The Plant Professionals
16886 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
Fax: (517) 327-0299
8 a.m.- 5 p.m. M-F
Also by Appointment
From Florida to your Door
I still remember my first nursery tour with a Florida plant salesperson. We zipped from shade house to shade house, driving up and down row after row of tropical plants and trees. Each crop was arranged in uniform lines of black grow pots, with hundreds of plants in each bay. I was handed a roll of plastic flagging tape with a unique stripe in two colors, and I was jumping from the cart when I saw a species and pot size I needed for a customer back in Michigan. I tagged over a hundred plants at that single nursery. Each plant I tagged would later be picked up by a tractor and wagon, moved to a sleeving shed, watered down to soak the soil, and packaged in brown paper sleeves.
The next morning, a large box truck came to this nursery and others nearby, picking up my order and other orders like it, carrying the plants to a large central dock in the Apopka area. There, all the orders heading to Indiana, Ohio and Michigan for that week were sorted, counted and loaded onto a semi-trailer. These special trucks are called reefers, or refrigerated units, and are able to hold the temperature in the low seventies. Routes are planned for efficiency, with plants loaded by destination, and drivers arrive to hook up their tractors to trailers and head out with this living cargo.
By the time I had flown home, my plants were speeding north. Back then, we were in a much simpler facility, but now the truck brings our plants to our enclosed dock. We can visit and pick our plants when we are in Florida, but typically Amelia Sayers, our VP of Interiorscapes, compiles all our needs on an Excel spreadsheet and our plant broker chooses from among the dozens of possible growers for the specific plants we need.
When our truck arrives, we open the overhead door and the truck door, the cool air rushes out to meet us. 3-6 crew members quickly unload the plants with the help of the driver, and all items are lined up in rows and counted before we sign off on our delivery.
Once the plants are ours, we sort by species and size, and then carefully unsleeve and mark in each grow pot. Slow release fertilizer visible on the soil surface is removed and fresh pasteurized soil is packed back in. Plants in Michigan interiors require far less nitrogen than plants growing in Florida warmth. We inspect for insects and note any damage or discrepancy before the plants are moved into our larger holding areas.
Amelia tags plants for clients within hours and the plant preparation continues. Each plant is checked again for insects or disease, washed and trimmed. Leaf shine is never a substitute for a clean plant. Sub-irrigation is installed as needed, and the beautiful plants are ready for their new home where you work, shop, visit, or live.
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