Armitage’s Favorites at Green Fuse, Fides/Oro, Suntory, Westhoff, PAC And Cultivaris

Shadow King 'Green-Pink Tips' Rex Begonia From Green Fuse

Green Fuse

Seeing Randy Uhl and Steve Jones at Green Fuse is always a pleasure. They are good people, honest as the day is long, and have worked very hard at making Green Fuse a mainstream breeding firm. Their Rex Begonia program is second to none, and they have added additional spectacular colors to their Shadow King line. I can’t see the market not reaching out for such beauty on the deck and patio. This is a great program – head and shoulders better than any similar programs we saw, and it just keeps getting better.

Their First light program for perennials has great advantages to the grower in that their selections allow annualization (i.e. no cold necessary) for the greenhouse producer, but with plants that still perennialize in the landscape.  I believe with a little tweaking, this program will appeal to many growers.

Fides/Oro

Dahlias have always been a strength for Fides/Oro and their Hypnotica series is a huge seller. I liked what they did by separating the dark-leaf plants into a new series – the Temptation series. The bright flower colors contrast well with the dark foliage, and the series complements the green-leaf Hynoticas well. I liked the marketing concept, and although dahlias aren’t for everyone, I am impressed with the offerings from Fides/Oro

I chatted with Goos Bartels of Bartels Stek; Goos is a well-respected plantsman and a heck of a perennial breeder. We walked the length of the perennial offerings, some bred by Bartels, some from Terra Nova, and some from other breeders. The perennial offerings are outstanding; I especially was impressed with the new series of garden phlox called the Early Starts (no vernalization needed) and their Riding Hood series of penstemons. Both work well in nearly all parts of the parts of the country, and were but a small percentage of the excellent plants that Fides/Oro has obtained through bringing Goos and Bartels under their umbrella.

Suntory

After fighting tooth and nail through L.A. traffic at noon (yes, noon!), Suntory was like a cool oasis. I walked around, drinking in the plants and even though I had already seen at least 4,567 petunias, ‘Heavenly Blue’ stopped me dead in my tracks, as it had everyone all week. Its beautiful color is another reason to take a close, hard look at the Surfinia series of petunias.

Sunrosa rose is not new, but since only one other company on tour (Ball Ingenuity) showed roses for the greenhouse and landscape industry, it is well worth discussing. The market for roses keeps getting larger, and there is room for new ones, especially one this good. ‘Sunrosa Red’ is one of my favorites, maintaining clean foliage all summer, and producing flowers all season. They are a greenhouse crop, topping out at 18 inches, a height that growers can produce and ship, and retailers can maintain. In the landscape it may attain 2 feet in height. I look forward to other colors; this is a rose you should be looking at.

Westhoff

Crazytunias have been a big step in Westhoff’s breeding and I have to say, as jaded as I am, they really are fun – and crazy. Vibrant, interesting colors that can’t help but have customers smiling as they load their plant carts. The newest, ‘Terracotta’, is equally outstanding. I have no idea how anyone can sort through the petunias to come up with a sensible order, but I recommend that these be on your list.

PAC

Wow, if some of the plants PAC are introducing perform as billed, they will really have some breakthroughs. The Two-in-One Shadow series of geraniums promises to be shade tolerant, and are said to grow and flower profusely in “impatiens” shade. I am not yet a believer, but I certainly want to be, and look forward to trying some out. I recommend anyone looking for shade substitutes gives it a go. After all, we never thought impatiens could grow in full sun, and we have SunPatiens and Sun Harmony to show us how wrong we can be.

Cultivaris

The fellows at Cultivaris have been showing off the best of the best in relatively uncommon garden plants for years. This year, I can attest they have hit the jackpot with their wallflowers. Two series, Winter and Poem, have made me a believer. Excellent colors, compact growth habit and a chance to get a substantial early plant into the marketplace. They are later to flower than some of the other wallflowers we have seen, but I know these are excellent landscape plants. Their new Boliviensis begonias, Summertime Wings also look outstanding. Try them out.

Last But Not Least

In summary, it seems as if we covered over a thousand miles, saw over a thousand plants, and saw hundreds of people. The miles are a necessary evil, but we can’t complain about the scenery. The plants were so outstanding that people would be lying if they told you they remember them all and where they saw them. We come for the plants, but it is the people that truly make the trip worthwhile. Everyone is positive, and the energy is palpable. People are tired to be sure, but it is a good tired, one filled with new ideas, new acquaintances and old friends. All-in-all, people are invigorated and can’t wait to implement what they have seen. The breeding companies threw a party and everyone came, and left with more party favors than they thought possible. We have had a ball sharing our thoughts, and hope to see you down the garden path.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

February 11, 2016

Succulents: A Mainstay Of The Green Revolution

Succulents offer many options for growers to provide waterwise, low-maintenance plants that work well for green infrastructure and other environmentally focused projects.

Read More

February 10, 2016

Poinsettia Production On The Decline

Poinsettia production is on the decline in several of the top 15 poinsettia-producing states.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Market

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 11, 2016

Succulents: A Mainstay Of The Green Revolution

Succulents offer many options for growers to provide waterwise, low-maintenance plants that work well for green infrastructure and other environmentally focused projects.

Read More

February 10, 2016

Poinsettia Production On The Decline

Poinsettia production is on the decline in several of the top 15 poinsettia-producing states.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Ma…

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triu…

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Eu…

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More

January 24, 2016

Positive Consumer Experiences Help Advance The Orchid C…

HGTV HOME Plant Collection plans to expand its Fresh Style product line through a partnership with Green Circle Growers (Oberlin, Ohio), which will supply decorative orchids, tropical plants, and indoor garden combinations. Greenhouse Grower asked Maxwell Sherer about Green Circle's orchid program, the latest trends he’s seeing, and where he thinks orchid growing is headed in the future.

Read More
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

January 20, 2016

How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Following last year’s launch of the National Pollinator Garden Network, groups like the National Garden Bureau and others remind growers that offering pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to keep up with consumer demand.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
California Coast

January 13, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The 2016 California Spring Tri…

It’s time to think about registering for the 2016 California Spring Trials. You won’t want to miss any stops along the way, so use this quick reference to help with planning for your trip.

Read More
David Roberts Bailey Nuseries Feature Image

January 12, 2016

Bailey Nurseries’ David Roberts Says New, Novel Varieti…

Roberts was recently hired by Bailey Nurseries to be the General Manager and Breeder for Plant Introductions, Inc., which Bailey acquired last year.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

January 11, 2016

Kelly Norris: Questioning The Purpose Of New Plants

Norris asks if the time has come to rethink new plant introductions, or how we market them to consumers.

Read More
Weeks Roses Miss Congeniality

January 11, 2016

Weeks Roses Introduces New Lineup Of Roses For 2016

Weeks breeds and grows a wide range of rose bushes, all of which are field tested for many factors.

Read More
CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

January 8, 2016

Floranova Opening New Chile-Based Research Station, For…

Floranova has announced it is building a new research station in Chile that will open in mid-2016. As a result, the company will not participate in the 2016 California Spring Trials, but says it will be back in 2017.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]