History

History-top-photoSince our founding by Harry E. Rosedale in 1926, the name Monrovia has been synonymous with Distinctively Better® plants.

Harry Rosedale was one of the early pioneers to grow plants in containers. It was a revolutionary idea, but he saw that plants would endure less trauma and transplant better if they remained in their containers until they were ready to be planted in the landscape.

History-bottom-photoThe challenge was to create an environment of soil that allowed the plants to flourish. We have continually improved our soil mixes, developed better irrigation systems and led the way with a series of horticultural breakthroughs resulting in extraordinarily healthy plants that will not only survive, but thrive, in home gardens.

Today we grow more than 3,600 varieties and 22 million plants annually, but each one is nurtured by hand with care to assure it is truly Distinctively Better.

 

A History of Firsts

Soil

We were the first to automate putting soil in containers and adding time-release fertilizers to help our plants continue to flourish after leaving our care. Not surprisingly, the foundation of excellence, our soil, remains the best. Monrovia is the first grower to add mycorrhizae to our 42 nursery soil blends.

Research & Development

We were the first nursery to establish a dedicated Research Department and today we remain the leader in developing and marketing exciting new plants. Throughout the years, Monrovia’s research department has pioneered innovative methods to more safely and efficiently – ideas like adding nutrient-rich liquid feed to our automated irrigation systems and the use of citric acid as a pH water conditioner, a much safer and less caustic material than the inorganic substances formerly used.

Information Source

The 1960s marked the beginning of our quest to be a reliable and inspiring gardening information source. We affixed gardener-friendly, full-sized, color picture labels to blooming plants. Later in the 1970s, consumer education soared with Monrovia’s introduction of the center-folded “InfoLabel” presenting detailed information about a plant’s suggested care. The tradition continues today; our informative website, with the industry’s first comprehensive photo library of plants, receives millions of visitors each year who seek trusted advice and trend information.

Environmental Stewardship

Monrovia has a legacy of environmentally endurable practices. For decades, we have pioneered new methods of growing that seek to reduce the impact on our natural resources.

Monrovia was first in the industry to recycle water, pioneering environmentally friendly methods of capturing, purifying and reusing runoff. In addition, we became the first grower to disinfect pruning shears with environmentally friendly monochloramine, instead of chlorine.

Environmental concerns prompted our discovery of two natural ways to control weeds. Our researchers found that using pecan shells to mulch container plants eliminates Liverworts, a troublesome weed. We discovered that adding ground-up eucalyptus waste to container soils releases allelopaths, a plant’s own defense against competitors.

Patents and Trademarks

In the 1950s, Monrovia unveiled its patented plant program. Thirteen patented varieties were introduced, representing the first of hundreds of patents and trademarks we now hold.

85-Year Commitment to Excellence

We replaced our original green metal containers with our identifiable moss-green plastic pots – not only proving better for plants, but safer for gardeners. Today, the Monrovia pot assures shoppers that they have found a Distinctively Better plant.

Customer Partnership

Harry E. Rosedale started Monrovia with an uncompromising dedication to quality, value and service. In the company’s yearly catalog, Mr. Rosedale consistently wrote about Monrovia’s allegiance to our customers and helping their businesses thrive and grow. We were the first nursery to develop an exclusive sales force and the first grower to ship plants across the country.

Today, our Sales Craftsmen are the leaders in the industry, experts in their field: They understand the regions in which they work and the plants that flourish there; they know plant trends and the collections that gardeners want. Today, Monrovia’s commitment to a strong customer partnership remains a guiding principle.