March 18, 2013

Syngenta Adds ‘Twister Red’ and ‘Twister Purple’ To Verbena Lanai Series

Two new additions to the popular Verbena Lanai series, ‘Twister Red’ and ‘Twister Purple’ feature unique flower patterns that add excitement and value to grower and retail offerings. Large flowers bloom continuously throughout the season and are ideal for hanging baskets, mixed and monoculture containers. These two new cultivars join ‘Candy Cane,’ ‘Vintage Rose’ and ‘Twister Pink’ as Lanai Premium Selections. This subset of the award-winning Lanai series includes innovative, never-before-seen colors and patterns that will differentiate any retail program. All Lanai varieties offer grower-friendly production with an easy-to-control and uniform mounded-trailing habit. These vigorous plants quickly fill planters and baskets for faster greenhouse turns and impressive retail displays. They are free-flowering and provide lavish blooms and outstanding color coverage for stunning displays all season.

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March 7, 2013

From Seed To Shelf: The Origin Of A New Variety

What does it really take to develop and launch a major new variety into the market in 2013? We decided to find out by following the path of Greenhouse Grower’s 2012 Editor’s Choice Medal of Excellence winner, the Cool Wave pansy. Cool Wave was introduced at Spring Trials in 2012, sold in some markets last fall and is ready for its first full spring right now. It was the brainchild of PanAmerican Seed Head Breeder Troy Thorup, who was on a quest for a trailing, cool-season plant to fill the empty window boxes he saw while working in Europe. “Around the time I started with PanAmerican, there was a recognition in Europe of the need to fill these window boxes that were planted in late spring, summer and fall with geraniums and other things,” Thorup says. “They were so beautiful. Then winter comes, they die, and you have empty window […]

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February 1, 2013

Metrolina Announces First Winner Of Its Plant Of The Year Contest

Metrolina Greenhouses is asking consumers what they want in a plant, rather than just trying to guess. In its first-ever Plant of the Year competition, 15 plant breeders were asked to submit their best plants, which were then evaluated by a panel of 56 average garden consumers across the United States. The plants were subject to a range of growing conditions and environments. The 2013 Plant of the Year winner is  Petunia ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum’ from Proven Winners. Learning And Confirming Industry Suspicions Since August 2011, Metrolina has been surveying a group of home garden panelists. This group is comprised of average gardeners representing the most significant plant consumer demographics. From this home garden panel, Metrolina has collected a wide array of consumer market data, including seasonal color preference, shopping habits and more. In 2012, the Metrolina marketing team determined that the year’s survey questions would be focused on “learn […]

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January 31, 2013

All About Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

If you’re looking for a sure winner that’s tried and true, Geranium ‘Azure Rush’ is it. A sport of Geranium ‘Rozanne,’ which was the 2008 Perennial Plant Association Perennial Plant of the Year, this cultivar features all the same great traits with a few distinctions. ‘Azure Rush’ is a lighter blue color than ‘Rozanne,’ and it ambles while ‘Rozanne’ rambles. This means it is more compact with shorter internodes, resulting in a neater, low-growing, mounded habit. Powerhouse Perennial Turn up the heat and ‘Azure Rush’ continues to thrive, providing long-lasting color from late spring through fall. It also boasts: • Amazing flower power with large 2.5-inch flowers • Vigorous growth, compact and self-branching • A mounded habit that is 18 to 20 inches tall with a 24- to 28-inch spread • First-year flowering • Hardiness  in USDA Zones 5 to 8 and AHS Heat Zones 12 to 2 Versatile Performer […]

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January 15, 2013

Terra Nova Nurseries Introduces New Heuchera And Begonia Series

Terra Nova Nurseries announced two new 2013 Sneak Peek introductions are now available to growers: Heuchera ‘Glitter’ and a begonia series called Begonia Garden Angels. These new introductions are among many new cultivars the company will be introducing to the marketplace this year. Heuchera ‘Glitter’ has mirror-bright silver foliage and contrasting black veins. This variety produces bouquet-type, exotic fuchsia-pink flowers during the summer months. Additionally, Heuchera ‘Glitter’ has an ultra-neat, clean habit, making it easy to grow and maintain. For optimal performance, ‘Glitter’ requires sun to shade exposure and well-drained, organic soil. This variety has an average size of 11 inches wide, 10 inches high and a flower height of 15 inches. It is best for USDA Zones 4 to 9. Terra Nova Nurseries’ new Begonia Garden Angels series includes three varieties: Begonia ‘Garden Angel Blush,’ Begonia ‘Garden Angel Plum’ and Begonia ‘Garden Angel Silver.’ As a whole, the series […]

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January 1, 2013

To Grow Or Not To Grow

Despite well-documented cases of impatiens downy mildew, impatiens still tops the list of bedding plants in terms of flats sold. Based on the 2011 Floriculture Crops Summary, 8,353,000 flats were sold in the USDA’s 15-state sample. In the potted plants category, impatiens are in fifth place behind vegetative geraniums, pansies, petunias and seed geraniums (in that order). They’re fourth in quantity sold among annual bedding plants in hanging baskets after petunias, vegetative geraniums and New Guinea impatiens. Impatiens walleriana is clearly still a mainstay crop for many growers. The dilemma that many face is what to do this season. In general, consumers are not very aware of the disease and will still be expecting to purchase impatiens this spring. Many retailers are aware, and some still want to provide what their customers are looking for. Landscapers in affected states will probably stay away from impatiens, since damage is most severe […]

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Begonia 'Whopper Rose Bronze Leaf' (Ball)

December 10, 2012

Begonias Provide A Shade Alternative

If you’ve felt the impact of impatiens downy mildew, it’s time to capture maximum share of the increased demand for plants that fulfill shade applications. It’s time to consider begonias. Because they offer both flower and foliage appeal, expanding your begonia crop can help you meet your customers’ multiple garden needs. From colorful landscape fill to premium shade hanging baskets and interior houseplants, there’s a begonia variety for everyone. Basket begonia sales are intensifying in the garden center, and for good reason — there’s exciting new breeding coming to market, and the baskets look amazing in the store. Million Kisses is bred to be the most vigorous Begonia boliviensis on the market, with large-size, season-long blooms and the added bonus of low-maintenance and care. The entire series — ‘Elegance,’ ‘Amour,’ ‘Devotion’ and new ‘Honeymoon’ — makes a brilliant display in lush hanging baskets and brings appealing garden color for shade […]

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December 3, 2012

Everything You Need To Know About Impatiens Downy Mildew

Editor’s Note: This article was written with the assistance of Ball Horticultural Company’s “Grower Guidelines” on Impatiens Downy Mildew and plant pathologist Dr. Colleen Warfield. For the most recent version of grower and retail guidelines, visit www.ballseed.com. Impatiens downy mildew is a destructive foliar disease of Impatiens walleriana that is capable of causing complete defoliation or plant collapse, especially in landscape plantings under moist conditions and cool nights. While there have been sporadic reports of impatiens downy mildew in U.S. greenhouses since 2004, it was not until the summer of 2011 that regional outbreaks of this disease were seen for the first time in landscape beds and container plantings in North America. In early January 2012, outbreaks of impatiens downy mildew were observed in landscape beds and greenhouses in south Florida. It is unclear whether this was a continuation of the 2011 outbreaks or a new cycle of disease for […]

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December 3, 2012

How To Grow SunPatiens

As part of an innovative breeding project, Sakata Ornamentals created an impatiens plant with a vigorous root system that can truly withstand and thrive in full sun, partial shade and heat.

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December 3, 2012

Growers Look To Limit Downy Mildew Losses

Downy mildew on Impatiens walleriana has been confirmed in more than 30 states, primarily in the eastern half of the United States. In 2012, the disease first started to be seen in Florida and then made appearances up the East Coast and in the Midwest during the spring and early summer. Landscapes in drier areas in the East were affected by the disease in late summer. Impatiens downy mildew also appeared in Texas, Washington, Oregon and the Gulf Coast states in 2012. “The disease was identified in only 13 states in 2011 and in 33 states in 2012,” says Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, N.Y. “Even though a state was noted as having the disease, that doesn’t mean the entire state was affected. It means that a particular state had a case reported. It could have just been […]

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November 26, 2012

Focus On Dahlia Fertilizer

Dahlias can be grown from seed, plugs, liners or tubers. The newest dwarf varieties have brought intense color and appeal to our customers, which makes this crop a staple value-added selection for the early spring holidays. Fertility Early On In propagation, dahlias prefer to be kept in evenly moist media at a pH below 6 (5.5 to 5.8). Before the signs of first leaves, begin to fertilize with calcium-based formulas, like 15-0-15 or 13-2-13 at 75 ppm. The calcium in these formulas is associated with nitrogen as NO3, which is easily taken up by newly forming root systems. After seven to 10 days, increase your fertilizer rate to 100 to 150 ppm using the same formula for another seven to 10 days. After these initial two weeks, you can use the same formula selection or incorporate a more potentially acidic fertilizer like 21-5-20 as an alternative to keep the pH […]

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November 19, 2012

How-To Production: WonderFall Trailing Pansy

In recent years, advances in pansy breeding have brought a new class of pansies with trailing growth habits to market. These pansies have great sell-through at retail in spring and fall because of their unique spilling habit, floriferous growth and continuous flowering. The new WonderFall pansy series from Syngenta is an example of a trailing pansy with large blooms, specialty flower colors and a vigorous, well-branched habit. Plug Culture Production time for WonderFall pansy is four to five weeks for 288-cell trays and five to six weeks for 128-cell trays. For optimum germination, maintain media temperature at 65°F to 68°F and relative humidity at 95 to 100 percent until radicle emergence (about two to five days). On day six or once cotyledons emerge, reduce humidity to 40 to 70 percent, alternate media moisture between medium and moist, lower night temperature to 60°F to 65°F and increase light levels to 1,500 […]

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