January 16, 2009
Production Tips For Top Performers: Hibiscus moscheutos
Hibiscuses are one of the most showy and popular tropical plants. The genus contains more than 200 species that are native to temperate, subtropical or tropical regions of the world. Many are valuable ornamentals that add a spectacular exotic flair to gardens. For that tropical feel in a northern location, the tender species are wonderful in containers. Northern gardeners also have a hardy option: swamp rose mallow or H. moscheutos is native to southern and eastern North America and is cold-hardy to Zone 5. Like their tropical cousins, H. moscheutos sports huge flowers in shades of pink, red or white that can be over 9 inches in diameter. The flower power of the enormous blooms is irresistible. H. moscheutos will tolerate wetness and does best in consistently moist soil. They prefer sun to part shade. Plants die down to the ground each winter and are very late to emerge in […]
December 17, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Lavandula Stoechas
Figures 1a and b. The flowers of Spanish lavender or L. stoechas have showy, whimsical bracts on top of the inflorescence, reminiscent of bunny ears. Few plants can match the romantic appeal of lavender. The silvery foliage and drifts of flowers are lovely in their own right but are also evocative of old-world charm and idyllic sun-drenched Mediterranean settings. Lavender plants are surely one of the best choices to line a sunny garden path, where brushing against them as you pass will release that classic scent. In a container garden, people can enjoy the fragrance and spiked inflorescences up close. Lavender is produced commercially for its essential oil, valued in perfumes and also has some medicinal and culinary uses. In floriculture, lavender is a desirable and popular part of both the herb and ornamental segments of the market. Lavenders are also a very practical choice for modern gardeners since they […]
October 21, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ & ‘Harvest Moon’
Figure 1a. Echinacea ‘Sunrise.’ The flower color of ‘Sunrise’ is cheerful, buttery yellow and its petals are perpendicular to the stems. A few years ago, the world of herbaceous perennials went cone crazy with the introduction of novel yellow and orange-colored echinacea (cone flower) hybrids. These star hybrids of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea paradoxa have continued to shine with their promising performance. Over the last few years, we have trialed numerous echinacea cultivars for their greenhouse and garden performance, and we have been charmed with the two yellow-colored cultivars–’Sunrise’ and ‘Harvest Moon.’ The flower color of ‘Sunrise’ is cheerful, buttery yellow and the petals are perpendicular to the stems (Figure 1a) while ‘Harvest Moon’ has golden yellow flowers with reflexed petals (Figure 1b). Figure 1b. Echinacea ‘Harvest Moon.’ Golden yellow flowers with reflexed petals highlight ‘Harvest Moon.’ Both cultivars are mildly fragrant and have been reliably hardy at least in […]
September 18, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Campanula Persicifolia
There are about 300 species in the genus campanula, most native to northern temperate regions. Many are valuable ornamentals and have become classic elements in the garden, adding a touch of grace and refinement. Species range from tiny alpines to 5-foot-tall specimens for the back of the border. The flowers are generally bell-shaped and lavender-blue, white or pink. Campanula persicifolia is commonly called peach-leaved bellflower because the long narrow leaves resemble those of the peach tree. It is native to Western Asia and Europe, and forms upright spires about 3 feet tall, with many flowers of lavender-blue or white. The plants prefer cool conditions and perform best in Zones 3 to 6. C. persicifolia plants spread and will also self-sow quite freely in the right environment–full sun or part shade, and moist well-drained soil. They are an elegant and showy addition to any border, and also make excellent cut flowers. […]
August 25, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Gaillardia ‘Oranges & Lemons’
Gaillardia, commonly known as blanket flower, has adorned many traditional perennial gardens. Recently, a number of new cultivars of this drought-tolerant North American native have been introduced. This year at OFA Short Course, there were several new cultivars of gaillardia displayed and many of them are trial worthy. After trialing several great gaillardia cultivars for their greenhouse performance, we were particularly impressed with ‘Oranges and Lemons.’ As the name suggests, this cultivar has cheery, peachy-yellow flowers that almost gleam in the sunlight. In the MSU trial gardens (USDA cold hardiness Zone 5), ‘Oranges and Lemons’ has over-wintered in two separate locations for the last three years, and it continues to bloom all summer long without deadheading. Gaillardia ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is as easy to produce in flower as it is to grow in a garden. Starting Material Since ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is patented, its unlicensed propagation is prohibited. We used […]
July 22, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Aquilegia vulgaris
Aquilegia or columbines are among the most familiar and beloved flowers to grace our gardens in spring and early summer. There are approximately 65 species in the genus, most native to northern temperate and alpine regions, and countless hybrids exist. Plants produce showy flowers in many shades of purple, blue, lavender, red, pink, yellow or white. Most also have nectar spurs that can be up to 6 inches in length on some species. Aquilegia tend to be short-lived but they hybridize and self-sow freely. They will do best in part shade, in rich but well-drained soil and are hardy to USDA cold hardiness Zones 3 to 8. The blooms on many aquilegia are nodding, but the flowers of the Winky series from Kieft Seeds face upwards. We have worked with two of the double-flowered varieties: ‘Winky Double Red and White’ (introduced in 2003) and ‘Winky Double Dark Blue and White’ […]
July 8, 2008
Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’
Nepeta Ã— faassenii ‘Walker’s Low,’ selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 2007, is an excellent garden plant adaptable to almost any sunny garden in USDA cold hardiness Zones 3 to 8. ‘Walker’s Low’ creates a backdrop of silvery-green foliage and dainty lavender-blue flowers (Figure 1) and combines well with other herbaceous perennials. Like other catmints, ‘Walker’s Low’ also contains nepetalacetone, and its aromatic foliage makes catmint a good choice for herb gardens. ‘Walker’s Low’ also incorporates well in large combination containers and is suitable for alpine and arid gardens because it tolerates drought after establishment in the landscape. Plants continue to bloom all summer long, provided that spent flowers are removed. The charming blue flowers of ‘Walker’s Low’ attract butterflies and bees while the plants are rabbit and deer resistant. Nepeta Ã— faassenii, commonly known as catmint or catnip, is a hybrid of N. nepetella and N. racemosa […]
June 16, 2008
During a brisk, wintry walk in a Michigan garden, one realizes that, of the few elements of winter interest in the garden, ornamental grasses stand tall. There has been much said and written about the extraordinary versatility of the landscape use of ornamental grasses. Grasses add stature, texture, movement and fall and winter interest to any garden. Chasmanthium latifolium, commonly known as northern sea oats, is no exception. With its bamboo-like foliage and delicate inflorescences, chasmanthium is certain to interest gardeners (Figure 1A and B). Figure 1A and B. Chasmanthium latifolium plants provide movement and texture to a summer garden, while inflorescences add color and interest to a fall and winter garden. Chasmanthium latifolium is native to the United States and is naturalized from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in the Northeast to Texas and northern Florida in the Southeast. Chasmanthium is hardy to USDA Zones 4 to 9 and […]
June 11, 2008
Production Tips For Top Performers: Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Figure 1 (above). The periwinkle-â€¨blue flowers of ‘Rozanne’ are larger than those of â€¨most perennial geraniums. Figure 2 (below). ‘Rozanne’ in a 5 1/2-inch pot. Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is such a lovely plant, demand would be high even if it hadn’t been selected as Perennial Plant of the Year for 2008 by the Perennial Plant Association. ‘Rozanne’ is well-deserving of the acclaim, with numerous showy periwinkle-blue flowers accented by lighter centers and reddish veins (Figure 1). This variety is a fantastic garden performer and also very appealing in the pot. Perennial geraniums (not to be confused with the annual geraniums, botanically known as pelargonium) have the common name of crane’s bill due to the long narrow shape of their seed pods. Comprising more than 250 species, members of this very diverse genus are found throughout the world, primarily in temperate regions. Numerous species and cultivars have become key elements in classic English […]
January 15, 2018
Thomas Hermes, Owner of Hermes Floral Company, Dies at …
Thomas J. Hermes, who owned and operated Hermes Floral Company in St. Paul and Becker, MN, with his brothers before retiring in 1998, died on January 5 at age 75.
January 13, 2018
2018 Southern Garden Tour Includes Visits to Young’s Pl…
The tour is scheduled for June 5-7, 2018, and offers floriculture industry members the opportunity to view trials of thousands of new and proven plant varieties.
January 12, 2018
How pH and EC Monitoring Can Help You Manage Nutrition …
In part two of this five-part series about the tools you need to keep track of your greenhouse environment, learn about the various methods for tracking pH and EC.
January 11, 2018
Plan Ahead for Spring Season in the Greenhouse by Follo…
In a recent report on the Michigan State University Extension website, Floriculture Educator Jeremy Jubenville presents a short list of ideas that can help growers nip predictable problems in the bud, so they have more time to focus on any new situations that arise.
January 11, 2018
Dümmen Orange, Koppert Partner on Launch of New IPM Sys…
Dümmen Orange plans to incorporate Koppert Biological System’s beneficial insects into its pot chrysanthemum cuttings program, with the end goal being minimal use of chemicals further down the chain.
January 9, 2018
AmericanHort Launches New Video Series on Profit Margin…
This week, AmericanHort is kicking off a four-part video series that offers perspectives on managing profit margins from AmericanHort’s Chief Economist, Dr. Charlie Hall.
January 9, 2018
What You Need to Know About the New Tax Bill
The United Fresh Produce Association, which represents the needs and interests of fruit and vegetable growers, recently updated its members on how the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might affect their businesses. Many of the insights provided by United Fresh also apply to greenhouse growers and nurseries.
January 9, 2018
2018 California Spring Trials Dates, Times, Locations
It’s time to start planning for a great road trip in April to see all the latest plants on display. This quick reference guide will help you map out your trip.
January 7, 2018
How Direct-Stick Meters Can Help Take the Guesswork Out…
Monitoring your soil pH is critical to maintaining the health of your greenhouse crops. Try these tips for managing pH, as well as accurately testing your soil with direct-stick soil pH meters.
January 6, 2018
Why Growers Should Not Market Their Plants, But the Sol…
In his latest column, Allan Armitage says landscapers, designers, and gardeners want solutions to problems, not simply a recommendation for one more handsome plant.
January 5, 2018
State of the Greenhouse Industry: Dealing With Your Ban…
Financial institutions are still reluctant to part with capital for agricultural and horticultural growth, despite economic indicators. Here’s why banks have raised the bar on lending.
January 4, 2018
Stand-Out New Varieties That Keep D.S. Cole Growers Co…
See what new varieties stood out to Doug Cole, owner of D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, NH, this year.