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Research & Development



Every time consumers visit a garden center, they expect to find new and improved plants.  As sure as new SUVs adorn the dealer’s showroom every fall, new and different cultivars will brighten the garden center bench every spring. And you help make it so.

Industry insiders often wonder: Do our ultimate customers know, or care, how it works? Like a magic act, a lot goes on behind the curtain to make all that color appear. And we’re the moving parts in the hidden supply chain.
That chain starts with an idea. It starts with breeders.


A happy accident, like a spontaneous sport or a bee cross, may result in a good new variety. But as a rule, new plants don’t just happen. They’re the result of careful, meticulous breeding and research work.

At Emerald Coast Growers, we’re serious about bringing you truly improved plants. We work with a wide range of breeders, from mavericks to multi-nationals with whole New Plant departments. And we’re not just in the audience.


We’re part of that effort ourselves. A new block of greenhouses is up and running at our grass farm, designed for and dedicated to research and development.

Here, we refine production protocols and tweak growing environments for greater efficiency. We audition potential introductions, exposing hidden differences between similar varieties, so we can confidently offer the best performers.
Great new plants have to work for every link in the chain. There’s math, method and machinery behind the magic that conjures all that wonderful color at retail.

Let’s join forces. Together, we can keep the magic coming and enhance America’s landscapes—and your bottom line—for years to come.

Trial Gardens

We can learn a lot about a new plant on the greenhouse bench, under ideal conditions. But the proof is in the putting – as in putting it in the ground, to fend for itself in real life.

Is it disease-resistant? Long-flowering? Does it melt or fall open after a rain? Can it take a frost and keep on trucking? Can it handle trucking?

Most importantly, is it truly different from – or significantly better than -- what’s already on the market? And if so, how so?

These questions obviously can’t be answered indoors. We have to look beyond the vinyl frontier. That’s why we have trial gardens at our Milton, Florida R&D facility, and at our satellite growing/shipping location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.





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