Our sustainability report

Last updated March 2024

Buying online
Buying online

Everything we do in our garden has an impact on the environment. With over 7,000 different plant varieties to care for at our nursery in Surrey, any small change that we make can have a really meaningful impact. We know we still have further to go, but we're excited to share with you the changes we've made so far. See some of our highlights below or read our full 2024 Sustainability Report.

Changes we've made in the last year

Becoming Plant Healthy certified

We've always been committed to providing our customers with happy, healthy plants. In September 2023 Crocus became the first online gardening brand to be awarded Plant Healthy certification. No mean feat, this DEFRA-backed accreditation is only given to growers who have been rigorously assessed over many months, and shown to maintain the highest standards of plant health and biosecurity. This award means that when you buy a plant from Crocus, you can rest assured that we've done everything we can to ensure your plants don't arrive in your garden carrying any unwelcome pests or diseases.

Over 1 million plants grown on our nursery

Over the last few years we've been investing in our nursery's Propagation Unit, where our team work tirelessly throughout the year to grow plants either from taking cuttings, plugs or seeds. Where we can't grow plants on our nursery, we've partnered with a number of trusted UK nurseries who start growing our plants, before sending them to us to grow on ready to deliver to your door. Last year 73% of our plants were grown in the UK and we hope to improve on this in 2024.

Peat free for plants we grow

We're committed to removing peat from our supply chain and are now potting into a peat free mix for the plants we grow ourselves. Our nursery team have been conducting extensive trials over different seasons and plants to find our own peat free mix, which we know will help establish our plants to be strong and healthy. Last year our potting mix was 50% peat reduced, since the summer of 2023 all plants grown in our Propagation Unit are only potted into this peat free mix.

Investing in the future of horticulture

A few years ago we launched our Crocus Apprenticeship Scheme where every year we take on apprentices to participate in a two year programme. The goal of the scheme is to encourage young professionals into horticulture and to ensure gardening knowledge is passed on to the next generation. We are delighted to announce that our first graduates have passed the training course! Both Callum Rutherford and Donne Perold are now working as part of our Propagation Team, who are responsible for growing plants on our nursery. A huge congratulations to both Donne and Callum!

How we're reducing, re-using and improving

Self sufficient for our water needs

We use our reservoir to collect rainwater from our nursery buildings, we then store this water and re-use it to water our plants. In 2023 we doubled the size of our reservoir so it can now hold up to 7 million litres. That’s nearly the size of two olympic swimming pools! We're now self-sufficient for our watering needs on the nursery and all of your plants will have been watered with rainwater.

Switching to brown paper packaging

We're always looking for ways we can reduce or reuse our packaging. Large orders, or those that are local to our nursery, are delivered by our own team, and these are sent out without any packaging at all. For plants delivered through our partner couriers, we've moved to packaging plants with brown paper and tape. We now only use plastic packaging where absolutely necessary for the protection of your plant and it is always made from recycled materials.

Recycling 90% of our waste

Where we can't reduce waste we've looked at how we can recycle more. All green waste on our nursery is turned into compost which we use for our wholesale projects and even at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. For all other waste such as plastic pots, trays, crates, cardboards and plastic we recycle 90% of what can be recycled. We're even shredding old cardboard boxes to re-use for the packaging of your plants!

Approaches & Goals

Increasing UK plant supply

Our goal in 2024 is that 80% of all the plants we sell on our website will be grown in the UK. Nearly half of this supply will come from our own Propagation Unit. By growing more of our own plants we can help reduce the carbon footprint of every order and reduce the risk of importing any unwanted diseases. It also means we can have control over how we grow, so can pot into a peat free mix and only use recyclable taupe pots. For plants we can't grow ourselves We're partnering with excellent UK growers who are aligned with our sustainability goals.

Removing peat from supplier's plants

Whilst we have removed peat from our own potting mixes in 2023 we are still working with suppliers to remove peat from their growing mediums. Our policy is to always favour a peat-free supplier where possible and reasonable to do so. Our goal for 2024 is that 80% of our plants will be peat free. Ultimately, our aim is to be peat free for ‘garden ready’ plants by 2026, as in line with the UK’s government.

Recycling plant pots

For plants that we grow on site in our propagation unit we only use recyclable taupe pots, all of which are made from recycled materials and can be recycled by you. Whilst all pots from our suppliers are made from recycled materials, unfortunately black pots cannot currently be recycled at your kerbside recycling bin. However, we have created a Pot Back scheme at our Dorney Court garden centre where you can return your black pots and we'll recycle them for you.

Focusing on biological solutions

We prefer to grow our plants as holistically as possible, so we've adopted an integrated pest management scheme (or IPM). In a nutshell, this means that when faced with a potential pest or disease, our first course of action will be to look for a cultural or biological solution. This practice has allowed us to massively reduce the use of traditional synthetic pesticides, while completely putting a stop to the use of broad spectrum pesticides such as neonicotinoids that can be harmful to non-target species.

Learn more

Our sustainability promise

Environment matters

Sustainability report

Read here

Our free gardening app Iris

Friendly to inserts

Pollinator plants

Shop now

Copyright © Crocus.co.uk Ltd 2024. All rights reserved.