Hi. My name is Joel Garner. Other than growing a few Carnivorous Plants as a kid, I began growing Carnivorous Plants in 2008. Like many other Carnivorous Plant hobbyists I quickly discovered that I liked Nepenthes the best. I began by growing them in a 4 foot terrarium next to a window that I opened at night to cool them. I studied online everything I could find out about Nepenthes, voraciously pouring over threads in Carnivorous Plant forums and reading every bit of care information I could find anywhere on the internet.
I soon realized that there was a painful demand for seed grown Nepenthes in the US and so it occurred to me that perhaps I could make a living growing and selling Nepenthes. I realized that one of the biggest obstacles to growing Nepenthes from seed right here in the US is that it didn’t seem that anyone had an efficient system developed for growing them on a large scale. I then decided that if I was going to do this I needed to learn everything of note about growing these plants from seed and that a lot of the information I would need to do this successfully was simply not available online. So I went to my college library and checked out every book of importance on Horticulture and Botany that I could find to try and figure out how I could do this. After studying up pretty heavily on the matter for several months, I then started growing Nepenthes from seed by purchasing seeds from various vendors online. I had many successes as well as failures doing this until I arrived at the system that I currently use. I also decided along the way that perhaps I could augment my Security Guard income, which was my main source of income at the time, by selling other Carnivorous Plants that could be made available for sale sooner while I was perfecting my system for growing Nepenthes and my Nepenthes seedlings were growing out. I soon discovered that I no longer needed to work as a Security Guard and could in fact make a living selling Carnivorous Plants. And so after a little over a year of working as a Security Guard part-time and selling, mostly Venus Flytraps, part-time in 2010, I quit my job as a Security Guard and began selling Carnivorous Plants full-time. I soon branched out into selling other types of Carnivorous Plants as well.
The main goal of my Carnivorous Plant business is to grow seed grown Nepenthes that are true species, as opposed to hybrids, and that are true to their locale as well. This way I would be preserving a piece of nature rather than growing and selling plants that technically do not exist in the wild. I also try and preserve other species of Carnivorous Plants that are true species and true to their locale. But I do grow and sell other Carnivorous Plants that are not if that is all that is available to me to grow and sell for those particular types. In the future I hope to preserve Nepenthes species and other Carnivorous Plants that are true to species and locale by reproducing my own seedlings from my own seed from my own breeding stock that is true to species and locale.
I also try to use a number of other business strategies. For one thing I try very hard to sell plants in great condition, hardening them off to out door growing if that particular species can be well adapted to it, like Sarracenias, Sundews, and Venus Flytraps, and greenhouse growing or outdoor growing with shade cloth with the least amount of shading necessary for Carnivorous Plants that are not able to handle full sun outdoors, like Nepenthes and Butterworts. By doing this, I hope to be able to set a new standard for quality in the Carnivorous Plant industry and make Carnivorous Plant growing something that is more easily done by a wider range of people in the US. I believe that one of the biggest problems in the Carnivorous Plant industry in the US today is that many Carnivorous Plants are grown and sold in conditions that are very gentle and unfortunately many Carnivorous Plant customers do not have the ability to match the gentle conditions that many of the plants they purchase have been grown in their entire lives. As a result many people purchase Carnivorous Plants that needlessly die not because Carnivorous Plants are especially difficult to keep alive and grow but because the condition they are often being purchased in is not very hardened off. My hope is that the Carnivorous Plant Nursery that I’ve started will create a revolution in the Carnivorous Plant industry in the US, permanently changing this so that Carnivorous Plants, not just sold by me, but by most other Carnivorous Plant vendors as well, will be sold in more a hardened off condition so that many people in the US can enjoy this hobby without so many setbacks that often are really just because of the weak condition of the plants at the time of their purchase.