McGregor & Florexpo Grow Organic Herb Cuttings

McGregor Plant Sales and Florexpo now offer USDA Certified Organic herbs for U.S. and Canadian markets. With offshore certified organic unrooted cuttings, growers will no longer have to hold their own mother stock in organically certified houses for 12 months before being able to ship.

“We owe a lot to Tim Wada and The Plug Connection for helping us get started,” says Doug McQueen, vice president of McGregor Plant Sales in Carlsbad, Calif. “Plug Connection has been committed to organic production for years and they were looking for a partner to help them with their vegetative liner production.”

After touring Florexpo in Costa Rica in October of 2006, Wada connected Florexpo with California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF) to develop the protocols which would be approved in an audit. The California CCOF auditor became the consultant in Costa Rica and wrote the production and traceability manual and performed the mock audit. After preparing this way, the Costa Rican CCOF auditor was invited to the Florexpo facility and granted certification in September 2007. For several months Florexpo has been shipping certified Organic unrooted cuttings to The Plug Connection. Also, Florexpo quitely introduced the program to a few key growers.

“The reception has been encouraging,” McQueen says. “Growers are looking for a way to get into the game without the expense of holding mother stock for a year. They also recognize that certified organic is a pedigree that can earn them better margins and loyal customers. We did a quiet and careful release because this is an important program for our industry’s future. Our goal was to ensure the logistics and the quality of cuttings met expectations before we began wide-scale distribution.”

After strong success with early shipments, McGregor Plant Sales is selling most of the availability in the first wave of production. The second wave of availability will come online in June 2008, as a new block of production crosses its 12-month holding cycle. Florexpo owner Fernando Altmann’s son, Fernando Altmann Jr., has returned to the farm as head grower for the organic program. He is a specialist in organic and sustainable production and earned a decree in horticultural science from the prestigious EARTH University.

Beyond the standards, Fernando Jr. has taken production to a level ahead of expectations. Florexpo’s organic production now requires zero procurement of pest control or fertilizer chemicals. Pest control is achieved in fully enclosed greenhouses with beneficial insects, beneficial fungi, organic fumigation and strict adherence to sanitary requirements.

Florexpo has been using a “Killer Fly” predator of whitefly. Killer Flies consume whiteflies and when the population is down, it consumes its own population. The Killer Flies are gathered in an interesting way. Florexpo periodically vacuums plants with 6-inch mouth vacuums. If there is a gathering of whitefulies with the mix of Killer Flies, they take the bags to a cooler. The whiteflies have a lower tolerance for cool temperatures and will fall first. The remaining population in the bag are Killer Flies, which are released back into the greenhouse.

These practices and discoveries are important to the future of the organic movement, the company says. Florexpo shares its discoveries with partner customers to strengthen the economics of growers it serves. McGregor Plant Sales will offer the organic herb program and will help growers find certifying agencies in their states.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “McGregor & Florexpo Grow Organic Herb Cuttings

  1. Everybody needs to do this even if you can’t make much of an impact, we all need ‘Victory Garden’ to get through the financial crisis. If it causes us to rediscover the organic path, those who survive will be glad you did.

  2. Everybody needs to do this even if you can’t make much of an impact, we all need ‘Victory Garden’ to get through the financial crisis. If it causes us to rediscover the organic path, those who survive will be glad you did.

More From Varieties...
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About Varieties; They Talk About Solutions

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Latest Stories
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About …

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from Cali…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Sprin…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Cosmos ‘Apollo’ (Floranova)

March 14, 2017

Begonias, Dahlias, and More for 2018 from California Sp…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Pennisetum First Knight Feature

March 11, 2017

Now is the Time for Growers to Plan for Fall Perennial …

If you haven’t already put in your orders for the items you’ll sell this fall, it’s time to start now.

Read More
Dianthus Pink Kisses Selecta Feature

March 8, 2017

Growing Tips for Selecta’s Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’

Kyle Peterson, Production Manager at Fessler Nursery, grew Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ on a trial basis and says he was pleased with its performance.

Read More
Limbo GP burgundy picotee

March 7, 2017

New Petunias and Calibrachoas for 2018 from California …

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new petunias and calibrachoas that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Butterfly on a Pollinator Plant Feature

March 7, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why You Should Focus on the Functionali…

New crops are great, but Armitage says selling plants by function makes more sense.

Read More

March 5, 2017

2016 Young’s Plant Farm Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More
kelly-norris

March 4, 2017

Kelly Norris Describes How Growers Can Help Plant the F…

The tough plant varieties unique to their regions could be the urban superstars of tomorrow.

Read More
Welby Gardens field trials

March 2, 2017

2016 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Zinnia 'Zahara XL Fire Improved'

March 1, 2017

2016 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Read More
Geranium Combos feature

February 27, 2017

Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…

Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.

Read More
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Christmas Joy Marble'

February 20, 2017

5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition

With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.

Read More
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More