by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Prescott, Arizona has experienced a garden renaissance of new gardeners hungry for local content and an ever-diverse choice of plant options. #Plantparents of the rarest houseplants lead this new generation of gardeners.
“We find the best introductory plants to gardening are houseplants. First-time home buyers, college students, and apartment dwellers are leading the way,” says Ken Lain, Watters Garden Center owner. Houseplants sales have doubled since the pandemic began with ever-increasing interest. “It’s difficult to keep up with the expanding demand, with even more interest in heirloom, rare and exotic houseplants.”
Common plants like Pothos and Dracaena are perennial favorites, but gardeners are clamoring for more. “When the Rare & Exotic houseplants arrive each month, locals are clamoring to be first as the truck unloads.” Say Lisa Watters-Lain, owner. “It’s fun, but it reminds me of the Beanie Babies fad from 15 years ago.”
A hybrid approach allowing gardeners to preorder while the plants are en route to the garden center has spread demand. Shipping exotic plants through the mail is problematic for these plants. “Customers snag plants from the delivery before arriving at the garden center. They love it,” says McKenzie Lain, houseplant manager.