May 23, 2016
What’s Good For The Environment Is Good For Business [Opinion]
Investing in technology to become more sustainable “always goes hand in hand,” says Abe VanWingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses. “If it is good for the environment, it normally is good for business over the long term.” That connection was abundantly clear in the responses we received to this year’s Top 100 Growers Survey. VanWingerden points to three investments Metrolina has made as good examples of how technology can reduce an operation’s carbon footprint and pay dividends financially. Its biomass system burns locally sourced waste wood — a renewable resource; its ozone water treatment system cleans irrigation water, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and improving plant quality and precision growing; and electrostatic sprayers reduce water and chemical use, and provide more targeted chemical applications. Other Top 100 Growers have found VanWingerden’s theory to be true, as well. Costa Farms’ investment in solar energy panels on three buildings at its […]
May 16, 2016
Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Talk Technology, Automation, Sustainability, And Marketing
The Top 100 Growers are already by nature some of the most technologically advanced greenhouse operations, due to their sheer size and need for efficiency. Many of the largest growers also serve big box merchandisers and home improvement chains, where prices are dictated, so producing plants at the lowest possible cost is essential to growers not only staying in business, but also profiting and expanding their operations. This year’s survey focused on the automation and technology the Top 100 Growers are investing in, and how these advancements have improved their operations, as well as how they have affected growers’ labor issues. We also asked growers about how they’re solving labor issues, where they’re recruiting new hires, and how they’re keeping their people committed. Lean management programs and sustainability certifications have become higher priorities in the past several years, due to growers’ needs to run efficiently and focus attention on sustainable […]
May 3, 2016
Hot Pink Wave-Rave Van Making Its Way To The Big Apple To Promote Wave Petunias And Pansies
Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business, when you’re passed by two smiling, waving, happy women driving a hot-pink van that’s adorned with petunia and pansy flowers. That’s not something you see every day, but motorists in the Midwest and Northeast may catch a glimpse of the Wave-Rave van this week as Ball Horticultural Co.’s Claire Watson, Product Marketing Manager, and Katie Rotella, Marketing Communications Manager, make their way to a media tour and plant giveaway in New York City. Watson and Rotella visited Cleveland’s WOIO Channel 19 news on Tuesday morning to tell consumers about Wave Petunias and Wave Pansies, and remind them to visit their local garden centers to purchase gifts for Mother’s Day this weekend. Check out this clip on Periscope. After the morning news, the ladies stopped by to visit the Greenhouse Grower staff at Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH. Next stop: Chelsea Garden Center in Brooklyn, NY, where […]
April 28, 2016
Holistic, Integrated Approach To Pest Control Rooted In Research
Greenhouse growers have been practicing integrated pest management for decades, but it’s becoming increasingly more important with the continued scrutiny of conventional pest control by a number of “regulators” — government, retail, and consumers. I just returned from Meister Media Worldwide’s Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference, in Monterey, CA, at the beginning of March this year, which served 450 attendees and 50 exhibiting supplier companies. It’s clear from the presentations and the growing attendance at this specialized event — now only in its second year — that use of biocontrols in IPM will continue to be adopted widely, as more growers get past their personal hurdles of doubt and intimidation, and embrace a new way to approach pest and disease control. Many growers think of using biocontrols as an all-or-nothing approach, but ultimately, IPM is about balance. Growers will need to continue to focus on IPM, integrating chemistry with biology, because […]
April 20, 2016
Syngenta Flowers Opens Its Perennial Genetics To The Market, And Plans To Change The Future Of Pentas And Geranium Breeding
California Spring Trials 2016 visitors to Syngenta Flowers found the breeder company and its employees happy and excited for the future, in the wake of the announcement of its acquisition by ChemChina. Now Syngenta Flowers is ready to move forward with its breeding efforts in geraniums, pentas, and other crops, and it is opening its perennials offerings to the whole supply chain for a better chance to get those plants to retail. Syngenta Wants To Revolutionize Geranium Breeding The big news in this year’s trial, says Karl Trellinger, Technical Services Representative at Syngenta, is the change in Syngenta’s breeding efforts in geraniums and pentas. The Calliope geranium series, long considered a premium line in the market, is getting a makeover. Growers have told the breeder that they love the colors available in the Calliope series, but the plants are just too vigorous for smaller containers and combinations. As a result, […]
April 20, 2016
Proven Winners Funds Gardening “It Couple,” Names Plant Of The Year For 2017, And Promotes Retail Concepts
Since 1992, Proven Winners has been changing the gardening game, and it’s not stopping now. With new plants, improved series, and interesting retail customers, the brand aims to make planning easier for growers, and make gardening easier and more fun for consumers. At its new 2016 California Spring Trials location at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, Proven Winners had the space and a beautiful setting to lay all of its offerings out, from new and improved varieties in annuals, perennials, and shrubs, to marketing and retail programs. Check out the slideshow for highlights. Proven Winners Is Flexing Its Marketing Muscle One of the ways Proven Winners is working toward better use of its products and gardening in general, is by supporting the gardening authorities that gardeners of all ages trust on social media. Director of Marketing Marshall Dirks says while searching for influential gardeners, he came across a young couple in […]
April 19, 2016
Golden State Bulb Company Shows Off New Concepts In Callas
There’s no question that Golden State Bulb Company’s specialty is in breeding virtually any color of Calla Lily, available in about any habit — cut flower, bouquet pot, upright pot type — the list goes on. But now, the bulb specialist is focusing on making calla lilies more accessible to the masses, for use in combination planters and the landscape, with calla six-packs. Calla breeder Peter Beckman showed us the shrunken-down version of these beauties, and they’re certainly perfect for patio pots, planting along paths or at the front of the garden, or en masse for an elegant statement. This presentation makes it easy for consumers to pick up and use callas, without the intimidation they might feel from a bulb crop, says Dr. Allan Armitage. They’re also versatile for growers to plant in early to mid-February to add to finished containers in the spring, or to sell in […]
April 14, 2016
Westhoff, Beekenkamp, PAC-Elsner And Plug Connection Present New Offerings At Floricultura
Floricultura-Pacifica in Salinas opened its doors to invite California Spring Trials visitors to experience new offerings from European breeders including Westhoff Flowers, Beekenkamp, and PAC-Elsner, as well as California native The Plug Connection. While there, it was interesting to witness the ongoing and highly automated production of orchids, as well as construction of more greenhouse space happening simultaneously. As is tradition, Westhoff Flowers invited its visitors to flag their favorite combos at the entrance, and showed off its unique assortment of annuals, as well as a few concepts. The breeder is working loosely with Florist Holland to show mixes used with Westhoff Flowers — or Westflowers — annuals and Florist gerberas in the center. The combinations are bright and cheerful, and spur a happy reaction in those who have seen them, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this concept going forward. Another new idea is putting together […]
April 13, 2016
HGTV Celebrates New Simplified Order Fulfillment And Extended Retail Relationships
The HGTV brand continues to grow, as consumer interest in products associated with the popular home improvement brand increases. Streamlined ordering will help growers improve plant quality and reduce frustration. This year’s big deal at HGTV is its new alliance with young plant grower EuroAmerican Propagators. The partnership allows one-stop-shop ordering for young plants, which will allow growers to receive the plants for containers at the same time, so they can be stuck together, in an HGTV box. Previously, growers would often receive cuttings from multiple locations, at different times, in boxes that didn’t indicate they were from HGTV. This caused growers to not be able to stick cuttings at the same time — a major issue in production, especially for combination plantings. Rolling out to Lowe’s Canada stores, HGTV simulated a mass merchandiser display, to demonstrate how that would look. It’s important to the brand, says representative Maria Zampini, […]
April 13, 2016
Dümmen Orange Presents Its Impressive Annuals Collection At Edna Valley
Dümmen Orange’s Edna Valley Vineyard location is a favorite California Spring Trials stop for its view, food, and beverage. But this year’s trials in San Luis Obispo also yielded a number of new variety introductions, new combos, branding, and a streamlined distribution and ordering method that will improve communications and reduce headaches for growers and brokers. With two farms in Guatemala and one in El Salvador, the company revealed it will generally assign annuals production to Oro Farms in Guatemala and Las Mercedes in El Salvador, while the perennials and herbs it acquired with the Florexpo acquisition in 2015, and its new succulents program will be produced at its Antigua Flowers facility, formerly owned by Paul Ecke Ranch. This shift was made to accommodate crops’ environmental needs, as well as to simplify ordering and fulfillment, says Tom Costamagna, National Production Manager at Dümmen Orange. There will be some exceptions, depending on […]
April 12, 2016
EuroAmerican Propagators Brings In-Ground Tests Back To California Spring Trials
EuroAmerican Propagators’ decision to move its California Spring Trials (CAST) location back to its Bonsall headquarters was deemed risky by some, and applauded by others who said they enjoyed seeing the older format of actual trials at the company. The location included in-ground trials and container trials, and included genetics from a number of breeders who submitted them. For the past few years, EuroAmerican has collaborated with Suntory Flowers on a CAST location at the Ventura Botanical Gardens, but this year, the grower opted to hold its own open house back in the San Diego area. Many have gotten used to not traveling as far south, but as of the first day of the open house, Friday, April 8, EuroAmerican had received a number of visitors, despite the rainy and cool conditions. The in-ground trials were meant to simulate real growing conditions with real-life challenges in the garden, compared to […]
April 12, 2016
Sunny Skies And Beautiful Varieties At GroLink Provide Inspiration At California Spring Trials
At GroLink in Oxnard, CA, on Sunday, the sun finally came out, after a day of pouring rain on Saturday. So the breeders and growers were happy to be outside, and the mood was positive and sunny, matching the weather. This is a massive stop with several breeders displaying on site. Here are the highlights of what we saw at each supplier’s display. Sun-Fire Nurseries T. Jay Higgins was on hand to talk about the new Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol Apricot,’ an addition to the popular Sun Parasol line with peachy, creamy flowers. This vigorous grower was presented in traditional pots with trellises, but also in gorgeous hanging baskets. That’s more for the independent retailer, Higgins says, as it’s difficult for big box growers to ship, but it certainly makes for a premium item. Next up was Suntory, wearing its heart on its sleeve with the newest addition to its petunia […]
April 12, 2016
Terra Nova Nurseries Explains New Distribution Model; Kientzler Presents Expanded Product Line And Partnerships
At Windmill Nursery’s California Spring Trials location, Terra Nova Nurseries, Kientzler, KiwiFlora, and Kapiteyn presented their new varieties and concepts for growers’ and retailers’ consideration. Terra Nova Nurseries Terra Nova Nurseries had several nice introductions, featuring unique genetics for growers looking to offer something a little more distinct. Dicentra ‘Amore Pink,’ a hit at the Costa Trials due to its long bloom time, was on display, along with the intergeneric X Mukgenia ‘Nova Flame.’ Even though ‘Nova Flame’ came out last year, Terra Nova didn’t have plants set then, so the team wanted to give growers a second look at this Zone 3 variety. The shade-loving X Heucherella ‘Plum Cascade’ is a color breakthrough in trailing types, bringing the heuchera colors into heucherellas with a nice burgundy. Begonia ‘Revelation Maroon’ is a big-leafed trailer with rose-red leaves and olive-green veins. Begonia, ‘Angel Blush’ sports palmate leaves with green veins. It […]
April 11, 2016
Selecta’s Petunia ‘Night Sky’ Is Officially On The Market; PanAmerican And Kieft Tout The Benefits Of Seed
Ball Horticultural Co. is an anchor of the Southern California Spring Trials, and there's always a lot to take in at this stop. So much so that we decided to bring you our observations in two separate articles. Here, you'll find highlights from PanAmerican Seed, Kieft Seed, Selecta, and Ball Ingenuity.
April 6, 2016
CAST 2016: New Shrubs For 2017 Build The Foundation For Modern Landscapes [Photo Gallery]
Shrubs, or woody ornamentals, are the foundation of many landscapes, and provide a beautiful pallette from which to paint a work of art in nature. With so many innovative new shrub varieties coming on the market, consumers can choose from various sizes and shapes to create their own version of the modern garden. And with the housing market showing few signs of slowing down and homeowners who are eager to replace plants lost over the past few bitter winters, the market for woodies is improving. Breeders displaying at the 2016 California Spring Trials are happy to present their new shrub varieties, which you can see in the slideshow below. There’s enough color, texture, and interest in these new introductions to capture the imagination of gardeners and plant lovers of any experience level. If you missed our other slideshows, don’t worry — you can check them out here. Because so many annuals are […]
April 5, 2016
9 Cool New Edibles Provide The First Taste Of The 2016 California Spring Trials [Photo Gallery]
Let’s face it — edibles are all the rage, as gardeners of all generations get ready to test their green thumbs and culinary skills. The promise of a juicy strawberry or a ripe tomato, fresh from their own garden, makes their mouths water. According to a recent report by the National Gardening Association, food gardening in the U.S. is at its highest levels in more than a decade, with 35% of all households in America (more than 42 million) growing food at home or in a community. The low-maintenance, new varieties coming on the market are making food gardening better and easier than ever, and providing opportunities to bring new foodies into the garden center. Breeders displaying at the 2016 California Spring Trials (CAST) have provided a sneak peek at some of the edibles that will be ready for retail in 2017. Check out the delicious new fruit and vegetable varieties […]
March 31, 2016
The Floriculture Industry Needs A Unified Message To Promote Plants, Flowers, And Gardening
Seeing the sneak preview of the new varieties that will be presented at California Spring Trials (CAST) spurs a visceral reaction in me. I’m giddy and excited about these gorgeous plants, having taken in some of their beauty and excellent performance already at Costa Farms’ Season Premier. I’m excited to travel to Spring Trials and that spring is coming, and I’m ready to dig in and get gardening. I’m guessing many of you feel the same way. And it’s likely that consumers do, too. Nearly a year ago, upon returning from California Spring Trials, I lamented the absence of ideas translated from CAST to retail. The beautiful displays, the breathtaking combinations, the clever marketing — somehow, all of that effort and enthusiasm focused on business-to-business promotion is not being funneled effectively to the consumer. As an industry, we are not good at working together to market our products in a clear, […]
March 30, 2016
Sakata Signs Agreement With Indonesian Government To Cooperate Under The Convention Of Biological Diversity
This week, Sakata Seed Corp. announced internationally that it has signed an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia to cooperate in the further development and production of its line of SunPatiens interspecific hybrid impatiens, based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under an agreement based on the CBD, Sakata Seed has worked with the Indonesian government since the early 2000s to identify the origin of the native germplasm collected in Indonesia to develop SunPatiens, and the two parties have agreed on how the indigenous genetic resources will be used for the further development of SunPatiens. There are currently only a few cases in the world of such an agreement, based on the CBD in the category of horticultural plants, made between a resource-rich country and a commercial seed company. Greenhouse Grower contacted Sakata Seed CEO David Armstrong to provide context about this agreement, what it means […]
March 29, 2016
California Spring Trials: New Blooming Potted Plants Coming For 2017 [Photo Gallery]
Blooming potted plants are the gift that keeps on giving for consumers, and the growing opportunities in the gift plant market are opening up new possibilities for growers and retailers. Flower breeders exhibiting at the 2016 California Spring Trials (CAST) have several new blooming beauties of the potted plant variety to show off for the 2017 spring season. Before you head to California in a few weeks, take a look at the slideshow to get a preview. Which ones will you incorporate into production for 2017? If you missed our annuals slideshows, don’t worry — you can check them out here. Because so many annuals are revealed at CAST, we had to build two slideshows — one for the Northern Region and one for the Central Region. Also, check out new perennials that will debut at the 2016 CAST. In the coming weeks, you can also see new woody ornamentals and edibles. Also, look […]
March 23, 2016
P. Allen Smith Says SunPatiens Are Hero Plants For Consumer Success
Plants that ensure consumer success with disease resistance bred into their genetics, and ease of use in a variety of conditions, are heroes for gardeners, especially beginners, and they should be celebrated and supported to promote gardening success and interest. These are the messages the award-winning designer, gardening, and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith wants the horticulture industry to know, with the recent announcement of his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed. In an exclusive interview with Greenhouse Grower, P. Allen Smith describes his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed to promote SunPatiens and why the now 10-year-old series helps both novice and expert gardeners to be successful. Smith also collaborates with Sakata to promote the HomeGrown Collection of vegetables. SunPatiens Set Consumers Up For Success, Smith Says As a plantsman first, Smith has extensively trialed SunPatiens in his gardens at Moss Mountain Farm in Little Rock, AR, and says he is […]
March 18, 2018
New Soil Amendment From Kemin Promotes More Efficient N…
Valena, a soil amendment sourced from a proprietary strain of Euglena gracilis (algae) rich in beta-glucan, is designed to support the growth of healthy and strong plants.
March 17, 2018
National Garden Bureau Once Again Bringing Garden Write…
The National Garden Bureau is again hitting the road for California Spring Trials (CAST) with influential garden communicators, with the goal of connecting breeders and brokers with consumers via these influencers with large followings.
March 14, 2018
Dramm Offering New Video Chat Option for Service Issues…
The Dramm Corporation recently introduced two new resources for its greenhouse grower customers to deal with indoor growing conditions.
March 14, 2018
Bell Nursery Acquired by Central Garden & Pet
Greenhouse Grower just learned that Bell Nursery, headquartered in Elkridge, MD, has been acquired by Central Garden & Pet Company, a leading innovator, producer, and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets.
March 13, 2018
California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …
Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Benary, Thompson & Morgan, American Takii, Sakata Seed, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.
March 12, 2018
Eason Horticultural Resources Adds to its National Sale…
Roger Kehoe joins the company as a Sales and Production Management Expert. He was most recently the Director of Young Plant Production at the Color Division of Costa Farms.
March 11, 2018
National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture Releases …
A new series of four #PlantsDoThat Inside infographics focuses on the multitude of ways indoor plants affect where we live, where we work, where we heal, and where we learn. The first two infographics are now available.
March 10, 2018
Segovis Fungicide Now Available to Ornamental Growers i…
Segovis, from Syngenta, features a unique active ingredient that helps control downy mildew and Phytophthora.
March 9, 2018
GCA Announces Complete Seattle Garden Center Summer Tou…
The Garden Centers of America Summer Tour in Seattle will feature visits to some of the most unique plant retailers in the Pacific Northwest.
March 8, 2018
Southern Nursery Association to Award $18,000 in Schola…
The deadline for application is May 27, and 12 scholarships are expected to be awarded.
March 7, 2018
BASF Names New Director of Its Specialty Crops Business
Stephanie Jensen will focus on new and innovative solutions for growers in the pest control, turf, and ornamentals markets.
March 6, 2018
California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …
Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Spring Meadow Nursery, Syngenta Flowers, Danziger, Cohen Nurseries, Hishtil Nurseries, Jaldety Nurseries, and Nir Nurseries.
March 6, 2018
How Green Leaf Plants Continues to Thrive in the Young …
During a time of uncertainty in some sectors of the market, Green Leaf Plants remains committed to supplying industry-leading plant quality, with a diverse product line.
March 6, 2018
Allan Armitage: Columnist, Author, Professor … Te…
Dr. Allan Armitage is well-known in the horticulture industry for his passion for plants. That passion also applies to tennis, as evidenced by his tennis team’s run to a national championship.