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Plant Sampling Results: Influencers and Garden Media

Each year, PanAmerican Seed ships out a full box of new-plant samples to nearly 100 social media influencers and gardenwriters. These are the folks with the ear of the shopper! Whether they write for syndicated news columns, produce content for monthly home and garden magazines, or contribute to video channels, each unboxing is a chance to get real-life feedback and insight on how the consumer audience will respond to the latest in flowers and vegetables.

In tandem with our public relations agency, Zapwater, PanAmerican Seed also hosted “New Plant Webinars” where our product experts presented a preview of the samples, along with general care and maintenance tips. After an allotted time to grow and care for their plants, sample recipients were given a survey to answer questions and provide feedback.

Photo by Ellen Christian @ellenblogs Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Here are the results from our contacts involved in consumer gardening, lifestyle and design media. Enjoy!

Some plants were favored almost unanimously. Others, not so well. Take for instance the new award-winning cascading Pot-a-Peño Jalapeño Pepper. It was a 50/50 split among influencers with some having lots of fruit, while others had no luck. “The jalapeño pepper didn’t do so well, not sure why. It didn’t sprout any additional peppers other than the two it already had growing on it when it arrived,” said Agnes Wojciechowski of House of Illusions when she planted it in the ground. However, Carol Bradford of Syracuse, NY, loved hers saying it, “Yielded as much as some of my full-size peppers, and generally compact and good looking. I also moved it into a hanging pot as shown.” This shows how much the right plant in the right place matters.

The big winner out of the bunch was Beacon Impatiens Rose. It received solid reviews from influencers across the U.S. and Canada in both the north and south of the country. “It will put the fun back into impatiens,” said Norman Winter, a syndicated columnist of Tribune News Service. Thomas MacCubbin of radio show Better Lawns & Gardens added, “Love it and flowering well in a hanging basket!” Marty Ross of Country Gardens cheered that they were “hard working, blooms like crazy, drought tolerant. Nice!”

Beacon Impatiens in the garden of gardenwriter Jessica Damiano
Photo by Jessica Damiano @jesdamiano 

A wonderful surprise was the high marks given to Basil Everleaf Thai Towers. As a plant that most recipients would not normally purchase, the results were very positive. “I planted this in my raised herb garden and it has flourished. The smell and flavor are nice,” said Melissa Aguilar of the Houston Chronicle. Success was found even when planted in a container. “Healthy and vigorous in a small space,” described Jessica Damiano of Newsday in Glen Head, NY. Joanne Demski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said, “Looks great in a pot and it is great to use in the kitchen.”

Photo by Agnes Wojciechowski @houseofillusions

So there you have it folks, the media influencers have spoken. We can’t wait to see what your customers think of these varieties once they hit the garden centers. We’re looking forward to spring already!

Plant Samples 2021: Variety List
Impatiens Beacon Rose
Leucanthemum White Lion
Dianthus Jolt Purple
Petunia E3 Easy Wave Sky Blue
Pepper Pot-a-Peno
Basil Everleaf Thai Towers
Edible Potted Tomato Kitchen Minis Red Velvet

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