Hort Week Feature

Double H's The Horti House aims to transform houseplant wholesale


The Horti House

In the first two months of operation, the business is already changing houseplant wholesale in the UK by offering a fast and simple way to buy  British plants directly from the New Forest-based grower.

Double H took learnings from direct to consumer orchid sales via the Love Orchids brand during lockdown in 2020 to help retailers with online fulfilment.

UK-grown, peat-free, next day delivery and low order numbers are the big selling points. 

There are few peat-free houseplants available from Dutch growers, while importing red tape has grown since Brexit. Ordering on Thursday for the weekend and Monday for the week ahead. This means bestsellers should never be out of stock and no sales are lost. The idea is to change perceptions around little and often to cut waste. Fresher plants mean they can sold with more flowers rather than buds. This also helps compete with bouquets.

Retailers want to brand as British, as well as avoiding the hassle of APHA inspections and phytos, and are even introducing Grown in Britain benches.

The 9cm phalaenopsis in a ceramic pot has been the hero product. The more standard 12cm is also available, as are a range of gift products. Double H says these products compete well with bouquets.

Clever box designs mean easy delivery, but Double H will send orders any way retailers want them. DPD and Royal Mail are delivery partners.

Blue Diamond and Longacres are among 100 garden centres already taking the range and the target is 330 centres this year. This broadens from supplying supermarkets Waitrose and M&S and fulfilling online for M&S and Patch Plants.

Double H has dropped rose production in favour of peat-free foliage green plants. The plan is to use a Dutch-style model and have partner satellite growers to increases the range, meaning garden centres have fewer reasons to buy from Holland. Calathea, alocasia, monstera, ficus and codiaeum are grown on site in 12cm and 17cm sizes. There will be 500,000 a year grownThe orchid production is a slick operation, with plants growing in 28C houses then moved to 18C areas to shock them into flowering. Biomass boilers help provide the heat. A 'sushi bar' conveyor has staff stake and grade plants before they are given added value by putting in ceramics and then packed. 

A third area is for chrysanthemums and kalanchoes. In winter there will be 100,000 peat-free poinsettias grown in the area, which will be available through Horti House.

The people behind the HortiHouse are:



See the full story in HortWeek May edition.