This was another big year for introductions by German breeding company Dömmen. The one that caught everyone by surprise like a card trick was Black Jack, the new black petunia in the Sweetunia series. Two more trendy dark-colored companions are Sweetunias Bordeaux and Mystic, which has a dark aubergine center. Mixed with a euphorbia, these make a classy Confetti Garden combination called Bordeaux Black Tie.
In geraniums, Dömmen has introduced two interspecific series named after Latin dances, Salsa and Cumbia. These are competitively positioned against Syngenta’s Calientes and Calliopes, which have come on strong the past few years. Two series extensions focused on more compact growth habits are Empress Flair verbenas and Summertime Sweet osteospermums. These are geared for high-density production and shipping.
Five new Potunia petunias include Popcorn, Watercolor Pink, Watercolor Lavender, Pinkalicious and Blackberry Ice. Dömmen is supporting interactive QR code-driven promotions for Potunia and Confetti Garden with plans to build interactive digital, smart-phone friendly content for all of its products in the future. To inform growers who couldn’t come to Spring Trials, Dömmen is posting videos of the variety presentations on YouTube.
Dömmen also is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Confetti Garden multi liner program, which received a utility patent for multi-species liners this winter. The company is negotiating with licensees who offer competitive multi-cutting liners on the market. We already see a few companies retreating from the concept by offering single-species liners or going to smaller individual liners that can be bundled and planted together instead of rooted together. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out long term.