Confessions of a UK Hydro Store: Plantasia

It’s Plantasia’s turn to confess! Known across the UK for breeding, growing, and selling chillies of all spice levels, Plantasia is also a well-stocked grow shop ready to help gardeners through all phases of their growing ventures. While this incredible group has been busy planning the upcoming Summer Social, they’ve taken the time to reflect on the industry’s highs and lows.

You have quite a unique business. How would you describe the shop and gardens?

Plantasia is set on an 8-acre site and is home to our shop and greenhouses. We use the rest of the land for other activities. The greenhouses are used for protected crop production, such as chillies, tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines, amongst many others.

What has been the most challenging thing about running your business?

Cash flow and lack of free time, but that’s probably the same for most small business owners.

What would you have done differently?

Looking back, I would have diversified sooner, but sometimes you must wait for the right opportunities to present themselves.

Has the recent market slump caused you much pain?

Yes, but we have managed to continue through a diversified income stream.

What is the most significant change you have noticed in the past ten years?

I don’t think there is one thing, but probably the most prominent is moving from hydroponic systems to pot-based culture.

What is the most commonly asked question at the shop?

Can you do it any cheaper?

Do you have any favourite products? If so, why?

The AutoPot watering system – it’s our system of choice in the greenhouse.

How do you keep customers coming back to you?

Expert advice, understanding the customer and their needs, and honest service with no unnecessary upsell.

What is your top tip for a newbie gardener starting an indoor grow room?

Talk to your local grow store and get their advice instead of online research, forums and YouTube. They will give you the best advice, built form the experience of hundreds of other customers, which will ultimately give you the best success and save you money in the long term.

What did you want to be when you were 10?

10? I don’t think many 10-year-olds have career aspirations – heck, not many 25-year-olds do, either. But when the time came at secondary school to take lesson options (13), I knew I wanted a career in electronic engineering, which is what I went on to do before starting Plantasia.

For more information, check out their website at Plantasia.co.uk or follow them on Instagram @plantasia_shop. 

Be sure to follow @gardenculturemagazine for the next edition of CONFESSIONS OF A UK HYDRO STORE.

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