Featured In Lawn & Garden Retailer Magazine

Featured In Lawn & Garden Retailer Magazine

A natural selection: What’s new in natural plant care By Teresa McPherson

Full article by Teresa McPherson can be read here: https://lgrmag.com/article/a-natural-selection-whats-new-in-natural-plant-care/

February 2024

"Four plant care company founders share why many customers are willing to spend more on natural products that are both safe and effective.
Organic is not just a buzzword in the green industry but a booming market for both new and veteran gardeners. Indoor gardeners in particular are looking for natural plant care products that are effective, sustainable and beautiful — and align with their values.


I caught up with four natural plant care company founders to see why their products appeal to multiple generations and get their insights on what’s new in houseplant care."

A Synergistic Approach

Urban Gardener’s goal is to allow anyone to grow healthy, vibrant houseplants.
Urban Gardener’s goal is to allow anyone to grow healthy, vibrant houseplants.

Co-founders Mason Demrow and Ryun Bibro said Urban Gardener offers all-natural plant care products with sleek packaging that can fit in an IGC or a gift shop. Their first bottles were sold in late 2021.

How did the idea for Urban Gardener come about?

Our initial vision for the brand started to grow a few months into the pandemic, when Ryun left a 20-year career in consumer products and Mason was helping with her mother’s business selling tropical cuttings and growing supplies. We started to bring a lot of plants into our home as a way to improve our space during lockdown — sometimes with limited success. As we looked to improve our chances of success with our new plants, we realized that there were not a lot of beginner-friendly options on the market that made growing plants easy. So we set out to create a line of products that would help us and other people solve the biggest problems houseplant owners had.

After 11 different formulas, extensive testing and input from some plant professionals, Urban Gardener’s Super Growth Elixir was born. We followed quickly with our leaf shine and insect treatment. Our goal at Urban Gardener is to allow anyone — with any level of skill or knowledge — to grow healthy, vibrant houseplants.

What is the significance of the name Urban Gardener?

We loved the name Urban Gardener as a way to capture the spirit of new generations of young growers who have different tastes, lifestyles and needs, as compared to previous generations. For us, it evokes an image of the modern plant enthusiast, living synergistically in their space among plants, people and pets in an urban environment.

How are your products different from others on the market?

Innovation was the key concept for this project. We wanted our products to be effective and stylish while holding our core belief that consumer products should be safe and free from harmful chemicals and harsh pesticides. All of our products are formulated with natural ingredients and are safer for families, pets and pollinators. We definitely are using some ingredients that have been longtime solutions for organic growers, but we have made some really effective tweaks based on recent research and cutting-edge organic growing techniques. We should also mention that our products are pretty good-looking and meant to feel at home in stylish decor — not hidden under the sink.

What has been the customer response?

The customer response has been pretty phenomenal. We had tested for over a year on more than 100 varieties of plants and found the products to work amazingly on all of them. We have had hundreds of good reviews, and often people will message us directly to thank us and let us know that we have changed their plant game. Our “urban gardeners” report bigger, healthier leaves, new growth and generally healthier plants.

How is the next generation affecting the plant care market?

The next generation of consumers are looking for products and experiences that are tailored to a healthier lifestyle. They are specifically looking to spend money with brands that listen to them and connect with their values, rather than just offer a low-cost solution for profit and sales. This is true across the entire consumer market, but we have noticed that indoor plant lovers are especially passionate about how they care for their plants and what ingredients they bring into their homes. We wanted to create a brand that spoke to that passion and brought an elevated experience to daily plant care.

What can garden centers do to sell more natural plant care products?

Education, outreach and positioning are all key components in elevating natural plant care solutions in garden centers; people need to be educated on the latest techniques, ingredients and products. Early on, we worked a lot with specialty and boutique plant shops. We learned a lot from their passion and their desire to work with people to help them succeed in growing, often offering different products and solutions than those found at the big-box stores.

What’s next for Urban Gardener? 

We’re super excited about the response we’ve had so far and will be moving into some other areas next year. We will be providing refills for our sprays and also moving toward products that will bring our same great approach to outdoor gardens. We are very excited for the future of our brand."

By: Teresa McPherson for Lawn & Garden Retailer Magazine - February 2024

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