pilot studies in preparation for the industry-based study conducted at Florida garden centers in the summer and fall of 2007. Implementing this study at actual retail outlets allowed further insight into the possibility of using tropical foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens. Three studies took place at Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, Fla. and Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla. A collection of similarly produced foliage plant container gardens were displayed in three different areas of the garden center: landing, transition and destination zones. Consumers purchasing foliage container gardens during both the pilot studies and the Florida garden centers corresponded to demographics of the national container gardening statistics (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). These consumers indicated unfamiliarity with the foliage plant material and impulse purchase behavior which may indicate a need for additional marketing strategies. Also the majority of consumers at both garden centers recalled seeing all three container garden displays in the store, however most chose to purchase from the transition and destination zone. This data may show the possible benefits of having multiple displays.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Emily Stefanski.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Gibson, James.
Local: Co-adviser: Nell, Terril A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022532:00001


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1 CONSUMER RESPONSE TO CONTAINERI ZED FOLIAGE PLANT COMBINATIONS By EMILY ANNA STEFANSKI A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Emily Anna Stefanski

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3 To my family, friends, and fianc.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The com pletion of my degree would not have be en possible if not fo r the assistance and support of many people. My greates t debt of gratitude is to my major professor, Dr. James L. Gibson, for his tremendous dedication to my success and the countless hours spent guiding me through my program. He is truly one of the most unselfish people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with. I wish to thank my supervisory committee memb ers (Drs. Tracy A. Irani, James E. Barrett, and Terril A. Nell) for all of their guidance and support. In addition to my committee members, I would like to express my appr eciation to all the faculty a nd staff of the Environmental Horticulture Department both in Gainesville and Milton. They answered my questions along with providing assistance and dir ection over the last two years. I would also like to thank the National Fo liage Foundation for grant support along with Agri-Starts and ForemostCo for numerous foliage plant donations. For th e opportunity to utilize their garden centers for resear ch, appreciation is given to Ch ris and Kim Carter of Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, FL; and to Kevin and Theresa Riley of Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, FL. I am grateful for the hard work the owners and staff at both garden centers committed to including the research setup and data collection. All of this would not have been possible though without the love and su pport of my family and friends. I am blessed to have parents and a family that conti nues to motivate me to succeed. For my friends, old and new, they have help ed to keep me grounded and not take life too seriously. And finally I would lik e to acknowledge my fianc, Jeff, who has been there from the start of my graduate career and has bared the bl unt of my many struggles and the joys of my accomplishments; he is truly a saint.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................11ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................12 CHAP TER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................14Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........14Floridas Wholesale Floriculture Industry....................................................................... 15Container Gardening Trends...........................................................................................16Plant Growth Regulators in the Foliage Industry...................................................................17Paclobutrazol...................................................................................................................18Flurprimidol................................................................................................................... ..20Foliage Plant Marketing........................................................................................................ .21Consumer Behavior......................................................................................................... 22Marketing Survey............................................................................................................ 26Product Placement...........................................................................................................28Objectives...............................................................................................................................292 GROWTH RESPONSE OF FOLIAGE PLANTS TO FLURPRIMIDOL AND PACLOBUTRAZOL ..............................................................................................................30Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........30Materials and Method.............................................................................................................33Experiment 1................................................................................................................... 33Data Analysis...................................................................................................................34Experiment 2................................................................................................................... 34Data Analysis...................................................................................................................37Plant growth regulator treatments in i ndividual and combination containers.......... 37Consumer survey...................................................................................................... 37Results.....................................................................................................................................37Experiment 1................................................................................................................... 37Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol sprays..................................................................... 37Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol drenches................................................................. 39Experiment 2................................................................................................................... 42Plant growth regulator treatment s in individual containers..................................... 42Plant growth regulator treatment s in combination containers.................................. 42Consumer survey...................................................................................................... 43Conclusion..............................................................................................................................46

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6 3 FOLIAGE PLANT CONTAINER GARDEN PI LOT STUDIES.......................................... 61Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........61Consumer Purchase Behavior.......................................................................................... 63Marketing Survey............................................................................................................ 66Survey population and sample size.......................................................................... 68Instrumentation......................................................................................................... 69Survey procedures....................................................................................................69Threats to validity..................................................................................................... 70Product Placement...........................................................................................................70Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................72Pilot Study 1.................................................................................................................. ..72Data Analysis...................................................................................................................73Pilot Study 2.................................................................................................................. ..74Pilot Study 3.................................................................................................................. ..75Data Analysis...................................................................................................................76Results.....................................................................................................................................77Pilot Study 1.................................................................................................................. ..77Pilot Studies 2 and 3........................................................................................................78Conclusion..............................................................................................................................804 IMPACT OF FOLIAGE PLANT CO NTAINE R GARDEN SALES THROUGH IDENTIFYING CONSUMER NEEDS, TRENDS AND PREFERENCES..........................91Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........91Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................93Results.....................................................................................................................................96Conclusion............................................................................................................................1025 RESEARCH SUMMARY.................................................................................................... 112 APPENDIX A PRODUCT PLACEMENT ZONES WITHIN A GARDEN CENTER............................... 121B INFORMED CONSENT STATEMENT............................................................................. 122C FOLIAGE PLANT DONATION REQUEST...................................................................... 123D PLANT GROWTH REGULATOR INSTRUMENTATION.............................................. 124E FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN PILOT STUDY 1 INSTRUMENTATION............... 125F PLANT SALE INSTRUMENTATION............................................................................... 127G GARDEN CENTER INSTRUMENTATION...................................................................... 129H FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN STUDY INTRODUCTI ON...................................... 131

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7 I INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADMINISTERING INSTRUMENT............................................. 134J FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN INFORMATION SHEET ......................................... 136K FOLIAGE CONTAINER GA RDEN PRICE SIGN ............................................................. 137L TYPE 1 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FO R FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN ................ 138M TYPE 2 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FO R FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN ................ 139N TYPE 3 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FO R FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN ................ 140LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................141BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................145

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Colocasia esculen ta 'Nancy's Revenge' pooled data nine weeks after foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol a nd paclobutrazol (Expt. 1).....................................................50 2-2 Colocasia esculen ta 'Gigantea' pooled data nine w eeks after foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1)....................................................................... 50 2-3 Xanthosoma violaceum pooled data nine weeks af ter foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1)...........................................................................51 2-4 Colocasia esculen ta 'Nancy's Revenge' pooled data nine weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol a nd paclobutrazol (Expt. 1).....................................................51 2-5 Colocasia esculen ta 'Gigantea' pooled data nine weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol a nd paclobutrazol (Expt. 1).....................................................52 2-6 Visual quality of Xanthosoma violaceum by week using flurprim idol and paclobutrazol substrate drenches (Expt. 1)........................................................................ 52 2-7 Xanthosoma violaceum pooled data nine weeks af ter s ubstrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1)...........................................................................53 2-8 Cordyline Sundance six weeks after substrate drench treatm ents of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 2).......................................................................................................53 2-9 Asparagus densiflorus Sprengeri' six weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 2)...........................................................................54 2-10 Pooled data nine and 12 weeks after tr eatm ent of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol drench effects on combination containers composed of Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' (Expt. 2).................................... 55 2-11 Foliage container garden prefer ence by consum er group (Expt. 2)...................................55 3-1 Pilot Study 1 traditional fo liage plan t combinations.......................................................... 84 3-2 Pilot Study 2 foliage plant combinations........................................................................... 84 3-3 Pilot Study 3 foliage plant combinations........................................................................... 85 3-4 Income ranges of respondents of Pilot Study 1................................................................. 85 3-5 The level of education achieved by each respondent in Pilot Study 1............................... 85 3-6 Age ranges of respondents of Pilot Study 1....................................................................... 86

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9 3-7 How often the respondents typically purchase plants in Pilot Study 1. ............................. 86 3-8 The gardening level indicated by the respondents in Pilot Study 1. ..................................86 3-9 Familiarity of plants within the foliag e plant con tainer gardens in Pilot Study 1............. 86 3-10 The aspect(s) that drew consumers to th e foliage container garden display in Pilot Study 1. ..............................................................................................................................87 3-11 The reason(s) the consumer purchased a foliage plant container in Pilot Study 1. ........... 87 3-12 Pilot Study 2 consumer pur chasing location results. ......................................................... 87 3-13 Pilot Study 2 foliage combination sales.............................................................................88 3-14 Pilot Study 3 foliage combination sales.............................................................................88 3-15 Post-purchase survey results for reas on of foliage container garden purchase. ................ 88 3-16 Post-purchase survey results fo r frequency of plant purchases. ........................................88 3-17 Post-purchase survey results of length of gardening involvem ent.................................... 89 3-18 Post-purchase survey results for familiarity of plants within the container gardens they were purchasing. ........................................................................................................ 89 3-19 Gender of Pilot Studies 2 and 3.........................................................................................89 3-20 Age ranges of respondents of Pilot Studies 2 and 3........................................................... 89 3-21 Income ranges of respondent s of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. .................................................... 90 3-22 Highest education level achieved by respondents of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. ...................... 90 3-23 Number of adults 18 years old or older living in the household for Pilot S tudies 2 and 3..........................................................................................................................................90 3-24 Number of children under 18 years old livi ng in the household for Pilot S tudies 2 and 3..........................................................................................................................................90 4-1 Foliage plant container garden combinations for Florida garden centers........................ 107 4-2 Sales of foliage plan t container gardens over th e course of the study. ............................ 107 4-3 Florida garden center patterns of foliage container garden purchases. ............................107 4-4 Foliage container garden combinations purchased at Florida garden centers. ................ 108

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10 4-5 Data from Nobles Greenhouse during each study period on foliage container sales by product category and by total sales.................................................................................. 108 4-6 Data from Rockledge Gardens during each study period on foliage container sales by product category and by total sales. ................................................................................. 108 4-7 Nobles Greenhouses customer count da ta and num ber of customers purchasing foliage plant container gardens during each study period............................................... 108 4-8 Rockledge Gardens customer count da ta and num ber of customers purchasing foliage plant container gardens during each study period............................................... 109 4-9 Tropical foliage plant produc t category sales compared to the overall total sales at both Florida garden centers during each study period. ....................................................109 4-10 How often foliage plant container gard en consum ers make plant purchases on a yearly basis.......................................................................................................................109 4-11 Foliage plant container garden consumers familiarity with the plants they purchased.. 110 4-12 Yearly income of those that purchased foliage plant container gardens at Florida garden centers. .................................................................................................................110 4-13 Education level of those that purchased foliage plant container gardens at Florida garden centers. .................................................................................................................110 4-14 Average temperatures and precipitation in Live Oak and Rockledge, Fla. during each two week study period in 2007 including the norm al temperatures and precipitation expected....................................................................................................................... ....111 5-1 Foliage plant container garden combinati ons that yielded the mo st sales d uring Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3, along with Florida area garden centers............................................. 120

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Colocasia esculen ta Nancys Revenge plant hei ght response to plant growth regulators (Expt.1)............................................................................................................ .56 2-2 Colocasia esculen ta Gigantea plant height respons e to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1).............................................................................................................................57 2-3 Colocasia esculen ta Nancys Revenge plant diamet er response to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1)........................................................................................................... .58 2-4 Colocasia esculen ta Gigantea plant diameter response to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1).............................................................................................................................59 2-5 Visual difference 12 weeks after treatm ent of increasing concentrations of flurprimidol treated plants planted together in cont ainer gardens (Expt. 2)...................... 60 A-1 An illustration of where the landing, tran s ition, and destination zones are within a garden center....................................................................................................................121

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12 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science CONSUMER RESPONSE TO CONTAINERI ZED FOLIAGE PLANT COMBINATIONS By Emily Anna Stefanski August 2008 Chair: James L. Gibson Cochair: Terril A. Nell Major: Horticultural Science The introduction of new and vigorous tropical fo liage plants initiated a series of plant growth regulator (PGR) experiments, along with interpreting surveys on c onsumer preferences of foliage plant container gardens. In the first set of PGR experiments, tropical foliage plants Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge, Colocasia esculenta Gigantea, and Xanthosoma violaceum were treated with paclobutr azol and flurprimidol applie d as a spray or substrate drench. Spray concentrations ranged from 20 to 80 mg/L and substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 2.0 mg active ingredient (a.i.) per pot to determine the most effective, costefficient application method and chemical. Subs trate drenches were th e most effective for Colocasia resulting in the best cont rol of both plant height an d spread, however excessive stunting occurred with Xanthosoma. Xanthosoma violaceum a smaller leaved foliage plant, responded best to foliar spra ys of paclobutrazol at 20 mg/L ($0.02 per pot). In the second experiment Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were treated with substrate drenches of paclobutrazol and flurprimidol. Substrate drench concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 4.0 mg a.i. per pot. At 6 weeks after treatment single, similarly treated plants of Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were transplanted t ogether into 24.1cm x 30.5cm (12-inch)

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13 round terra-cotta colored plastic containers After measuring carry-over PGR efficacy a representative container garden from each flurpr imidol treatment was presented to consumers to measure their preferences on size, price, and intent to buy. Re sults indicated the recommended price range was $10.00 to $19.99 for 12-inch sized container gardens composed of three foliage plants. Plant sale consumers preferred the most robust (untreated control) container garden, while industry professionals and master garden ers preferred a moderately controlled foliage container (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.). As for the respondents in tent to buy, no factors within this study explained why they would or would not purchase the container. The third experiment was a directly administ ered survey that collected preferences and demographics of consumers purchasing foliage plant container gardens. This experiment included multiple pilot studies in preparation for the industry-based study conducted at Florida garden centers in the summer a nd fall of 2007. Implementing this study at actual retail outlets allowed further insight into the possibility of us ing tropical foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens. Three studies took place at Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, Fla. and Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla. A collecti on of similarly produced foliage plant container gardens were displayed in three different areas of the garden center: landing, transition and destination zones. Consumers purchasing foliage container gard ens during both the pilot studies and the Florida garden centers corresponded to de mographics of the natio nal container gardening statistics (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). Thes e consumers indicated unfamiliarity with the foliage plant material and impulse purchase behavior which may indicate a need for additional marketing strategies. Also the majority of c onsumers at both garden cen ters recalled seeing all three container garden displays in the store, however most chose to purchase from the transition and destination zone. This data may show th e possible benefits of having multiple displays.

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14 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Gardening is a popular hobby of Am erican homeo wners, unfortunately a decline in lawn care and garden activity has recently occurred. Nationwide participation in lawn and garden activities decreased by 7% from 91 million (Mn) in 2005 to 85 Mn households in 2006 (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). Furthermore, the aver age gardening expenditure per household only increased by 3% from $387.00 to $401.00. Despit e the grim national gardening profile, households in the southern U.S. (South Caroli na, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Kentucky) continue to engage in gardening activities and have spent the most on th eir lawns and gardens, when compared to other regions of the United States (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). In recent years, Florida has experienced stea dy growth in retail gard en center sales with $3.64 Billion (Bn) generated in 2000 to $6.97 Bn in 2005 (Hodges and Haydu, 2006). One of the contributing factors to this increase is due to Floridian co nsumers shopping aggressively at garden centers year-round. Among 910 Florida ga rden center customers interviewed statewide, 98% shopped in the spring, 82% sh opped again in the summer, 89% shopped for horticulture products in the fall and 77.5% shopped again in winter (Satterthwaite and Haydu, 2004). Urban sprawl is another contributing f actor that has helped increase sa les at retail garden centers by way of increased demand for locally produced plant products. From 2000 to 2005, Floridas population increased by 11.3% to 17.8 million peopl e (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). Florida is now one of the leading states for urban sprawl in the country (Bouvier an d Stein, 2001); each day 750 people reach permanent Florida residence status (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003). University of Florida economists Satterthwaite and Haydu (2004) report that Florid a maintains its market share

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15 of environmental horticulture crops because it is the fourth most populous state (in 2000) with an annual growth rate of 2.3%. The economists also state that Floridas home building industry remained active during 2000, and subsequently increased the demand for landscape plants. Floridas Wholesale Floriculture Industry In terms of overall environmen tal horticulture industry value, Florida is a leading state, ranked second to California (H odges and Haydu, 2006). Florida is primarily recognized for large-scale, wholesale beddi ng plant and woody ornamental production. Another major component of Floridas floral indu stry is tropical foliage plants; the state dominates this category with 74% share of the national wholesale value (USDA Floricu lture Crops Summary, 2008). In addition to the favorable climate for plant production, Florida dominates the foliage market because plant breeders and growers continually in troduce new genera and cultivars (Chen et al., 2002). The amount of popular foliage plant sp ecies has steadily increased since the 1970s (Henny and McConnell, 2002). In 2005, foliage pl ants represented $476 Mn of the $976 Mn in total Florida floriculture crop sales, and we re second only to woody shrub sales (Hodges and Haydu, 2006). This is a substantial increase from the late 1960s when foliage crops first became economically significant. By the late 1970s Florida foliage represented only $15 Mn in wholesale value (Conover, 1998). Foliage plants have become a major economic commodity in a relatively short period of time and according to the 2008 USDA Floriculture Crops Summary the total value of wholesale foliage plant production was estimated at $630 Mn, which was a 19% increase from 2006. In recent years though, there has been some discrepancy with the USDAs report on foliage plants with the large decline in sales and numbe r of producers reported in 2006. The more actual picture of the foliage in dustry is the value of wholesale foliage plant production has steadily increased from $574 Mn in 2000 and has since recovered from the

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16 hurricane destruction of 2004 (J.E Barrett, personal communicat ion; USDA Floriculture Crops Summary, 2008). Container Gardening Trends Container gardening originated in Europe in the 1980s as a way to garden in small spaces; by the early 1990s, this activity was introduced in North America to meet the demands of increased urbanization and has become a staple in the horticulture indus try (Ouellet, 2001). Between 1999 and 2004 the National Gardening Asso ciation (2007) reported that container gardening doubled in popularity with upwards of 26 Mn households participating nationwide. In response to the popularity of cont ainer gardens, there has been an increase in demand for new and unique plant varieties along with a surge in sales of bedding and garden plants (Ouellet, 2001). To determine what consumers are lookin g for in a container ga rden, a recent online survey by Mason et al. (2008) examined the consumer preferences of three container gardening attributes; color harmony, price and care informa tion provided. The survey had 985 respondents that answered questions on past experience and future intentions of container gardening. The researchers found that the respondents consider ed $24.99 an appropriate price for a container garden composed of plants that reflected co mplementary color harmony. Another important finding was that if detailed care information was provided with the container garden, 76% of the respondents would more likely purchase and 85% would consider visiti ng a website to obtain further information on container gardening. Also, consumers stated they would likely return to the garden center to purchase a dditional plant material to replen ish their container garden. In 2006, the national key consumer groups fo r container gardeni ng sales were women (62% of sales), college-educated households (9 1% of sales), two-person households (38% of sales), households with no children (70% of sa les) and households with incomes of $50,000 and over (52% of sales) (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007) An upward trend in container gardening has

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17 significantly contributed to nati onal and regional horticu lture retail sales. In 2006, the southern states had the second highest percentage of tota l sales (27%) just behind the western U.S. (32%) in the container gardening category which has an average total retail sale value of $1.203 Bn (2000 through 2006) (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). As a staple in the industry, container gardens require new and unique plant material with increased educational and promotional materials to continually create interest and app eal for the product. These efforts will help to maintain container gardens in the gr owth phase of the product lifecycle. Plant Growth Regulators in the Foliage Industry Plant growth regulation is defined as any ch emical process used to produce a specific growth response such as increased rooting or un iform rooting on cuttings, stimulation of seed germination, control of root and shoot growth in tissue cultu re propagation, and induction or retardation of stem elongation (Dole and Wilkins, 2004). Chemi cal growth retardants are the most commonly used and commercially important plant growth regulators (PGRs) in floriculture that limit stem elongation of container grown plan ts to produce a more compact plant (Gaston et al., 2002). Growth regulating chem icals usually affect plant horm one levels which define and direct plant growth; gibberellins are one such endogenous plant growth regulator. Gibberellins are responsible for shoot elongation, thus anti -gibberellin compounds are commonly used to control height (Dole and Wilkin s, 2004). For the highest effi cacy, growth retardants require application prior to or during the rapid growth phase to reduc e internode elongation (Dole and Wilkins, 2004). The effects of stem elongation ca n not be reversed; howev er, the application of growth retardants can slow the process. The wholesale production growth control standards for plant he ight are typically 20 to 35% shorter plants, when compared to untreated pl ants (B.E. Whipker, personal communication). Plant diameter wholesale standards normally range from 15 to 25% smaller plants, when

PAGE 18

18 compared to untreated plants. For perennial pl ant growers, Thomas et al. (1997) established a 30% height reduction assessment point when chemi cal regulation is used. Other effects of a chemical growth retardant treatment is the produc tion of a stockier plant with thicker stems that produce higher survival rates du ring shipping, along with the aesthe tic benefit of greener foliage (Dole and Wilkins, 2004). Foliage plants are one such container grown plant that can benefit from the use of PGRs to control plant size (height and spr ead). Foliage plants tend to be lush and bold in size making them sometimes appear disproportionate with the container during pr oduction. Interiorscape displays of foliage plants demand tidy plants th at do not appear leggy and overgrown. There is a need to investigate the use of PGRs to control growth of new foliage genera and cultivars in small and large containers. Paclobutrazol Paclobutrazol ((+)-(R*,R*)([4-cholorphenyl]m ethyl-(1,1-dimethylethyl0-1 H -1,2,4triazole-1-ethanol) (Bonzi, Syngenta Crop Pr otection, Greensboro, N.C.) has been proven effective on several foliage plants (Conover, 1994; Cox and Whittington, 1988; Poole and Conover, 1992; Pulley and Davis, 1986; Wang and Blessington, 1990). Substrate drenches of paclobutrazol are one such method for effectivel y controlling a range of upright and spreading foliage plants. Pulley et al. ( 1986) applied paclobutr azol drenches of 0.1 a nd 0.5 mg a.i. per pot to croton (Codiaeum variegatum ), ficus ( Ficus benjamina ), Swedish ivy ( Plectranthus forsteri ), and wandering jew ( Tradescantia zebrina ). All treatments significantl y reduced shoot growth of all four species eight weeks after treatment. Poole et al. (1992) treated angel-wing begonia ( Begonia coccinea ), schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla ), Petra croton ( Codiaeum variegatum ), golden pothos (Scindapsus aures), purple passion plant (Gynura aurantiaca ), Duda Red hibisicus ( Hibisicus sp.), Double White hibisicus ( Hibisicus sp.), and China Doll

PAGE 19

19 rademachera ( Rademachera sinica) with paclobutrazo l substrate drenches between 0.25 and 1.0 mg a.i. per pot. Shorter and smaller plants of all eight species were produced with a paclobutrazol drench 11 weeks afte r treatment (WAT). The largest significant difference in plant size for each species was found when the height of plants treated with the lowest rate was compared to the height of the untreated contro l plants (Poole et al., 1992 ). Conover (1994) also evaluated angel-wing begonia (Begonia coccinea ) using a paclobutrazol drench between 0.12 and 0.50 mg a.i. per pot. All paclobutrazol treatments produced smaller plants, when compared to untreated plants 16 WAT. Applications of 0.1 2 and 0.25 mg a.i. per pot resulted in the overall best plant quality. Paclobutrazol spray applications were also e ffective at controlling foliage plant growth (Cox and Whittington, 1988; Henny, 1990). Contact with the stem or roots is critical for spray applications as paclobutrazol is not readily translocated to th e shoot apex through the foliage (Barrett et al., 1994). Cox et al. (1988) evaluated pacl obutrazol sprays (25 to 400 mg.L-1) and drenches (0.12 to 2.0 mg a.i. per pot) on aluminum plant ( Pilea cadierei). Both spray and drench applications of paclobutrazol produ ced smaller plants eight WAT. Overall, drench applications resulted in greater control than sprays; however foliar necrosis was observed on plants grown in substrates drenched with paclobutrazol. Spray concentrations of 25 and 50 mg.L-1 were not as effective as higher spray concentrations; however these concentrations did not produce necrotic foliage under a simulated interior environment. Henny (1990) conducted an extensive screening with paclobutrazol on foliage plants and categorized PGR response as sli ght, moderate and high for sprays and drenches. He discovered little response to paclob utrazol sprays at concen trations of 5 to 100 mg.L-1 on Ficus elastica For drenches, he found rates of 0.75 to 3.0 mg a.i. per pot slightly controlled growth of Ficus

PAGE 20

20 elastica A moderate response with paclobutrazol dren ches (mg a.i. per pot) was produced with Dieffenbachia maculata and Peperomia obtusifolia at rates of 0.06 to 0.25. Syngonium podophyllum also yielded a moderate growth response at 0.1 to 1.0 mg a.i. per pot. A high response to paclobutrazol drenches occurred with Ficus lyrita Plectranthus australis and Zebrina pendula at rates of 0.75 to 4.0, 0.2 to 1.0, and 0.5 mg a.i. per pot, respectively. Flurprimidol Flurprim idol (1.5% a.i.) ( -(1-methylethyl)-[4-(trifluoromethyoxy) phenyl]-5-pyrimidinemethanol) (SE-5004, SePRO, Carm el, Ind.) is a recently introduced PGR to the U.S. market, but has been available in Europe and other countries for several years (Dole and Wilkins, 2004). Flurprimidol has proven to be effective on foliage plants and can be applied as a spray or drench; similar to paclobutrazol, the chemi cal solution must contact the stem or roots, as it is not readily translocated to the shoot apex through the foliage (Barrett et al., 1994). Early work conducted with flurprim idol on chrysanthemums ( Dendranthema xgrandiflorum Kitam.) demonstrated that it had a greater effect on plan t height than paclobutrazo l (Barrett, 1982). Later research by Barrett and Nell (1983) s howed that flurprimodol as a 2,000 mg.L-1 spray was successful in controlling plant height on unpruned or pruned Ficus benjamina plants; a 10 mg a.i. per pot drench also controlled height of unpruned Ficus plants. Pennisi (2006) evaluated flurprimidol and ancymidol ( -cyclopropyl-( pmethoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidine methanol) (A-Rest, SePro Corp., Carmel, Ind.) on a recently introduced foliage cultivar Geogenanthus Inca ( Geogenanthus sp.). Similar flurprimidol and ancymidol drench rates of 0.50 to 1.5 mg a.i. per pot were applied 12 weeks after potting (WAP). At 16 WAP, plants were placed in a simulated interior environment with high and low light levels. At 18 WAP plant height was measured and both flurprimidol and ancymidol treatments produced shorter Geogenanthus Inca plants with superior pl ant performance, when compared

PAGE 21

21 to untreated plants. Flurprimidol treatments produced shorter plants with a better visual quality rating than ancymidol treated plants. Pennisi co ncluded that plants treated with ancymidol or flurprimidol at 0.50 mg a.i. per pot produced the most visually proportional Inca plants at the lowest chemical cost per pot. Foliage Plant Marketing Consumer behavior is an important topic to consider when marketing new foliage genera and introducing cultivars to the retail market. Garden center customers tend to buy what they want, not what they need (Dunn, 1992). Thus the buying process of new plants in retail outlets falls under the definition of an impulse purchase. Impulse buying is defined in this study as a purchase decision made in-store with no explic it recognition of a need (or want) for such a purchase prior to entry into the store (Abratt and Goodey, 1990). An unplanned purchase is similar to an impulse purchase because it is a purchase decision made in-store; however it fulfills a present or future need or want. Promoti ng products as impulse or unplanned purchases increases awareness, trial-ability, and ultim ately market share (Abratt and Goodey, 1990). Demand is created as an impulse or an unplanne d purchase becomes a repeat purchase; thus a new product evolves into a planned purchase. The driving mechanism fo r impulse buying is the use of in-store stimuli that act as a reminder of shopping needs; th is includes in-store sitting, onshelf positions, price-off promotions, sampling, point-of-purchase displays, coupons and in-store demonstrations (Abratt and Goodey, 1990). High lighting in-store awar eness and providing consumer education on new products alleviat es consumer hesitation and may remind the consumer of a present or future need, and thus makes it easier to justify purchases. Pennisi et al. (2005) addre ssed ways to increase awaren ess and promote new tropical foliage plants to consumers. To increase sales, the researchers described the benefits of foliage plants that need to be conveye d to consumers to encourage a need or a want for purchasing.

PAGE 22

22 They indicate that foliage plants are fairly maintenance-free having few insect and disease problems and no petal drop or flower removal. Since most foliage plants thrive in humid conditions, fungal problems are generally not an i ssue. Some foliage species can tolerate lower temperatures, especially if they are exposed to temperatures that drop slowly. Several of these plants can even withstand freezing on a limited basis if the relative humidity is high and the air is still, and many foliage plants can be over wintered indoors to increase their versatility. Also the majority of foliage plants can tolerate low-lig ht environments as opposed to many of the new vegetatively produced flowering pl ants. Pennisi et al (2005) described one potential marketing outlet or niche for new tropical folia ge plant speciestheir use in container gardens. They state that due to the increased popular ity of combination gardens with consumers, colorful foliage plants can be used alone or combined with flower ing plants to create attractive, low-maintenance containers. Consumer Behavior The grocery industry has done extensive resear ch into prior consum er knowledge of the store, time available for shopping, and point-of-purchase materials in how that affects consumer purchase behavior (Point of Purchase Institute 1978; Park et al., 1989; Abratt and Goodey, 1990; Bucklin and Lattin, 1991). Park et al. (1989) conducted a field experiment to explore the effects of two situational factors on consumers gro cery shopping behavior: prior store knowledge and time available for shopping. Their study of 68 s ubjects found that consumers with low store knowledge and no time pressure engaged in signifi cantly more in-store informational processing and thus higher amounts of unplanned purchases. One alternative e xplanation for this occurrence is when the number of products that consumers actually purch ase is large, their likelihood of exposure to in-store product stimuli increases, which ma y in turn increase the level of unplanned buying. Consumers within this category of low store knowledge and no time

PAGE 23

23 pressure resulted in 47% of unplanned purchases Consumers with high store knowledge and no time pressure resulted in 20% of unplanned purchas es. Those consumers that were under a time pressure situation and had low store knowledge resulted in 16% of unplanned purchases, compared to 13% of unplanned purchases from high store knowledge and under a time pressure situation. Among all unplanned purchases, 33% were due to reasons other than simple exposure effects and involved active processing of produc t information that may have made subjects aware of previously unrecognized needs. Park et al. (1989) included strategies for th e grocery industry to a dopt that would help increase purchasing behavior by embracing a coordi nated approach to the store environment. These strategies include arra ngement of aisles based on consumers prior knowledge or expectations of product location, and arrangement of product disp lays for non-staple items in prime locations to reduce purchase failure rates. Another strate gy includes join t displays of substitutable products to encourage produc t-level switching as opposed to purchase postponement when a preferred brand or product is not available. A final strategy was to place highly visible displays of brand or product inform ation to promote the recognition of previously unrecognized needs. In the grocery industry, point-of-purchase prom otional materials are pa rticularly important given the large proportion of in-store decisions (Bucklin and Lattin, 1991). According to the Abratt and Goodey (1990) study on unplanned buying and in-store stimuli in supermarkets, instore stimuli significantly affect unplanned pur chases. From a samp le of 400 respondents involved in unplanned bra nd purchase decisions, 70% said that the purchase decision was due to shelf signs, point-of-sale material end-of-aisle displays and speci al displays. With a previous study by the Point-of-Purchase Institute (1978) citing 65% of supermarket purchases being made

PAGE 24

24 in-store and over 50% of these purchases being unplanned purcha ses, the grocery industry has parallels to retail garden centers as 83% of ga rden center purchases are unplanned or made instore (Niemieria et al., 1993). T hus grocery in-store marketing strategies can be adapted to garden centers to promote unplanned or impul se purchasing on new or unfamiliar products. A garden center-based marketing needs survey by Niemieria et al. ( 1993) revealed that consumers desired plant information and that only 17% of customers had a specific idea of what plants to purchase. The overriding conclusion fro m this study shows that many garden center customers wait until they are in the store to deve lop reasons for making purchases, similar to the grocery industry. One setback fo r the horticulture retail industry is the low ratio of garden center salespersons to customers dur ing the active buying season. This often makes it difficult to educate the consumer about products. Beck er and Poorbaugh (1996) noted that verbal consultation between salespeople and consumers is time-consuming, and its effectiveness depends on employee knowledge. They also suggest ed providing visual materials highlighting essential plant information that could be helpfu l to both customers and employees. According to the Garden Center Institute, more than 70% of all purchasing decisions are made independently of a salespersons help (Dunn, 1992). Thus ga rden centers must provide good informational signage and keep their stores well-merchandise d to achieve impulse purchases on new products and those that have likely been untried by thei r customer base. Also, garden centers may consider adopting some of the grocery industry strategies for achieving higher incidences of impulse and unplanned sales. Stegelin (2001) looked at the role of point-of-sale information on consumers purchase decisions in a survey cond ucted at urban and rural garden centers in Georgia. He found that point-ofsale information is the third hi ghest factor below plant quality and selection when consumers are selecting a ga rden center. Also point-of-sale information

PAGE 25

25 came in second under garden center staff when consumers were looking for a source for technical assistance. Stegelin states that repeat customers are the lifeblood of the garden center industry and in order to achieve this advertised specials ar e needed to draw in customers similar to the grocery industry. Once in the gard en center, information must be provided in the form of sales staff or promotional materials to assist customers with their purchase decisions. Consumer behavior theories can be utilized to explain the purchasing behavior when consumers are exposed to an array of product choices. The attitude -nonattitude continuum explains how attitudes or preferences towards objects can vary in strength and as the strength increases the likelihood towards activation also increas es (Mitchell, 1993). When this attitude is activated there is an increased likelihood that th e immediate perceptions will be inline with the attitude. Fazio et al. (1986) concluded with th eir activation of attitude research that stronger attitudes and those that are more accessible from memory are more likely to influence behavior. Therefore, a stronger attitude on the attitude-nonattitude cont inuum, the greater the likelihood that attitude will guide purchase behavior (Mitch ell, 1993). To further explain ones behavior, the theory of planned behavior states that not only is it necessary to have an attitude towards the behavior, but the attitude also has be inline with subjective norm s and the person must have the perception that the behavior is accomplishabl e (Ajzen, 1991). A person may have a strong positive attitude towards the behavior, however if th e attitude is in conflic t with their subjective norms or they do not possess the resources or opportunities thought necessary to achieve the behavior than the behavior may not be perfor med. However creating strong positive attitudes towards objects in a largely nonbranded environment is a challenge as Sanbonmatsu et al. (1986) addresses; products that ar e branded make it easier for the consumer to store information about the brand and when the brand is introduced consumers can activate attitudes automatically

PAGE 26

26 from memory and once activated, brands can influe nce their purchasing behavior. In a garden center environment, where many of the products do not car ry a brand name or the consumer has yet to associate the particular product with the brand, and where ma ny of the products are unlikely to provoke long deliberat ion makes it difficult for the consumer to activate attitudes from memory; thus the purchase is more spont aneous. Therefore the challenge for garden centers is to implore ways to create positive consumer attitudes towards their products and to continually strengthen those attitudes. Mitche ll (1993) describes some of the tactics from consumer behavior research that can be utilized to promote attitude accessibility that could be implemented in an environment like a garden cent er. The tactics the rese archer illustrates are direct behavior experiences; this allows the c onsumer to become more familiar with the product (i.e. samples) than advertising alone Another research tactic to strengthen attitude s is the use of cues in the advertising materials that may request the consumer to consider their feelings toward the product and to utilize point of purchase displays to link the advertisement with the product in the store. And consumers possessing highly inaccessible attitudes because the attitudes have yet to be formed are more easily swayed by new information about the product or product category. Marketing Survey Surveys are the m ost commonly used interact ive instrument where consumers respond to questions asking about their be liefs or behaviors (Solomon, 2000) The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) is one of the most widely accepted sources for methodology used in conducting and analyzing a survey in the social sciences. Six basic steps to conduct an effective survey include 1) determine a research question to answ er, 2) define the populati on, 3) select a sample from the population, 4) construct the questionnaire, 5) conduct the survey and 6) process the data. To construct a reliable and valid survey, steps are outlined to write survey questions that

PAGE 27

27 are short, simple, unbiased, that avoid unambiguous answers and leading questions and reviewed by a panel of experts and pilot tested (Dillman, 2000). In-store or directly administered surveys are one tool used to determine how and who to market new products too because they provide information on needs, trends, preferences, and demographics. They have been used repeatedly in the horticulture indus try to collect consumer information at garden centers on buying habits marketing needs, and service and quality attributes (Garber and Bondari, 1998; Hudson et al., 1997; Satterthwaite et al., 2004). Pennisi et al. (2005) conducted a post-purchase survey on the demand for fo liage plants in large urban centers of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. This post-purchase survey was distributed to 30 independent retail garden centers in nine communities in the three states. An identical onepage instrument utilized questions in a Likert-scale format and was attached to the consumers receipt with instructions to bring the questionnai re back during their next visit to the garden center. Most retailers did provide a gift as an incentive to return the completed questionnaire. The researchers received 1,897 completed questionna ires in late spring of 2003. Results from the surveys indicated that foliage was not predom inantly displayed in the garden centers, foliage plant selection was limited, and promotional materi als for foliage was nil to non-existent. The retailers that administered these surveys were in agreement with their consumers observations. Retailers indicated they had rece ived little or no point-of-purchase promotional materials from the growers or brokers that provided them w ith the foliage plant material. In addition, researchers examined public media sources wher e foliage plants may have been promoted 30 days prior to survey distributi on and only one magazine article on foliage use in interiorscapes was revealed. Pennisi et al. ( 2005) concluded that these consumer s were largely unaware of the benefits and potential associated with foliage plants. The survey revealed that consumers

PAGE 28

28 associated foliage plants to florist shops where one item per purchase is common. The researchers also found through their surveys that th ere is little differen tiation among plant types, forms, sizes, or colors by the consumers, much less the different genus, species, cultivars, and varieties. The researchers proposed that if foliage demand is to gr ow in the traditional markets, consumer education efforts are mandatory and th at this can be done through push and/or pull marketing strategies. To implement a push stra tegy the grower or brok er would try to move foliage plants through the channel by convinci ng other growers or retailers to offer them (Solomon, 2000). If a push strategy is implemented than the grower or broker would try to move foliage plants through the channel by building desire for the plants among consumers, thus convincing other growers or retailers to re spond to this demand by stocking these items (Solomon, 2000). Pennisi et al. ( 2005) stated that price is not an issue [for foliage plants]; rather why purchase? is the issue. Product Placement Product placem ent is another potential component to achie ve maximum sales in retail establishments. Underhill (2001) states that all shopping or retail experiences follow a standard pattern. Different constraints exist whether men or women, young or old, by themselves or as a family are shopping; however the overall shoppi ng pattern is the same. The challenge for retailersfrom a person with an up-scale garden center to a pers on with a table at a farmers' marketis to enhance the shopping experience to promote sales. U nderhill's research shows that the shopping experience goes through five steps or stages called "zones". The five zones Underhill identifies are the landing, transition, destin ation, transaction and exit zones. Within a garden center, the landing zone is the initial experience that ranges from the signs, parking lot appearance, to the welcoming eye contact at the garden center. The transition zone is the point of entrythe doorway space, th e overall presentation whic h clarifies the space at

PAGE 29

29 the entry of the garden center. The destination zone is where products ar e displayed and offered for sale. This zone requires space for consumers to conduct shopping. Additionally the destination zone should feat ure a sub-zone called a hovering zone for people who are accompanying the shopper yet not actively involved in the purchasing process. The transaction zone is where the actual sale is made and goods and services are exchan ged. Finally, the exit zone is the departure point to facilitate the removal of th e purchased items which were purchased. The exit zone is also a place to enco urage a return shopping trip. Within these five zones, three represent the areas where most of the purch asing decisions are made; landing, transition and destination zones. Among these thr ee zones, it is important to determine whether any of these zones with the sa me product display lead to more consumer purchases so that displays in this location can be utilized to their fu llest potential to achieve the most sales. Gibson et al. (2007) conducted research on consumer purchase patterns in Florida utilizing displays in the three retail zones identified by Paco Underhill: landing, transition and destination zones. In the study, the landing zone yielded the most sales, yet with the limited data collected, further investigation into this area is needed to make definitive conclusions. Objectives 1. Identify plant growth regulator rates of paclobutrazol and flurprim idol on vigorous foliage plant species for use in container gardens. 2. Determine consumer preferences and demogr aphics towards foliage plant container gardens by means of directly administered su rveys. This study will identify consumer purchase behavior at University of Florida E nvironmental Horticulture student plant sales or rural and urban Florida garden centers. 3. Use the data collected from the directly administered survey along with sales and customer information to support outdoor folia ge plant container gardens as a possible outlet to increase foliage plan t sales in the horticulture i ndustry. Determine from the garden center point-of-sale sy stem which retail zone c onstituted the most foliage container garden sales.

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30 CHAPTER 2 GROWTH RESPONSE OF FOLIAGE PLANTS TO FLURPRIMIDOL AND PACL OBUTRAZOL Introduction Certain foliage plants are lush and bold in si ze causing them to appear disproportionate to their container. Foliage plant appearance can improve with the use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) to control plant size (h eight and spread). W holesale production growth control standards for plant height are typically 20 to 35% shorter plants, when comp ared to untreated plants (B.E. Whipker, personal communication). Plant diameter wholesale standards normally range from 15 to 25% smaller plants, when compared to untreated plants. For perennial plant growers, Thomas et al. (1997) established a 30% height reduction assessment point when chemical regulation is used. Other effects of chemical growth retardan ts are the production of stockier plants with thicker stems that produce higher survival rates during shipping, plus the aesthetic benefit of greener foliage (Dole and Wilkin s, 2004). The foliage and inte riorscape plant industries would benefit from a PGR program that would reduce or eliminate the need to replace or prune plants (Pennisi, 2006). Paclobutrazol ((+)-(R*,R*)([4-cholorphenyl]methyl-(1,1-dimethylethyl0-1 H -1,2,4triazole-1-ethanol) (Bonzi, Syngenta Crop Pr otection, Greensboro, N.C.) has been proven effective on several foliage plants (Conover, 1994; Cox and Whittington, 1988; Poole and Conover, 1992; Pulley and Davis, 1986; Wang and Blessington, 1990). Substrate drenches of paclobutrazol are one such method for effectivel y controlling a range of upright and spreading foliage plants. Pulley et al. ( 1986) applied paclobutr azol drenches of 0.1 a nd 0.5 mg a.i. per pot to croton (Codiaeum variegatum ), ficus ( Ficus benjamina ), Swedish ivy ( Plectranthus forsteri ), and wandering jew ( Tradescantia zebrina ). All treatments controlled shoot growth of all four species eight weeks after trea tment. Poole et al. (1992) treated angel-wing begonia (Begonia

PAGE 31

31 coccinea ), schefflera ( Schefflera actinophylla ), Petra croton ( Codiaeum variegatum ), golden pothos ( Scindapsus aures ), purple passion plant ( Gynura aurantiaca ), Duda Red hibisicus ( Hibisicus sp.), Double White hibisicus ( Hibisicus sp.), and China Doll rademachera ( Rademachera sinica) with paclobutrazol substrate drench es between 0.25 and 1.0 mg a.i./pot. Shorter and smaller plants of all eight species were produced with a paclobutrazol drench 11 weeks after treatment (WAT). Th e most effective and cost effi cient treatment was paclobutrazol at the lowest concentration of 0.25 mg a.i./p ot on each species (Poole et al., 1992). Conover (1994) also evaluated angel-wing begonia ( Begonia coccinea ) using a paclobutrazol drench between 0.12 and 0.50 mg a.i./pot. All paclobutr azol treatments produced smaller plants, when compared to untreated plants 16 WAT. Applica tions of 0.12 and 0.25 mg a.i./pot resulted in the best overall best plant quality. Paclobutrazol spray applications were also e ffective at controlling foliage plant growth (Cox et al., 1988; Henny, 1990). Contact with the stem or roots is critical for spray applications, as paclobutrazol is not readily tr anslocated to the shoot apex th rough the foliage (Barrett et al., 1994). Cox et al. (1988) evaluated paclobutrazol sprays (25 to 400 mg.L-1) and drenches (0.12 to 2.0 mg a.i./pot) on aluminum plant ( Pilea cadierei). Both spray and drench applications of paclobutrazol produced smaller plants eight WAT. Overall, drench applications resulted in greater control than sprays; however foliar necros is was observed on plants grown in substrates drenched with paclobutrazol. Spra y concentrations of 25 and 50 mg.L-1 were not as effective as higher spray concentrations; however these concen trations did not produce necrotic foliage under a simulated interior environment. Henny (1990) conducted an extensive screening with paclobutrazol on foliage plants and categorized PGR response as sli ght, moderate and high for sprays and drenches. He discovered

PAGE 32

32 little response to paclob utrazol sprays at concen trations of 5 to 100 mg.L-1 on Ficus elastica For drenches, he found rates of 0.75 to 3.0 mg a. i./pot slightly controlled growth of Ficus elastica A moderate response with paclobutrazol drenches was produced with Dieffenbachia maculata and Peperomia obtusifolia at rates of 0.06 to 0.25 mg a.i. Syngonium podophyllum also yielded a moderate growth response at 0.1 to 1.0 mg a.i.. A high resp onse to paclobutrazol drenches occurred with Ficus lyrita Plectranthus australis and Zebrina pendula at rates of 0.75 to 4.0, 0.2 to 1.0, and 0.5 mg a.i./pot, respectively. Flurprimidol (1.5% a.i.) ( -(1-methylethyl)-[4-(trifluoromethyoxy) phenyl]-5-pyrimidinemethanol) (SE-5004, SePRO, Ca rmel, Ind.) is a PGR that was recently introduced to the U.S. market, but has been avai lable in Europe and other countries for several years (Dole and Wilkins, 2004). Flurprimidol has proven to be effective on foliage plants and can be applied as a spray or drench; similar to paclobutrazol, the chemical solution must contact the stem or roots, as it is not readily translocated to the shoot apex through the foliage (Barrett et al., 1994). Early work conducted with flurprimidol on chrysanthemum ( Dendranthema xgrandiflorum Kitam.) demonstrated that it had a greater effect on plant height than paclobutrazol (Barrett, 1982). Later research by Barrett and Nell (1983) showed that a flurprimidol spray at 2,000 mg.L-1 was successful in controlling plant height on unpruned or pruned Ficus benjamina plants; a 10 mg a.i./pot drench also controlled height of unpruned Ficus plants. Pennisi (2006) evaluated flurprimidol and ancymidol ( -cyclopropyl-( pmethoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidine methanol) (A-Rest, SePro Corp., Carmel, Ind.) on a recently introduced foliage cultivar Geogenanthus Inca ( Geogenanthus sp.). Similar flurprimidol and ancymidol drench rates of 0.50 to 1.5 mg a.i./pot were applied 12 weeks after potting (WAP). At

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33 16 WAP, plants were placed in a simulated interior environment with high and low light levels. At 18 WAP plant height was measured and both flurprimidol and ancymidol treatments produced shorter Geogenanthus Inca plants with superior pl ant performance, when compared to untreated plants. Flurprimidol treatments pr oduced shorter plants with better visual quality ratings than ancymidol treated plants. Pennisi co ncluded that plants trea ted with ancymidol or flurprimidol at 0.50 mg a.i./pot produced the mo st visually proportional Inca plants at the lowest chemical cost per pot. There is limited information on the effectiven ess of PGRs on newly introduced foliage plant species. Therefore the objectives for Experi ments 1 and 2 are to identify the optimal rates of PGRs on vigorous new foliage plant species. The objective for Experiment 1 is to measure the growth control of Elephant Ear-type genera using paclobutr azol and flurprimidol as foliar sprays and substrate drenches. The objectives for Experiment 2 is to measure the growth control of traditional vigorous foliage pl ants using a broad range of concentrations of paclobutrazol and flurprimidol as a substrate drench, then combine similarly treated plants in container gardens to measure carry-over efficacy and then to pose these varying sized PGR container gardens to the public to gather their responses. Materials and Method Experiment 1 Plugs (3.8 x 6.4 cm [1.5 x 2.5 inch] ce lls) of tropical foliage plants Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge, Colocasia esculenta Gigantea, and Xanthosoma violaceum were transplanted into 8.3 x 11.4 cm (3.25 x 4.5 inch ) round plastic containers on 11 Dec. 2006. The root substrate was Fafard 4-P (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderso n, SC), which contained (v/v): 4 sphagnum peat: 2 pine bark: 2 vermiculite: 1 perl ite. Plants were fertilized once weekly with

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34 200 mg.L-1 N using Total Gro 14-4-14 (14N-1.8P-11.6K) (Total Gro, Winsboro, La.). The plants were grown under natural daylength. PGR foliar sprays (in mg.L-1) were applied 24 d after potting (using a volume of 0.5 gal/100ft2): flurprimidol at 20, 40, or 80; paclobutrazol at 20, 40, or 80; and an untreated control for each chemical. PGR substrate drench treatment s (in mg a.i./pot) were also applied 24 d after potting using a volume of 90 mL [3 oz] of solution per pot: flurprimidol at 0.50, 1.0, or 2.0; paclobutrazol at 0.50, 1.0, or 2.0; and an untreated control for each treatment. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block desi gn with five single-plan t replications of the thirteen treatments. Total plant height (measured from the pot rim to the top of the foliage), plant diameter (diameter was measured at the wi dest dimension and turned 90, and averaged), and visual quality (1 to 5 scal e, 1 = excellent, five or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two leaves; 4 = unsatisfa ctory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying) were measured 3, 6 and 9 weeks after treatment (WAT). Data Analysis Data for plant height, plant diam eter, and vi sual quality were te sted by analysis of variance. Means were separated by l east significant differences (LSD) at P 0.05. Plant height and diameter values were regressed using the PROC REG procedure (SAS Inst., Cary, NC) to determine the best fit linear or quadratic mode l for substrate drenches of flurprimidol or paclobutrazol. Terms of the model were judged to be significant or nonsignificant and included in the final model based on a comparison of F values at = 0.05. The quadratic and the linear models were compared to determine best fit based on r2 values. Experiment 2 Experiment 2 measured plant growth of vi gorous foliage plants produced in small pots grown in substrates treated with a substrate drench of flurpr imidol or paclobutrazol, then

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35 transplanted into larger contai ners to measure carry-over effi cacy. Plugs (3.8 x 6.4 cm [1.5 x 2.5 inch] cells) of upright Cordyline Sundance plants, mounding Ardisia humalis plants, and trailing Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' plants were placed in 8.3 x 11.4 cm (3.25 x 4.5 inch) round plastic containers on 11 Dec. 2006. The root substrate was Fafard 4-P (Fafard, Anderson, SC), which contained (v/v): 4 sphagnum peat: 2 pine bark: 2 vermiculite: 1 perlite. Plants were fertilized once weekly with 200 mg.L-1 N using Total Gro 14-4-14 (14N-1.8P-11.6K) (Total Gro, Winsboro, La.). The plants were grown under natural daylength. Ten PGR drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) were applied 67 d after potting using a volum e of 90 mL [3 oz] of solution per pot: flurprimidol or paclobutrazol at 0.25, 0.50, 1.0, 2.0, or 4.0; and an untreated control for each treatment. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with six single-plant replications of the eleven treatments. Total plant height (measured from the pot rim to the top of the foliage), plant diameter (diameter was measured at the widest dimension and turned 90, and averaged), and visual quality (1 to 5 scale, 1 = excellent, five or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, tw o leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, failing, almost dead) were measured 6 WAT. At 6 WAT single, similarly treated plants of Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were transplanted into 24.1 cm x 30.5 cm (12-inch) round terra-cotta colored plastic containers to measure carry-over efficacy as a result of the previously applied substrate drenches. The root substrate was Fafard 2 (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderson, SC), which contained (v/v): 6.5 sphagnum peat: 2 perlite: 1.5 vermiculite. Plants were watered using drip irrigation and fer tilized once weekly with 200 mg.L-1 N using Total Gro 14-4-14 (14N-1.8P-11.6K) (Total Gro, Winsboro, La.). A topdressing of 30 g of Harrells controlled release fertilizer 19-6-12 (19N-2.62P-9.96K) (Harrells Fertilizer Inc., Holt, Mich.) was also

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36 applied. The experiment was arranged in a rand omized complete block design with six, tripleplant replications of the eleven treatments. Total plant height (measured from the pot rim to the top of the tallest foliage plant) plant diameters (diameter was m easured at the widest dimension and turned 90, and measured again) and visual qu ality (1 to 5 scale, 1 = excellent, all plants proportionate; 2 = good, disproportiona te with one plant smaller; 3 = small, two plants having stunted growth; 4 = poor, all plan ts stunted; 5 = very poor, dead or dying plants) were measured 9 and 12 WAT. On 31 Mar. and 1 Apr. 2007, a display of six foliage container gardens composed in Experiment 2 of the untreated control and the five concentrations of flurprimidol substrate drench treated Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were placed in a single row at the Emerald Co ast Flower Festival, Pensacola Junior College, Milton, FL for use in a consumer survey (Fig. 2-5). The objectives of this study were: 1) describe the consumers preferen ce for a specific container garden after being told the container gardens varied in size due to th e use of plant growth regulators applications 2) determine the recommended price range of the selected foli age container garden; and 3) correlate the consumers intent to buy with their preferred foliage container, price range given, and which consumer group they were associated with. Randomly selected consumers at the plant sale were asked to complete a three question questionnaire (see Appendix D): 1) of the six foliage containers, which one would you purchase?; 2) what would be an appropriate price for the container garden you chose?; 3) would you buy this container garden today? This surv ey was repeated with similar foliage plant container gardens at the University of Florida-Gainesville Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association plant sale on 14 and 15 Apr. This survey was also administered to north-

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37 central Florida Master Gardener groups on the University of Florida campus during the Master Gardener Field Day on 18 May, and to the member s of the Frontrunners Ch apter of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) on 12 June. Data Analysis Plant growth regulator treatments in individual and combination containers At 6 W AT data for plant height, plant diameter and visual quality were tested by analysis of variance. Means were separated by least significant differences (LSD) at P 0.05. At 9 and 12 WAT data for overall container plant size (tot al plant height + first diameter + second diameter/ 3) and visual quality were tested by analysis of variance. Means were separated by least significant differences (LSD) at P 0.05. Consumer survey Data were entered into a database and statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS version 14.0 for Windows. In order to accompli sh the objectives of this study, descriptive statistics of freque ncies were utilized. Results Experiment 1 Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol sprays Visual quality. Visual quality ratings of Colocasia escu lenta Nancys Revenge plants were significant by week and treatment. Visual quality improved slightly from 2.9 three WAT to 2.3 nine WAT (data not shown). Concen trations of flurprimidol at 80 mg.L-1 or paclobutrazol at 40 or 80 mg.L-1 expressed poorer quality, when compared to the untreated control (Table 2-1). All other treatments were similar in quality to the control. Colocasia esculenta Gigantea had visual quality ratings that were significant by week and improved from 2.5 to 2.1 to 1.2 at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 0.3, n = 35). Visu al quality was not significant by treatment in

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38 the pooled data (Table 2-2). Visual quality ratings of Xanthosoma violaceum were significant by week. The plants appeared their best 6 WAT ( 1.6) compared to 3 WAT (2.4) when foliage was slow to expand or 9 WAT (2.3) when foliage ap peared chlorotic (LSD = 0.3, n = 35). Visual quality was also significant by treatment; concentr ations of flurprimidol or paclobutrazol at 80 mg.L-1 produced poorer quality plants when compared to the untreat ed control (Table 2-3). All other treatments were similar in quality to the untreated control. Plant height. Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol sprays were ineffective at limiting plant height for Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge. Plant height was significant only by week. Overtime, plant height increased from 20.4 to 25.7 cm and finally 30.3 cm, during 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 1.8 n = 35). Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea was significant by week and treatment. Overtime, plant height increased from 21.7 to 30.0 to 35.3 cm at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 1.6, n = 35). The pooled data 9 WAT indicated that plants sprayed with flurprimidol at 40 mg.L-1 were 17% shorter when compared to the untreated control; however the highest concentration of flurprimidol produced a similar sized plant as the untreated control (Table 2-2). It is unclear why these results occurred. The highest concentration of p aclobutrazol at 80 mg.L-1 did produce 16% shorter plants, when compared to the untreated control. Plant height of Xanthosoma violaceum increased from 16.8 cm 3 WAT to 18.4 cm 6 WAT (LSD = 1.5, n = 35). Between 6 and 9 WAT, plant height remained the same. By treatment, flurprimidol spra y concentrations at 40 and 80 mg.L-1 produced 17% and 30%, shorter plants, respectively, when compared to th e untreated control (Tab le 2-3). Paclobutrazol treatments of 20, 40 and 80 mg.L-1 produced 18%, 23% and 15% smaller plants, respectively, when compared to the control.

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39 Plant diameter. Plant diameter of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge was not controlled by flurprimidol or paclobutrazol sprays up to 80 mg.L-1 (Table 2-1). Plant diameter of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea was 61.5, 74.4 and 91.1 cm at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD =3.8, n = 35). Plants treated with flurprimidol at 40 mg.L-1 were 20% smaller in plant diameter when compared to the untreated contro l; however the highest and lowest concentrations of flurprimidol produced a similar sized plant as th e untreated control (Table 2-2). It is unclear why these results occurre d. All paclobutrazol treatments were similar to the untreated control. Plant diameter of Xanthosoma violaceum was 40.5 cm 3 WAT and grew to 48.9 cm 6 WAT (LSD = 3.3, n = 35). Between 6 and 9 WAT, plant diameter remained the same. Applying flurprimidol at 40 and 80 mg.L-1 resulted in 11% and 15% smalle r plant diameters, respectively, when compared to the control (Table 23). All paclobutrazol spray concentrations produced similar sized plant diameters (12 to 15%), wh en compared to the untreated control. Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol drenches Visual quality. Visual quality ratings of Colocasia escu lenta Nancys Revenge were significant by treatment. Flurprimidol drench ra tes and paclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i. produced similar quality plants, but were lower in quality than the untreated co ntrol because of foliar chlorosis and fewer unfurled leaves As paclobutrazol concentrati on increased the visual quality ratings became worse; paclobutrazol at 2.0 mg a.i. produced severely stun ted plants with leaf curl (Table 2-4). Visu al quality ratings of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea were significant by week and improved from 2.8 to 2.3 to 1.7 at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 0.3, n = 35). Flurprimidol at 0.5 mg a.i. produ ced similar quality plants to the untreated control (Table 2-5). Flurprimidol at 1.0 and 2.0 mg a.i. resulted in st unted plants with puckered, curled leaves; similar visual quality ratings and foliar effects occu rred for paclobutrazol at 0.5 or 1.0 mg a.i., and paclobutrazol at 2.0 mg a.i. produced the worst l ooking plants. For the substrate drench treated

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40 Xanthosoma violaceum plants, there was a week x treatment interaction fo r visual quality. Three WAT, concentrations of flurpr imidol and paclobutrazol at 1.0 mg a.i./pot had similar visual quality ratings to the untreated control; all other treatments produced lower quality plants (Table 2-6). Six WAT, only flurprimidol at 1.0 mg a.i./pot was simila r in quality to the untreated control; however by 9 WAT all PGR treatments were lower in quality than the untreated control. Plant height. Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge was significant by week and treatment. Over time plant height increased from 15.3 to 17.7 to 20.5 cm at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 1.5, n = 35). All plants grown in substrates drenched with PGRs were shorter than the control (Tab le 2-4). All flurprimidol treatm ents were similar in height and within wholesale growth control standards (Fig. 2-1). Flur primidol drenches at 0.50 to 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced 24 to 33% shorter smaller plants compared to the control. Paclobutrazol at 0.50 to 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced 27% to 56% compared to the untreated control. Only the 0.5 mg a.i. rate of paclobutrazol was within wholesale gr owth control standards; all other paclobutrazol treatments produced stunted plants (Fig. 2-1). Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea was significant by week and treatment. Over time, plant height increased by 20.7 to 24.9 to 31.6 cm at 3, 6 and 9 WAT, respectively (LSD = 1.8, n = 35 ). Applying 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg a.i./pot of flurprimidol resulted in 11%, 20%, and 28% shorter plants, respectively, when compared to the untreated control (Table 2-5). Paclobutr azol at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced 17%, 26%, and 35% shorter plants, respec tively, when compared to the control. PGR rates of 1.0 and 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced plants within wholes ale growth control st andards (Fig. 2-2). Xanthosoma violaceum plants naturally became shorter over time with the upright leaves spreading out and growing horizonta l rather than vertical. Thr ee and 6 WAT mean plant height was 16.19 cm and 13.4 cm, respectively (LSD = 1.3, n = 35 ). Nine WAT plant heights

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41 remained the same. All flurprimidol and paclobutr azol drench treatments resulted in plants that were 38% to 40% shorter than the untreated control (Table 2-7). These treatments exceeded wholesale growth control standards and result ed in stunted, distorted looking plants. Plant diameter. Plant diameter of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge was significant by treatment. Flurprimidol at 0.5 and 1.0 mg a.i. had no effect on plant diameter; however 2.0 mg a.i. resulted in 14 % smaller plants compared to the untreated control (Table 24). Paclobutrazol at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg a.i. plan t produced 11%, 23%, and 33% smaller plants, respectively, when compared to the untreated control. Paclobutrazo l at 1.0 mg a.i. and flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i. were the only treat ments within wholesale plant diameter control standards; all other treatments were either below or above standard (Fig. 2-3). Plant diameter of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea was significant by week and treatment. Plant diameter grew from 56.9 to 69.8 to 80.7 cm at 3, 6 and 9 WAT (LSD = 3.4, n = 35). PGR drenches controlled growth and produced smaller plants than the un treated control. Paclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i. produced smaller plants than flurprimidol at 0.5 mg a.i. (Table 2-5). Both flurprimidol and paclobutrazol at 1.0 or 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced similar sized plants. Flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i./pot and all paclobutrazol rates produced plan ts within wholesale growth control standards (Fig. 2-4). As Xanthosoma violaceum plants decreased in height over time, plant diameter increased as a result of the natural downward and horizontal growth effect. Three WAT, plant diameter was 38.0 cm and at 6 WAT plant diamet er was 45.9 cm then remained the same at 9 WAT (LSD = 4.8, n = 35 ). Flurprimidol at 0.5 and 2.0 mg a.i./pot produced 31% and 25% smaller plants, respectively compared to the untr eated control (Table 2-7). It is unclear why flurprimidol at 1.0 mg a.i./pot was similar to the untreated control. All paclobutrazol treated plants were smaller in diameter when compared to the control and had similar sized diameters

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42 (17 to 26%). Flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i. and paclobutrazol at 0.5 and 1.0 mg a.i. were within wholesale growth control standards. Experiment 2 Plant growth regulator treatmen ts in individu al containers For Ardisia humalis treatments did not impact visual quality, plant height, or diameter (data not shown). Flurprimidol at 4.0 mg a.i./pot produc ed the worst visual quality rating for Cordyline Sundance, while all other PGR treatments were similar to the control (Table 2-8). Paclobutrazol was ineffective at co ntrolling plant height and diamet er. Flurprimidol applied at 2.0 and 4.0 mg a.i. resulted in Cordyline plants within wholesale hei ght control standards. Only flurprimidol at 1.0 mg a.i./pot controlled pl ant diameter, resulting in 21% smaller plants compared to the untreated control and it is un clear why this moderate rate was effective compared to 2.0 and 4.0 mg a.i. For Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri', flurprimidol at 2.0 or 4.0 mg a.i. and paclobutrazol at 1.0 or 2.0 mg a.i. had lower plant quality th an all other treatments (Table 2-9). PGR treatments did not affect plant he ight; all were similar to the untreated control. Flurprimidol rates greater than 0.5 mg a.i and paclobutrazol rates greater than 0.25 and less than 4.0 mg a.i./pot resulted in smaller plant diameters (16% to 33%) when compared to the untreated control. The variability in plan t diameter may be due to the in itial seed count per plug during propagation rather than the chemical treatm ent (Irish, J., personal communication). Plant growth regulator treatments in combination contain ers When plants were combined in one large container visual quality was not significant by week or treatment with a rating of excellent; all plants were proportionate to one another. Overall container plant size was significant by week and treatment. At 9 and 12 WAT overall

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43 plant size was 51.6 cm and 61.2 cm, respectively (L SD = 1.8, n = 66). Flurprimidol at 4.0 mg a.i. produced a 9% smaller overall plant size, wh en compared to the untreated control and all PGR treatments (Table 2-10). Consumer survey The consumer survey was adm inistered at f our locations, and within location consumers were divided into three distinct groups; plant sale consumers, i ndividuals that work within the floriculture industry, and master gardeners. Plant sale consumers were surveyed at university plant sales, floriculture industry professionals were surveyed during a Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) chapter meeting at the University of Florida, and master gardeners were surveyed during the Master Gardener Field Day at the University of Florida. A total of 521 questionnaires amongst these three groups were completed. Plant sale consumers were made up of consumers shopping at Emerald Coast Flower Festival, Pensacola Junior College, Milton, FL and the University of Flor ida-Gainesville Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association plan t sale. At the Milton plant sale 193 questionnaires (37% of the total) were completed and at th e Gainesville plant sale 203 ques tionnaires (39% of the total) were collected. Consumers that worked within th e floriculture industry c onsisted of members of the Frontrunners Chapter of the FNGLA; 30 questi onnaires (5.8% of the total) were completed. Master gardeners representing north-central Fl orida Master Gardener groups at the Master Gardener Field Day completed 95 qu estionnaires (18.2% of the total). The first question of the instrument asked of the six foliage containers, which one would they consider purchasing. Foliage container 1 represented the control while containers 2 through 6 represented plants that were tr eated with flurprimidol drenches from 0.25 to 4.0 mg a.i./pot. Respondents were aware that the variance in plant size was a resu lt of plant growth regulator applications. Of the total 512 questionnair es collected, 176 consumers (33.8%) chose the

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44 control, 62 (11.9%) chose container 2, 134 ( 25.7%) chose container 3, 57 (10.9%) chose container 4, 62 (11.9%) chose container 5, 15 (2.9%) chose containe r 6, and four (0.8%) consumers did not provide a container preference. The next question asked the consumer what would be an appropriate price for the container they chose. Some consumers gave an exact price while others provided a price range. Responses, whether an exact price or a price range, were placed w ithin a price range scale. The first price range was between $0.00 and $9.99; 100 of the 512 consumers (19.2%) selected this range. The next price range of $10.00 to $19.99 was where the majority of consumers (n = 315, 60.5%) indicated preference. Ninety cons umers (17.3%) chose a range of $20.00 to $29.99, seven (1.3%) chose $30.00 to $39.99, and only two (0.4%) consumers selected $40.00 to $49.99. Seven consumers (1.3%) did not indicate a pr ice or declined to answer the question. The third question measured intent; cons umers were asked if they would buy the container today. Of the 512 total consumer que stionnaires, 160 (30.7%) indicated they would purchase today, 313 (60.1%) consumers said that they would not buy the container today, and 37 (7.1%) consumers wrote they might consider buying the container today. There were 11 (2.1%) questionnaires that did not have a response. A cross tabulation was performed on foliage container garden preference by the three consumer groups. This initial cross tabulation di d not meet the assumptions of the test which states an observed count of at least five be re presented within each cell. To overcome this two groups of consumers, those that work within the floriculture industry and the master gardeners, were combined and compared to the plant sale consumers. The foliage container garden preference was also condensed into four choices fr om the untreated control to slightly controlled foliage containers (flurprimidol at 0.25 mg a.i.), moderately controlled foliage containers

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45 (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.), and highly controlled foliage contai ners (flurprimidol at 2.0 and 4.0 mg a.i.). While there was only a statistical difference in overa ll plant sizes between the highest drench rate and all other treatments, there was a visual difference in treatments as container gardens appeared smaller when the concen tration of flurprimidol increased (Fig. 2-5). The cross tabulation performed on this data di d produce significant resu lts by the Pearson Chisquare test (53.78, df = 4, P < .001) (Table 2-11). Plant sale consumers preferred the untreated control (most robust) foliage container garden (40.6%, n = 159) while the horticulture industry and master gardener group preferred a moderately controlled foliage cont ainer (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.) (63.2%, n = 72) that contained smaller plant material. Another cross tabulation was performed on fo liage container garden preference (control, slightly controlled, moderately controlled, or highly controlled) by intent to buy (yes/no), however the Pearsons Chi-square test reported no significant differences (6.870, df = 3, P = .076). Therefore preference of cont ainer garden was not an indicat or of intent to buy. Price chosen for the foliage container garden ($0-9.99, $10-19.99, $20-29.99, $30+) by intent to buy (yes/no) was examined and that test also resulted as not sign ificant (3.410, df = 3, P = .333). The price of container gardens chosen by the consumer was not an indicator of intent to buy either. The consumer group (plant sale consumer, horticu lture industry consumer, or master gardener consumer) by intent to buy (yes/no) was also tested and found to be not significant (3.898, df = 2, p = .142). However there may be some bias asso ciated with intent to buy between consumer groups because of the different environments they were in when the survey was administered. The plant sale consumers were in a buying mode at the plants sale when the survey was conducted, while the industry profe ssionals and master gardeners were attending meetings and

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46 classes the day of the survey. In summary though, neither consumer group had the intent to buy more often than the other. Conclusion Flurprim idol and paclobutrazol are effective plant growth re gulators for us e on tropical foliage plants. Application of substrate dren ches provided the greate st control, however excessive stunting occurred with Xanthosoma violaceum. Foliar sprays of flurprimidol at 40 mg.L-1 and paclobutrazol at 20 to 40 mg.L-1 produced plants within w holesale standards with the highest quality for Xanthosoma violaceum (Table 2-3). Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge was not controlled by folia r sprays, however substrate drenches of flurprimidol at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg a. i./pot and paclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i./pot resulted in plants within wholesale standards (Table 2-4). Fl urprimidol at 2.0 mg a. i./pot was the optimum concentration for control ling plant diameter of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge. Flurprimidol would be the pref erred PGR unless paclobutrazol at concentrations at or below 0.5 mg a.i./pot are used to avoi d stunting. Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea did respond to foliar sprays of flurprimidol at 40 mg.L-1 and paclobutrazol at 80 mg.L-1; however growth did not meet the wholesale standards (Table 2-2). Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Gigantea responded best to substrate drenches of flurprimidol at 1.0 and 2.0 mg a.i./pot and paclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i./pot; these concentrations produced appropriately sized plants for wholesale production, while expressing the be st visual quality (Table 2-5). Application of flurprimidol ($117.92 per liter) and paclobutrazol ($131.98 per liter) foliar sprays of 20 to 80 mg.L-1 cost between $0.02 and $0.09 per pot, respectively and substrate drenches of 0.5 to 2.0 mg a.i./pot are $0.02 to $0.07, respectively. A foliar spray of paclobutrazol at 20 mg.L-1 cost $0.02 per pot and was the most cost effective option for Xanthosoma violaceum, as it produced results within the whol esale growth control standards.

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47 For Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge a substrate drench of flurprimidol or paclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i./pot is recommended to control plan t height within wholesale standards at $0.02 per pot. If both plant diameter and plant height are to be achieved within wholesale growth control standards, while maintaining visual quality, then a substrate drench of flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i./pot is recommended, however this will increase PGR cost per pot to $0.07. For Colocasia esculenta Gigantea a low substrat e drench rate of paclobutr azol at 1.0 mg a.i./pot is recommended for height control compared to higher concentrations of flurprimidol. Pennisi (2006) and Pulley et al. (1986) al so reported similar results of poor visual quality as the concentration of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol increased. Expt. 2 focused only on substrate drenches of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol because of effective growth control of vigorous foliar species. Ardisia humalis was not impacted by either chemical. Cordyline Sundance did not respond to paclobu trazol, however flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i./pot did provide height control within th e wholesale standards, while maintaining the best visual quality (Table 28). Plant diameter of Cordyline Sundance was not controlled by either PGR. Plant height of Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' was not affected by either PGR, however plant diameter was controlled using flurprimidol at 0.5 and 1.0 mg a.i./pot and paclobutrazol at 0.25 and 0.50 mg a.i./pot (Table 2-9). The cost to control plant growth for Expt. 2 within wholesale grow th control standards ranged from $0.01 to $0.07 using substrate drenches of flurprimidol or paclobutrazol. With Cordyline Sundance only plant height can be manipulated by flurprimi dol at 2.0 mg a.i./pot at a cost of $0.07 per pot. Plant diameter was controlled with Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' using both PGRs, however paclobutr azol at 0.25 mg a.i./pot was the most cost effective at $0.01 per pot.

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48 Consumer surveys on foliage cont ainer gardens treated with diffe rent rates of flurprimidol provided insight on consumer pref erence, container price, and cu stomer intent to buy. For foliage container preference the hypothesis was that the consumers woul d choose the control, essentially the largest plant material for their fi nancial investment. Pooling all consumer groups together (33.8%, n = 176) exhibited preference fo r the control. However preference towards the control was lower than expected. A cross ta bulation was performed on the foliage container preference by consumer group and differences were found between the two consumer groups examined; plant sale consumers and horticulture industry/master gard eners. Plant sale consumers were inline with the hypothesis and preferred the cont rol, however industry professionals and master gardeners choose the fo liage container with s lightly smaller plant material that had been controlled by flurprimidol rates of 0.5 and 1.0 mg a.i. The consumer behavior theory of the attitude-nonattitude continuum (Mitchell, 1993) may explain the differences in preferences observed in this surv ey. Respondents to this survey may have never encountered a PGR container before so their att itude or preferences toward a container garden with slightly smaller plant material may not have been determined prior to this study. This result may indicate that mainly plant sale consumers ar e looking for the most mature plant material (immediate gratification), thus the best value for their investment. The industry professionals, master gardeners, and the remaining plant sa le consumers may have understood more of the benefits of PGR treated plant material and prefer red slightly smaller plant material for increased longevity of the container garden. There may be some potential to sell container gardens composed of plants treated with PGRs by marketing the container garden as compact with low maintenance attributes.

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49 Consumers were then asked to indicate an appropriate price and the majority provided a price between $10.00 and $19.99 for a 12-inch contai ner containing only foliage plants. In a national container garden survey conducted by Mason et al. (2008) respondents considered $24.99 an appropriate price for a co ntainer garden. These price po ints may aid the retail industry on a proper price reference when producing or selling similar container gardens. Finally consumers were asked if they would consider buying their preferred foliage container garden today in order to measure intent. Nearly two-th irds of all the consumers indicated that they would not buy their preferred foliage container th at day. Different factors were examined to determine if price, preference or the different consumer groups explained intent to buy, and all factors of this survey were inconclusive. Thus intent to buy may be linked to other factors not explored in this survey as the type or color of plant material within th e container garden, light and water requirements of the c ontainer garden, or overall size of container garden. Certain survey participants did make comments that Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' was an invasive species in south Florida. Penni si et al. (2005) discovered that consumers in garden centers had nearly no exposure to any foliage plant promotiona l materials and knew little about the benefits of foliage plants, thus a lack of marketing. Ma son et al. (2008) found in their container garden survey that consumers desired educational materi als be provided with their container garden purchase and that consumers would likely return to purchase plants to replenish their container garden. Increased promotional materials accompanying foliage pl ants, along with examples of various uses for foliage plants would likely be factors that would li nk consumer intent to purchase.

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50 Table 2-1. Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge' pooled data nine weeks after foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg.L-1) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0 2.0c 25.4abc 48.6a Flurprimidol 20 2.3bc 25.4abc 50.2a 40 2.4bc 26.8ab 52.5a 80 2.7ab 27.3a 51.0a Paclobutrazol 20 2.3bc 26.2abc 50.9a 40 2.9a 23.3c 47.1a 80 2.6ab 24.1bc 48.5a LSD ( 0.05) 0.4 Significancey *** NS NS zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. yNS, *** Nonsignificant or significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were similar in visual quality or similar in size. Table 2-2. Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea' pooled data nine week s after foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg.L-1) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm)Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0 1.7a 31.8a 80.2ab Flurprimidol 20 2.0a 29.2ab 74.0b 40 2.1a 26.4c 64.6c 80 2.1a 29.8a 74.6b Paclobutrazol 20 1.8a 29.6a 79.3ab 40 1.9a 29.3ab 82.1a 80 1.9a 26.8bc 75.0b LSD ( 0.05) 2.4 5.7 Significancey NS *** *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. yNS, *** Nonsignificant or significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were similar in visual quality or similar in size.

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51 Table 2-3. Xanthosoma violaceum pooled data nine weeks after foliar spray treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg.L-1) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0 1.7c 21.4a 52.2a Flurprimidol 20 1.8bc 19.6ab 48.4ab 40 2.1abc 17.8bc 46.5b 80 2.5a 15.0d 44.3b Paclobutrazol 20 2.2abc 17.6bc 44.2b 40 2.2abc 16.5cd 45.2b 80 2.3ab 18.2d 46.2b LSD ( 0.05) 0.5 2.4 5.0 Significancey *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. yNS, *, *** Nonsignificant or significant at P 0.05 or P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were simila r in visual quality or similar in size. Table 2-4. Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge' pooled data nine weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0.0 2.0d 25.4a 48.6a Flurprimidol 0.5 3.2c 18.9b 44.4ab 1.0 3.0c 19.2b 46.3ab 2.0 3.3c 16.9bc 41.6bc Paclobutrazol 0.5 3.3c 18.6b 43.3b 1.0 3.6b 14.8c 37.3c 2.0 3.9a 11.1d 32.4d LSD ( 0.05) 0.3 2.3 4.7 Significancey *** *** *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. y*** Significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were similar in visual quality or similar in size.

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52 Table 2-5. Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea' pooled data nine weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0.0 1.6d 31.8a 80.2a Flurprimidol 0.5 1.9cd 28.5b 74.9b 1.0 2.1bc 25.5cd 69.5c 2.0 2.2bc 23.0de 63.8de Paclobutrazol 0.5 2.1bc 26.7bc 67.6cd 1.0 2.5b 23.6de 67.0cd 2.0 3.3a 20.9e 60.9e LSD ( 0.05) 0.4 2.7 5.2 Significancey *** *** *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. y*** Significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were similar in visual quality or similar in size. Table 2-6. Visual quality of Xanthosoma violaceum by week using flurprimidol and paclobutrazol substrate drenches (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Visual qualityz week 3 Visual qualityz week 6 Visual qualityz week 9 Untreated control 0.0 2.0c 1.2b 1.8c Flurprimidol 0.5 3.4a 3.0a 3.6ab 1.0 2.4bc 2.0b 3.4b 2.0 3.4a 3.0a 4.0ab Paclobutrazol 0.5 3.2a 3.2a 3.2b 1.0 2.4bc 3.4a 3.2b 2.0 3.0ab 3.0a 3.6ab LSD ( 0.05) 0.68 0.88 0.60 Significancey *** *** *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. y*** Significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments with similar letters were similar in visual quality.

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53 Table 2-7. Xanthosoma violaceum pooled data nine weeks after s ubstrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 1). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0.0 21.4a 52.2a Flurprimidol 0.5 12.8b 36.1c 1.0 14.7b 47.8ab 2.0 12.9b 39.2c Paclobutrazol 0.5 12.5b 39.1c 1.0 13.3b 43.3bc 2.0 12.8b 38.5c LSD ( 0.05) 2.02 7.32 Significance z *** *** z *** Significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 5. Treatments w ith similar letters were similar in size. Table 2-8. Cordyline Sundance six weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 2). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0.0 1.8bc 36.05b 65.7bc Flurprimidol 0.25 1.7c 37.8ab 64.7bc 0.5 1.0c 37.2ab 68.2ab 1.0 1.7bc 34.9bc 51.7d 2.0 2.3b 28.6cd 66.0bc 4.0 3.3a 27.1d 57.0cd Paclobutrazol 0.25 1.7bc 36.7ab 69.5ab 0.5 1.0c 39.7ab 74.2ab 1.0 1.2c 43.1a 76.1a 2.0 1.3c 40.9ab 73.4ab 4.0 1.2c 40.6ab 72.8ab LSD ( 0.05) 0.9 6.9 9.7 Significancey *** *** *** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. y*** Significant at P 0.001, respectively; n = 6. Treatments w ith similar letters were similar in visual quality or similar in size.

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54 Table 2-9. Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' six weeks after substrate drench treatments of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol (Expt. 2). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Visual qualityz Plant height (cm) Plant diameter (cm) Untreated control 0.0 1.2c 24.3ab 54.6a Flurprimidol 0.25 1.2c 24.1ab 50.4ab 0.5 1.5c 23.6abc 36.8e 1.0 1.7bc 23.6abc 45.1bcd 2.0 2.3ab 21.9abc 39.3de 4.0 2.7a 19.5c 41.7cde Paclobutrazol 0.25 1.7bc 21.2abc 45.6bcd 0.5 1.3c 21.4abc 41.7cde 1.0 2.3ab 21.7abc 44.3bcd 2.0 3.0a 20.3bc 42.0cde 4.0 1.8bc 25.2a 47.3abc LSD ( 0.05) 0.8 NS 7.9 Significancey *** ** zVisual quality scale: 1 = excellent, 5 or more leaves; 2 = good, three or more leaves; 3 = satisfactory, two or more leaves; 4 = unsatisfactory, one leaf/stem; 5 = poor, 0 leaves, dying. yNS, **, *** Nonsignifica nt or significant at P 0.01 or P 0.001, respectively; n = 6. Treatments with similar letters were sim ilar in visual quality or similar in size.

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55 Table 2-10. Pooled data nine and 12 weeks after treatment of flurprimidol and paclobutrazol drench effects on combination containers composed of Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' (Expt. 2). Treatment Conc. (mg a.i./pot) Plant size z Untreated control 0.0 57.4ab Flurprimidol 0.25 55.6abc 0.5 59.9a 1.0 55.9abc 2.0 53.3bc 4.0 52.0c Paclobutrazol 0.25 55.8abc 0.5 58.3a 1.0 57.7a 2.0 57.6ab 4.0 57.0ab LSD ( 0.05) 4.3 Significance y z Plant size = (plant height + di ameter 1 + diameter 2) / 3. y Significant at P 0.05, respectively; n = 6. Treatments with similar letters were similar in size. Table 2-11. Foliage container garden preference by consumer group (Expt. 2). Consumer Group Foliage container garden preference Plant sale consumer Horticulture industry and master gardener consumers Total Untreated control 159 40.6% 17 14.9% 176 34.8% Slightly controlled (flurprimidol at 0.25 mg a.i.) 43 10.9% 19 16.7% 62 12.3% Moderately controlled (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.) 119 30.4% 72 63.2% 191 37.7% Highly controlled (flurprimidol at 2.0 and 4.0 mg a.i.) 71 18.1% 6 5.2% 77 15.2% Total 392 100% 114 100% 506 100%

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56 10 15 20 25 30 00 511 52Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge' Flurprimidol, y =24.7-9.84x+3.031x2; r2 = 0.32 Paclobutrazol, y = 25.2-14.46x+3.700x2; r2= 0.68Plant Height (cm)Drench Concentration (mg a.i./pot) Figure 2-1. Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge plant hei ght response to plant growth regulators (Expt.1). Regression lines were generated from the means of pooled data nine weeks after treatment, and points ar e means for each treatment (n = 5). *** Significant at the P 0.001; L = linear, Q = quadratic. Flurprimidol substrate drench: L *** Q ***. Paclobutrazol substrate drench: L *** Q***.

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57 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 00.511.52Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea' Flurprimidol, y =31.0-4.32x; r2 = 0.19 Paclobutrazol, y = 31.7-11.08x+2.797x2; r2= 0.35Plant Height (cm)Drench Concentration (mg a.i./pot) Figure 2-2. Colocasia esculenta Gigantea plant height respons e to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1). Regression lines were generated from the means of pooled data nine weeks after treatment, and points are means for each treatment (n = 5). *** Significant at the P 0.001; L = linear, Q = quadratic. Flurpr imidol substrate drench: L *** Q ***. Paclobutrazol substrate drench: L *** Q ***.

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58 30 35 40 45 50 55 00.511.52Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge' Flurprimidol, y =23.2-3.56x; r2 = 0.26 Paclobutrazol, y = 48.8-13.87x+2.819x2; r2= 0.45Plant Diameter (cm)Drench Concentration (mg a.i./pot) Figure 2-3. Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge plant diamet er response to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1). Regressi on lines were generated from the means of pooled data nine weeks after treatment, and points are means for each treatment (n = 5). *, **, *** Significant at the P 0.05, 0.01, 0.001, respectively; L = linear, Q = quadratic. Flurprimidol substrate drench: L** Q *. Paclobutrazol substrate drench: L *** Q ***.

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59 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 00.511.52Colocasia esculenta 'Gigantea' Flurprimidol, y = 79.2-8.15x; r2 = 0.17 Paclobutrazol, y = 79.0-19.67x+5.390x2; r2 = 0.22 Plant Diameter (cm)Drench Concentration (mg a.i./pot) Figure 2-4. Colocasia esculenta Gigantea plant diameter response to plant growth regulators (Expt. 1). Regression lines were generated from the means of pooled data nine weeks after treatment, and points are means for each treatment (n = 5). **, *** Significant at the P 0.01, 0.001, respectively; L = linear, Q = quadratic. Flurprimidol substrate drench: L *** Q **. Paclobutrazol substrate drench: L*** Q***.

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60 Figure 2-5. Visual difference 12 weeks after treatment of increasing concentrations of flurprimidol treated plants pl anted together in co ntainer gardens. From left to right the concentrations range from 0 mg a.i. /pot (untreated control) to 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mg a.i./pot (Expt. 2).

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61 CHAPTER 3 FOLIAGE PLANT CONTAINER GARDEN PILOT STUDIES Introduction New and innovative m arketing strategies are needed to meet one of the goals of the National Foliage Foundation and to combat against the recent reduction in lawn and garden activities (Nat l. Gardening Assn., 2007). One possi ble new marketing approach is the use of foliage plants in outdoor container gardens. Between 1999 and 2004 the National Gardening Association (2007) re ported container gardening doubled in popularity with upwards of 26 Mn households participating nati onwide. An upward trend in container gardeni ng has significantly contribut ed to national and regional horticulture retail sales. Pennisi et al. (2005) addressed ways to increase awareness and promote new tropical foliage plants. To in crease sales, researchers desc ribed the benefits of foliage plants to consumers to encourage a need or a want for purchasing. They indicated that foliage plants are fairly maintenance-free having few insect and disease problems and no petal drop or flower removal. Since most foliage plants thrive in humid conditions, fungal problems are generally not an issue. Some foliage species can tolerate lower temperatures, especially if th ey are exposed to temperatures that drop slowly. Certain species can withstand freezing temperatures on a limited basis if the relative humidity is high and wind levels are low; many foliage plan ts can be over wintered inside to increase their versatility. Also the majority of foliage plants can tolerate low-light environments, as opposed to many of the new vegetatively pr oduced flowering plants. Pennisi et al. (2005) described one potential marketing outlet or niche for new tropical foliage plant speciestheir use in container gardens. They stated that due to the increased popularity

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62 of combination gardens with consumers, colo rful foliage plants can be used alone or combined with flowering plants to creat e attractive, low-main tenance containers. In response to the popularity of container gardens, there has been an increased demand for new and unique plant varieties al ong with a surge in sales of bedding and garden plants (Ouellet, 2001). Tropical folia ge plants may be one option to meet the demand set forth by the container gardening indu stry as proposed by Pennisi et al. (2005). To determine what consumers are looking fo r in a container garden, a recent online survey by Mason et al. (2008) examined nationa l consumer preferences of three container gardening attributes: color harmony, price a nd care information provided. The survey had 985 respondents that answered questions on past experience and future intentions of container gardening. The researchers f ound that respondents considered $24.99 an appropriate price for a container garden com posed of plants that reflect complementary color harmony, along with many respondents wanting educational ma terials provided with the purchase. Another important finding was that if extensive care information was provided with the container garden, 76% of the respondents would more likely purchase and 85% would consider visiting a website to obtain further information on container gardening. Also, consumers stated they woul d likely return to the garden center to purchase additional plant material to replenish their container garden. In 2006, the national key consumer groups for container gard ening sales were women (62% of sales), college-educated househ olds (91% of retail sales), two-person households (38% of sales), households with no children (70% of sales) and households with incomes of $50,000 and over (52% of sale s) (Natl. Gardening Assn, 2007). From 2000 through 2006, the southern states had the second highest percenta ge of total sales

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63 (27%) just behind the western U.S. (32%) in the container gardening category which has an average total retail sale value of $1.203 Bn (NGA, 2007). As a staple in the industry, container gardens require the addition of new and unique plant material with increased educational and promotional materials to con tinually create interest and appeal for the product. These efforts will help to maintain container gardens in the growth phase of the product lifecycle. Consumer Purchase Behavior Consum er behavior is an important topic to consider when marketing new foliage genera and cultivars to the retail market. Ga rden center customers tend to buy what they want, not what they need (Dunn, 1992). Thus the buying process of ne w plants in retail outlets falls under the definition of an impul se or unplanned purchase. Impulse buying is defined in this study as a purchase decision ma de in-store with no explicit recognition of a need (or want) for such a purchase prior to entry into the store (Abr att and Goodey, 1990). An unplanned purchase is similar to an impulse purchase because it is a purchase decision made in-store that fulfills a present or future need or want. Promoting products as impulse purchases increases awareness, tr ial-ability, and ultimately market share. Demand is created as an impulse or an unpl anned purchase becomes a repeat purchase, thus a new product evolves into a planned purchase. The driving mechanism for impulse and unplanned buying is the use of in-store stimuli that act as a reminder of shopping needs; this includes in-store sitting, on-s helf positions, price-off promotions, sampling, point-of-purchase displays, coupons and in-s tore demonstrations (Abratt and Goodey, 1990). Creating in-store awar eness and providing consumer education on new products alleviates consumer hesitation and may remind the consumer of a present or future need, therefore making it easier to justify purchasing.

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64 The grocery industry has conducted exte nsive consumer purchase behavior research into prior consumer knowledge of the store, time available for shopping, and point-of-purchase materials (Point of Purchase Institute, 1978; Park et al., 1989; Abratt and Goodey, 1990; Bucklin and Lattin, 1991). Park et al. (1989) conducted a field experiment to explore the effects of two situational factors on consumers grocery shopping behavior: prior store knowledge and time available for shopping. Their study of 68 subjects found that consumers with low store knowledge and no time pressure engaged in significantly more in-store info rmational processing and thus higher amounts of unplanned purchases. One alternative expl anation for this occu rrence is when the number of products that c onsumers actually purchase is large, their likelihood of exposure to in-store product st imuli increases, which may in turn increase the level of unplanned buying. Consumers within this category of low store knowledge and no time pressure resulted in 47% of unplanned purch ases. Consumers with high store knowledge and no time pressure resulted in 20% of unplanned purchases. Those consumers that were under a time pressure situation and had low store knowledge re sulted in 16% of unplanned purchases, compared to 13% of unplanned purchases from high store knowledge and under a time pressure situa tion. Among all unplanned purchases, 33% were due to reasons other than simple expos ure effects and involved active processing of product information that may have made s ubjects aware of previously unrecognized needs. Park et al. (1989) included strategies for the grocery industry to adopt that would help increase purchasing behavior by embr acing a coordinated approach to the store environment. These strategies include arra ngement of aisles based on consumers prior

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65 knowledge or expectations of product location, and arrangement of product displays for non-staple items in prime locations to reduce purchase failure rates. Another strategy includes joint displays of substitutable produc ts to encourage product-level switching as opposed to purchase postponement when a prefe rred brand or product is not available. A final strategy was to place highly visible di splays of brand or product information to promote the recognition of prev iously unrecognized needs. In the grocery industry, point-of-purchase promotional materials are particularly important given the large proportion of in-s tore decisions (Bucklin and Lattin, 1991). According to the Abratt and Goodey ( 1990) study on unplanned buying and in-store stimuli in supermarkets, in-s tore stimuli do significantly affect unplanned purchasing. From a sample of 400 respondents involved in unplanned brand purchase decisions, 70% said that the purchase decision was due to shel f signs, point-of-sale material, end-of-aisle displays and special displays. With a prev ious study by the Point-of-Purchase Institute (1978) citing 65% of supermarket purchases be ing made in-store a nd over 50% of these purchases being unplanned purchases, the grocery industry has parallels to retail garden centers as 83% of garden center purchases are unplanned or made in-store (Niemieria et al., 1993). Therefore grocery in-s tore marketing strategies might be adapted to garden centers to promote unplanned or impulse purchasing on new or unfamiliar products. A garden center-based marketing needs surv ey by Niemieria et al. (1993) revealed that consumers desired plant information and that only 17% of customers had a specific idea of what plants to purchase. The ove rriding conclusion from this study shows that many garden center customers wait until they are in the store to develop reasons for making purchases, similar to the grocery industr y. One setback for the horticulture retail

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66 industry is the low ratio of garden center salespersons to customers during the active buying season. This often makes it difficult to educate the consum er about products. Becker and Poorbaugh (1996) noted that verb al consultation betw een salespeople and consumers is time-consuming, and its effectiveness depends on employee knowledge. They also suggested providing visual materi als highlighting essential plant information that could be helpful to both customers and employees. According to the Garden Center Institute, more than 70% of all purchasi ng decisions are made independently of a salespersons help (Dunn, 1992). Thus garden centers must provide good informational signage and keep their stores well-merchan dised to achieve impulse purchases on new products and those that have likely been untried by their cu stomer base. Also, garden centers may consider adopting some of the grocery industry strategies for achieving higher incidences of impulse and unplanned sale s. Stegelin (2001) l ooked at the role of point-of-sale information on consumers purch ase decisions in a survey conducted at urban and rural garden centers in Georgia. He found that point-of-s ale information is the third highest factor below plant quality a nd selection when consumers are selecting a garden center. Also point-of-sale informa tion came in second under garden center staff when consumers are looking for a source for te chnical assistance. Stegelin states that repeat customers are the lifeblood of the ga rden center industry and in order to achieve this advertised specials are n eeded to draw in customers si milar to the grocery industry. Once in the garden center, information must be provided in the form of sales staff or promotional materials to assist cust omers with their purchase decisions. Marketing Survey Surveys are the m ost commonly used in teractive instrument where consumers respond to questions asking about their be liefs or behaviors (Solomon, 2000). The

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67 Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) is one of the most widely accepted sources of methodology to be utilized in conducting and analyzing a survey in th e social sciences. Six basic steps to conduct an effective survey include 1) determine a research question to answer, 2) define the populati on, 3) select a sample from the population, 4) construct the questionnaire, 5) conduct the survey and 6) pro cess the data. To construct a reliable and valid survey, steps are outlined to write survey questions that are short, simple, unbiased, and avoid unambiguous answers and l eading questions (Dillman, 2000). In-store surveys are one tool used to determine how and who to market new products too because they provide inform ation on needs, trends, preferences, and demographics. They have been used repeated ly in the horticulture industry to collect consumer information at garden centers on buying habits, marketing needs, and service and quality attributes (Garber et al., 1998; Hudson et al., 1997; Satterthwaite et al., 2004). Pennisi et al (2005) conducted a post-purchase survey on the demand for foliage plants in large urban centers of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. This post-purchase survey was distributed to 30 independent retail garden centers in nine communities in the three states. An identical one-page survey utilized questions in a Likert -scale format and was attached to the consumers receipt with instru ctions to bring the su rvey back during their next visit to the garden center Most retailers did provide a gift as an incentive to return the completed survey. The researchers re ceived 1,897 completed surveys in late spring of 2003. Survey results indica ted that foliage was not predominantly displayed in the garden centers, foliage plant selection was limited, and promotional materials for foliage was nil to non-existent. The retailers that administered these surveys were in agreement with their consumers observations. Retailer s indicated they had r eceived little or no

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68 point-of-purchase promotional materials from the growers or brokers that provided them with the foliage plant materi al. In addition, researcher s examined the public media sources where foliage plants may have been promoted 30 days prior to survey distribution and only one magazine article on foliage use in in teriorscapes was revealed. Pennisi et al (2005) concluded that these cons umers were largely unaware of the benefits associated with foliage plants. The survey revealed that consumers associated foliage plants to florist shops where one item pe r purchase is common as it is primarily purchased for a gift. The researchers also f ound through their surveys that there is little differentiation among plant types, forms, sizes, or colors by the consumers, much less the different genus, species, cultivars, and varietie s. The researchers pr oposed that if foliage demand is to grow in the traditional markets, consumer education efforts are mandatory through push and/or pull marke ting strategies. To implement a push strategy the grower or broker would try to move foliage plan ts through the channel by convincing other growers or retailers to offer them (Solom on, 2000). If a push strategy is implemented than the grower or broker would try to move foliage plants through the channel by building desire for the plants among consum ers, thus convincing other growers or retailers to respond to this demand by stocki ng these items (Solomon, 2000). Pennisi et al. (2005) stated that price is not an issue [for foliage plants]; rather why purchase? is the issue. Survey population and sample size For directly adm inistered questionnaires, a specific sample from the population is targeted and questions are customized to them As in the previous post-purchase survey example by Pennisi et al. (2005), the sample was garden center consumers. The accessible population targeted in the follo wing pilot studies is consumers of two

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69 University of Florida plant sales in Milton and Gainesville, Fla. A convenience sample of those consumers purchasing foliage plant co ntainer gardens at the two plant sales was utilized to conduct the study. These samples are considered convenience samples as they do not represent the entire population. Instrumentation The advantages of a directly adm inister ed questionnaire is th e very high response rate, low-cost of collecting the data, and having the administrator on-site to answer questions (Ary et al., 2002). A properly compos ed survey directly ad ministered to garden center consumers can provide valuable info rmation to the hortic ulture industry and enhance the understanding of consumer needs, wants, and target markets. Survey procedures In order to capture sound data for sta tistical interpretati on, researchers must elim inate biased questions. Proper instrument questions avoid misleading the reader due to unstated assumptions and doubl e-barreled questions (Ary et al., 2002). Alternatives to each questionnaire item should express all the po ssible options for the answer and that the respondents should be familiar enough with the to pic to answer the questions (Ary et al., 2002). Reviewing the instrumentation with a panel of experts and conducting a pilot study on the sample population will increase the validity and reliability of the instrumentation. Prior to beginning the following pilot st udies the researcher submitted the studys protocol for review and received approval from the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (see Appendix B).

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70 Threats to validity The questio nnaire should demonstrate f ace validity; the survey should appear valid for its intended purpose and all questions are relevant and meaningful (Ary et al., 2002). The goal is to collect the most accu rate answers from the questionnaire, so questions should reflect the quest ion the researcher is trying to solve. Thus in garden centers, consumer questionnaires should be based on gardening or a landscaping topic that reflects that sample. To increase validity, the survey should be administered to a sample that finds the topic important and the person answering th e questionnaire should remain anonymous to increase the truthfulness of their resp onses (Ary et al., 2002). The instrumentation should also be reviewed by a panel of experts and pilot studies should be conducted to establish validity and reliability. Limitations that may cause unavoidable bias include where and when the questionnair e can be administered, along with results that only reflect the convenie nce sample (Ary et al., 2002). The directly administered questionnaire is subject to the naturalist ic setting, where not all individuals in the population have an equal opportunity to be apart of the sample. Therefore, caution is warranted when attempting to generalize fi ndings beyond the specific sample at the approximate time the directly admi nistered questionnaire is conducted. Product Placement Product placem ent is anothe r potential component to achieve maximum sales in retail establishments. Underhill (2001) stat es that all shopping or retail experiences follow a standard pattern. Different cons traints exist whether men or women, young or old, by themselves or as a family are shoppi ng; however the overall shopping pattern is the same. The challenge for retailersfrom a person with an up-scale garden center to a person with a table at a farmers' marketis to enhance the sh opping experience to

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71 promote sales. Underhill's research shows that the shopping experience goes through five steps or stages called "zones". The five zones Underhill identifies ar e the landing, transi tion, destination, transaction and exit zones. W ithin a garden center, the landing zone is the initial experience that ranges from the signs, park ing lot appearance, to the welcoming eye contact at the garden center. The transition zone is the point of entrythe doorway space, the overall presentation which clarifies the spa ce at the entry of th e garden center. The destination zone is where products are displayed and offered for sale. This zone requires space for consumers to conduct shopping. Additionally the destination zone should feature a sub-zone called a hovering zone for people who are accompanying the shopper yet not actively involved in th e purchasing process. The tr ansaction zone is where the actual sale is made and goods and services ar e exchanged. Finally, the exit zone is the departure point to facilitate the removal of the purchased items which were purchased. The exit zone is also a place to encourage a re turn shopping trip. Within these five zones, three represent the areas where most of the purchasing decisions are made; landing, transition and destination zones (see Appendi x A). Among these three zones, it may be important to determine whether any of these zones with the same product display lead to more consumer purchases so that displays in this location can be utilized to their fullest potential to achieve the most sales. Gibson et al. (2007) conducted research on consumer purchase patterns in Florida utilizing displays in the three retail zones identified by Paco Underhill: landing, transition a nd destination zones. In the study, the landing zone yielded the most sales, yet with the limited da ta collected, further investigation into this area is needed to make definitive conclusions.

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72 The objective of this study was to explore an additional marketing outlet for the foliage industry by recording the consumer preferences and demographics for foliage plant container gardens, along with collecting data on the e ffects of different display locations within a retail sett ing. The purpose of Pilot Study 1 was to gather preliminary data of consumer purchasing patterns and pr eferences towards foliage container gardens constructed with traditional foliage plants. The purpose of Pilot Studies 2 and 3 was to improve upon the first pilot study and examine the use of newer foliage varieties in container gardens and update th e studys instrumentation. Usi ng this data, future studies at garden centers can be created to collect more information on consumer preferences towards foliage container gardens. Materials and Methods Pilot Study 1 The objective of Pilot Study 1 was to introduce a consumer purchasing pattern study with container gardens composed of tradit ional foliage plants a nd collect data using a post-purchase survey at the University of Florida-Milton student plant sale on 7 Oct. 2006. Unrooted foliage plants were propagated on 6 July 2006 then potted on 21 Aug. The root substrate was Fafard 4-P (Conrad Fafard, Inc., An derson, SC), which contained (v/v): 4 sphagnum peat: 2 pine bark: 2 vermicu lite: 1 perlite. Traditional foliage plants were allowed to mature in 8.3 x 11.4 cm (3.25 x 4.5 inch) round plastic containers until they were transplanted to create container ga rdens. The container garden pots were green or terra-cotta colored, square, fluted plastic containers m easuring 10 inches x 10 inches (25 cm x 25 cm). The root substrat e for the container gardens was Fafard 4-P (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderson, SC), which contained (v/v): 4 sphagnum peat: 2 pine bark: 2 vermiculite: 1 perlite. Plants were watered using drip irrigation and fertilized once

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73 weekly with 200 mg.L-1 N using Total Gro 14-4-14 (14N-1.8P-11.6K) (Total Gro, Winsboro, La.). The plants were grown under natural daylength. Pesticides were applied as needed. Three different foliage plant combinati ons in container gardens were used for Pilot Study 1 (Table 3-1). Each container ga rden had foliage plants that represented upright, mounding, and trailing growth habits and were combined on the bases of vigor, water and light requirements. Each of thes e combinations were pl anted in a green or terra-cotta colored square container with three replications of each combination and container color. For Pilot Study 1, setup of the three tradit ional foliage container garden displays mimicked the layout of a retail store. To identify possible purcha sing differences among these three retail zones, the same foliage cont ainer garden display was setup in each zone. Display areas measured 3 ft x 9 ft (0.9 m x 2.7 m) raised 3 ft (0.9 m) off of the retail floor. Each container combination and pot colo r was replicated three times in each retail display, resulting in 18 foliage cont ainer gardens per display. Data Analysis Pilot Study 1 was conducted over a 9 hour period from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm on 7 Oct. 2006. Consumer purchasing preference s were measured using a post-purchase survey. Pilot Study 1 post-pur chase questionnaire consisted of fourteen questions of which consumers were asked to circle an answer or answers that best depicts them (see Appendix E). Also recorded on each consumers questionnaire were the foliage combination(s) the consumer selected, what container color they purchased and which retail display they shopped from. Data coll ection from this survey was analyzed using

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74 SPSS (Statistical Software for Social Scie nces) version 14.0 for Windows descriptive statistics were calculated. Pilot Study 2 The objective for Pilot Study 2 was to init iate a consum er purchase pattern study with container gardens composed of new or unique foliage plant containers. This study took place at the Emerald Coast Flower Festival on the campus of the Pensacola Junior College on 31 March and 1 April 2007. Unique or new foliage plugs (3.8 x 6.4 cm [1.5 x 2.5 inch] cells) were obtained (Agri-Starts in Apopka, Fla. and ForemostCo in Winter Garden, Fla.) and transplanted into 8.3 x 11.4 cm (3.25 x 4.5 inch) round plastic containers on 11 Dec. 2006. On 28 Feb. 2007 fi ve types of foliage container gardens were constructed in 12-inch (24.1cm x 30.5cm) round, terra-cotta colored plastic containers. Each foliage container garden contained three foliage plants: an upright, mounding, and trailing plant and were combined on the basis of similar vigor, water and light requirements. Also considered during container garden construction were aesthetically pleasing plant combinations (Table 3-2). Different colored containers were eliminated as a factor in Pilot Studies 2 and 3 and only terra-cotta colored containers were used. The root substrate fo r the container gardens was Fafard 4-P (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderson, SC), which contained (v/v): 4 sphagnum peat: 2 pine bark: 2 vermiculite: 1 perlite. Plants were watered using drip ir rigation and fertilized once weekly with 200 mg.L-1 N using Total Gro 14-4-14 (14N-1.8P11.6K) (Total Gro, Winsboro, La.). A topdressing of 30 g of Harrells controlled release fertiliz er 19-6-12 (19N-2.62P-9.96K) (Harrells Fertilizer, Inc., Holt, Mich.) was also applied. Ten of each of the five foliage containe r garden combinations were arranged on displays in the three retail zones, resulting in 50 container gardens per display. Similar to

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75 Pilot Study 1, display locations included th e landing zone, transition zone, and the destination zone. Display areas measured 3 ft x 9 ft (0.9 m x 2.7 m) raised 3 ft (0.9 m) off of the retail floor. The foliage container gardens were arranged in blocks according to the combination for each display table and the same arrangement was used in each display area. Pilot Study 3 The objective for Pilot Study 3 was to duplic ate a consum er purchase pattern trial with container gardens composed of new or unique foliage plant containers. This study took place at the University of Florida-Gainesville at the student plant sale on 14 and 15 April 2007. Unique or new foliage plugs ( 3.8 x 6.4 cm [1.5 x 2.5 inch] cells) were obtained from reputable suppliers (Agri-Starts in Apopka, Fla. and ForemostCo in Winter Garden, Fla.) and transplanted into 3.25 x 4.5 inch (8.3 x 11.4 cm) round plastic containers on 11 Dec. 2006. On 5 March 2007 four types of foliage container gardens were constructed in 12-inch (24.1cm x 30.5cm) round terra-cotta colored plastic containers. Each foliage container garden contained three foliage plants: an upright, mounding, and trailing plant. Foliage plants were combined on the bases of vigor, water, light requirements, and aesthe tically pleasing (Table 3-3). The root substrate was Fafard 2 (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderson, SC), wh ich contained (v/v): 6.5 sphagnum peat: 2 perlite: 1.5 vermiculite. Plants were hand watered and fertilized with 14N-1.8P-11.6K with N at 200 mg.L-1. A topdressing of 30 g of Harrells controlled release fertilizer 196-12 (19N-2.62P-9.96K) (Ha rrells Fertilizer, In c., Holt, Mich.) was also applied. Five replicates of each of four foliage container garden combinations were displayed in three retail zones, resulting in 20 container gardens per display. As in Pilot Study 1, display locations included the landing zone, transition zone, and the destination

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76 zone. Display areas measured 2 ft x 6 ft ( 0.6 m x 1.8 m) raised 3 ft (0.9 m) off of the retail floor. The foliage container gardens were arranged in blocks according to plant combination on each display table and the same arrangement was used in each display area. Data Analysis Im provements were made to the instrume ntation following Pilot Study 1. The postpurchase questionnaire was update d to collect more information from consumers and was reviewed by a panel of expert s (Drs. Irani and Gibson from th e University of Florida). The respondents to the post-purchase questionn aire of Pilot Studies 2 and 3 were limited to one answer choice per question and a better scale of answer choices were provided for questions on frequency of plant purchases and gardening length. Also a question was included about the familiarity of the foliage plants within the container gardens the respondent was purchasing and whether they would come back and buy a similar foliage plant. For the demographics section, more definitive answer choices were provided. In Pilot Studies 2 and 3, consumer preferences and demographics were measured using the same post-purchase questionnaire. Revisi ng the instrumentation and testing on a convenience sample was an indication of instru mentation reliability and validity. On the questionnaire, twelve questions were aske d (see Appendix F). Upon completion of each post-purchase questionnaire, the customers foliage container type(s) and the location of the purchase(s) was/were reporte d on their questionnair e. This associated the consumers questionnaire answers to the type of foliage containers they purchased and the location where they purchased from. Data collection from this survey was analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Software for Social Scie nces) version 14.0 for Windows descriptive statistics were calculated.

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77 Results Pilot Study 1 In total for P ilot Study 1, nineteen questi onnaires were collected which resulted in 27 foliage container gardens sold. The average customer for Pilot Study 1 can be described as female (89%, n = 16), a nnual household income of $40,000.00 or above (64%, n = 13), that has a college degree and is diverse in age (Table 3-4, 3-5, 3-6). They are composed mainly of two person adult hous eholds (48%, n = 9), while 21% (n = 4) had one adult and 26% (n = 5) had three adults per household (one respondent declined to answer). The majority of the consumers, 63% (n =12), did not have children, while two consumers indicated 1 child (11%), three c onsumers indicated 2 children (16%), and one consumer had 3 children (5.3%) (one re spondent declined to answer). The consumers indicated that they purchase plants often (47%, n = 9) however they consider themselves a novice gardener (52%, n = 10) and the foliage container plants they were purchasing were new to them or only somewhat familiar (81%, n = 15) (Table 3-7, 3-8, 3-9). Overall, the respondents were pl eased with the quality of the plants (90%, n = 17), while one respondent stated they were somewhat pleased (5%) and one respondent declined to answer (5%). Th e landing zone was the most frequented purchasing location with 41% (n = 11) of th e total purchases, while the transition zone had 33% (n = 9) and the destin ation zone had 26% (n = 7). Also, one out of every three customers were making multiple purchases (30%, n = 6). The container color preference was nearly equal with this small sample size, 48% (n = 13) of the purchases were terracotta colored and 52% (n = 14) were the green containers. For the remaining post-purchase instru ment questions, the respondents were allowed to choose multiple answ ers to the questions. The cu stomers indicated they were

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78 drawn to the display because of foliage color combination (38%, n =14), quality of plants (16%, n = 6) and uniqueness (13%, n = 5) (T able 3-10). One of the main reasons consumers were purchasing the foliage plant container garden was for use in their garden (33%, n = 10) (Table 3-11). The container with the combination of assorted fern, Pilea involuncratae, angel wing begonia, and Pothos sp. (Type 3) was purchased by 55% (n = 15) of the consumers. The container with the combination of Strobilanthes dyerianus, Pilea cadierei, and Tradescantia zebrine (Type 1) was purchased by 45% of the consumers (n =12). The combination container of Upright Tradescantia, Begonia glabra, Pilea cadierei, and Plectranthus australis (Type 2) was not purchased at all. Comments were made by consumers about container Type 2 that the combination was too bland and not appealing. Pilot Studies 2 and 3 Pilot Studies 2 and 3 had an equivalent num ber of foliage container garden purchases with Pilot Study 2 selling 45 cont ainer gardens and Pilot Study 3 selling 40. One of the objectives of the pilot studies wa s to determine if display location had an impact on were these purchases were made For Pilot Study 2, the results of the purchasing location among the th ree different zones are show n in table 3-12. The landing and transition zones captured most of the cons umers attention with 78% (n = 35) of the purchases made from there. The results fo r Pilot Study 3 on the purchasing location were found to be nearly equal among the three differe nt zones. The landing zone had 30% (n = 12) of foliage container garden purchases, th e transition and the des tination zone both had 35% (n = 14) of purchases from that location. To determine which foliage container gard en type was most successful for Pilot Studies 2 and 3, the different combinations sold were recorded at each plant sale. For

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79 Pilot Study 2 foliage container Type 3 ( Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger, Rex Begonia Escargot, and Nephrolepis Biserrata Macho Fern) and Type 5 (Xanthosoma lindenii Magificum, Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern, and Alternanthera sp. Burgundy Thread) had the majority of the sales with 75.6% (n = 34) (Table 313). To determine which foliage container garden was most sought after for Pilot Study 3, the amount of each container type sold was recorded (Tab le 3-14). The foliage container Type 2 ( Cordyline sp. Kiwi, Alternanthera Burgundy Thread, and Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern) and Type 3 ( Colocasia esculenta Ruffles, Syngonium sp. Neon, and Cyanotis somaliensis Fuzzy Jew) had the majority of the sales with 67.5% (n = 27). There were a total of 56 completed postpurchased questionnaires collected from Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Answers from the post-purchase questionnaires in Pilot Study 2 and 3 were combined to learn more about the plant sale consumer purchasing a foliage container garden. The first question on the instrument sought to determine the reason why consumers were purchasing a foliage container garden. Primarily consumers (57.1%, n = 3 2) were making th e purchase to use as an ex terior plant for their deck, patio, or porch (Table 3-15). The second question on the instrument addressed how frequently the consumers purchased plants throughout the year. The majority of consumers (82.2%, n = 46) are making plant pu rchases on a seasonal basis or more often (Table 3-16). The third question asked how long each consumer has been involved in gardening. The majority of consumers (78.6%, n = 44) have been gardening for at least five years or more (Table 3-17). The fourth question asked how familiar they were with the plants in the foliage c ontainer garden(s) that they are purchasing. The amount of consumers that said that these foliage plants were all new to them or somewhat new was

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80 39.3% (n = 22) versus 53.6% (n = 30) of the consumers saying they were somewhat familiar to very familiar with the plant material (Table 3-18). The fifth question addressed the likelihood of a return visit for a purchase of a similar foliage plant. Only one person (1.8%) indicated they would not likely come back and buy a similar foliage plant, otherwise 25.0% (n = 14) of the consumers said possibly and 73.2% (n = 41) said very likely. The next six questions were demographi c based questions, tables 3-19 through 324. These questions address another object ive of the study; w ho are the primary customers making the purchases of the foliage co ntainer gardens. In turn, the answers to these questions help to determ ine the target market. The customers in this study were mostly female (83.9%, n = 47) with an ag e of 45 or above (67.8%, n = 38) a yearly household income of $50,000 or above (69.6% n = 39) along with a college degree (73.2%, n = 41). Most households consis ted of two adults (60.7%, n = 34) and no children under 18 years of age (78.5%, n = 44). Conclusion One of the goals of the National Fo liage F oundation is to find new ways of utilizing and marketing foliage plants. The florist di sh garden, which is primarily composed of foliage plants, was made popular in the 1970s. It is crucial to find more outlets for the foliage industry to market the growing number of new cultivars of the major foliage plant genera. This group of pilot studies looked at one possible outlet for the foliage plant industrytheir use in outdoor container gardens. Pennisi et al. (2005) described the advantages of using tropical foliage in container gardeni ng because they are attractive with a wide range of textures and color, ar e low-maintenance, and can tolerate low light levels. Selling foliage plants in this fa shion is an example of commodity bundling and

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81 promotes exposure to different plant mate rials that may have otherwise have gone untested and increases the consumers plant palate. Also, this product may not have invoked a prior need or want for the consum er upon entering the plant sale, so this product can be promoted in ways that increase impulse and unplanned purchases with merchandising and consumer educational material s as suggested by Mason et al. (2008). The objectives of the pilot studies were to test the experimental design and data collection instrumentation pr ior to implementing an industry study at Florida garden centers. One result of Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3 was the importance of constructing an aesthetically pleasing foliage plant combination. Those pl ant combinations that were less interesting did not sell. Unique combinations using new plant material were essential to sales in Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Demographic information had similar results to the 2006 National Gardening Association (NGA) Survey on Container Gard ening. The NGA (2007) found that the key consumer groups for container gardening sales in 2006 were women (62% of sales), college-educated households (91% of sales), and two-person households (38% of sales). The survey went on to indicate consumer gr oups of households with no children at home (70% of sales) and households with annual incomes of $50,000.00 and over (52% of sales). With the convenience sample of th ese pilot studies aligned with the national demographics of container garden purchasers there is a practical representativeness of the samples preferences and survey answers. The preliminary research of Pilot Studies 2 and 3 showed that foliage container gardens were primarily purchased (57%, n = 32) for use on the consumers deck, porch, or patio (exterior). Beyond exterior use as a reason for purchasing, 29% (n = 16) of the

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82 purchases were made because of good combination of plants and being unique or unusual. With the diversity of consumer reas ons to purchase and the array of benefits of foliage plants indicated by Pennisi et al. ( 2005) there are multiple ways to market such a container garden such as exterior dcor, plants for the poolside, containers for the lanai, and unique specimen plants. Just over half (54%, n = 30) of consumers were somewhat to very familiar with the foliage plants in the container gardens. However 39.3% (n = 22) of the consumers stated the plants were all new or somewhat new to them. This was a large percentage of consumers stating that these foliage plants were relatively new to them, even though the majority of consumers i ndicated they had been gardening at least five years or more and purchase plants on a se asonal or regular basis. This presents a need to accompany these foliage container ga rdens with informational signage and care instructions to help eliminate consumer hesi tation towards the product. This would also help to educate the consumer on the benefits of foliages plan ts and change the perception that foliage plants are only avai lable at florist shops that Pennisi et al. (2005) identified in their research. Signage is es pecially beneficial when the ratio of sales people to consumers is very low in the garden cen ter and more than 70% of all purchasing decisions are made independently of a sale spersons help (Dunn, 1992) With 73% of the consumers indicating they would be very li kely to come back and purchase a similar foliage plant, it is important to have high cu stomer satisfaction after the first purchase. Again this can be done by educating the cons umer with informational signage and care instructions. Becker and Poorbaugh (1996) suggested providing visual materials highlighting essential plant information that could be helpful to both customers and employees.

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83 A definitive conclusion as to where to market the foliage container gardens within a store setting for the highest number of sales ha s yet to be determined as this research needs to encompass actual retail locations. Overall the numbers suggest more sales were in the landing and transition zones. Retailer s may consider a displa y apart from product in their destination zone to entice customer s in the landing and tran sition zones. Having multiple displays of the same product may be beneficial if the product is new or needs increased exposure time to appeal to cons umers. A recommendation by Burns (1998) is to continually rotate displays around the retail space to promote a fresh look and to find the prime selling areas. This attracts attenti on to new products and plant material; therefore it will help promote more impulse or unplanned purchases. Future research implementing this study at garden centers wi ll increase the data set and help to make more definitive conclusions about this research topic.

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84 Table 3-1. Pilot Study 1 traditional foliage plant combinations. Combination Upright plant Mounding pl ant Trailing plant Trailing plant Type 1 Persian shield Strobilanthes dyerianus Aluminum plant Pilea cadiereii Wandering Jew Tradescantia zebrine Type 2 Upright Tradescantia Tradescantia sp. Aluminum Plant Pilea cadiereii Trailing Begonia Begonia glabra Swedish Ivy Plectranthus australis Type 3 Friendship Plant Pilea involuncrata Assorted Ferns Dryopteris sp. Angel Wing Begonia Begonia coccinea Devil's Ivy Pothos sp. Table 3-2. Pilot Study 2 foliage plant combinations. Combination Upright plant Mounding plant Trailing plant Type 1 Dieffenbachia Carina Alocasia Cuprea Cyanotis somaliensis Fuzzy Jew Type 2 Colocasia esculenta Ruffles Chlorophytum Fire Flash Syngonium Neon Type 3 Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger Rex Begonia Escargot Nephrolepis Biserrata Macho Fern Type 4 Cordyline sp. Sensation Croton sp. Petra Philodendron Prince of Orange Type 5 Xanthosoma lindenii Magificum Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Alternanthera sp. Burgundy Thread

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85 Table 3-3. Pilot Study 3 foliage plant combinations. Combination Upright plant Mounding plant Trailing plant Type 1 Cordyline sp. Sundance Calathea sp. Ornata Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Type 2 Cordyline sp. Kiwi Alternanthera Burgundy Thread Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Type 3 Colocasia esculenta Ruffles Syngonium sp. Neon Cyanotis somaliensis Fuzzy Jew Type 4 Cordyline sp. Sensation Croton sp. Petra Philodendron sp. Prince of Orange Table 3-4. Income ranges of respondents of Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % $10,000 1 5.3 $10,000 0 0.0 $20,000 2 10.5 $40,000 6 31.6 $60,000 1 5.3 $80,000 0 0.0 $100,000 3 15.8 $120,000 2 10.5 $140,000 0 0.0 No answer 4 21.0 Total 19 100.0 Table 3-5. The level of education achi eved by each respondent in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % Some high school 0 0.0 High school graduate 2 10.5 College tech graduate 2 10.5 Undergraduate degree 7 36.8 Graduate degree 4 21.1 Other 1 5.3 Missing 3 15.8 Total 19 100.0

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86 Table 3-6. Age ranges of respondents of Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % 15 to 24 4 21.0 25 to 34 3 15.8 35 to 44 3 15.8 45 to 54 6 31.6 55+ 2 10.5 Missing 1 5.3 Total 19 100.0 Table 3-7. How often the respondents typi cally purchase plants in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % Rarely 3 15.8 Seasonally 6 31.6 Often 9 47.3 Missing 1 5.3 Total 19 100.0 Table 3-8. The gardening level indicated by the respondents in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % Novice 10 52.6 Intermediate 3 15.8 Experienced 5 26.3 Missing 1 5.3 Total 19 100.0 Table 3-9. Familiarity of plants within the foliage plant container gardens in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % New to me 7 36.8 Somewhat familiar 8 42.1 Very familiar 3 15.8 Missing 1 5.3 Total 19 100.0

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87 Table 3-10. The aspect(s) that drew consumers to the foliage container garden display in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % Color combination 14 37.9 Salesperson 1 2.7 Signs 1 2.7 Quality of plants 6 16.2 Quality of display 5 13.5 Plant type 2 5.4 Structure of display 3 8.1 Unique 5 13.5 Total 37 100.0 Table 3-11. The reason(s) the consumer purchas ed a foliage plant container in Pilot Study 1. Answer Frequency % Gift 2 6.6 For garden 10 33.3 Season to plant 1 3.3 Enjoy shopping 0 0.0 Houseplant 6 20.0 Hurricane replacement 1 3.3 Patio plant 6 20.0 Unique/unusual 4 13.3 Total 30 100.0 Table 3-12. Pilot Study 2 consum er purchasing location results. Display location Frequency % Landing zone 16 35.6 Transition zone 19 42.2 Destination zone 9 20.0 Missing data 1 2.2 Total 45 100.0

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88 Table 3-13. Pilot Study 2 foliage combination sales. Foliage combination Frequency % Type 1 5 11.1 Type 2 1 2.2 Type 3 21 46.7 Type 4 4 8.9 Type 5 13 28.9 Missing data 1 2.2 Total 45 100.0 Table 3-14. Pilot Study 3 foliage combination sales. Foliage combination Frequency % Type 1 7 17.5 Type 2 13 32.5 Type 3 14 35.0 Type 4 6 15.0 Missing data 0 0.0 Total 40 100.0 Table 3-15. Post-purchase survey results for reason of foliage container garden purchase. Answer Frequency % For exterior: deck/porch/patio 32 57.1 Interior houseplant 3 5.4 Good combination of plants 8 14.3 As a gift 4 7.1 Unique or unusual 8 14.3 No answer 1 1.8 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-16. Post-purchase survey resu lts for frequency of plant purchases. Answer Frequency % Yearly 5 8.9 Every 6 months 5 8.9 Seasonally 18 32.2 Monthly 12 21.4 Every 2 weeks 10 17.9 Weekly 6 10.7 Total 56 100.0

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89 Table 3-17. Post-purchase survey results of length of gardening involvement. Answer Frequency % Less than 1 year 6 10.7 1 to 5 years 6 10.7 5+ years 44 78.6 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-18. Post-purchase survey results for familiarity of plants within the container gardens they were purchasing. Answer Frequency % All new to me 8 14.3 Somewhat new 14 25.0 Neutral 4 7.1 Somewhat familiar 23 41.1 Very familiar 7 12.5 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-19. Gender of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Answer Frequency % Male 9 16.1 Female 47 83.9 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-20. Age ranges of responde nts of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Answer Frequency % 15 to 24 3 5.4 25 to 34 8 14.3 35 to 44 7 12.5 45 to 54 18 32.1 55+ 20 35.7 Total 56 100.0

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90 Table 3-21. Income ranges of res pondents of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Answer Frequency % $29,000 7 12.5 $30,000 7 12.5 $50,000 16 28.5 $70,000 6 10.7 $90,000 3 5.4 $110,000 5 8.9 $130,000 6 10.7 $150,000 3 5.4 No answer 3 5.4 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-22. Highest educati on level achieved by respondents of Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Answer Frequency % Less than high school 0 0.0 High school/GED 7 12.5 Some college 8 14.3 2 year college degree 9 16.1 4 year college degree 14 25.0 Graduate degree 18 32.1 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-23. Number of adults 18 years old or older living in the household for Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Number of adults Frequency % 1 14 25.0 2 34 60.7 3 7 12.5 4 1 1.8 Total 56 100.0 Table 3-24. Number of children under 18 years old living in the household for Pilot Studies 2 and 3. Number of children Frequency % 0 44 78.5 1 3 5.4 2 8 14.3 3 1 1.8 Total 56 100.0

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91 CHAPTER 4 IMPACT OF FOLIAGE PLANT CO NTAINE R GARDEN SALES THROUGH IDENTIFYING CONSUMER NEEDS, TRENDS AND PREFERENCES Introduction One of the goals for the National Foliag e Foundation is to investigate new and innovative marketing strategies to promote and increase the use of tropical foliage plant varieties. Florida is an id eal state to study new foliage ma rketing techniques as the state retail gardening industry is strong, growing in sales from $3.64 Bn in 2000 to $6.97 Bn in 2005 (Hodges and Haydu, 2006) and Florida do minates the foliage market with 74% of the total wholesale value (USDA Floricu lture Crops Summary, 2008). This growth in retail garden center sales stem s from the continuous increa se in population of 750 people moving to Florida everyday and the strong c onstruction industry (Bouvier et al., 2001). Of the staple products within th e garden centers both in Flor ida and nationwide that have had consistent growth is container garden ing; now over 26 Mn households participate nationwide in this activity (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). Therefore to aid the marketing efforts of the retail and foliage industries, it is necessary to study the use of foliage plants utilized in container gardens at es tablished Florida garden centers. Understanding consumer behavior is an important topic to consider when marketing in the garden cente r environment. Garden cente r customers tend to buy what they want, not what they need (Dunn, 1992). Thus the buying process of new plants in retail outlets falls unde r the definition of an impulse purchase or unplanned purchase. Initially promoting products as impulse or unplanned purchases increases awareness, trial-ability, and ultimately market share (Abratt and Goodey, 1990). Creating in-store awareness and providing consumer educat ion on new products alleviates shopper hesitation and may remind the consumer of a present or future need, thus making it easier

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92 to justify a purchase. Consumer behavior theories state that to increase purchasing behavior towards products, that it is necessa ry to build strong consumer attitudes towards the products which are easily accessible from memory; thus turning spontaneous sales into planned purchases (Michell, 1993). To capture consumer beliefs, behaviors a nd demographics for marketing efforts, surveys are the most commonly used inter active instrumentation (Solomon, 2000). The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) is one of the most widely accepted sources for methodology to be utilized in conducting and an alyzing a social science survey. Six basic steps to conduct an effective survey incl ude first determining a research question to answer, then defining the sample to target, and finally constructing, administering and analyzing the questionnaire responses. To achie ve a high response rate with the lowest cost, a directly administered survey can be conducted, also allowing the administrator to be on-site to answer questions (Ary et al., 2002). Howeve r, a directly administered questionnaire is subject to the naturalist ic setting, where not all individuals in the population have an equal opportunity to be apart of the sample, thus a limitation is a convenience sample. Therefore, caution is warranted when attempting to generalize findings beyond the specific population at the approximate time the directly administered questionnaire is conducted. To construct a reliable and valid survey, pr ocedures are outlined to write instrument questions that are short, simple, unbiase d, and avoid unambiguous answers and leading questions (Dillman, 2000). Reviewing the instrumentation with a panel of experts and conducting a pilot study on the population will in crease the validity and reliability of the instrumentation. The instrumentation utilized in this study has previously been tested on

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93 pilot study participants and revi ewed by a panel of experts at the University of Florida (Drs. Irani and Gibson) (refer to Chapter 3). Prior to initiating th is study the researcher submitted the studys protocols for review and received approval from the University of Florida Institutional Revi ew Board (see Appendix B). Another parameter within the retail e nvironment that may affect purchasing behavior is product placement. Underhill (2001 ) identified the five different retail zones found in a retail setting, among these zones th ree represent the area s where most of the purchasing occurs: landing, tr ansition, and destination zone s (see Appendix A). Gibson et al. (2007) observed purchasi ng differences among these th ree retail zones. Further research could benefit this area of interest, as to know where to display product for the highest purchasing rate in a retail setting. To measure product placement and obtain consumer reaction towards container gardens comprised of foliage plants, six resear ch objectives were studied: 1) analyze the impact of display location on purchase behavior, 2) determ ine consumer preference of foliage plant container garden combinations 3) report number of shoppers and sales at each Florida garden center by the number of purchased foliage plant container gardens, 4) explore correlations of consumer survey an swers to location of purchase and number of containers purchased, 5) descri be the demographics of the convenience sample of foliage container garden purchasers at Florida area garden centers compared to the national container gardening demographics, 6) advise the horticulture industry on the marketability of foliage plant container garden s as part of the reta il product mixture. Materials and Methods A foliage container garden survey study was established at tw o Florida garden centers: Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, Fla. and Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla.

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94 These two garden centers represented a rural locationNobles Greenhouse (in 2006 population of 7,024) and an urban locationRockledge Gardens (in 2006 population of 24,290) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). Foliage container gardens were grown at the University of Florida-Gaines ville campus. Foliage plan t liners were donated by Agristarts in Apopka, Fla. (see Appendix C) to produce three different container garden combinations. Each container combination contained three foliage plants: an upright, mounding and trailing plant in an aesthetically pleasing combination (Table 4-1). Plants were combined on the bases of vigor, water and light requirements. Foliage container gardens were scheduled for market over su mmer and fall holidays in 2007: the July 4th holiday, Labor Day weekend, and Halloween. Foliage plant liners were planted 12 weeks before the scheduled finish date on 11 Apr il, 26 May, and 28 July into 3.25 x 4.5 inch (8.3 x 11.4 cm) round plastic containers. The root substrate was Fafard 2 (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Anderson, SC), which containe d (v/v): 6.5 sphagnum peat: 2 perlite: 1.5 vermiculite. Plants were hand watered and fertilized once weekly with N at 250 mg.L-1 using Peters 15-5-15 (15N-2.2P-12.45K ) (Scotts Marysville, Ohio). Eight weeks after potting (WAP) on 2 June, 28 July, and 22 Sept. fo liage plants were transplanted into 12inch (24.1cm x 30.5cm) round, terra-cotta colored, plastic contai ner gardens. A topdressing of 30 g of Harrells controlled release fertiliz er 19-6-12 (19N-2.62P-9.96K) (Harrells Fertilizer, Inc., Holt, Mich.) was also applied. Foliage plant container gardens were delivered and sold at the garden centers one week prior to the targeted holiday on 28 June, 29 August, and 22 Oct. and remained for two weeks until 12 July, 11 Sept., and 6 Nov., respectively. A foliage plant container garden display was created at the landing, transition, or destina tion zones with six

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95 replications of each container combination resulting in 18 container gardens per zone. Each container garden was provided with a point-of-sale generated barcode sticker indicating price, container type, and the display location. A consensus on price was established with the owners of both garden centers; Nobles Greenhouse priced the foliage containers at $19.99 and Rockledge Gardens pri ced the containers at $19.98. Retail staff at both garden centers were provided with maintenance in structions and directed to consolidate each display after a container garden was removed. Prior to collecting data in this study, multiple pilot studies were conducted to establish the validity and reliability of the m easurement instrument used (refer to Chapter 3). The fourteen question post-purchase foliage containe r garden instrument was developed based upon these pilot studies and reviewed by a panel of experts (Drs. Irani and Gibson from the University of Florida) to establish face and content validity (see Appendix G). The instrument provided questions that included predetermined answers of which the respondents were allowed to select only one that best depicted them. Each garden center was provided with a questionnaire research handbook along with training on how to conduct the consumer survey follo wing the purchase of a foliage container garden (see Appendix H, I). In additi on to providing a handbook, post-purchase questionnaires, cultural and care informationa l sheets, and laminated computer generated signage that indicated price, cultural, and care information on each container to be posted at each display (see Appendix J, K, L, M, N) were provided. Data from the post-purchase questionnai res were entered into a database and statistical analysis was c onducted using SPSS version 14.0 for Windows. In order to

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96 accomplish the objectives of this study, descriptive statistics of frequencies and cross tabulations were utilized. Results Following the targeted holidays at the Fl orida garden centers, 27 foliage container gardens were purchased at Nobles Greenhous e and 26 container gardens were purchased at Rockledge Gardens. Targeted studies ove r July 4th and Labor Day produced similar sales of foliage container gardens at both garden centers (Nobles Greenhouse sold 22 foliage containers and Rockledge Gardens so ld 20) (Table 4-2). In terms of shopping zone, most consumers that purchased folia ge plant container gardens at Nobles Greenhouse purchased in the destination zone (45%, n = 12), while the transition zone at Rockledge Gardens yielded the majority of purchases (54%, n = 14). Overall, the transition and destination zones (64%, n = 34) gained the most attention of consumers purchasing foliage plant container gardens, wh en compared to the landing zone (Table 43). Foliage plant combination results i ndicated that container garden Type 2 ( Strobilanthes dyerianus Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern, and Syngonium sp. Neon), the most colorful of the three container gardens, yielded the most sales at 55% (n = 29) (Table 4-4). Utilizing the point-of-sale computer system at both garden centers, data was generated on sales of foliage plant containe r gardens, sales per product category, overall total sales, and customer counts for each two week study period. Both garden centers included the foliage plant container gardens as part of their tropical foliage plant sales category. At Nobles Greenhouse, the foliage plant container gardens accounted for 10% of their tropical foliage plant category sales and 1% of their overall sales on average for the three studies (Table 4-5). At Rockledge Gardens, the foliage plant container gardens

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97 also accounted for 10% of their tropical folia ge plant category sales and 0.2% of their overall sales on average for the three study pe riods (Table 4-6). Examining the total customer count at both garden centers during each study period by the number of customers that purchased foliage plant container gardens, the data shows that less than 10 customers at each garden center were needed each study period to generate the average 10% of the tropical foliage plant category sales (Table 4-7; 4-8). The amount of customers that bought foliage plant container gardens compared to the overall number of shoppers at Nobles Greenhouse and Rockledge Gardens was on average 2% and 0.5%, respectively (Table 4-7; 4-8). The product category of tropica l foliage plants represented 10% and 2% of the overall to tal sales on average for Nobl es Greenhouse and Rockledge Gardens, respectively (Table 4-9). The average sale per customer during each study period was similar with $51.86 at Nobles Green house and $55.10 at Rockledge Gardens. The post-purchase survey served to discover why consumers were purchasing specific foliage container garden combina tions, how many foliage container garden displays did they recall seeing in the store, the likelihood of a return visit for a similar purchase, and their gardening background a nd knowledge of foliage plants. Postpurchase questionnaires from bot h Florida garden centers were combined to gain an understanding about the foliage container gard en target market (n = 35). The first instrument question asked the reason for purch asing the foliage container garden. The most popular answers were: for the exterior (deck, patio, porch) with 11 consumers (31.4%); eight consumers (22.9%) purchased an item because the container garden was unique and/or unusual. Other responses included: for the interior with five consumers (14.3%), five consumers (14.3%) replied th at it was a good plant combination, and six

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98 consumers (17.1%) purchased the container gard en as a gift. Only those consumers who purchased foliage plant container gardens we re asked to recall the number of foliage plant container garden displays they observe d. The majority of foliage plant container garden consumers (71.4%, n = 25) recalled seeing all three displays, five consumers (14.3%) indicated they saw two displays, and five consumers (14.3%) only saw one display. Foliage plant containe r garden consumers were asked to indicate how frequently they made plant purchases on a yearly basis. The majority (45.7%, n = 16) indicated they make plant purchases seasonally (Table 4-10) When asked how long they had been involved with gardening, the majority of fo liage plant container garden consumers said over five years (60%, n = 21); nine consumer s (25.7%) said they had been involved for between one and five years, and five c onsumers (14.3%) indicated they have only recently been involved in gardening for less than one year. To determine how knowledgeable foliage plant container garden consumers were on foliage plants, one question asked how familiar they felt they were with the foliage plants within the container garden they purch ased (Table 4-11). Answers were set in a Likert-scale format with five answer choices ranging from all new to me, somewhat new, neutral, somewhat familiar and very familiar. By dummy coding these answers 1 (all new to me) to 5 (very familiar) the results showed that slightly more consumers considered these plants newer to them versus being familiar to them ( M =2.57, SD =1.44, n = 35). Foliage plant container garden consum ers were then asked if they would return and purchase similar foliage plants. The majo rity (62.9%, n = 22) said they would very likely return to buy similar foliage plan ts; 13 consumers (37.1%) said they would

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99 possibly make a return visit to purchase foliage and no consum ers said they were unlikely to purchase foliage again. The remainder of the post-purchase instrume nt consisted of demographic questions about the foliage plant container garden c onsumer. The primary consumer was female (68.6%, n = 24) versus nine male consumers (25.7%); two consumers did not provide an answer (5.7%). A majority of consumers fell in the older age range categories with 11 consumers (31.4%) 55 years old or older and nine consumers (25.7%) were between 45 and 54 years old. Only one consumer (2.9%) fell in the 15 to 24 years old category, while six consumers (17.1%) were between the ages of 25 to 34, and six consumers (17.1%) were 35 to 44. Consumers were asked to indicate which yearly income bracket they fell in (Table 4-12). The majority of consumers had a household yearly income of $90,000 or below, however 10 consumers did not provide an answer. Consumers also provided their highest educa tional level achieved (Table 4-13). The majority of consumers had at least some college c ourses with many having college degrees. Consumers were also asked how many a dults (18 years and older) and how many children under 18 years old liv ed in their household. Most consumers lived in a two person household (60%, n = 21); households with one adult were indicated by six consumers (17.1%), three person households we re indicated by three consumers (8.6%), one consumer (2.9%) responded that they li ve in a four person household and four consumers (11.4%) did not provide an answer Most consumers came from a household with no children under the age of 18 (71.4%, n = 25). Two consumers (5.7%) said they had one child, two consumers (5.7%) said th ey had two children, while one consumer

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100 (2.9%) said they had three children and a nother one (5.7%) indicated they had five children. Four consumers (11.4%) did not provide an answer. To show possible relationships existing be tween variables, cro ss tabulations were performed on the questions with in the survey along with the location of purchase and the amount of purchases per transaction for foliage plant container customers. However, due to the small sample size, the cross tabulations did not meet the assumptions of the test and can not be reported. Yet, with the expl oratory nature of this study, possible trends will be reported so that future researchers can thoroughly explore these trends. One trend that should be investigated further is the relationship betw een a display of new products replicated multiple times throughout the retail outlet by the location where the consumer decided to purchase from. The combined da ta of both Florida gard en centers indicated that the majority of foliage plant containe r garden consumers recalled seeing all three foliage container garden displays (72.4%, n = 21) and within this group, 66% (n = 14) chose to purchase from displays further in the store after experiencing the landing zone. Possible support for a special display apart fr om the products main display is of the two consumers that saw all three displays and c hose to purchase from tw o different displays, each person chose containers from the landing zone and then went onto purchase from the transition or destination zones. This research would benefit from a larger sample size to perform a cross tabulation on the data from each garden center individually to determine significance between the three display locations. Also investigated were the post-purchase survey answers of those consumers who purchased multiple foliage plant container gardens (18.2%, n = 6) as opposed to single foliage container purchases (81.8%, n = 27) of both Florida garden centers. A cross

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101 tabulation was preformed on the consumers reasoning for their pur chase of a foliage plant container garden by the amount of foliage plant container gardens purchased, whether a single or multiple purchase. The cross tabulation on this data did not meet the assumptions of the test nor did it yield a si gnificant chi-square test. However the test indicated that consumers purchasing multiple foliage plant container gardens were primarily consumers planning to use their purchas e in an exterior set ting (patio, porch, or deck) (50%, n = 3). Of the 70% of consumer s purchasing a single fo liage plant container garden were planning to use it in the consumers interior spaces (lanai), as a gift, or the consumer desired the foliage container b ecause it was simply a good or unique plant combination (n = 19). Another cross tabulation was performed on this data which included how familiar the consumer was with the plants in the foliage plant container garden by the amount of foliage plant contai ner gardens purchased, whether a single or multiple purchase. Again, the cross tabulation on this data did not meet the assumptions of the test nor did it yield a significant chi-s quare test. However one trend to consider is of those consumers making multiple purchases (18.2%, n = 6) those that were more familiar with the plant material (50%, n = 3) were more inclined to purchase more than one foliage plant container garden. Multiple post-purchase survey questions and demographics from both Florida garden centers were examined for possible relationships. Among the variables studied was the possible relationship between how fre quently the consumer made plant purchases throughout the year and how long the consumer had been involved with gardening by how familiar they were with the plants with in the foliage plant container garden they were purchasing. Due to the small sample size no definitive results were found and the

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102 data did not meet the assumptions for the cr oss tabulations, nor was the chi-square test significant. However, it can be stated with this convenience sample that neither how frequently consumers purchased plants on a yearly basis nor how long they had been involvement in gardening was an indicator of whether they were more or less familiar with the plants that made up the foliage plan t container gardens. Also explored were possible relationships between age of the consumer and gender by their familiarity of the plants within the foliage plant container gard ens. As with the prev ious cross tabulations, the sample size was too small to meet the assumptions of the test and the chi-square test was not significant. However, no particular age range of the consumer indicated they were more familiar with the plants within their foliage container garden. In addition, the gender of the consumer was not a factor whether they were more familiar with the foliage plants within their container garden or not. Yet with the gender study, some bias may be present as the number of females that shop at garden centers typically exceeds males, so this may skew the results. Among all of thes e tests, the plants w ithin these container gardens are all relatively new to the marketpl ace, so unfamiliarity is expected with this study. With further research, possible relations hips may be found among these variables. Conclusion Im plementing this study at actual garden re tail outlets allowed further insight into the potential use of tropical foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens. Despite the hot, dry weather in the summer and fall of 2007 (Table 4-14) at both garden center research locations, along with the reported below average customer turnout, the foliage plant container gardens still sold dur ing each targeted holid ay. Utilizing actual customer and sales data from the garden centers was a method to document actual characteristics of the retail environment. When working in the naturalistic setting in

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103 social science, Ary et al. (2002) explains that the qualitative data derived should describe the setting, this approach can be adapted to the quantitative data of customer counts and sales figures supplied by the garden centers. Examining each garden centers sales and customer data showed that purchases of foliage plant container gardens by nine customers or less during each two week study period accounted for 10% of the sales in the overall product category of tropical foliage plants. However, these customers buying foliage plant container gardens represente d less than 2% of the overall number of shoppers at each garden center during the study periods. This indicates that the foliage plant container gardens were primarily an impul se purchase for these few customers. If a small amount of customers are making a cons iderable impact on sales, this suggests better marketing strategies to target a larger number of customers to boost sales. With increased promotional efforts, there is poten tial to bring awareness to customers not shopping in the tropical foliage plant category or to convert container garden customers to a container garden composed of foliage plants. Thus foliage plant container gardens have potential to become a component of the product mix at garden centers. Even with the findings of a directly admi nistered study being hard to generalize due to the answers reflecting only those respondents, the demographics of this Florida garden centers study were similar to the 2006 National Gardening As sociation survey on container gardening. With the convenience sample of this study al igned with the nationa l demographics of container garden purchasers, there is practical representation of the samples preferences and survey answers. Customers at each garden center location were greeted with multiple displays of the foliage plant container gardens throughout the store with signage explaining the

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104 benefits of the container and descriptions of the plant material. The foliage containers were priced near $20.00 at each garden cente r which may have enticed some consumers to purchase as Mason et al. (2008) found that $24.99 is the national perceived price point of container gardens that app eals to consumers. The major ity of foliage plant container garden consumers recalled seeing all three foliage container displays yet most purchased from displays further in the store. This emphasizes the possible benefits of having multiple displays of the same product thr oughout the store because of the increased exposure effect that could lead to impulse or unplanned purchases. This is especially beneficial if the product is new or needs incr eased exposure time to appeal to consumers. Abratt and Goodey (1990) and Park et al. (1989) determined even with just a special display setup with promotional materials w ould also lead to increased purchases. A recommendation by Burns (1998) is to continua lly rotate displays around the retail space to promote a fresh look and to find the prime selling areas. With the diversity of consumer reasons to purchase the foliage plant container garden and the array of benefits of foliage plants indicated by Penni si et al. (2005) there are multiple ways to market such a container garden as exterior dcor, plants for the poolside, containers for the lanai, and unique specimen plants. By mainly positioning foliage plant container gardens for the househol d exterior (deck, porch, or patio) may be a possible way to entice consumers not only to buy but to also make multiple purchases as opposed to more singular purchases when marketed more as a gift or specimen plant. However, the benefits of tropical foliage plants are largely going unnoticed as garden center consumers are not being exposed to any marketing materials and are generally associating foliage plants with florist shops as Pennisi et al. (2005) found following their

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105 consumer survey. If the horticulture industry sold foliage plan ts in this fashion, as mixed container gardens (i.e. commodity bundling), this method would help promote exposure to different plant material that may have otherwise gone untested and allows the consumer the choice of price points whet her they chose the i ndividual product or a combination (if plants are sold separately as well as combined) (Adams and Yellen, 1976). Combining plants in container gard ens based on color harmony that delivers visual interest and a sense of order was a finding by Mason et al. (2008) and the foliage industry could follow this r ecommendation to appeal to consumers. To increase consumer confidence, a mixture of traditiona l and newer foliage plan t varieties could be used in the container garden. This appro ach was indicated by a possible trend observed in this study as consumers with prior knowledge of the plant material were more likely to purchase more than one foliage plant contai ner garden per transaction. Incorporating traditional foliage varieties along with newer ones will also help increase the consumers plant palate. Foliage plants may not have invoked a pr ior need or want by the consumer upon entering the garden center; if so, foliage plant sales could be nefit from the techniques that increase impulse and unplanned purchasing similar to grocery industry. These strategies suggested by Park et al. ( 1989) that could be implemented in a garden center include arrangement of product according to the consum ers prior knowledge or expectations and the use of highly visible displays of bra nd or product information to promote the recognition of previously unrecognized needs. These strategies stem from research conducted on consumer behavior. Consumer behavior theories offer ways to promote less spontaneous and more planned purchases by establishing and building positive

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106 consumer attitudes towards the product. In regards to foliage plants, possible ways to strengthen attitudes toward s this generally unbranded pr oduct category consists of swaying the consumer with new information, providing direct experience (workshops and seminars), connecting advertising materi als with the product in the store, and accompanying the product with additional re sources to assure success in the postpurchase environment (Mitchell, 1993). With 62.9% (n = 22) of consumers stating they are very likely to come back and purchase fo liage plants again, it is crucial that the consumer have a successful experience with their initial purchase, thus the need for educational materials. Becker and P oorbaugh (1996) suggested providing visual materials highlighting essential plant informa tion that could be helpful to both customers and employees. These marketing methods and the use of consumer behavior theories already utilized by the grocer y industry are essen tial for the garden center to adapt because of the high percentage of indecisive consumers. In summary, there is a target market co mprised of container gardening consumers and foliage container garden consumers alik e. Implementing push and/or pull marketing strategies for foliage plants as indicated by the results from th is research and the recommendation by Pennisi et al (2005), along with ut ilizing techniques that are inline with consumer behavior theories are esse ntial to promote awareness and increase demand. Currently these strategies are lack ing. Incorporating foliage plant container gardens to demonstrate the versatility of folia ge plants is one step in the process of increasing their utilization.

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107 Table 4-1. Foliage plant container garden combinations for Florida garden centers. Combination Upright plant Mounding plant Trailing plant Type 1 Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf Green Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger Oxalis hedysaroides rubra Fire Fern Type 2 Strobilanthes dyerianusDryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Syngonium sp. Neon Type 3 Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf Green Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Syngonium sp. Maria Allusion' Table 4-2. Sales of foliag e plant container gardens over the c ourse of the study. Location Sale date Number of purchases % Nobles Greenhouse 28 June to 12 July 9 17.0 Rockledge Gardens 28 June to 12 July 12 22.7 Nobles Greenhouse 27 Aug. to 11 Sept. 13 24.5 Rockledge Gardens 27 Aug. to 11 Sept. 8 15.1 Nobles Greenhouse 23 Oct. to 6 Nov. 5 9.4 Rockledge Gardens 23 Oct. to 6 Nov. 6 11.3 Total 53 100.0 Table 4-3. Florida garden center patterns of foliage container garden purchases. Nobles Greenhouse Rockledge Gardens Overall Location Frequency % Frequency% Frequency % Landing zone 3 11.1 6 23.1 9 17.0 Transition zone 4 14.8 14 53.8 18 34.0 Destination zone 12 44.5 4 15.4 16 30.1 Missing 8 29.6 2 7.7 10 18.9 Total 27 100.0 26 100.0 53 100.0

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108 Table 4-4. Foliage container garden combina tions purchased at Florida garden centers. Nobles Greenhouse Rockledge Gardens Overall Combination Frequency % Frequency% Frequency % Type 1 7 25.9 9 34.7 16 30.2 Type 2 14 51.9 15 57.7 29 54.7 Type 3 1 3.7 1 3.8 2 3.8 Missing 5 18.5 1 3.8 6 11.3 Total 27 100.0 26 100.0 53 100.0 Table 4-5. Data from Nobles Greenhouse dur ing each study period on foliage container sales by product category and by total sales. Study periods (2007) Foliage container sales ($) Percentage of foliage container sales by the tropical foliage plant product category Percentage of foliage container sales by the total sales 28 June -12 July 179.91 8.5 0.8 29 Aug 11 Sept 259.87 19.4 2.2 22 Oct 6 Nov 99.95 4.6 0.4 Average 179.91 10.8 1.1 Table 4-6. Data from Rockledge Gardens during each study period on foliage container sales by product category and by total sales. Study periods (2007) Foliage container sales ($) Percentage of foliage container sales by the tropical foliage plant product category Percentage of foliage container sales by the total sales 28 June -12 July 239.76 14.3 0.2 29 Aug 11 Sept 159.84 11.9 0.3 22 Oct 6 Nov 119.98 4.3 0.1 Average 173.19 10.2 0.2 Table 4-7. Nobles Greenhouses customer count data and number of customers purchasing foliage plant container gardens during each study period. Study periods (2007) Total customer count Foliage container customers Percentage of foliage container customers by total customers 28 June -12 July 431 9 2.1 29 Aug 11 Sept 247 9 3.6 22 Oct 6 Nov 454 5 1.1 Average 377 8 2.3

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109 Table 4-8. Rockledge Gardens customer count data and number of customers purchasing foliage plant container gardens during each study period. Study periods (2007) Total customer count Foliage container customers Percentage of foliage container customers by total customers 28 June -12 July 1614 8 0.5 29 Aug 11 Sept 1184 7 0.6 22 Oct 6 Nov 1666 5 0.3 Average 1488 7 0.5 Table 4-9. Tropical foliage pl ant product category sales compared to the overall total sales at both Florida garden centers during each study period. Nobles Greenhouse Rockledge Gardens Study periods (2007) Percentage of tropical foliage plant product category sales by total sales Percentage of tropical foliage plant product category sales by total sales 28 June -12 July 9.9 1.7 29 Aug 11 Sept 11.4 2.2 22 Oct 6 Nov 8.2 3.0 Average 9.8 2.3 Table 4-10. How often foliage plant container garden cons umers make plant purchases on a yearly basis. Frequency of Plant Purchases Frequency % Yearly 2 5.7 Every 6 months 6 17.1 Seasonally 16 45.7 Monthly 6 17.1 Twice a month 1 2.9 Weekly 4 11.4 Total 35 100.0

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110 Table 4-11. Foliage plant container garden consumers familiarity with the plants they purchased. Familiarity Frequency % All new to me 11 31.4 Somewhat new 9 25.7 Neutral 3 8.6 Somewhat familiar 8 22.9 Very familiar 4 11.4 Total 35 100.0 Table 4-12. Yearly inco me of those that purchased folia ge plant container gardens at Florida garden centers. Yearly Income Frequency % $29,000 1 2.9 $30,000 7 20.0 $50,000 7 20.0 $70,000 2 5.7 $90,000 2 5.7 $110,000 0 0.0 $130,000 1 2.9 $150,000 5 14.3 Missing 10 28.5 Total 35 100.0 Table 4-13. Education level of those that purchased foliage plant container gardens at Florida garden centers. Education Frequency % Less than high school 0 0.0 High school/GED 5 14.3 Some college 10 28.6 2-year college degree 4 11.4 4-year college degree 7 20.0 Graduate degree 6 17.1 Missing 3 8.6 Total 35 100.0

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111Table 4-14. Average temperatures and precipitation in Live Oak and Rockledge, Fla. during each two week study period in 2007 including the normal temperatures and precipitation expected (Weather Underground, 2008). Location Study period Average high F C Average low F C Precipitation total in mm Normal high F C Normal low F C Normal precipitation totals (in/mm) Nobles Greenhouse in Live Oak, Fla. June 28 to July 11 93 33.8 72 22.2 0.83 21.1 93 33.9 70 21.1 June and July = 12.4/315.2 Aug. 27 to Sept. 11 91 32.8 70 21.1 0.29 7.4 92 33.3 70 21.1 Aug and Sept = 10.8/273.6 Oct. 23 to Nov. 6 77 25.0 55 12.8 0.19 4.8 79 26.1 55 12.8 Oct and Nov = 5.7/144.8 Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla. June 28 to July 11 92 33.3 75 23.9 6.07 154.2 90 32.2 72 22.2 June and July = 11.2/284.7 Aug. 27 to Sept. 11 89 31.7 79 26.1 1.9 48.3 89 31.7 72 22.2 Aug and Sept = 12.9/327.7 Oct. 23 to Nov. 6 83 28.3 67 19.4 3.82 97.1 81 27.2 64 17.8 Oct and Nov = 7.9/200.7

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112 CHAPTER 5 RESEARCH SUMMARY To support one the National Foliage Foundati on goals, new ways to m arket and utilize foliage plants, research objectives were establ ished to study foliage plant sales in the retail setting. Implementing the study at Florida area ga rden centers was ideal as the retail garden industry is strong and plant materi al was readily available as Fl orida remains th e largest state producer of foliage plants (Hodges and Haydu, 2006; USDA Floriculture Crop Summary, 2008). To determine how foliage plants were to be newly positioned to consumers, container gardening was identified as one of the pr oduct categories in retail garden centers across the country that has had consistent growth and is currently capturi ng market share (Natl. Gardening Assn., 2007). This was inline with the research conducted by Pe nnisi et al. (2005) that foliage plants used in containers gardens have the potential to be an outlet for the foliage industry to help boost consumer interest and increase sa les. A consumer behavior study was established to investigate the potential use of foliage plants in container gardens. In the fi rst of a series of experiments plant growth regulators (PGR) we re applied as foliar sprays a nd substrate drenches on vigorous foliage plants to identify rates for plants that would be transferred to container gardens. The majority of experiments to follow involved dire ctly administered surveys at plant sales and Florida area garden centers to record consumer preferences and demographics towards foliage plant container gardens. In the PGR study, Expt. 1, Xanthosoma violaceum and Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge and Gigantea were treated with flurprimidol and paclobutrazol foliar sprays and substrate drenches to achieve growth control re sults within wholesale standards (Thomas et al., 1997; B.E. Whipker, personal communication). Subs trate drenches were the most effective with Colocasia varieties resulting in the best control of plant height and spread, however excessive

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113 stunting occurred with Xanthosoma. Xanthosoma violaceum a smaller leaved foliage plant, responded best to foliar spra ys of paclobutrazol at 20 mg.L-1 ($0.02 per pot) because of less leaf obstruction and better contact with the petioles, stems, a nd roots. Plant height of Colocasia esculenta Nancys Revenge and Colocasia esculenta Gigantea was controlled with substrate drenches of flurprimidol or p aclobutrazol at 0.5 mg a.i./pot to avoid stunting at a cost of $0.02 per pot. If both plant height and diameter are to be controlled for wholesale market purposes a flurprimidol substrate drench at 2.0 mg a.i./pot is recommended for the Colocasias, however this will increase chemical costs to $0.07 per pot and visual quality may be impacted with some varieties (costs of flurprimidol and paclobutr azol can be found in Chapter 2, pg 47). Foliage growers should also consider lowe r PGR concentrations to improve visual quality with this crop. In the second experiment, Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis, and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were treated with substrate drenches of flurprim idol and paclobutrazol based on growth control standard s achieved in Expt. 1. Neither chemical nor concentration affected Ardisia humalis significantly. Pl ant height of Cordyline Sundance was controlled with flurprimidol at 2.0 mg a.i./pot ( $0.07 per pot). Plant diameter of Asparagus densiflorus Sprengeri was controlled with fl urprimidol at 0.5 to 1.0 mg a.i./pot and paclobutrazol at 0.25 to 0.50 mg a.i./pot; paclobutrazol at 0.2 5 mg a.i./pot was the most co st effective at $0.01 per pot. At 6 weeks after treatment single, similarly treated plants of Cordyline Sundance, Ardisia humalis and Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' were transplant ed into 24.1 cm x 30.5 cm (12inch) round terra-cotta colored pl astic containers. A representa tive from each flurprimidol treatment was lined up from 0 to 4 mg a.i/pot a nd a consumer survey was administered at four locations. Within each location consumers were di vided into three distinct groups: plant sale consumers, consumers that work within the flor iculture industry, and master gardeners. The

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114 survey objectives were to collect data on container preference, sugge sted retail price, and intent to buy. All consumers were aware that the varian ce in plant size was a resu lt of PGR treatments. The survey resulted in 521 completed questionnai res. Plant sale consumers preferred the most robust (untreated control) foliage container garden (40.6%, n = 159) while the horticulture industry and master gardener group preferred a moderately co ntrolled foliage container (flurprimidol at 0.50 and 1.0 mg a.i.) (63.2%, n = 72). The consumer behavior theory of the attitude-nonattitude continuum (Mitchell, 1993) may explain th e differences in preferences observed in this survey. Respondents to this survey may have never encountered a PGR container before so their attitude or preferences toward a container garden with slightly smaller plant material may not have been determined pr ior to this study. The plant sale consumers, industry professionals and master gardeners that may have understood the benefits of PGR treated plant material may explain why they woul d prefer a slightly smaller plant material for increased longevity of the container garden. Ho wever outside the survey setting the respondents actual preferences when encounter ing container gardens in an act ual retail setting may differ and a container garden with larger plant material may be the one that is ultimately preferred. Yet with consumer education and marketing materials, container gardens compos ed of plants treated with PGRs could have the potential to be sold as compact with little low maintenance required. The majority of respondents provided a pr ice between $10.00 and $19.99 for a 12-inch, foliage plant container gardens. Price points gleaned from this study may assist the foliage industry on proper pricing for similar container gardens. Seve ral factors were examined to explain intent to buy such as retail price suggested, preference of container, or th e different consumer groups, and all factors were inconclusive. Thus intent to buy may be linked to other factors not explored in

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115 this survey as to the type or color of plant ma terial within the containe r garden, light and water requirements of the container garden, or overall size of container garden. Certain survey participants did make comments that Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' was an invasive species in south Flor ida, so other foliage plant combin ations may be better suited for Florida gardeners. An area for further investig ation may include a blind study to observe if container gardens featuring smaller plant material translated to their actual purchases, especially for industry professionals a nd master gardeners. The third experiment was a directly administ ered survey that collected preferences and demographics of consumers purchasing foliage plant container gardens. This experiment included multiple pilot studies in preparation for the industry-based study conducted at Florida garden centers in the summer a nd fall of 2007. One result of Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3 was the importance of constructing an aesthetically pl easing foliage plant combination. Those plant combinations that were less interesting did not sell. Unique combinations using new plant material helped to boost awareness to the contai ner gardens in Pilot Stud ies 2 and 3. Also 40% of the respondents from the pilot studies indicated the plant material used in the foliage container gardens was new to them, surprisingly the majority of consumers had been gardening for five or more years and purchase plants on a seasonal basis. This presents a need to accompany foliage container gardens with informational signage and care instructions to help eliminate consumer hesitation towards the product. The foliage plant combinations in Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3 that achieved the most sales are listed in Table 5-1. With updated survey instrumentation after Pilot Study 1 by a panel of experts, Pilo t Studies 2 and 3 attained reli able and valid results and the same instrumentation was utiliz ed in the final experiment.

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116 In the last experiment two Fl orida retailers were enlisted to sell a collection of similarly produced foliage plant container gardens that we re displayed in three different areas of the garden center: landing, transition and destination zones. Three study replicates were conducted over the course of summer and fall 2007. Each study occurred for two weeks at a time and centered around the July 4th holiday, Labor Da y weekend, and Halloween. Nobles Greenhouse in rural Live Oak, Fla. sold 27 foliage plant container gardens, while Rockledge Gardens in urban Rockledge, Fla. sold 26 foliage plant co ntainer gardens with a combined total of 35 completed questionnaires. Garden center staff directly administered post-purchase questionnaires to the customers purchasing foliage plant container gardens and also recorded what display the customer shopped from. Implemen ting this study at actual retail outlets allowed further insight into the possibility of using tr opical foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens. Despite the hot, dry weather of summer and fall 2007 at both garden center research locations, along with th e reported below average custom er turnout, the foliage plant container gardens sold during each targeted hol iday. Examining each garden centers sales and customer data showed that purchases of foliage plant container ga rdens by nine customers or less during each two week study period accounted fo r 10% of the sales in the overall product category of tropical foliage plants. However, these customers buying foliage plant container gardens represented less than 2% of the overall nu mber of shoppers at each garden center during the study periods. This indicates that the folia ge plant container gardens were primarily an impulse purchase for these few customers. If a small amount of customers are making a considerable impact on sales, this suggests marketing strategies to targ et a larger number of customers to boost sales. With increased prom otional efforts, there is potential to bring awareness to customers not shopping in the tropical foliage plant category or to convert container

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117 garden customers to a container garden composed of foliage plants. Thus foliage plant container gardens have potential to become a compone nt of the product mix at garden centers. Even with the findings of a dire ctly administered study being ha rd to generalize due to the answers reflecting only those res pondents, the demogra phics of this Florida garden centers study were found to be similar to the 2006 National Ga rdening Association (NGA) survey on container gardening. With the convenience sample of this study aligned with the na tional demographics of container garden purchasers, there is a practical representativeness of the samples preferences and survey answers. Foliage plant container gard ens that resulted in the most sales are listed in Table 5-1. Similar to the pilot studies, more consumers indicated that plants comprised in the foliage plant container gardens were new to them (57.1%, n = 20), yet most customers had been gardening for five years or more and purchase plants on a seasonal basis. This observation presents a need to support foliage plant c ontainer gardens with signage and consumer educational materials. To determine correct pr oduct placement, the survey indicated that the majority of consumers recalled they had seen all three container garden displays, yet most purchased from displays further in the store. This may show the possible benefits of having multiple displays of the same product throughout the store because of the increased exposure effect that could lead to impulse or unplanned purchases. This is especially beneficial if the product is new or needs increased exposur e time to appeal to consumers. Consumer behavior theories explain how to promote less spontane ous and more planned purchases by building positive consumer attitudes towards the product. These theories could aid the marketing of unbranded foliage plant contai ner gardens constructe d in this study. The attitude-behavior process model as explained by Mitchell (1993) states that inducing positive

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118 attitudes alone is not enough to have sufficient influence over consumer behavior, thus the attitude about a product must be accessible from memory. The theory of planned behavior (Fazio et al., 1986) goes onto state that not only is a positive at titude necessary for consumer behavior to occur, but the behavi or has to also be inline with the consumers subjective norms and the consumer must have the necessary resour ces and opportunities to achieve the behavior. Thus foliage plant container gardens must possess a positive attitude accessible from memory, be inline with the consumers subjective norms priced within the consumers budget, and accompanied with educational mate rials for the consumer to achie ve success with the product. One of the greatest consumer behavior challenge s that garden center ow ners face with their products is finding ways to develop strong positive attitudes that are easily accessible from memory to more reliably influence consumer purchasing behavior. To create a positive accessible attitude involves an objec t-evaluation associati on to give strength to the attitude, so that when the product is seen by the consumer a perception is immediately formed from prior knowledge (Mitchell, 1993). Consumer research has provided ways to develop a positive accessible attitude from memory and one method is the use of direct behavioral experience. To relate this method to foliage pl ant container gardens, holding seminars or workshops at the garden center to provid e hands-on experience with the foliage plants helps the customer to behave in accordance with their attitude towa rd the product compared to consumers only having exposure to the product be means of advertisements. If advertising is to be utilized then the use of persuasive messages about the product can be e ffective according to c onsumer research, thus the use of celebrities in advert isements (Mitchell, 1993). For folia ge plants, the use of creative, attention-grabbing advertisements may increase the link between the desi red association of the product and the positive evaluation stored in the memory. Other techniques to strengthen an

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119 attitude and promote activation is to present a cue linking the advertisement with the product, this can be accomplished with a point-of-purchas e display to help consumers access previously formed attitudes. However if the attitude is weak to begin with, than presenting new information or re-positioning the product aids in developing new or stronger attitudes. Thus re-positioning foliage plants in outdoor combination container gardens accompanied with marketing materials and demonstrating their versatility will help to change the perceptions of foliage plants as only florist plants and hopefully strengthen c onsumer attitudes towards these plants. Additional questions that could be incorpor ated into the survey instrumentation to strengthen the results include whether the purcha se was intended before en tering the store or was it made while in-store to determine if it was an unplanned or impulse purchase. Conducting an interview with the customer before and after the shopping experience would help to determine what purchases were made on impulse. To estab lish if the consumer was swayed to purchase a foliage plant container garden, they should be questioned if they had intended to purchase any sort of container garden. This would help de termine if the consumer buying the foliage plant container garden was already a container garden purchaser or was the consumer converted from other product categories to purchas e a foliage plant container gard en. Knowing this information would help verify if foliage plant container gardens are attr acting new customers or existing container garden customers. Consumers should be questioned why they were attracted to the display, or if the consumer did not purchase a foliage plant container ga rden, they should be questioned why they were not attracted to the display. Also, to determine what supportive materials should accompany the foliage plant container garden, a question should be asked about what information should be provided with the fo liage container that would make the customer more prone to purchase.

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120 Table 5-1. Foliage plant container garden combin ations that yielded the most sales during Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3, along with Florida area garden centers. Combination Upright plant Mounding pl ant Trailing plant Trailing plant Pilot Study 1, Type 1 Persian shield Strobilanthes dyerianus Aluminum plant Pilea cadiereii Wandering Jew Tradescantia zebrine Pilot Study 1, Type 2 Upright Tradescantia Tradescantia sp. Aluminum Plant Pilea cadiereii Trailing Begonia Begonia glabra Swedish Ivy Plectranthus australis Pilot Study 2, Type 3 Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger Rex Begonia Escargot Nephrolepis Biserrata Macho Fern Pilot Study 2, Type 5 Xanthosoma lindenii Magificum Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Alternanthera sp. Burgundy Thread Pilot Study 3, Type 3 Colocasia esculenta Ruffles Syngonium sp. Neon Cyanotis somaliensis Fuzzy Jew Pilot Study 3, Type 2 Cordyline sp. Kiwi Alternanthera Burgundy Thread Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Garden Center Study, Type 1 Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf Green Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger Oxalis hedysaroides rubra Fire Fern Garden Center Study, Type 2 Strobilanthes dyerianus Dryopteris erythrosora Autum n Fern Syngonium sp. Neon

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121 APPENDIX A PRODUCT PLACEMENT ZONES WITHIN A GARDEN CENTER Figure A-1. An illustration of where the landing, transition, and destination zones are within a garden center.

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122 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT STATEMENT

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123 APPENDIX C FOLIAGE PLANT DONATION REQUEST Agri-Sta rts Ty Strode Tystrode@agristarts.com Ty, I wanted to get back with you after talki ng to you at the FNATS tradeshow about plant donations for the National Foliage Foundation grant. Dr. Jamie Gibson and I met last week to decide on the plant material that we would like to use for the study. Attached you will find this plant list. Im not sure of your tray size, however for each of the plants listed we would need a quantity of 72 plants. I wanted to also describe to you my rese arch plan on how I will be using your plant material and the information that Agri-Starts will acquire from this research. My research plan consists of two parts. The first part will be determining consumer preference of foliage container gardens. Three different foliage container gardens will be constructed using one upright, mounding and trailing plant per contai ner. Each of these containers will then be replicated ten times and setup in three different retail locati ons at each of the Gain esville and Milton plant sales. Data will then be collected from a post-purchase survey. The survey will collect information on the reasons for purchasing, what at tracted them to the display and the container garden, how often they buy plant material, and personal demographics. The second part the research plan involves the use of plan t growth regulators (PGRs) on foliage plants. The foliage plants will be treat ed with two different PGRs both as a drench and spray. These plants along with a control group will then be assembled into foliage container gardens and sold at both the Gain esville and Milton plant sales. Th e data that Ill gather will be visual quality (marketability), height and diam eter. Also the consumer response to foliage container gardens treated with PGRs compared to container gardens that were not treated. Agri-Starts will obtain the results of both of these studies along with acknowledgment in the trade and research manuscripts. We would need this plant material to arrive no later then December 7th, so if you could ship this plant material as soon as possible that would be great. The shipping address is: West Florida Research and Education Center 5988 Highway 90 Building 4900 Milton, FL 32583 Attn: Jamie Gibson Thank you so much for your time and support of this research project. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me. Sincerely, Emily Stefanski

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124 APPENDIX D PLANT GROWTH REGULATOR INSTRUMENTATION Foliage Container Garden Evaluation 1. Of the 6 foliage containers, which one would you consider purchasing? 2. What would be an appropriate price for the container you choose? 3. Would you buy this container today?

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125 APPENDIX E FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN PI LOT ST UDY 1 INSTRUMENTATION How did you learn about this plant sale? (circle) Newspaper Radio Internet Marquee/Billboard Word of mouth Other: How often do you typically purchase plants? (circle) Rarely Seasonally Often Reason you bought plant material today (circle): Gift For garden Season to plant Enjoy shopping Interior houseplant Hurricane replacement Patio plant Unique or unusual Other: We observed your purchase today, why di d you choose this display? (circle) Attractive Convenient Well stocked Had to have Clean and easy to shop Well labeled Spontaneous purchase Atmosphere No reason What drew you to the display? (circle) Color combination Salesperson Signs Quality of plants Quality of display Plant type Structure of display Unique Other: How would you classify yourself as a gardener? (circle) Novice Intermediate Experienced How familiar are you with the plants you are purchasing today? (circle) New to me Somewhat Familiar Very Familiar Are you pleased with the quality of the plants? (circle) No Somewhat Yes Gender (circle): Male Female Age: 15 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55+ Household Income (circle): $10,000 $10,000 $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000 $120,000 $140,000 Education (circle): Not a high school graduate High school graduate College tech graduate

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126 4 year college graduate Graduate degree Other: Number of adults in the household: _______ Number of children in the household: ______

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127 APPENDIX F PLANT SALE INSTRUMENTATION 1. Did you purchase a Foliage Container Garden today? (circle) Yes No 2. If Yes, please go to Question 3. If No, what was your reason for Not purchasing a Foliage Contai ner Garden? (circle One) Not interested Already have container garden(s) Prefer container with flowers Priced too high We thank you for your input, please proceed to Question 8 (on Back) 3. Which answer Best describes your reason for purchase? (circle One) For deck/patio/porch Interior house plant Good combination of plants As a gift Unique or unusual 4. How often do you purchase plants (circle One)? Yearly Every 6 months Seasonally Monthly Twice a Month Weekly 5. How long have you been involved in gardening? (circle One) Less than 1 year 1 to 5 years 5+ years 6. How familiar are you with the plants in th e Foliage Container Ga rden(s) (circle One)? All new to me Somewhat new Neutral Somewhat familiar Very familiar 7. How likely are you to come back and buy a similar foliage plant (circle One)? Not likely Possibly Very likely 8. Gender (circle): Male Female 9. Age (circle):

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128 15 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55+ 10. Household Yearly Income (circle): *If student, report familys income $29,000 $30,000 $50,000 $ 70,000 $90,000 $110,000 $130,000 $150,000 11. Highest level of education you have completed (circle One): Less than High School High School/GED Some College 2-Year College Degree 4-Year College Degree Graduate Degree 12. Number of adults in househol d, 18 years old or above _______ 13. Number of children in household, younger than 18 years old _______

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129 APPENDIX G GARDEN CENTER INSTRUMENTATION 1. Did you purchase a Foliage Container Garden today? (circle) Yes No 2. If Yes, please go to Question 3. If No, what was your reason for Not purchasing a Foliage Contai ner Garden? (circle One) Not interested Already have container garden(s) Prefer container with flowers Priced too high We thank you for your input, please proceed to Question 9 (on Back) 3. Which answer Best describes your reason for purchasi ng a Foliage Container Garden? (circle One) For Exterior: deck/patio/porch Interior houseplant Good combination of plants As a gift Unique or unusual 4. How many Foliage Container Garden displays did you observe in the st ore? (circle One) 1 Display 2 Displays 3 Displays 5. How often do you purchase plants (circle One)? Yearly Every 6 months Seasonally Monthly Twice a Month Weekly 6. How long have you been involved in gardening? (circle One) Less than 1 year 1 to 5 years 5+ years 7. How familiar are you with the plants in th e Foliage Container Ga rden(s) (circle One)? All new to me Somewhat new Neutral Somewhat familiar Very familiar 8. How likely are you to come back and buy a similar foliage plant (circle One)? Not likely Possibly Very likely 9. Gender (circle): Male Female

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130 10. Age (circle): 15 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55+ 11. Household Yearly Income (circle): *If student, report familys income $29,000 $30,000 $50,000 $ 70,000 $90,000 $110,000 $130,000 $150,000 12. Highest level of education you have completed (circle One): Less than High School High School/GED Some College 2-Year College Degree 4-Year College Degree Graduate Degree 13. Number of adults in house hold, 18 years old or above_______ 14. Number of children in household, younger than 18 years old_______

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131 APPENDIX H FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN STUDY INTRODUCTI ON New production and marketing trends are em erging in our industry everyday. The container garden is already becoming a staple of what we produce each season, but staying ahead of the market and producing something unique, and with a higher value, me ans you need to start looking for different plant materials to spice up what you do. One recent trend is the use of tropical plants in containers. This study will investigate the impact of fo liage plant container gardens on identifying consumer needs, trends, and preferences. A collec tion of foliage plant speci es will be planted in 12-inch containers based on sun/shade exposur e and growth habit (trailing, mounding, and upright). Three plants each with a vertical growth habit, a mounding habit and a trailing habit will be installed per container. The foliage plant container gardens will be co nstructed at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The container gardens will be sold at garden centers a week at a time in the spring, summer and fall. Consumer response will be meas ured with a post-purchase survey. The postpurchase survey will define the customers prof ile (male/female, age range, how long theyve been gardening, and reason for purchase). Foliage Research Setup: There will be 3 different foliage containe r garden types. There will be 18 of each different type, with a total of 54 (18 3) for each study. These containers will be free of charge including deliv ery; all the profit generated is yours to keep for your support with this research project. 3 replications of the study over the season: Study 1.) Summer: 28 June through 12 July Study 2.) Fall: 27 August through 11 September Study 3.) Late fall: 23 October through 6 November o Foliage container gardens will be delivered and set up on the Wednesday or Monday prior to the start of the study: 27 June, 27 August, and 23 October. To sell the foliage plant container garden s, 3 different displays locations are needed within the garden center (to m easure whether display location makes an impact): 1st location: From the parking lo t to the entrance (Landing Zone) 2nd location: Just inside th e entrance (Transition Zone) 3rd location: Within the reta il setting (Destination Zone) At each location, 6 of each of the differe nt foliage plant container gardens should be displayed. Each display needs to hol d 18 foliage plant container gardens, 6 of each type. Inventory of each foliage container garden display would be beneficial at the end of each day or the start of the following day, to see quantities sold each day from each display. This can easily be done with a digital camera if one is available,

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132 just take a picture of each display everyday. This will also give me an idea of what other plant material is surrounding each foliage display. To collect information about the foliage container gardens, surveys need to be administered to both customers purchasing foliage container gardens and to those that are not during the week of the study. When a survey is submitted by a customer purchasing a foliage container garden(s), the data tag(s) in each foliag e container needs to be removed and the number on the data tag(s) needs to be written on the survey. This information tells me which location they purchased from and which foliage container type they are purchasing. *Example of Plant Data Tags, there will be one of these in each container. At the end of the study, of the foliage pl ant container gardens that did not sell, plant data tags need to be collected from each container. Combine these with all the surveys collected and that is what I need for my research. The remaining container gardens are yours to keep. During the study, foliage container garden s should not be moved around from the different display locations. They can be condensed within their location; however they should not be swapped around. Timeline for each study: Monday or Wednesday: o Delivery and setup of foliage container garden displays o Administer surveys to any customers purchasing these foliage containers o Collect plant data tags from each foliage container sold and record on that customers survey Monday through the second following Monday: o Administer surveys throughout the day and collect and record data tags o Condense containers only within their displays o Run daily inventory reports

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133 Example of the foliage contai ner garden display setup: Foliage Container Example Contact Information: Emily Stefanski University of Florida Graduate Research Assistant Department of Environmental Horticulture 1545 Fifield Hall Gainesville, FL 32611 352-262-0239 Phone 352-392-3870 Fax emilyhrt@ufl.edu

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134 APPENDIX I INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADMINISTERING INSTRUMENT Setup: o 3 display locations of foliage container gardens o Each display has 3 different fo liage contain er garden types o Among the 3 different foliage container gard ens, there are 6 of each type on each display. o You may condense the containers within the display, but please do not move containers to di fferent displays. o Every foliage container garden ha s a colored numbered plant tag: 1. Red Tags: All containers in Location 1 2. Yellow Tags: All containers in Location 2 3. Blue Tags: All contai ners in Location 3 o Post-Purchase Surveys and Foliage Information Sheets are included. Instructions: 1. Each customer that purchases a foliage cont ainer garden is encouraged to complete a post-purchase survey (2 pages; front and back). Important Note: ***The consumer information from this survey is benefiting the National Foliage Foundation in their pursuit to better market and utilize foliage plants. Permission was granted from the University of Florida to administer a ma rket research survey (IRB# 2006-U-0890). All information from this survey is kept confidentia l. (This statement also appears on the back of every survey.) 2. Remove the colored numbered plant tag(s) from each foliage container garden, and then record these numbers in the upper fr ont right-hand corner of the customers survey (please save tags if possible). Write in the numbers from the colored plant tags here.

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135 3. The customer is then welcome to take a Foliage Container Garden Information Sheet which identifies and provides the cultural requirements for all the foliage species. 4. Also, please encourage a few customers that have not purchased a foliage container garden to fill out a survey to find out reasons why a purchase wasnt made. 5. Please save all completed surveys and colo red tags to be mailed or picked up. 6. Please print off POS daily inventory sh eets for all the foliage containers. 7. Completion of this study is at closing on Thursday, July 5th, 2007. Following completion, the foliage container gardens are yours to keep, rearrange, and sell. No surveys need to be administered after this date. 8. Again, thank you for all your help and support of this research project. I sincerely appreciate the extra time and effort put into this. All publications of this work will credit your garden center. I will be in contact with you throughout the week of the study, however if there are any questi ons do not hesitate to contact me: Emily Stefanski University of Florida 352.262.0239 emilyhrt@ufl.edu Example of colored numbered plant tags, record these numbers.

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136 APPENDIX J FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN INFORMATION SHEET Foliage Container Garden Information Sheet Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf Green Light: Part to Full Shade Mature Height: 18-24" Water: Keep Moist Zone: 9 Syngonium Maria Allusion& Neon Light: Part to Full Shade Mature Height: 12 Water: Keep Moist Zone: 9 Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern Light: Light Shade to Full Shade Mature Height: 24 Water: Keep Moist Zone: 5-9 Strobilanthes dyerianus Light: Part Shade Mature Height: 18-36" Water: Keep Moist Zone: 9-10 Oxalis hedysaroides rubra Fire Fern Light: Part Shade Mature Height: 8 Water: Keep Moist Zone: 9-11 Xanthosoma aurea Lime Zinger Light: Part to Full Shade Mature Height: 18-24 Water: Keep Moist Zone: 7b-11

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137 APPENDIX K FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN PRICE SIGN Unique Foliage Container Gardens $19.99Great for Patios, Porches, and Lanais! Place in Part to Full Shade. Low Maintenance. Keep Containers Moist. Contains new foliage from Tropical America.

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138 APPENDIX L TYPE 1 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FOR FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN Foliage Container Garden Species Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf GreenFast Growing Attractive Bluish-Green Leaves Height: 18to 24Oxalis hedysaroides rubra Fire FernNice Maroon Foliage with Yellow Flowers Blooms all summerXanthosoma aurea Lime ZingerUnique Golden Color Heart-Shaped Leaves Brightens a Shady Area

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139 APPENDIX M TYPE 2 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FOR FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN Foliage Container Garden Species StrobilanthesdyerianusStriking Foliage Leaves are Striped with Shimmering Blue and Lilac ColorsSyngonium NeonThe Brightest, Hot Pink, NEW Syngonium! Rounded Busy GrowthDryopteris erythrosora Autumn FernVery Colorful Fern New Leaves Emerge as Coppery-Pink in Color Mature Leaves turn Green

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140 APPENDIX N TYPE 3 INFORMATIONAL SIGN FOR FOLIAGE CONTAINER GARDEN Foliage Container Garden Species Xanthosoma atrovirens Dwarf GreenFast Growing Attractive Bluish-Green Leaves Height: 18to 24Syngonium Maria AllusionRed to Bonze overlay on Green Leaves Pinkish Red Veins Mounding HabitDryopteris erythrosora Autumn FernVery Colorful Fern New Leaves Emerge as Coppery-Pink in Color Mature Leaves turn Green

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141 LIST OF REFERENCES Abratt, R. and S.D. Goodey. 1990. Unplanned buying and in-store stimuli in superm arkets. Managerial and Decision Economics 11(2):111-121. Adams, W. J. and J.L. Yellen. 1976. Commod ity bundling and the burden of monopoly. The Qrtly. J. of Economics 90(3):475-498. Ajzen, I. 1991. The theory of planned behavior Organizational Behavi or and Human Decision Processes 50:179-211. Ary, D., L. Cheser Jacobs, and A. Razavieh. 2002. Introduction to research in education. 6th ed. Wadsworth Thomson Learning, Belmont, Calif. Barrett, J.E. 1982. Height control by ancy midol, PP333 and EL-500 dependent on medium composition. HortScience 17:896-897. Barrett, J.E., C.A. Bartuska, and T.A. Nell. 1994. Application techniqu es alter uniconazole efficacy on chrysanthemums. HortScience 29(8):893-895. Barrett, J.E. and T.A. Nell. 1983. Ficus benjamina response to growth retardants. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 96:264-265. Becker, C.A. and J.A. Poorbaugh. 1966. Consumer response to landscape in formation in nursery garden centers. Penn. State Univ. Agr. Expt. Res. Sta. No. 63. Bouvier L. and S. McCloe Stein. 2001. Focus on Florida: Population, resources, and quality of life. 3 Dec. 2007. < http://npg.org/specialreports/FL/fl_report.htm l>. Bucklin, R.E. and J.M. Lattin. 1991. A two-state m odel of purchase incidence and brand choice. Mktg Sci. 10(1):24-39. Burns, R. 1998. Center of Attenti on. American Nurseryman 188(4):61. Chen, J., R.J. Henny, and D.B. McConnell. 2002. De velopment of New Foliage Plant Cultivars. P. 466-472. In: J. Janick and A. Whipkey (e ds.), Trends in new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, Va. Conover, C.A. 1994. Angle-wing begonia growth and water requirements affected by paclobutrazol. Central Fla. Res. and Educ Ctr.-Apopka Res. Rpt. RH-94-4, Univ. of Fla./IFAS. http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu.l p.hscl.ufl.edu/Foliage/Resrpts/rh_94_4.htm. Conover, C.A. 1998. Foliage Plants, p. 273-294. In: V. Ball (ed.). Ball Redbook. 16th ed. Ball Pub., Batavia, Ill. Cox, D.A. and F.F. Whittington. 1988. Effects of paclobutrazol on height and performance of Aluminum plant in a simulated interi or environment. HortScience 23(1):222.

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142 Dillman, D.A. 2000. Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method. 2nd ed. Wiley, New York, N.Y. Dole, J.M. and H.F. Wilkins. 2004. Floriculture principles a nd species. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. Dunn, C. 1992. 19 Merchandising tips learned from supermarkets. Fla. Foliage Assn. 8(4):10-11. Fazio, R.H. 1986. How do attitudes guide behavior?, p. 204-243. In: R.M. Sorrentino and E.T. Higgins (eds.). The handbook of motivati on and cognition: Foundations of social behavior. Guilford Press, New York, N.Y. Garber, M.P. and K. Bondari. 1998. Retail garden ou tlets: Plant material purchases and trends. J. Environ. Hort. 16(1):20-26. Gaston, M., L.A. Kunkle, P.S. Konjoian, and M.F. Wilt (eds.). 2002. Tips on regulating growth of floriculture crops. Ohio Fl orists Assn, Columbus, Ohio. Gibson, J.L. and D. Bonelli. 2007. Make your display pay. Ornamental Outlook 16(1):46, 48, 50. Henny. 1990. A review of literature concerning the us e of growth retardants on tropical foliage plants. Central Fla. Res. and Educ. Ctr.-Apopka Res. Rpt. RH-90-10, Univ. of Fla/IFAS. http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/foliage/resrpts/rh_90_10.htm. Hodges, A.W., and J.J. Haydu. 2006. Economic impacts of the Florida environmental horticulture industry, 2005. Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) document FE675, Dept. of Food and Resource Economics, Univ. of Fla., Gainesville, Fla. < http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FE/FE67500.pdf >. Hudson, J.T., B.K. Behe, H.G. Ponde r, and W. E. Barrick. 1997. Consumer perceptions and expectations of garden center product and se rvice quality. J. Environ. Hort. 15(1):12-15. Mason, S.C., T.W. Starman, R.D. Lineberger, and B.K. Behe. 2008. Consumer preferences for price, color harmony, and care information of container gardens. HortScience 43:380384. Mitchell, A.A. 1993. Advertising exposure, memory, and choice. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J. National Gardening Assoc. 2007. 2006 National ga rdening survey. National Gardening Assn., Inc. South Burlington, VT. Niemiera, A.X., J. Innis-Smith, and C.E. Leda. 1993. Survey of garden center customer informational and marketing need s. J. Environ. Hort. 11(1):25-27. Ouellet, K.P. 2001. The EuroAmerican container garden cookbook. Ball Publishing, Batavia, Ill.

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143 Park, C.W., E.S. Iyer, and D.C. Smith. 1989. The eff ects of situational factors on in-store grocery shopping behavior: the role of store e nvironment and time available for shopping. J.Consumer Res. 15(4):422-433. Pennisi, B. 2006. Looking better longer Ornamental Outlook 15(11):16-20. Pennisi, B.V., P.A. Thomas, and A. Armitage. 2005. Tropical Plants Offer New Possibilities for Georgia Gardens. Coop. Ext. Serv. Uni. of Ga. College of Agricultural and Environmental Sci. Bul. 1272. Pennisi, B.V., P.A. Thomas, and F.E. Stegeli n. 2005. Foliage Products. Coop. Ext. Serv. Uni. of Ga. College of Agricultural and Environmental Sci. Bul. 1262. Point-of-Purchase Institute of the United Stat es of America. 1978. Popai/DuPont Consumer buying habits study: Special Rpt., New York: Popai. Poole, R.T. and C.A. Conover. 1992. Water use and growth of eight foliage plants influenced by paclobutrazol. Foliage Dig. 15(12):1-3. Pulley, G.E. and T.D. Davis. 1986. Effect of pa clobutrazol on growth and interior performance of several foliage plant species HortScience 21:702 (abstr.). Sanbonmatsu, D.M. and R.H. Fazio. 1986. The automa tic activation of attitudes toward products. Annu. Mtg. Assn. for Consumer Res., Toronto, Can. Satterthwaite, L.N. and J.J. Haydu. 2004. Consumer purchasing habits of Florida environmental horticulture products. Electronic Data In formation Source (EDIS) document FE473, Dept. of Food and Resource Economics, Univ. of Fla., Gainesville, Fla. < http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FE473 >. Stegelin, F. 2001. Role of point-of-sale inform a tion on consumers purchase decisions. Southern Nursery Assn. Res. Conf. 46:536-538. Solomon, M.R. and E. W. Stuart. 2000. Marketing: real people, real choices. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. Thomas, P.A. and J.G. Latimer. 1997. Chemical regulation of growth of perennial bedding plants. HortScience 32(3):509 (abstr.). U.S. Census Bureau. 2003. Census 2000 data for Florida. 3 Dec. 2007. < http://www.census.gov/census2000/states/fl.html >. U.S. Census Bureau. 2007. State and county quickfacts. 3 Dec. 2007. < http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html >. U.S. Departm ent of Agriculture. 2006. Floric ulture crops 2005 summary. U.S. Dept. Agri., Washington, D.C.

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144 U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2008. Flor iculture and nursery crops yearbook 2007 summary. U.S. Dept. Agr., Washington, D.C. Underhill, P. 2001. Why we buy: The science of shopping. Texere Publishing, New York, N.Y. Wang, Y.T and T.M Blessington. 1990. Growth of f our tropical foliage species treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazol. HortScience 25(2):202-204. Weather Underground. 2008. Weather hist ory. Ann Arbor, Mich. 1 June 2008. < http://www.wunderground.com/history/ >.

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145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Em ily Anna Stefanski was born in 1982, in Kalamazoo, MI. She grew up in the small rural community of Tekonsha where she atte nded both Tekonsha High School and the Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center. Emily gained an appreciation for nature at an early age and began taking part in her local 4-H club. By high school she was working part time at a local garden center and completi ng the Master Gardener classes. After graduating in 2000, Emily started at Michigan State University where she began studying horticulture. During her undergraduate career, Emily gained industry experience working at the on-campus florist shop and assisting the executive director of the floriculture scholarship foundation, F.I.R.S.T. She also comp leted a three month internship at D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, NH. Emily graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree with high honor in horticulture in 2004. Her interests in the retailing aspect of the horticulture indus try lead her to a position with Wojos Greenhouse in Ortonville, MI. Within a year at Wojos, Emily was promoted to the garden centers hard goods buyer and manager. After a successf ul year in her management position, she was recruited to the University of Flor ida to pursue graduate st udies in horticulture. Emily accepted and began her masters program in environmental horticulture, with an emphasis in marketing. During her time at the University of Florida, she served as a graduate research assistant. Emily co-authored the Retailing 101 ar ticle series in the Lawn and Garden Retailer trade journal and was invited to speak at a number of horticulture meetings. She also took part in an international trip to France for a 10-day study abroad program feat uring the gardens of France. In fall 2008 she will return to the industr y in pursuit of improving horticulture marketing efforts.