May 8, 2013

The New Generation Of Verbenas

Verbenas have come a long way since their early days of seed propagation and bedding plant packs. The introduction of Verbena ‘Homestead Purple,’ developed by Allan Armitage in the 1980s, ushered in a new era of vegetatively propagated verbenas. Suntory soon followed suit with their Tapien and Temari series, and breeders haven’t looked back since. Ranging from trailing basket dwellers to sprawling landscape plants, verbenas are a well-known staple in the garden. Their vivid colors and robust blooms draw customers’ attention in the garden center and spice up the blandest garden corner. Thanks to breeders’ efforts, verbenas are easier to grow than ever. Growers can now take advantage of their many benefits — multiple colors, novelty patterns, garden performance and powdery mildew resistance. Greenhouse Grower spoke with three top breeders to learn more about the verbenas they highlighted at trials this year. One thing quickly became clear; the beauty and […]

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April 16, 2013

Impatiens Downy Mildew Found In Ohio

The devastating impatiens downy mildew disease has been found in Ohio for the 2013 growing season, according to a report from The Ohio State University Extension.  “In the last seven to ten days there have been several reports of impatiens downy mildew’s appearance in the Midwest; as of this time we have two reports from Ohio,” according to an article on the Ohio State University Extension website written by Francesca Peduto Hand and Nancy Taylor. “The pathogen that causes the disease, Plasmopara obducens, is extremely aggressive on bedding plant impatiens and Ohio’s impatiens producers should be aware of and scouting for this disease.” The article cites the early symptoms of impatiens downy mildew as a slight curling or mottling of the foliage, which may be subtle. High humidity, however, can result in a heavy coating of white sporulation on the underside of the leaves. “One grower described white dust floating above the […]

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April 4, 2013

Tips for Growing Surfinia Summer Double Petunias

Suntory Flowers has reinvented double petunias with a new series bred for performance — Surfinia Summer Double. The Summer Doubles are a spinoff of the world-leading Surfinia petunias that created the entire vegetative petunia class nearly 25 years ago. Advantages growers will find in the Summer Doubles series include earliness, uniformity, heat and weather tolerance and a superb presentation. Compact plants flower profusely and early, presenting excellent coverage in a 4-inch pots and in baskets. The series is uniform across three colors — Pink, Rose and White. While double petunias are typically later than single-flowered, Surfinia Summer Doubles are the earliest to bloom in the double petunia category. In the garden, Summer Doubles are tolerant of heat and weather. The flowers remain double even at 90°F. While traditional doubles get soggy in rain, the Summer Double flowers are smaller and tightly held to shed rain with ease. As the season […]

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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 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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