Scaevola 'Purple Haze' (Danziger 2016)

April 19, 2016

Allan Armitage Picks His Favorites From Proven Winners, Danziger, and Syngenta During 2016 California Spring Trials

From “crazy” petunias to container pentas, there was plenty that caught Allan’s eye during the final day of 2016 California Spring Trials.

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Fashion Show At Benary

April 15, 2016

California Spring Trials: Dr. Allan Armitage Notes Emerging Trends From Ernst Benary, HMA, And Other Breeders

Attractive new varieties will draw the eyes of consumers, but innovation and creativity will keep them coming back.

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Crazytunia Citrus Twist

April 14, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage’s Top Picks From Floricultura And Sakata During 2016 California Spring Trials

The best new flower introductions have the power to turn a non-believer into a fan. Check out Dr. Allan Armitage’s top picks from his visit to Sakata and Floricultura, the latter of which hosted a number of breeders.

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Calendula Power Daisy (Kientzler)

April 12, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage Names His Top 6 Picks From GroLink And Windmill Nursery At California Spring Trials 2016

Editor’s Note: Dr. Allan Armitage shares his top picks from the breeders who presented new varieties at the GroLink location in Oxnard, CA, and the Windmill Nursery location in Buellton, CA, during the 2016 California Spring Trials.   Gerbera ‘Sweet Caroline’ (Florist Holland) Every year I am so impressed with the Garvinea gerberas from Florist. They have proven their ability to stand up to the rigors of winter, are available in more than a dozen colors, and may be used alone or in combination containers. The flower color and size of ‘Sweet Caroline’ are outstanding, and this is already enjoying robust sales. Begonia ‘Revelation Maroon’ (Terra Nova) Learning more about the diversity of plants offered by some of our best-known companies is always a treat. Walking into Terra Nova, I was ready for Echinacea and Heuchera, but was instead blown away by begonia and coleus. Terra Nova has been breeding begonias […]

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April 11, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage: 6 Picks From Ball Horticultural Co. And Green Fuse Botanicals During 2016 California Spring Trials

Editor’s Note: In Day 1 of our coverage of California Spring Trials 2016, Dr. Allan Armitage, Contributing Editor for Greenhouse Grower, talks about the plants that caught his eye. See images of his six picks in the slideshow. Petunia ‘Night Sky’ (Selecta) Am I really starting off with a petunia? It is not that they are not all beautiful, there are just so many of them, Having looked at new plants for many years, it is difficult for any petunia to impress me. ‘Night Sky’ did just that. To gush about how the dozens of glittering white spots glitter on the blue petals does not do it justice. Suffice it to say it was different, it was fun, and people were talking about it. I certainly am. Begonia MegaWatt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Begonias are one of the building blocks of annual spring sales. “Full-size” wax begonias, personified by the Dragon […]

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Eucomis 'Aloha Kona'

October 20, 2015

Eucomis Aloha Series: A New Bulb Crop For Containers

The Eucomis Aloha series of Pineapple lilies may be the next money making bulbs for the deck with their compact habits and shorter stems that are perfect for containers.

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More and more people are employing a landscape service, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still garden

September 2, 2015

Under Siege? Not Really, Just Go For A Walk

I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset. A website called came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea. But why pick on us? Why not use “” or “,” “,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? […]

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llan Armitage Syngenta Starcluster

July 30, 2015

Allan Armitage: Let’s Talk About Starflowers. Why Is Pentas Not More Popular?

It is good to talk about production techniques, performance results and then to see how our friends garden. Diversity of plant material has always been a strength in American garden centers, and we should never run out of plants to get people excited. However, perhaps people are tired of Petunias or Callas or Geraniums, but we will never run out of options to put in front of them. One plant that is often overlooked is Pentas, a fabulous summer crop for late spring sales. These are heat-tolerant plants, and growing them below 65°F in the greenhouse results in significant delay. Fertility should be at least 150ppm nitrogen, but avoid ammonia in the fertilizer. Plants are best grown at a somewhat higher pH than usual, between 6.4 to 6.8. For best presentation, pinch out the center bud. Side flowers will bloom together, and plants will walk off the shelf. Garden centers […]

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window flower boxes

June 28, 2015

The Horticulturist And The Decorator

Allan Armitage tells shares a story about a horticulturist and a decorator to illustrate why gardening and decorating are not jobs; they are simply meant to bring pleasure.

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Allan Armitage At Tradeshow

May 15, 2015

Allan Armitage On Plants: We Are Alive And Well, Thank You

Allan Armitage tells why the horticulture industry is about the people, not the plants, not the marketing and not the social media, and why horticulture is here to stay.

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April 22, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds A Lot To Love On His Last Day At Trials

On the last day of the 2015 California Spring Trials, Allan Armitage and the Greenhouse Grower team visited three stops that accounted for 12 breeding companies. From annuals and perennials to herbs and strawberries, Armitage found plenty to get excited about.

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Hakonochloa macra Aureola v

April 17, 2015

Ornamental Grasses — A Few Thoughts

Grasses have been embraced by growers, landscape architects and retailers, and are an important component in wholesale and resale sales. Allan Armitage shares some popular grasses, one to avoid and a few to use with caution.

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