January 15, 2013

Peace Tree Farm’s Innovative Poinsettias

GG: What are some of the unique poinsettias you offer? Whitehouse: Since the 1990s we have grown poinsettia topiaries, starting first with large standards and moving to smaller topiaries in 8-inch and 5-inch clay pots. We called these two sizes our Tabletop (8-inch) and Desktop (5-inch clay) topiaries, suggesting to the consumer that they could be used on buffet tables, reception desks and mantles to decorate for the holidays. In 2011, we retired the Tabletop size and replaced it with a poinsettia wreath (8-inch clay), an even smaller topiary called the Elfin Tree (3-inch clay) and mini-pinched  Super Minis in 2.5-inch pots. The poinsettia shapes make up about a third of our annual poinsettia production. Since we are a trial site for Ecke, we have first chance at new colors coming to the market. In past years, colors such as ‘Ice Punch,’ ‘Luv U Pink,’ and ‘Polar Bear’ have sold […]

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January 10, 2013

The State Of The Poinsettia Market

Every year, Greenhouse Grower asks its readers to reflect on their poinsettia crops, prices and the overall state of the market. Growers of all sizes responded to our survey, and the results are in for the 2012 season. Here is a look at some of the most notable statistics. For the full whitepaper results, visit GreenhouseGrower.com/February2013. Poinsettia Production Varied From 2011 While the majority of respondents (42.1 percent) increased poinsettia production overall, the percentage of growers that produced the same number or fewer than last year both clocked in at 28.95. When it came to novelties, however, 44.74 percent of growers produced the same number over the last two years, with 31.58 percent producing more and 26.38 percent growing fewer plants, respectively. The number of poinsettias in the dumping pile was stable with 64.7 percent dumping zero to less than 5 percent of their poinsettia crop compared to 69 percent in […]

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January 7, 2013

Dendranthema Igloo Series Adds More Colors

The Igloo series of perennial garden-mum-like dendranthemas brings tremendous flower power to the summer and early fall perennial border. Three additions add depth to the series, bringing new flower forms and a new color to round out the mix:‘Fireworks Igloo’ with pink spider flowers;  ‘Icicle Igloo’ with white daisy flowers and ‘Sizzling Igloo,’ which features yellow daisy flowers. All combine well with the decorative flower forms of others in the series: ‘Cool Igloo’ (raspberry), ‘Frosty Igloo’ (white), ‘Rosy Igloo’ (coral red), ‘Sunny Igloo’ (yellow) and ‘Warm Igloo’ (orange/bronze). Versatile Performers Igloo boasts show-stopping balls of blooms for instant fall color in the ground or in containers. Compared to other perennials, the Igloos offer tremendous bloom time, ease of care and:•    First-year flowering perennial•    Domed habit with a height of up to 2 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide•    Masses of blooms up to 2 inches in diameter•    Uniform flowering •   […]

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December 17, 2012

9 New Mystic Mums To Try In 2013

Growers of Fides Oro’s Mystic Mum line of chrysanthemums now have nine new color choices in addition to the 25 colors already available. Bred especially for large flowers, a flexible, mounding growth habit, outstanding color retention and long shelf life, Mystic Mums have an additional benefit: easier scheduling for growers. Depending upon the cultivar, flowering begins very early and continues late into the season under natural conditions. New Colors For 2013 Are: ‘Daybreak Bright Yellow’ (very early) — Rich, yellow decorative flowers with outstanding color retention. ‘Daybreak Pure White’ (very early) — Pure white decorative flowers for the very early natural season market. Excellent flower quality with a bit of an upright mounding habit. ‘Sunbeam Bronze Bicolor’ (early) — Bronze-gold two-toned flowers, nice for bushel baskets or any fall natural-season program. ‘Sunbeam Dark Bronze’ (early) — Flowers start out red and finish dark bronze. Uniform round habit. ‘Sunbeam Red’ (early) […]

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December 11, 2012

How To Create Vibrant Mum Combinations

Garden chrysanthemums are easy to manage when basic guidelines are followed, and they allow growers to explore many options, such as creating combination containers. With the expansion of garden mum families in recent years, combinations have become easier than ever to design and produce. Building combos with members of the same family allows for consistency in habit, timing, flower forms and crop scheduling. When experimenting with garden mum combinations, key choices for the best outcome include the Cheryl, Emma, Gigi, Jacqueline, Stacy, Ursula and Victoria families from Yoder Mums by Syngenta Flowers. Container Size And Spacing Matter For Mums For a vibrant and dramatic color effect, some families can be mixed with individual varieties. However, the differences in plant size, habit and timing might lead to an inconsistent and unreliable finished product. Combination trials are recommended to determine the best outcome based on your environment. When producing garden mums, keep […]

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December 3, 2012

Selecting Fertilizer Formulations To Manage Plant Growth

Growers have several tools at their disposal to manage the finished height of crops — from negative DIF to plant growth regulator applications. Certainly, the rate of fertilizer application — like 150 versus 250 ppm nitrogen (N) — influences plant growth rate and size. But beyond this, an often overlooked strategy of growth management is in the selection of the fertilizer formulations used to provide plant nutrients. The formulation is presented on a bag of fertilizer as percent N to percent phosphorus (P2O5) to percent potassium (K2O). The specific nutrients to evaluate when your focus is growth management are phosphorus and nitrogen. Restricting (but not eliminating) phosphorus in the fertilizer source is a great growth management tool. Phosphorus availability often limits plant growth in nature, and phosphorus deficiency can be used to stall growth and stretch. In fact, the first visual indication of phosphorus deficiency is smaller, darker-green foliage. More […]

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August 17, 2012

Ecke’s President Explains The Sale

Consolidation among greenhouse growers has become so commonplace these days that it sometimes goes almost unnoticed. The sale of a third-generation industry fixture like the Ecke Ranch, however, gets everyone’s attention. The Dutch-based Agribio Group, owners of a number of breeding and propagation companies including Fides Oro, announced its acquisition of the Ecke Ranch on August 16, 2012. We spoke with Andy Higgins, president of the Ecke Ranch, immediately following the announcement to learn more about the reasons for the sale and the future of the company, the brand and owner Paul Ecke III. Q: Why did Paul Ecke decide to sell the family business?Higgins: It was really Paul’s reflection that the needs of the marketplace are changing so rapidly – and have been for quite some time. He wanted to create an environment where the company could thrive going forward. I’ve been with the company almost 25 years. When […]

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August 2, 2012

Gro Link’s New Introductions: 2012 New Varieties Guide

Chrysanthemum ‘Aluga Yellow’ Chrysanthemum ‘Amiko Bronze’ Chrysanthemum ‘Amiko Yellow’ Chrysanthemum ‘Espero Yellow’ Chrysanthemum ‘Mabel White’

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July 24, 2012

Tips For Poinsettia Production

Potting: Immediately after planting, drench with a broad spectrum tank mix of Subdue Maxx at 1 oz/100 gal (or Truban WP at 8 oz/100 gal) + Medallion at 1 oz/100 gal (or Cleary’s 3336 WP). Also consider using broad-spectrum combination products such as Hurricane or Banrot. Media: pH: 5.6 to 6.0 (measured in a saturated slurry). Use a peat-based media such as Fafard 2 Mix or 1P Mix or a bark-based media such as Fafard 4P Mix or 3B Mix. Fertilization: Depending on light level, age and growth rate, constant feed with 225 to 250 ppm nitrogen for dark-leaf varieties and 250 to 275 ppm nitrogen for medium-green-leaf varieties is recommended. Feeding with low nitrogen at 100 tp 150 ppm nitrogen works well as long as all other nutrients (especially potassium, calcium, magnesium and micro-nutrients) at a high level. Make sure to run trials first before using this strategy on […]

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July 9, 2012

Chrysanthemum Mystic Mum Series: Medal Of Excellence Nominee

Besides its beauty, this series offers growers more scheduling flexibility. The wide variety of cultivars begin flowering very early and continue late in the season under natural conditions. Color choices range from yellow to bronze, pink and purple.

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January 26, 2012

How Growers Fared With Poinsettias

Some independent retailers won’t admit it, but the product quality box stores are pushing these days is becoming yet another challenge for those competing against them. Angelo Petitti sees the improvement. Petitti, a grower-retailer with Casa Verde Growers and Petitti Garden Centers, cites last Christmas as an example. He says box stores in Northeast Ohio greatly affected the independents’ cut Christmas tree sales because they offered a vastly improved selection. Couple the improved quality with a price that’s even more attractive than the independent retailer’s, and grower-retailers like Petitti will have to devise new strategies this year. Box stores weren’t just offering an improved selection of cut Christmas trees, though. Poinsettias are yet another item in which box store quality is becoming comparable to independents. “It used to be you could (only) get a big beautiful poinsettia at a garden center, and the cheap ones were at the box store,” […]

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