Why Proven Winners
No Industry is Greener than Gardening!
Proven Winners is constantly working to refine and improve our offerings for North American gardeners and aid the nursery industry in using the best in new plant and production materials. We are committed to doing this by providing education and service to gardeners everywhere to help them succeed.
From our inception in 1992, Proven Winners has made this same commitment to sustainable production practices in every one of our propagation facilities in order to provide plants that are not only better for gardeners, but that are ultimately more environmentally friendly too.
It All Starts with a Better Plant
- The right plant for all places: A plant with poor genetics or a limited range of performance requires more chemical inputs to survive and perform. Proven Winners searches the world to find and select plants that are clearly superior to others of their type in our trials in Michigan, New Hampshire, Germany, Japan, and Florida. This selection process translates into better performance for the homeowner with fewer chemical inputs needed. These plants are often more resistant to disease and insect pests, have better heat and humidity tolerance, and the broadest geographic range of superior garden performance. All of this translates to fewer insecticides and fungicides needed and overall tougher plants.
- Start healthy – stay healthy: In addition to strenuous testing for garden performance, Proven Winners goes the extra step in protecting our plants and the home gardeners who use them. All Proven Winners plant varieties are screened for specific plant diseases and viral organisms. It is not a fast or inexpensive process and usually amounts to about $5,000.00 per plant. Why do we do it? So that when the plants arrive at local garden centers, we know we have done everything possible to ensure home gardeners are getting the healthiest plants possible. It is really a simple concept - gardeners are more likely to succeed and see the value in Proven Winners if they start with strong plants. We want people to remember Proven Winners as the best plants they have ever grown! A better garden really does start with a better plant.
- Educate for success: A key cause of environmental pollution is lack of education. We have made a primary commitment to home gardeners, and to that end, our website is the gardener's link to plant specialists who are here to answer your questions every day. If we don't know the answer, we will send you to people who do. That's because we feel that if our customers are well informed, they will have more success in their garden and make fewer mistakes that could have an environmental impact. Our websites, newsletters, idea books, and other publications reach millions of gardeners annually with accurate information including how to water and fertilize, seasonal issues such as pruning and overwintering, gardening ideas, and most of all, a commitment to their success.
Committed to Sustainable Plant Production
A better plant is even more beautiful in a world that takes care of the environment that grows and creates it. That’s why the Proven Winners family of companies has continued to make a commitment to sustainability efforts.
- We recycle a lot of material – and buy recycled products – every day. From the cardboard shipping cases we use made from partially recycled material, to our shipping crates made from renewable wood sources, to the partially recycled aluminum used in our greenhouse structures, Proven Winners companies are invested in using eco-friendly recycled materials. The trays we use are washed for re-use, and even our planting media is partially recycled.
Proven Winners branded containers are recyclable and are partially made from recycled materials. All of our signature white branded containers and labels are recyclable. Look for the recycle logo printed in large type on the side as a reminder to recycle your containers. Additionally, all sizes and styles of our Co-Ex containers are partially made from recycled materials. Quart and gallon-sized annual containers have a 100% recycled black lining and 70% recycled white outer layer. Larger Co-Ex perennial and shrub containers also contain a significant amount of recycled material.
- Proven Winners now offers fully compostable Eco+ Grande™ pots made from plants. We worked with a local manufacturer of sustainable products for years to develop, design, and manufacture our very first fully industrial compostable container called Eco+ Grande. Growers now have the option to produce all of our annual plants in this pot which contains zero plastics - it is made 100% from starchy renewable plants like corn, switchgrass and sugar beets grown right here in the U.S. It looks and acts like a petroleum-based plastic pot, which makes growing in it easy for propagators, but also breaks down in the garden over time into inert organic matter. We've built plant nutrients like calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus right into the walls of the Eco+ Grande pot. As it breaks down over time, these nutrients are released into the soil around the plants' roots, helping them grow bigger and stronger.
- We also offer fully compostable seed starting Eco-Pots for home gardeners.
In addition to offering compostable Eco+ Grande pots for growers in greenhouse production, we also offer fully compostable Eco-Pots for home gardeners who are starting their own seeds or cuttings. Like our Eco+ Grande pots, they are made 100% from plants, are petroleum-free, and have nutrients built right into the walls of the container. Once the pot's pull tabs are removed to let the plant's roots expand, the entire pot + plant can be set directly into the ground where it will naturally decompose over time. As it degrades, the nutrients in the pot feed the plant, resulting in happier, healthier crops.
Our greenhouses are built to be energy efficient. Proven Winners greenhouse facilities are equipped with energy efficient lighting to help save energy. In addition, the material used to make our sustainably designed greenhouse structures is highly energy efficient, meaning that at many times of year, the sun is our main source of energy and heat. Many of our growing facilities are also equipped with energy curtains that conserve heat during cold weather and provide shade and cool the air on sunny days.
We are committed to conserving water. Proven Winners greenhouse facilities recapture and reuse significant amounts of water every day. Many of our greenhouse facilities are also equipped with flood floors that recycle and reuse the water. In our production process, we group plants according to water needs and soil type, allowing us to deliver the right amount of water needed by each plant, resulting in little waste. Our innovative watering systems reduce overall waste of water and fertilizer.
To help home gardeners save water, we offer many low water use plant varieties like hardy succulents and native plants. Our WaterWise® drip irrigation system helps gardeners grow healthier plants while conserving water by providing just the right amount that plants need when they need it. Our premium quality ceramic AquaPots® self-watering containers require a fraction of the water needed to grow beautiful plants, while relieving gardeners' worries about forgetting to water.
We ship more locally. Proven Winners companies are located strategically throughout North America to provide young plants to finished growers that can serve their own local retail markets. This means that finished plants do not need to travel as far to reach the end consumer, reducing their carbon footprint.
Proven Winners – The Ultimate Green Product
Best of all, Proven Winners companies provide the ultimate green product: plants! Not only are Proven Winners better plants – trialed and tested for gardening success like no other – they also remove carbon from the atmosphere and are themselves 100% recyclable. All of our plants can be composted at home. After the beauty of a Proven Winners plant has faded, they can increase the benefit to your garden by breaking down into organic matter that will enrich your soil.
Proven Winners continues to work hard to provide the best in new plants, production materials and methods, and knowledge for growers, retailers and home gardeners. We remain forever committed to providing more beautiful gardens through education and service to gardeners everywhere. If you have any suggestions to help us improve, please share your ideas here.