The retail gardening industry is an important partner in minimising the impact of invasive garden plants. Many consumers seek advice from their garden retailer and the point of sale is an ideal opportunity to influence the plant purchasing decision. Research has indicated that when consumers are aware of potential weediness they are quite willing to accept safer alternatives.
The Nursery and Gardening Industry Australia (NGIA) is working with the Australian Government to develop a 'Grow me instead ' program which focuses on identifying non-invasive alternatives to garden 'escapees'. The program includes the opportunity for garden retailers to participate in training and accreditation initiatives.
Some things that garden retailers can do to assist in minimising the impact of weeds include:
- Know what plants are listed as noxious in your state or territory.
- Check with the local council for information on local garden escapees.
- Do not sell plants that are identified as potentially weedy in your area and proactively offer customers low invasive alternatives.
- Keep up-to-date with information on invasive plants. The NGIA can assist.
- If you have all the right checks and advice in place, promote your business as environmentally responsible and promote your plants as ones that will not take over the garden or escape into bushland and farms.
- Read NGIA's Invasive Plants Policy Position .
- Participate in industry training and accreditation programs.