Robert Rouse, owner of Woodlands Wholesale Nursery, is an expert in building startup businesses and then selling them. Although Rouse was familiar with landscaping through another company he owned, he had to learn about the finer points of the garden plant industry mostly on his own.
“I kind of fell into it, really,” Rouse said. “I like the aspect of the landscaping end of it because you have new construction, but you [also] have [homeowners who] are redoing their [plant] beds, and so you have a pretty good customer base.”
The business has been in operation for almost a year and a half and serves The Woodlands, Conroe and Magnolia areas. It sells a wide range of garden products, including seasonal plants and larger trees to both landscapers and individuals.
With more than 1,500 varieties of plants, the full service nursery outlet staffs 10 full-time employees. Much of the nursery’s staff is focused on taking care of the customers who visit the 4-acre facility on a daily basis, Rouse said.
“We’re pretty much a full-service nursery outlet,” he said. “Our main focus is plants, plant quality and price. We have a large variety—everything from seasonal color to shrubs and all the way up to large trees.”
The nursery also stocks more than 200 types of shrubs and tree species as well as rose bushes in many sizes and colors. Crepe myrtles, oaks, Japanese blueberries and magnolias are among the tree varieties routinely sought out by customers, Rouse said.
Rouse previously owned a business for about seven years located next to his nursery that specialized in selling landscaping rock. He eventually sold the business.
Rouse then partnered with former customer, Horatio Albiter, a professional landscaper, and decided to open the wholesale retail nursery in 2014. Rouse said Albiter will eventually run the nursery himself.
He said it is important to have an educated and knowledgeable staff to help customers feel at home. Many of his guests moved to Texas from other parts of the country so they want their house to look like it did elsewhere, he said.
“When they’re shopping in our industry, you want to give good advice in terms of how a lot of those plants are not going to do well here,” he said. “You want to get plants that are good for this region, that grow well in humidity [and intense sunlight], and that way customers are happy their plants are healthy.”
Rouse said it is important to know where plants should be placed to prevent the landscaping from looking messy.
“There’s an art to it,” he said. “People don’t realize it but it’s a real art.”
Planting a seed
Woodlands Wholesale Nursery carries a large inventory of plants, shrubs and trees. Ten full-time employees service the 4-acre facility, which carries a number of plants and flowers considered to be area staples, including oaks, roses, magnolias and junipers.
The nursery offers:
- More than 1,500 varieties of plants
- 200 different types of trees depending on the season
- A large variety of roses including the popular Knock Out Rose®, which grow in all seasons
- Perennials and annuals, which bloom and grow in various climates and regions
- Tropical plants such as cordylines and junipers
- More than 200 shrubs and brushes
4598 FM 1488, Conroe, 936-271-2244, www.woodlandswholesalenursery.com
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-3 p.m.