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PlantRight, Home Depot Team Up to Stem Sale of Invasive Plants

May 4, 2015

We’re excited to announce that PlantRight has secured key corporate commitments in promoting safe, non-invasive plants to benefit the state’s environment and people. Topping the list of industry partners are more than 200 The Home Depot stores in California. Using PlantRight’s invasive-plant list as a guide, The Home Depot will begin the process of phasing out problem plants from its product mix.

“Partnering with PlantRight in California is the right thing to do for our communities,” says Brian Parker, Senior Merchant Live Goods with The Home Depot. “We’re committed to providing the best plant options for California, including drought tolerant and non-invasive varieties. Our growers are solid partners in these efforts, as we all are committed to protecting California’s landscape, wildlife and communities.”

The Threat

Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after human development. Invasive plants reproduce quickly, take hold of natural areas and push out native plants and animals. They also clog waterways, increase flood risk and fuel wildfires. Invasives can even keep us from the outdoor recreational activities we all love. And there’s a huge financial cost too – managing invasive plants costs California’s taxpayers $82 million a year. Nationally, the annual cost runs into the billions.

“PlantRight’s collaboration with nursery retailers has been gaining slow yet steady momentum among garden centers large and small. Garnering the support of The Home Depot California represents a positive breakthrough for the industry in helping to curb the spread of invasive ornamental plants.”

-Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation

Growing Forward Together
To help retail partners and nursery professionals in identifying (and avoiding) invasive plants, PlantRight maintains a plant list identifying common invasives, as well as non-invasive alternatives.

“PlantRight makes it easy for the industry to do the right thing, voluntarily,” said Ashley Rossi, Green Acres Nursery owner and Board Member at the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, the state’s nursery trade group.

“PlantRight really listened to the industry’s needs and concerns in developing an effective solution,” continued Rossi, “They knew blanket regulation wasn’t the way. And, they used sound science to inform all decisions, which boosted the industry’s trust and desire to help.”

Plant Right with the Plant List

PlantRight’s annual spring survey of California garden centers helps inform the plant list. Since conducting its first nursery survey in 2010, PlantRight has measured a 60% decrease in the number of retail nurseries selling invasive plants.

By partnering with key influencers like The Home Depot, PlantRight hopes to bring that number down much closer to zero. Working together with business, plant growers and gardeners to stop the sale of invasives means California’s native plants and wildlife can flourish, wildfire risks are reduced, and California saves millions of dollars a year.

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