Day one of California Spring Trials for the Greenhouse Grower team started off in Santa Paula, where Green Fuse Botanicals revealed its biggest new offering — programmable perennial combinations. Starting off with four named mixes, including Peach Cobbler, Bottle Rockets, Butterfly Alert and Mountain Sun, Green Fuse has taken all the guesswork out of which perennials will finish together to create high-value, high-margin perennial combos.
Most combos will have four different varieties, or two cuttings of one genus and one of each of two other genera. Much like annual combos, the combos will include component plants that will all be delivered as cuttings to growers at the same time, so they can be stuck at the same time in growers’ choice of liner sizes — or growers can opt for rooted liners — and all can be transplanted into the combination at the same time, to finish.
The Green Fuse Botanicals website includes a calculator that growers can reference to find out when combos will be ready. They just plug in the date the combos are needed, then the tool times everything, tracing the steps back to the stick date so growers will know when they need to stick and transplant cuttings, and every step in between.
Other notable introductions from Green Fuse include its new QT petunia series, with a rounded, uniform and naturally compact habit that requires no plant growth regulators. According to Green Fuse Botanicals’ Steve Jones, growers would spend six times more on PGRs than on these plants, but the beauty of the QTs is that they grow slowly and steadily. The plants displayed at spring trials had been displayed six weeks prior for the Home Depot tour, and they were still very compact.
The new Grandstand series of Salvia splendens offers large-flowered, vigorous, upright salvia genetics in Red, Lavender, Purple, Salmon and a fabulous Blue Bicolor, which isn’t a true introduction this year but will be in production for grower trials. More experimental colors are on their way, including a Red variety with a white sparkle. Bred by Garden Genetics, the Grandstand series are more day-neutral than seed series, and performed well in the landscape during Costa Farms’ Season Premier in January.
Green Fuse also showcased a new Champagne series of begonias. Large flowers, nice form and a trailing habit make these a show stopper. The ‘Crystal White’ euphorbia was a standout, as well, with a ton of flowers and bright white color that will shine in the landscape.