Best selling plants of 2018 - the top tens.

Well, we did the honourable mentions a few days ago. Now it’s time for the big moment and the publication of our top ten best selling plants of the past year - combining online sales and plants sold on the nursery or at events. As last year, we have calculated two separate top tens: one based on numbers of a particular plant sold and the other on income generated. So here goes with the first of those countdowns:

Tulbaghia Silver Lace

Tulbaghia Silver Lace

1 Summerina (Echibeckia) Orange
2 Penstemon Dark Towers
3 Parahebe Snow Clouds
4 Heuchera Blondie
5 Colocasia Black Coral
6 Sidalcea Elsie Heugh
7 Tulbaghia Silver Lace
8 Brunnera Silver Heart
9 Adenophora Gaudi Violet
10 Eryngium Jade Frost & Geum Mai Tai

So no change at the top spot then, with the ever popular Summerina Orange doing its impression of Ant and Dec at the tv awards, but only that other perpetual favourite Penstemon Dark Towers and the very much a little cutie Heuchera Blondie make it back from last year, with seven new entries gracing the list. No big surprises among them, if truth be told, though Sidalcea Elsie Heugh did rather come up quietly on the rail when no-one was looking. We could probably have sold twice as many of the glamorous Colocasia Black Coral, if we had had more stock, such was the demand. The waiting list was a long one, and we sold out within hours every time we put a batch live on the website. Nice to see the graceful Tulbaghia Silver Lace up there too, as it’s an elegant and lovely thing, always selling well when taken to a show in bloom (which is pretty much all the time!).

On to the second top ten, the one with the big money spinners, and that list looks like this:

Nerium Oleander

Nerium Oleander

1 Summerina (Echibeckia) Orange
2 Adenium Obesum
3 Penstemon Dark Towers
4 Parahebe Snow Clouds
5 Araucaria Araucana
6 Podophyllum Spotty Dotty
7 Colocasia Black Coral
8 Abutilon Red Tiger
9 Nerium Oleander
10 Sidalcea Elsie Heugh

Half of this list is the same as the first one, which comes perhaps as no great surprise, and as for the others, those of you with long memories may recall three of them (Araucaria Araucana, Podophyllum Spotty Dotty and Abutilon Red Tiger) from the 2017 top tens. The new kids in town are Adenium Obesum, our best selling houseplant of last season, which perhaps owes at least some of its success to its resemblance to the mandrake plant of Harry Potter fame, and Nerium Oleander (beautiful shrub, but we didn’t really see that one coming, to be honest).

Last year Summerina Orange was prevented from topping both lists by the legend that is Abutilon Red Tiger, but the extremes of weather we experienced in 2018, particularly the two-headed Beast from the East that hit us in March, affected our growing programme for that and, indeed, many other plants, so it was far from a typical year. What 2019 will bring remains to be seen, but give us another twelve months and we’ll be back here again mulling over a new set of numbers. See you then.

Rob and Joanna