August 31, 2016
The Price of Water
As restrictions and water availability continue to be a concern, growers have to research other options for conserving their most precious resource. Water has always been a vital resource, considering much of life on Earth — humans, animals and plants — require it to exist. However, water has become an even larger topic of concern as areas in the U.S. begin to experience extreme drought conditions and parts of the world see water resources drying up. Examples in the U.S. include Southern California, where the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows extreme and exceptional drought situations. As summer wanes, we are beginning to see drought situations crop up in Georgia and Massachusetts, as well as abnormally dry weather in other regions of the U.S. Related to drought, a 2014 report from the American Meteorologist Society Journal of Climate projected the Southwest would have an 80% risk of a decade-scale mega-drought in […]
August 9, 2016
Cutting-Edge Varieties Offer Increased Profitability, Improved Performance
For more than 50 years, PanAmerican Seed® has been creating exceptional flowers and vegetables, providing the highest quality seed to professional greenhouse growers, and helping gardeners around the world plant beauty in their gardens. Built on timeless classics like impatiens, petunias, pansies and snapdragons, the company continues to fine-tune these “bread and butter” products with on-trend colors, impactful performance updates, new seed technologies and production efficiencies, with the goal of improving growers’ profitability. That same commitment has opened the door to unparalleled introduction of cutting edge options like Kabloom™ calibrachoas, Megawatt™ begonias and Fuseables® seed technology.
August 9, 2016
Creative Combos and Powerful Performance: A Perfect Match
Greenhouse Grower talked with Mary O’Connor, Global Product Manager for PanAmerican Seed™, about how she chooses those luscious Plug & Play combinations, why she has to be tough on testing them, and what she sees as the future for the combo craze. Q. What do you see as the future for combos? Is it an area you feel will become increasingly popular? O’Connor: Combinations are a very popular item at retail, and sales are still growing. Although colors and styles will change over time, combinations will definitely continue to be a popular category. Most consumers have less time to create their own and can sometimes feel less confident that they will make the right choices and be successful. Shoppers want to spend their money in a wise way, with confidence that what they choose will perform well and bring them joy! It is so helpful to have a beautiful combination ready […]
August 8, 2016
Megawatt™ Begonia: It’s Not Just Big, It’s MEGA!
The entire seed begonia market continues to boom, especially in Interspecific Begonias. The all-new Megawatt series from PanAmerican Seed® pushes this must-have class to a whole new level, with great timing, a unique color and more. Great for gardeners and landscapers, these standouts deliver huge vigor, color and last-ability. Fresh, high-energy options These bigger-than-life begonias deliver the ultimate garden power. Unique Megawatt Pink Bronze Leaf is a first-of-its-kind color in Interspecific Begonias. Pink Bronze Leaf and partner Rose Bronze Leaf go to market faster to grab Spring sales…just when early-bird gardeners are clamoring for lots of color. The Megawatt Green Leaf begonias pump out extra vigor for bigger flower explosion. MEGAsize, MEGAcolor Striking, non-stop flowers keep the plants covered in high-voltage color from Spring through Fall…even in heat and drought. Sturdy stems hold flowers above the foliage for superior show versus other begonias. These easy-care, indestructible plants deliver big garden performance […]
August 8, 2016
Plug & Play™ Combos: All-New, All-Seed, All-Proven
PanAmerican Seed® raised the curtain on their Plug & Play™ combo program at the Cultivate’16 show to wide acclaim. This fresh and relevant collection is built upon internal and external testing in multiple regions. Trialing in saleable sizes begins at the PanAmerican Seed research greenhouses and in outdoor Summer containers. Then every potential introduction heads out to commercial greenhouses and to real-life gardens. The result is the assurance that every one of the 50-plus Plug & Play combos available today is proven to deliver unstoppable performance from bench to store to garden. Good for growers: Easy, economical production Each Plug & Play combo is created with best-in-class seed annuals and perennials from PanAmerican Seed and sister company, Kieft Seed™. Several of the recipes include known-by-name varieties like Wave® petunias, Kabloom™ calibrachoas and Sorbet® violas, plus assorted All-America Selections perennials. Thanks to the high-quality, cost-effective seed inputs and programmable finish times, […]
June 9, 2016
Biodiversity: A Win for Growers
In an operating environment like production horticulture that is already pushing new levels of sophistication and complexity, it may seem counterintuitive to consider adding another layer of integrated pest management such as biodiversity to the mix. But, in reality, the integration of diversity in the totality of the business environment is nothing new. Diversity Born From Innovative Thinking In the early part of the 20th century, specialization of worker roles in manufacturing processes was the genesis of the industrial revolution. Businesses realized new levels of productivity, output, cost efficiencies, and unprecedented operational scalability. Moving forward to mid- and late-century technologies, advances in chemistry and materials science created new alternatives in plastics, acrylics, and other light-weight synthetic materials with comparable strengths to metallics and glass. Electronic and computer technologies created new processes for irrigation and environmental controls. All the while, the innovations pushed the requirement for human management of these new […]
June 7, 2016
Plant Protection: Plants can marshal a variety of resources to protect themselves and much is yet to be discovered.
For more than 100 years scientists have known that once a plants survives a disease, it is often more resistant to other infections. It’s as if the plant’s immune system has become stronger, and actually, it has. What was not known then was how it worked, and researchers have been working on teasing out the underlying mechanism for decades. Being able to harness plants’ natural ability to defend themselves would give growers new crop protection tools, and indeed, that has already happened. There are two well-known types of induced resistance in plants, although there may be more. These two, systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and induced systemic resistance (ISR) are distinguished by the different ways in which the immune response is elicited. In addition, some plants have a localized, rapid response to invasion by certain insects, fungi or pathogens called the hypersensitive response (HR). Some Plants Have Rapid Response With the […]
June 7, 2016
Sensory Skills: How Plants Are Able to Respond to the Environment
Plants move, even though they don’t have muscles. They can respond to touch even though they don’t have nerves, and to differences in light and dark without having eyes. The mechanisms that make this possible are known as tropisms, growth patterns in plants in response to environmental signals. Guided by plant hormones, tropisms allow plants the ability to “move” toward favorable conditions or away from unfavorable ones, which compensates in some ways for plants’ inability to actually move. Tropisms are directional — one example is a seedling growing toward the light — and the word is derived from the Greek word trope, which means “turn.” Guided By The Light Phototropism, the response to light, is the most familiar to people. We’ve all seen plants grow toward a bright window. The first plant hormone ever identified, auxin, (also known as indole-3-acetic acid or IAA) is responsible for this response. Auxin is […]
June 7, 2016
Water Works: Sophisticated System Allows Plants To Move A Lot of Water Quickly
How does water travel from the soil into the plant and make the journey upward into the leaves? Most of the water a plant uses is absorbed by the roots; without a pumping heart, how does the water move against gravitational forces, sometimes for several hundred feet? The force at work is called transpirational pull, which can be visualized by imagining sipping a drink through a straw. Evaporation of water through stomata (tiny openings in leaves) creates the suction, pulling water continuously upward through the stem. The hotter and sunnier the day, the faster the evaporation and the faster the transpirational pull. Problems begin when the rate of transpiration exceeds the ability of the roots to absorb water from the soil (usually because the soil is too dry) and the plant wilts due to loss of turgor, or water pressure, within their cells. How It Works When water enters the […]
June 6, 2016
Hot New Varieties From Suntory Flowers
Planning for 2017? Place your orders for the best new varieties from Suntory Flowers for spring and summer sales. Highlights include Surfinia Heartbeat, Sun Parasol Apricot, Senetti Ruby Red, new breeding in Surdiva scaevolas and the new Grandessa intergeneric argyranthemums.