Five Questions With Sarah Spatola

As grower-retailers and garden center customers alike strive to maximize water efficiency, Ecologel’s marketing director shares how Hydretain can benefit users down to the last drop.

1) What makes Hydretain a unique product?

Hydretain is a hydroscopic humectant blend, meaning it has a natural attraction to water molecules. Hydroscopic humectants attract water molecules from the humidity in the air around them, and when applied to the soil — we’re talking about the moisture that exists between soil particles — it pulls that moisture back together to recreate usable droplets within the root zone. Essentially, the whole process takes moisture that the plant can’t use and converts it back into liquid that plant roots can absorb.

2) How can garden center customers benefit from using Hydretain?

In addition to reducing watering, customers will have the best-looking lawns and landscapes on the block. Water management is critical to all aspects of plant maintenance. Hydretain is like having a water insurance policy. It will continue to help plants thrive even when customers aren’t getting enough irrigation, when they occasionally forget to water or are on vacation. It will help to minimize those localized dry spots and delay wilt. Hydretain can help customers conserve water resources while setting them up for success, and it is safe for use around children and pets.

3) How can grower-retailers and garden centers benefit from using Hydretain?

Grower-retailers can use this product in their own facilities, or garden centers can request growers they work with to pretreat plants with Hydretain before they arrive at the store. Some of our early research was done on top-selling bedding plants where we examined Hydretain’s ability to help retail growers increase sell-through rates at retail establishments. In the study (conducted at the University of Florida), researchers were impressed with the results of Hydretain and stated that they had never seen any other water management product that came close to doubling the time a plant could go without water. So, with healthier plants on the shelves, retailers can be confident that using the product can help increase sell-through rates.

4) How can Hydretain help minimize returns for unhappy customers?

Hydretain can reduce returns on both the wholesale and retail level. By extending the time between required waterings, retail personnel can keep plants looking fresher with less labor, and the product will increase customers’ transplant success. With plant material maintaining full value, sales increase since there is reduced plant loss due to improper watering. Once the plants are in customers’ yards, they will be easier to maintain at home — especially if they continue to apply it.

5) What are the applications of Hydretain?

Hydretain is available in both liquid and granular options. Our quart bottle comes with a hose-end sprayer for convenient lawn applications. The granular formula can be spread through any traditional spreader equipment. Additionally, either the liquid or the granular can be applied to trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetable gardens and container plants — both interior and exterior. Customers will see more noticeable results on plants that are more water-loving, but it’s applicable to any plant material. Each application lasts for up to three months.

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March 2022
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