Spring Trials 2014: Beautiful Introductions And Smart Marketing Dominate On Day 1

Love and Wishes salvia from Sunset WesternGarden CollectionSpring Trials 2014 got off to a strong start, with warm weather supplanting the much needed rainfall during the two weeks leading up to the Trials opening. This is the second year that the Trial sites have been brought closer together by moving the Southern California stops to either Central or Northern California.

Today, the Greenhouse Grower editors visited Danziger, Golden State Bulb Growers, Benary and Pacific Plug & Liner, some of which hosted other breeders as well.

Danziger (And Headstart)

An entire wall of new introductions greeted us as we walked into the Danziger trials. The varieties were color blocked with nine of each new introduction in color-coordinated pots grouped together, making a strong impact.

Several of the new introductions are more heat tolerant than past varieties: Bacopa scopia ‘Double Indigo,’ osteospermum Ostica series and its osteospermum Osticade series. Both osteospermum series require no vernalization and can grow in higher temperatures.

Other standout introductions from Danziger include petunia ‘Salmon Ray,’ which has an unusually strong orange hue, petunia ‘Cascadia Autumn Mystery,’ which has the same breeding on last year’s best performer, ‘Indian Summer.’

Headstart had its new cyclamen on display. ‘Ageha Pink Double’ blooms have an unusual umbrella habit and ruffled petals. The ruffled petals and leaves are repeated in several other Headstart varieties, including the Hirari series. Headstart also had an experimental tissue culture variety on display, which garnered a lot of interest from attendees.

Golden State Bulb Growers

Golden State Bulb Growers wants to help growers extend the sales window for callas, and most of its calla displays were geared to show how that could be done. Summer, fall and Christmas-themed calla displays captured the mood of each season. The staff mentioned that Halloween and Day of the Dead would be especially appropriate for callas, given callas early association with funerals. The Day Of The Dead has an added bonus of appealing to the growing Latin American demographic.

Golden State Bulb also had some eye-catching introductions from breeder Brian Corrreiar. The eucomis Aloha Lilies series transforms the usual pungent, unpleasant odor of eucomis (since it relies on flies as pollinators) into a lovely, coconut-like fragrance.

The second was Correiar-bred plant was sciila ‘Caribbean Jewels Sapphire Blue.’ It’s a low-input plant with a true bulb. It also naturalizes well. Expect more colors in the coming years.

Peter Beckman, Golden State’s calla breeder, developed the brand new series, Callafornia, which is highly floriferous with a more symmetrical mounded habit. Each plant had about seven to eight blooms, which were more upright instead of nodding, emphasizing its American roots with the California series name. Callafornia series plants are easy to handle and ship.

Benary
One of Benary’s big introductions is the Success series of petunias, in which all the varieties finish within six days of each other. The red, white and blue mix, Liberty, includes a red variety that finishes within an even shorter window than its companion plants and has excellent germination rates. Success has all new genetics.

Benary had great merchandising, complete with handouts growers can give to their retail customers so they can duplicate the marketing ideas. One such idea was a how-to on creating a fun-house mirror. Benary created two mirrors as part of its new Admire viola series display, which had a mirror theme.

In the Big Begonia display area, Benary offered a frothy pink cocktail, which is created from a 1930s-era recipe. The begonia series has seen a big boost in sales as a result of the concerns with impatiens downy mildew.

In the next room over, Benary hired a graffiti artist to create the signage for its Graffiti pentas series. It also set up a board with a cart stocked with spray paint cans and paint pens so visitors could add their own graffiti art.

Pacific Plug & Liner

Sunset/Southern Living collections: Offering attractive, drought-tolerant plants is especially important for Sunset plants, which targets West Coast consumers, many of whom live in arid climates and who have been suffering through a drought this past year. A couple new introductions that fit in this category are the digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame,’ which has a solid apricot color with no pink, and two salvias, ‘Love and Wishes’ salvia and ‘Ember’s Wish.’ The salvias honor the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Southern Living emphasized a yellow-berry, fringe-leaf mahonia, ‘Soft Caress,’  that won best of show at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show. It also introduced a dashing new nadina intro, ‘Lemon Lime,’ which boasts a vibrant lemon-lime hue in its new growth leaves.

MPS: MPS continues to add growers, while some of the established growers are beginning to add another layer of certification, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), along with the more commonly used ABC system.

Pacific Plug & Liner: Some of the most talked about introductions of the day were from PP&L. Hula Berries, a white strawberry with red seeds has a distinct pineapple flavor. A popular fruit in Europe, it has taken two years for it to move out of quarantine here in the U.S. It will be in limited release in 2015 with 200,000 units produced. It requires both a male and female plant, about one male to every four females.

Also on display was the highly anticipated Echibeckia Summerina series. Only the brown variety was on display, which has yellow tips and a pronounced eye. The yellow and orange varieties were not yet on display, since they had not yet fully bloomed in the production greenhouse.

Vivero: This is a 100-acre cuttings producer located south of Mexico City that has licensed and supplied American breeders, but this is the first time it is bringing its own production to the American market. Two of its standout introductions for 2014 were a couple of geraniums: ‘GEN Hot Spot Kiss’ and ‘Pac Darko Velvet Red’

Cultivaris: The breeder had many new varieties. The standouts were:

  • ‘Bella’ mandevilla has large flowers but is a compact plant. Josh Schneider says Cultivalis will begin shipping calloused cuttings by midsummer. Schneider also says the variety does not require PGRs to attain its compact form.
  • ‘Amber Alert’ gazania is among the varieties that have been named through crowd sourcing. Schneider posted a photo of the new variety on his Facebook page and asked for suggestions. He had a strong response. Another amusing variety name is the ‘Cloud 8’ verbena. “It’s too short to be called Cloud 9.”
  • The digiplexis ‘Berry Canary’ does not require vernalization.
Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Wom…

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and …

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s…

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Maryland Green Industry Associations Unite

The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association recently announced that it is expanding its reach to include the greenhouse industry, meaning it has become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

Read More
american-hort-logo

March 4, 2015

H-2B Cap Hit, Adding to Visa Program Woes

The H-2B visa cap for the first half of fiscal 2015 was hit late in January. As a result, some growers may not have access to the H-2B workers they need during the months ahead. The visa cap and resulting labor shortages will have impacts throughout the horticulture industry.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Smart Herb Garden

March 2, 2015

Smartpot Uses Sensors And Cartridges To Ensure Success …

Click & Grow helps make it simple for consumers to grow their own herbs and spices at home, even if they have little experience with plants.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Student Flash Mob At TPIE Has Roots In Floriculture

The local FFA students who entertained TPIE attendees in 2014 and 2015 received industry donations of plants and a greenhouse structure to help expand their horticultural program.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More
american-hort-logo

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More

February 11, 2015

Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Refuse to accept the status quo in your organization. Explore possibilities until you find what works best for your company.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower.com on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015

GreenhouseGrower.com Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, GreenhouseGrower.com. The new design is the product of direct user feedback and GreenhouseGrower.com analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Noble Foundation

February 3, 2015

Lloyd Noble Scholars Program Application Period Now Ope…

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is offering college students an opportunity to work side-by-side with the Noble Foundation’s renowned agricultural consultants and researchers through the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, a summer internship that provides students the opportunity to enhance their in-class education with real-world application and experiences.

Read More
Andy Higgins

February 3, 2015

MasterTag Names Andy Higgins As Its New President

Former CEO and president of Ecke Ranch, Andy Higgins, joins MasterTag as its new president. He brings more than two decades of industry experience to the position.

Read More