Gardening Boom Creates “an Almost Unprecedented Plant Shortage in America”

RALEIGH, N.C., June 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — "The Gardening boom of 2020 continues prominently into 2021," said Tony Avent, founder and proprietor of Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh. "Last year, the boom really started with the existing gardeners. Then, the longer COVID went on, we began to see more orders from Gen Xers and millennials. We continue to see an amazing number of even younger gardeners in 2021. Some don’t own their house and are looking for things they can grow indoors. The house plant craze is insane.

"There is also an almost unprecedented plant shortage in America, especially for long-production time plants like trees and shrubs. In many box stores, where 60 percent of Americans buy their plants, there’s a major shortage. Retailers that do not propagate plants are struggling to get a wide range of plants to sell. We are very fortunate because we propagate most things here, but it’s still tough for us to keep up with demand."

Juniper Level Botanic Garden, a gift to NC State University, will open two weekends this summer for public viewing and plant purchases (July 16-18 and July 23-25). There is no entry fee, and hours are 8 AM-5 PM Friday and Saturday and 1-5 PM Sunday. GPS directions, 9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh.

"We’ll be giving away pads of prickly pear cactus to our visitors at our Summer Open Garden," said Avent. "We now have over 150 different kinds ­– probably the largest collection in the world. Since we reign them in annually, we’re giving cactus pads to our visitors. You can plant them at home and enjoy the North American native prickly pear cactus. The flower colors range the spectrum of the rainbow, and the cactus is edible. Native Americans have used this cactus as a food crop for years.

"They’re so many amazing plants blooming in the summer and the pollinator activity is incredible. That’s when all the insects and birds are gathering nectar, which they need to survive. If you want a lot of pollinator activity in your garden in the summertime, you need plants that have a burst of flowers.

"Adults and children are invited to come to the Open Garden Days and learn more about insects from our entomologist Bill Reynolds. Bill used to be with the Museum of Natural Science; he’s down to earth, loves nature, and enjoys talking with children. Bill’s an insect collector who’s also an expert on cicadas, which are very much in the news. Bill told me something I didn’t know. ‘Cicadas are the only insect that sweats’. You and your children can learn a lot from Bill.

"As soon as we have sufficient funds in our Operational Endowment foundation at NC State University, Juniper Level Botanic Garden will open to the public year-round in perpetuity." said Avent.

Fundraising efforts for Juniper Level Botanic Garden (tax ID 56-6000756) operate under the auspices of The Endowment Fund of North Carolina State University, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donors receive an official receipt for contributions to the fund.

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Chris Hardison
Media Contact
Juniper Level Botanic Garden


Robert B Butler
Communications | PR

Permission granted for redistribution

Tony Avent was interviewed by Robert B Butler – No attribution required

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SOURCE Juniper Level Botanic Garden