Before environmental horticulture growers invest in producing pollinator-friendly plants, they need to understand whether consumers care about pollinator health, as well as their willingness to purchase these plants.

Urban environments are already fairly diverse with multiple kinds of flowering plants, but they may not be the best food for various different bees. When it comes to purchasing plants, we already know that flowers attractive to humans may not be the same ones attractive to bees. Studying how we humans look at retail plant displays can help retail plant suppliers improve displays to better guide consumers to the best pollinator plants for their yard.

Research Questions

This area of our research seeks to fill in data gaps by answering:

  • Are consumers aware of the current status of pollinator health?
  • What types of labels are best suited to promote pollinator-forage plants?
  • What are consumers willing to pay for pollinator-forage plants?

Research Plans

Six pots of flowers with labels. Blue circles of different sizes are scattered throughout.
Sample of image presented to participants, with eye-tracking data overlaid with the blue circles. Each circle indicates where the participant looked, and the bigger the circle, the more amount of time the participant gazed at that spot.

To answer each of these research questions, we developed a computer-based survey and combined it with eye-tracking software.

Within the survey we present participants with plants marked with various price points and pollinator-friendly labels. For each participant, we track how willing they are to purchase different plants, how much of a premium they are willing to pay, and which plants/labels attract most of their visual attention.

The survey also investigates participant’s level of awareness of pollinator health issues.

Researchers: Dr. Hayk Khachatryan

States: FL

Additional Research Areas

Research Updates

People purchasing plants at an outdoor plant sale.

When it comes to plant labels about neonicotinoid use, does the design or content of a plant label affect a consumer’s willingness to purchase the plant? In our survey, consumers were presented with a range of labeled annual and perennial plants, such as impatiens, marigolds, and chrysanthemums. Each plant was marked with one of four [...]

Six pots of hibiscus flowers with labels hanging overhead.

Our laboratory and online surveys to assess consumer’s attitudes towards pollinator-friendly plants have now been completed. Our research team obtained roughly 200 responses from the laboratory surveys and over 1,500 responses from the surveys conducted online. Our team is in the midst of analyzing this data. One novel piece of information being analyzed is the [...]

Girl looking at computer screen and with her hand on a mouse.

Environmental horticulture growers are interested in growing plants that benefit pollinators, but whether consumers know or care about ‘pollinator-friendly’ plants—at least enough to purchase them—is not clear. Our team has therefore prepared a survey to assess consumers’ knowledge about pollinators, as well as their willingness to pay for pollinator-friendly plants. More specifically, this survey is [...]