What does half a sun mean? – Understandability of plant care symbols

A.-K. Kleih, M. Lehberger, K. Sparke
Longevity of ornamental plants and thus successful plant care are important for consumer satisfaction. Producers and retailers assist by giving care instructions in the form of symbols printed on care labels. But how well do consumers understand these plant care symbols? And which do they prefer? To answer these questions two studies were conducted. The first was an online survey with 1113 participants in Germany, which tested the understandability of eight conventional plant care symbols regarding location, watering, and temperature via objective and subjective measures. The second was an online survey combined with online eye-tracking with 300 participants, which compared understandability, preference, and visual attention of conventional plant care symbols with newly developed and more detailed plant care symbols using the example of poinsettia. It was found that some care symbols are well understood, while others are often misunderstood by consumers and therefore need improvement. The newly developed care instructions were preferred and better understood than the conventional type. The eye-tracking revealed which parts of the plant care symbols received more visual importance and thus indicate measures on how to improve the noticeability of important care information. The results are relevant for practitioners, which may want to improve positive consumer experiences with ornamental plants.
Kleih, A.-K., Lehberger, M. and Sparke, K. (2023). What does half a sun mean? – Understandability of plant care symbols. Acta Hortic. 1368, 177-184
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1368.24
consumer behavior, sign comprehension, eye tracking, plant care instructions

Acta Horticulturae