Colorado is a hodgepodge of microclimates where the weather differs dramatically, even across small distances. Analyzing how microclimates impact gardening is a must for the state’s gardeners, so why not have a bit of computerized assistance to direct them through the process?

Such was Levi Heidrich’s thought when the Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm Nursery co-owner installed The Perfect Plant. The interactive software package from The Marketing Garden categorizes thousands of plants into a single, easy-to-use platform.

Patrons can access The Perfect Plant from their mobile device or PC as well as through an in-store kiosk. Plugging in a desired plant type brings up relevant characteristics such as height, width and bloom time. The database also tells gardeners if their favorite flower grows better in alkaline soil, during winter or in partial sunlight. All of these details are completely customizable, notes Heidrich.

“We’re at 7,000 feet on the Palmer Divide, so the climate here is tricky,” Heidrich says. “The fact that the software is customized is huge for us.”

Detailed information allows customers to come into the nursery or start their shopping trip knowing exactly what they want. Separate categories for weed and insect information add another layer of data-based preparation before they step foot in the store.

“Before this, we had galleries of pictures and descriptions, but no search features,” Heidrich says. “Now, rather than looking at 500 plant options, people are looking at 10. This [software] is easy, and it works great.”

Feedback has been mostly positive since the product’s launch in March, adds the nursery owner. Shoppers arriving prepared is an invaluable benefit in a space where knowledge is a powerful, money-saving tool.

“The way people are accessing information is changing,” Heidrich says. “You have to provide that personal feeling, and our customers appreciate that we’ve made this available to them.”

This was originally published in Garden Center Magazine.