If Wisconsin Growers Greenhouse had a mission statement, it would be “growing quality plants.”
“Besides the trends that change in the plant industry as a whole, the base has always been the same,” says Henry Keisow, Lead Grower/Buyer for Wisconsin Growers Greenhouse.
That’s what they’ve been doing since their founding in 1957. Founder Otto Karthauser took over a greenhouse business when the former owner passed away. He renamed it Karthauser and Sons after himself and his two sons, who will eventually grow up and continue the business. They’ve been growing quality plants ever since, though now it’s done under the name Wisconsin Growers Greenhouse.
“We try to follow the trends that people are interested in,” he says. “There’s a big push in edibles and a big push towards house plants. Back before I was around, we had much more of a push for the combo baskets and things like that. You change for what the consumer is looking for.” Edibles refers to herbs such as basil and thyme. Remember herb gardens?
One of the biggest trends in recent years have been succulents. They’re admired by the millennial generation because they require minimal maintenance.
“Millennials are always looking for something new and interesting,” Henry says.
As a lifelong farmer and gardener, Henry has seen trends come and go. If he had to pick a favorite, which would it be?
“Probably the edibles, the herbs, things like that. I’m a truck farmer with vegetables and things, so when we started doing a lot of herbs, that was my favorite.”
The Care and Feeding of Your Flower Bulb
In America, we tend to purchase bulb plants, such as daffodils and tulips, when they’re already blooming. If you head overseas to Europe, bulbs are purchased when they’re still a spout in a pot. Then you take it home and watch the entire life cycle in a matter of weeks for a more fulfilling experience.
The flower bulbs on WisconsinMade are sold the European way. Or, as Henry calls it, “the correct way.”
“At a lot of retailers, you’re buying them at the end result. You’re buying them much more advanced so your wait time is maybe a few weeks for the flower to come and go where your customers are really experiencing the entire life of the plant from popping out of the ground to finishing.”
The neat thing about bulb plants is their lifespan after their initial bloom; the bulb is far from being done. In fact, the life has just begun! The bulb will grow and bloom again the next season, and the season after that. Saying that flower bulbs are the gift that keeps on giving is cliched but true.
“Every few years, you want to dig them out,” Henry advises. “They keep reproducing, and so you want to break those apart. The lifespan is continual; something is always replacing it. If you keep up with it, every few years dig your bulbs, break them up, and replant them and let them grow. And then do that again. They’ll keep reproducing and keep going for you.”