Green Fuse Botanicals Is Building Up First Light Perennial Program

Salvia Grandstand Red Pink Lipstick
New for 2016, Salvia ‘Grandstand Red Pink Lipstick’ is a magnet for nectar-loving birds and butterflies.

Green Fuse Botanicals moved to new facilities in Santa Monica, CA, a few years ago to expand its abilities to evaluate new plants and accommodate the new genetics it planned to bring to the market. It is currently concentrating on adding more first-year flowering perennials to its First Light program.

The new additions will strengthen the company’s programmable perennial combinations program, introduced in 2015, which features perennial mixes specifically designed to finish together for targeted selling dates. Green Fuse also continues to work on inter-species breeding, looking for varieties with heat tolerance that will take summer temperatures, and the California drought has prompted a greater emphasis on developing products that require less irrigation.

The company recently built a tissue-culture lab in Santa Paula, CA, that will allow it to market some of the more unique tissue-culture items that cannot be supplied from offshore and to be more consistent in supply. One new product debuting at California Spring Trials 2016 and produced from the Green Fuse lab is a large-flowered Lupine Staircase series that will start with four initial colors and expand to include a multitude of solids and bicolor varieties.

Randy Uhl, Technical Sales Support Representative at Green Fuse Botanicals and the Henry F. Michell Co., says Green Fuse has found that working with growers in a more direct way is very beneficial for trialing and the introduction of new varieties, but the follow-up with each facility can sometimes be problematic.

“Folks are busy and the product is tough to locate in the sea of other plants,” he says. “However, it is an important step because knowing what went right or wrong with an introduction before it is available to the rest of the grower community is crucial.”

Because early flowering perennials that finish in week 9 or 10 are ideal for Green Fuse’s First Light program, the company often trials short days from winter to spring while the rest of the industry is producing product. After an initial evaluation, the products are then re-trialed in the summer and fall at Green Fuse’s Santa Paula R&D facility and at other locations around the country.

One change for Green Fuse and other breeding companies, Uhl says, is the pressure to introduce new products and have a full pipeline to keep the attention of growers and retailers. This is particularly true with big box companies, who are always on the lookout for new products to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Green Fuse hopes to keep including fresh and exciting categories to its lines (and not just me-too items), which is a big challenge.

Another obstacle for breeders in recent years, Uhl says, is the restrictions on moving plants from one continent to another. This has changed a great deal over the past five years and will only get tougher.

“New genetics may be fewer just because countries cannot import new plants for introduction,” Uhl says. “Therefore, we may see new breeding be done internally versus picking up genetics from abroad.”

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Proven Winners and Danziger

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More

April 20, 2018

California Dreaming Takes on a Whole New Meaning at CAST 2018

At California Spring Trials 2018, the Greenhouse Grower team witnessed the revitalization of a company, plus some awesome merchandising displays, and efforts toward automation.

Read More

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Bailey Nurseries, and More

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Pr…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More

April 20, 2018

California Dreaming Takes on a Whole New Meaning at CAS…

At California Spring Trials 2018, the Greenhouse Grower team witnessed the revitalization of a company, plus some awesome merchandising displays, and efforts toward automation.

Read More

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More

April 19, 2018

CAST 2018: Dr. A’s Favorites From Syngenta Flowers, Bai…

From an exciting perennial to a new white begonia, Allan Armitage says these showstoppers deserve recognition.

Read More
GG-and-Benary-Team

April 19, 2018

Spring Trials Rookie Inspired by Connections

The Allan Armitage Scholarship recipient has added a number of industry connections during his time at California Spring Trials, and discusses what that means to him and his career.

Read More
Benary 2018

April 18, 2018

At CAST 2018, Sakata Captures Consumer Attention Spans,…

More than halfway through the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team had a busy but fantastic day seeing dozens of our friends at American Takii and Benary, and spending time talking about the industry's past and its bright future.

Read More

April 18, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Varieties to Watch F…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from American Takii, Hilverdakooijj, Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, Sakata Ornamentals, and Ernst Benary of America.

Read More

April 18, 2018

How the Horticulture Industry’s Past Shaped Its P…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says the stories of plant origins help ground our industry to the people and places that have changed us.

Read More

April 18, 2018

Dr. A Weighs in on His CAST Favorites From American Tak…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Dummen-Christmas-Decorating

April 17, 2018

Dümmen Orange’s New Gamechanger, Plants for All S…

Greenhouse Grower's California Spring Trials Team headed north on Day 3, with stops at Dümmen Orange in picturesque San Luis Obispo and Floricultura in fertile Salinas.

Read More
Verwer-Dahlias

April 17, 2018

Syngenta Flowers Acquires Netherlands-Based Dahlia Bree…

Syngenta Flowers has reached an agreement with Verwer Dahlia BV to acquire the company’s dahlia assortment and breeding program. Both companies expect to finalize the acquisition in the coming weeks.

Read More

April 17, 2018

Armitage Scholarship Winner Weighs in on Plant Breeding…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says breeders' persistence in making small and large breeding improvements is a testament to their passion and dedication to excellence.

Read More

April 17, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: Stand-Out New Plants fro…

Check out these new plant introductions from the California Spring Trials 2018 trail featuring breeding from Dümmen Orange , Westhoff, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.

Read More

April 17, 2018

Allan Armitage’s Noteworthy 2018 Plant Intros fro…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Artemisia-Plant-Display-at-Terra-Nova

April 16, 2018

CAST 2018 Provides Fresh Inspiration for Infusing Marke…

The  second day of California Spring Trials took the Greenhouse Grower Team to GroLink in Oxnard, CA, and then up the coast to Windmill Nursery in Buellton. Here are some of the marketing, display, trend, and people highlights we saw at those locations, as well as some beautiful scenery from our evening in Pismo Beach.

Read More
Lavender-Madrid-Lavish-Green-Fuse-Botanicals

April 16, 2018

Allan Armitage’s Spring Trials Favorites From Green Fus…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Echinacea-Kismet-White-Terra-Nova-Nurseries

April 16, 2018

Terra Nova Nurseries Debuting New Heuchera, Echinacea V…

Terra Nova Nurseries has created profile pages for these new varieties on its website to help growers learn about growing habits, plant characteristics, and other insights provided by the breeding team.

Read More
Danny-Takao-Allan-Armitage-Andrew-Scheldorf

April 16, 2018

Armitage Scholarship Recipient Reflects on Conversation…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, is realizing the power of networking and building relationships in the floriculture industry.

Read More