We all ultimately want gardeners to be happy and successful with the products we sell. So how do we close this loop? Gardeners have so much more information about plants because of the Internet and it must make it twice as frustrating to find what they want. So what can we do about this?
First off, all these different names for the same plant has to stop. It is so confusing for the gardener. Enough beating on that dead horse.
Second, how much lost opportunity is out there? We've had more than 1,000 views on a Greenhouse Grower page on Benary's ptilotus 'Joey' in the last month. And the comments have been from consumers asking where they can get 'Joey.' I think mail order plant sales could make a killing now that gardeners are tuning into the same information that you, growers and retailers, are reading.
Finally, if you have information on a popular variety, put it online. The more information, the better. If a consumer can get a variety from you, tell them. Breeders, tell consumers where they can get your varieties. Fernlea Flowers's Fernlea Garden Club lets me know when its varieties are available near me.