Knock Outs, Drifts To Face New Competition

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Greenheart's Sunblaze pot roses are like the Table To Garden roses. One key difference, however, is that Sunblaze roses are grandifloras.

Floranova

Going to Floranova/Vegetalis is always a highlight for me. They have some excellent mainstream plants and also their much-talked about patio vegetable program. I am particularly enthusiastic about Floranova’s new basket begonia –’Ikon Bronze’. I have trialed the green leaf form of Ikon for many years. It has always been a marvelous plant performer but very difficult to find in the trade. I highly recommend that retailers and brokers increase their orders now that a mini series is available.

It was also good to see wallflowers being offered in four to five colors. We have seen wallflowers in at least three different places, so it appears the market is finally paying attention to a plant that easily can complement pansies.  I don’t know how this series will perform but wallflowers in general can be quite  useful in many parts of the country. It appears that breeders are paying much more attention to this crop – will growers and brokers?

Floranova continues to look at plants like streptocarpus, vinca and pansies and are doing a fine job.

A wander over to the Vegetalis area is a fun and mouthwatering experience. Their new peppers, a bell pepper form (‘Bellina’) and a hot pepper (‘Cayennetta’) look very good, particularly in hanging baskets. The patio vegetable program is much more than just another program. It can act as the avenue to get new gardeners into gardening. People love producing vegetables, and non-ornamental gardeners may cross that bridge to the ornamental side. This is an important concept, so let’s jump on it.

Greenheart Farms

A visit to Greenheart is like a visit to the world’s fair of roses. I am always impressed by the number of programs, the types of roses and the groupings in which the roses are placed to best position them for the consumer. Greenheart works with almost all the rose breeders, so a visit there is essentially a one-stop forum on what’s going on in the world of roses.

Their programs on miniature roses should catch the fancy of anyone selling potted plants that also work in the garden. The Sunblaze and Table To Garden roses are two examples of miniatures I was most impressed with. These should be on the same tables in all grocery stores that sell those gaudy awful orchids.
Looking at the Conard-Pyle roses, I was pleased to see a new Drift rose that caught my eye: ‘Popcorn Drift.’ It looks like it might be a good white for the program.

Everyone is aware that Knock Outs and Drifts are distributed by Syngenta, so it should come as no surprise that Ball is the exclusive distributor of the new Kolor Scape and Veranda groups of roses. Both appear to have excellent disease-resistant genetics with many fine flowers. The former appears to be two-thirds the height of a Knock Out; the latter is going to be more of a patio-type rose.

As always, going to Greenheart is a treat – I would recommend it to anybody.

Dümmen

Dümmen always does a marvelous job displaying, marketing and positioning its products to enhance grower and consumer experience. The big story at Dümmen is that HGTV finally got smart, and put some of the “G” back into HGTV. The HGTV brand has suffered badly among gardeners because of the lack of gardening shows. I mean how many kitchens need to be refinished for a mere $50,000?

However, using Dümmen’s genetics, the marketing team handling this program selected some excellent plants sand combinations for the program. Welcome back HGTV! Congratulations Dümmen. Perennials, shrubs and other categories will be added in time. 
 
HGTV was but one stop, though. Around the corner was Dümmen Hall, with beautifully displayed crops and new offerings.  Some excellent new ivy geraniums (Great Balls of Fire) filled baskets, Confettis fell from the sky and new colors of petunias, calibrachoas and New Guinea impatiens were also introduced.  However, the plant that caught my eye the most was a new white euphorbia: ‘Star Dust White Flash’ The hundreds of clean white flowers and the vigorous habit should indeed act as an excellent filler. 

Always worth a visit, Dümmen did not disappoint.

Allan Armitage (allan@greenhouse grower.com) is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

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One comment on “Knock Outs, Drifts To Face New Competition

  1. Layci Gragnani

    I would like to clarify some confusion about the Knock Out & Drift collection of Roses. The Knock Out & Drift roses can be sold by two broker companies, Syngenta and Star Roses. The title of this article is slightly misleading, so I feel that it’s important to clarify that the Drift collection of Roses does not have new competition from other rose collections that Greenheart showed at Spring Trials. Greenheart is often referred to as, “The Switzerland of Roses” because we work with all of the rose breeding companies. We want all of our customers to be successful, so that is one of the reasons why we have a diverse offering of rose varieties that can be used in many different applications. If you have any questions at all, please give me a call. Layci