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Ready, set, garden!

May 20, 2022, 11:00 a.m. (EDT)
Close up of person shopping for flowers in a garden center filled with plants
Outstretched hand holding earth and sprouting plant
Ready, set, garder!

Got a green thumb and plan to storm your favourite nursery this weekend? With the warm weather upon us, many Canadians will be stocking up on flowers, plants and seedlings to get the gardening season started.


Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the greenhouse, sod and nursery industries have been a resounding success. Canadians have reaffirmed their love of getting their hands in the dirt, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Total sales were up 7.5% to $4.7 billion in 2021. 



Budding and seasoned gardeners paid 7.3 percent more for greenhouse plants and flowers in 2021 than the previous year, for a total of $1.8 billion in sales. Potted plants accounted for more than half of total sales (54.7%) to total $995.2 million (+10.1%). To add some colour to outdoor pots, geraniums, begonias and petunias are popular with consumers.

In terms of the highest sales in the country, three provinces stand out: Ontario (55.2%), followed by British Columbia (21.4%) and Quebec (13.2%).

Pots with colourful flowers

At the same time, greenhouse operators employed 36,702 people in 2021, up 6.7% from the previous year, despite the labour shortage affecting most sectors. Increases were recorded for seasonal employees (+4.7%) and permanent employees (+9.1%). Increases were seen in all major producing provinces, including Ontario (+7.7%), British Columbia (+8.5%) and Quebec (+8.4%).

Two greenhouse employees with tools and plants with text "Number of greenhouse employees in 2021 36,702"

Greenhouse fruits and vegetables on your plate

Canadians can enjoy a variety of local produce year-round, thanks to greenhouse growing. For example, sales of greenhouse fruit and vegetable plants increased for the ninth consecutive year, rising 9.3% to reach $2.0 billion in 2021.

This increase was driven by increased production of peppers (+16.1%) and tomatoes (+8.5%).

Pile of garden vegetables overflowing from basket

Do you like cucumber in your gin? Sales were also up 12.0% to $604.4 million, despite lower production. It's simple—you paid more for this tzatziki dip staple, with the price rising a whopping 19%.


Got a thing for sweet strawberries as a snack, or as a nice ending to a dinner party? This fruit, recently introduced to North American greenhouses, generated $18.5 million in sales in 2021 because of higher prices (+11.4%) and production (+6.9%).

Ontario remains the largest producer of greenhouse strawberries, with production reaching 2.2 million kilograms in 2021.

Get moving! This summer and all year long, cultivate beauty, goodness and joy!

Cucumbers with cucumber plant and arrow pointing up next to text " up 19%"
Green vines

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