Fulfilling a long-awaited request from customers, WallyGro — a Kansas City company known for its innovative hanging planters — announced Friday it launched its first line of à la carte plants, said Callie England.
“This past year the demand was: Could you supply us with more? Customers already trusted [WallyGro] because of our planters, so then they were looking to us for the soil, nutrients and plants,” explained England, who serves as the president of WallyGro.
WallyGro launched in 2007 — making its name in the horticulture industry for its sustainable wall planters made from 100-percent recycled plastic. In 2020, the entire horticulture industry saw a tremendous increase in demand — leading to a whole new line of WallyGro products, England noted.
“Everything from soil to plants to planters really grew,” she said. “When COVID first hit, we were actually in the midst of developing a new planter. We had been working on it for close to two years and were getting ready to launch it when things started to shut down.”
Unsure of what was to come from the COVID-19 pandemic, England and the WallyGro team decided to continue moving forward and launched the “Loop” planter in May.
“It worked to our benefit because [the Loop] is a bit more of a versatile planter that is made more for the everyday consumer who’s not trying to commit to a lot of plants on their walls,” England said.
Click here to shop WallyGro’s latest products.
Along with a new planter, WallyGro added their first nutrient and potting mix solutions in the fall.
“We launched a potting mix that I’ve been in love with for years,” England said. “It’s a dehydrated mix that rehydrates with water, yet it has all of the science with the worm casting and nutrients that we feel really strongly about.”
Closing 2020, WallyGro launched yet another new product — planting kits. The kits include everything a consumer needs to have their own indoor garden, including the plant, England noted.
“It comes with the nutrients, the potting mix, a planter and one of our plants that are shipped from our warehouse in Florida,” she said. “We saw a pretty good pickup on plant kits.”
With the plant kits proving successful in sales, England and her team knew they needed to come full circle and offer plants à la carte. Many of the plants are tropicals, she noted, as they work well in WallyGro planters and are easy to grow indoors.
“The horticulture industry grew so much that there are a few [plant] varieties that we had to knock off our list because we just don’t know when they are going to come back in stock,” she said. “I think this addition will be very exciting.”
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WallyGro went from carrying its original Eco planters to being a one-stop-shop for a plant-lover’s needs, all within the past year, England noted.
“Everybody laughed that this was the year of new products for WallyGro,” England recalled. “It just-so-happened that we had everything lined up at once, and we have some really great partners in the plant space. ”
With more people forced to stay home because of the pandemic, many turned to decorating their spaces with plants, she added — noting that WallyGro services a large population of urban customers who need innovative ways to grow plants indoors.
Other than launching the Loop and Eco planters in new colors, WallyGro’s main focus for the rest of 2021 will be building a community for the returning and new customers through educational and marketing materials, England said.
“We’re really going to capitalize on the new audience,” England noted. “We want to do more marketing efforts and launch more educational materials around the products that we rushed out the door last year due to the pandemic.”
Click here to read about Callie England’s start with WallyGro.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.