Help Florida Growers Rebuild

Florida Foliage Growers Need Our Help!

florida growers I went to Homestead today to see firsthand what growers were experiencing after Hurricane Irma hit this weekend. Not all were impacted, and many had little or no damage. There were others that had somewhere between 20-70% damage. There are a few that were total crop losses. I spoke with two nurserymen who had significant losses, and they said it wasn’t as bad as after hurricanes like Andrew, Wilma, and others. Some, however, were so distraught from the loss they didn’t want to get out of bed today. They each said “We’ll rebuild,” with a smile on their sun and wind-burned faces, but their conviction was tired.

This weekend, Homestead endured about 24 hours of extremely high winds. Unfortunately, as those of us familiar with the structures of most nurseries know, it doesn’t take much to cause catastrophic damage to plants. The architecture for these shade-houses where most plants are grown are comprised of shade cloth and plastic stretched atop poles. When these go in the wake of something like Hurricane Irma, even the plants that tenaciously survive the wind then get exposed to full sun, and it doesn’t take long to make those unusable: They may be damaged, drenched, shredded, or discolored.

The growers asked me to do something, anything, so that we can help get them back on their feet. Some suggested that all customers pay outstanding balances to get an immediate financial boost. Others requested a price increase. I want to offer more.

The overhead and administration costs will be covered completely by Morning Dew Tropical Plants. The premise is simple: you can donate $1 or $100,000 (or anything in between). 100% of the funds donated will be used to repay growers on verified invoices for supplies and repairs used to rebuild. Growers will submit invoices for participation in this program. The entire program will be audited by a third-party CPA firm.

“The premise is simple: you can donate $1 or $100,000 (or anything in between). 100% of the funds donated will be used to repay growers on verified invoices for supplies and repairs used to rebuild.”

We visit every nursery that benefits the interior plant world and this year the impact of natural disasters is a straw trying to break the backs of these hard-working American growers, some who have dedicated their lives to producing the highest quality tropical plants in the world. These hard working growers would never ask for this, but we as an industry can unite to give them the shot in the arm they need to recover. Not just because it keeps the supply of quality plants strong, but because they need us.

Morning Dew Tropical Plants will update their page to have the ability to donate soon. You can check it out here. In the meantime, please email to find out how you can donate. Growers interested in participating should call Morning Dew at 800.360.6969.







Kingston White is the president of Morning Dew Tropical Plants, the largest plant broker in Florida. He is on the board of directors for Green Plants for Green Buildings and a regular contributor to the industry (I-Plants Magazine, National Horticulture Foundation, speaker at Cultivate, and overall plant nut). When he's not working, Kingston enjoys weekly date night with his wife and spending time with their 3 sons building forts, fighting bad guys, and coaching their basketball and soccer teams.

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