Tampa-based online plant retailer sees boom in houseplant business

Americans staying at home during the novel coronavirus pandemic are fueling a boom in the garden industry.

Even indoor gardening is increasing in popularity. That's good news for Plantz in Tampa.

“We feel like people are in their homes and they want to be close to nature, close to plants,” says Steve Stanford, owner of Plantz.

The company’s core business is leasing and caring for indoor foliage in places like office buildings and that part of the business is down, but Stanford says when they considered closing until the crisis is over, they noticed an uptick in online sales.

“We were very surprised,” says Stanford. “Over April last year, we are up in volume over 80% and sales over 50%.”

Plantz's website features 15 of the most popular houseplants, which range in price from $40-$400.

Stanford says when they started selling online more than two years ago, they worked with FedEx to develop special packaging. Now he says plantz.com is one of the largest online suppliers in the country for plants larger than five feet tall.

The online operation is on a three-acre complex of greenhouses east of Tampa. Stanford says he’s thankful they invested in the online business.

“We’re blessed and pleased and excited to be selling plants all over the country,” he says.