Big Grower March 2019 - 4

In 2015, Knox Nursery was awarded
one of the original licenses to grow
medical cannabis in Florida.
To grow high-quality products, Knox Horticulture makes extensive use of automation and computer
technology like developing its own radio frequency identification (RFID) system to track products from
seed to shipping dock.
Because of the complexities and legal
requirements involved with applying for
and holding a license to grow cannabis
in the state, Knox Nursery changed its
name to Knox Horticulture in 2018.
Not knowing how the requirements
for medical cannabis licensees might
change in the future, Knox made
the proactive decision to create two
separate entities - Knox Horticulture
and Knox Medical - just in case the
name " Knox Nursery " would always be
required to be on that license.
" I think Knox Horticulture is more
representative of who we are today, "
Knox says. " We are no longer a nursery.
We are no longer growing the 3-gallon
woody tropicals that my parents
focused on when they started the
company. And I think it was just time
for a change. "
He adds the new name allows the
bedding plant producer to be flexible
going forward and adapt to future
Back then his parents were growing cuttings
on the patio for their own garden. In the summer
of 1962, they made their first commercial sale.
Nowadays, the company sits on 33 acres of
former orange groves in Winter Garden with
more than 25 acres of production space.
In the early years, they were growing woody
tropicals. Then as the industry changed, they
started brokering bedding plants that were
sold at some of the larger regional retailers. In
the 1980s, the decision was made to also start
growing plugs " while keeping a balancing act of
selling bedding plants to mass merchants. "
Currently, the company's primary business
is supplying young plants to growers, and
also providing finished plants to landscape
companies and many of the theme parks in
central Florida. The company also produces
EZ-pots, its own brand of Ellepots - degradable
paper pots (see sidebar). In 2015, the company
was also one of the first growers in Florida to
receive a license to grow cannabis for medical
use through its affiliated company Knox Medical.
For years, the company was known as Knox
Nursery but changed its name recently to Knox
Horticulture (see sidebar) to reflect the how
the business has transformed in more than five
decades. " It's really interesting to see how the
industry has changed over the years, " Knox says.
From specializing in specific product
categories to adjusting to the industry
consolidation of both growers and suppliers,
Knox Horticulture has always been able to adapt
and take advantage of the opportunities that
present themselves.
" It's kind of scary to think of how much change
the industry has seen [over the years]. What is
this industry going to look like in 20 or 30 years? "
he asks. " It's going to be very interesting. "
And Knox and Mullen are up for the challenge.
Knox says one of the biggest strengths the
company capitalizes on is the depth of its
product offerings. Knox Horticulture offers its
customers more than 5,000 different products.
It is an open propagator that works with a wide
range of breeding organizations, seed companies
and cuttings producers.
" We have such a diverse customer base,
from customers that only buy one box at a
time to those customers that order an entire
truckload, " he says.
While he doesn't like to call the business
a one-stop shop, Knox says the company
specializes in providing its customers with
different solutions to meet all of their product
" Our customers come to us to fill all of their
needs - whether it is seed or vegetative and
combine things, " Knox says. This way they can
be flexible with their product orders to meet
minimums for rack deliveries.
Knox says thanks to its Florida location and
Mother Nature, Knox Horticulture is able to
stay ahead of the rest of the market as a young
plant producer.

Big Grower March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Grower March 2019

Big Grower March 2019 - 1
Big Grower March 2019 - 2
Big Grower March 2019 - 3
Big Grower March 2019 - 4
Big Grower March 2019 - 5
Big Grower March 2019 - 6
Big Grower March 2019 - 7
Big Grower March 2019 - 8
Big Grower March 2019 - 9
Big Grower March 2019 - 10
Big Grower March 2019 - 11
Big Grower March 2019 - 12