How should an industry measure its economic value? The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association decided to look to its roots for the answer to this query.

Plants - Plants are the origin and the fuel that propel a vast, dynamic and nearly immeasurable equation of economic stimulation and development throughout the world. In Maryland, plants have helped to grow the areas of outdoor living, environmental development, remediation, habitat, education, entertainment, climate control, filtration, stabilization, and service.

While we can only imagine the total impact plants have on the economy of our state, we can quantify the value of horticulture at its headwaters. In a survey performed by the USDA – Maryland Agricultural Statistics Service and underwritten by the Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association, the following statistical profile offers a basis of understanding and insight for the value of horticulture in Maryland.

Here are a few highlights from the statistical profile:

Gross receipts were nearly $1.04 billion in 2003

  • Retail sales accounted for 55% ($564.42 million)
  • Landscape Installation/Maintenance accounted for 23% ($234.75 million)
  • Wholesale sales accounted for 21% ($220.12 million)
  • Other categories accounted for 1% ($15.97 million)

Woody plants topped product sales

  • Woody plants 35% ($293.14 million)
  • Annuals 26% ($219.87 million)
  • Herbaceous Perennials 19% ($158.89 million)
  • Aquatics 8% ($62.12 Million)
  • Other products 12% ($97.37 million)

Maryland horticulture businesses maintained 16,061 acres in 2003, including 17.7 million square feet of covered (greenhouse) space and sales and holding areas.

Of all plants sold in Maryland 43% are Maryland grown

Over 12,800 people are employed by the industry

  • Majority (53%) are employed for over 150 days
  • Average labor wage is $9.08/hr- (nearly $4.00/hr above minimum)

Factors Limiting Growth

  • Human Resources - continue to be important in limiting growth
  • Government Regulations - a perennial factor limiting growth
  • Weather - an important factor limiting growth

Please take time to review all of the data included in this publication. The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association would like to thank the USDA – Maryland Agricultural Statistics Service and their statisticians for their expertise and diligence in preparing this very informative statistical and economic profile.

The conclusions stated in the survey demonstrate a conservative profile of the "Green Industry" in Maryland. Unlicensed plant producers and dealers are not included in the survey. Also, the survey does not include the millions of dollars in economic activity generated by events such as the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show held in Baltimore each January.

George Mayo, Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association

Download the Executive Summary in printable format

Download the full Economic Profile in printable format