December 2, 2008

Benary’s Breeding Objectives

As we look ahead at our breeding objectives, one thing that remains a centerpiece of our focus is garden performance. We feel that breeding for garden performance must be a primary objective and not an afterthought in breeding. While color trends may change, scent and texture preferences may vary, one thing will always remain the same, end consumers must be successful in their own gardens if our industry and our products are to thrive. Garden performance is equally important with the landscape trade but performance is only one of the factors in product selection. To meet their needs, we will expand our offerings in products like BIG begonias, where minimal maintenance and adaptability are important features. And we are constantly looking for products like Northern Lights pentas that can tolerate cooler conditions not typical of the species, so that the geographic range of a product’s use can be increased. But […]

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December 2, 2008

Perennials For Plant People

Jelitto Perennial Seeds is a company of plant people. We love perennials and search the globe for durable species and rare gems, and keep our eyes on new versions of the tried and true. We currently offer more than 3,400 varieties. With 51 years in the perennial seed business, Jelitto is looking forward to the next 25 years serving the industry. As breeders, our responsibility is to provide well-tested quality plants, as well as the information to grow and market them successfully. Producing a select seed strain takes years of trials and decision-making. What finally makes it to market is Jelitto’s best effort, and one that is useful in as many gardening climates worldwide as possible. The needs of the young plant grower figures largely in our long-term breeding plans. Each year, Jelitto introduces seed items growers can adapt to their systems–easy to sow, consistent germination, good strong early growth […]

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December 2, 2008

Succeeding With Bedding Plants

Floriculture plants of the future must be both grower friendly and consumer friendly. Growers must make a profit on each plant they grow and consumers must be drawn to the plant on the retail shelf and receive value in postharvest and/or garden performance. The breeding at Dömmen is focused on producing plants that combine both grower and consumer traits. Important grower characteristics are disease resistance/tolerance, plants that require less greenhouse energy inputs, less plant growth regulator inputs, better branching, day-length neutral for spring plants, cold/heat tolerance, plants that fit automation, excellent shipping and excellent flower/plant “wow” on the retail shelf. Plants with these characteristics reduce production costs with more plants per square foot, less inputs of heating and cooling, less photoperiod lighting requirements, reduced chemical applications, less labor demands and reduced shrink without sacrificing the most important consumer demands. Plant characteristics important for consumers are postharvest/garden performance that include disease […]

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December 2, 2008

The Classic City Awards From UGA

The Classic City Awards are presented in November after months of evaluation in The Gardens at the University of Georgia (UGA). Plants are evaluated on foliage quality, flowering performance, disease and insect resistance and the ability to sustain landscape performance through the elements. UGA recently announced the winners. Among the annuals award winners are:– Acalypha ‘Bronze Pink’– Angelonia ‘Serena White’– Begonia ‘Ikon Blush White’– Capsicum ‘Purple Flash’– Colocasia ‘Diamond Head’– Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Vigorous Coral’– Pelargonium ‘Calliope Dark Red’– Petunia ‘Red Ray’– Scaevola ‘Surdiva White’– Solenostemon ‘Henna’ And the perennials winners:– Aruncus ‘Misty Lace’ – Coreopsis ‘Big Bang Full Moon’–Gaillardia ‘Commotion Tizzy’–Gaillardia ‘Commotion Frenzy’–Gaura ‘Snow Fountain’–Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’–Heuchera ‘Caramel’–Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’–Salvia leucantha ‘Cislano’–Tricyrtis ‘Kohaku’ For more on the Classic City Award-winning annuals and perennials for 2008, click the respective link.

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December 2, 2008

Bedding Plants Of The Future

We at Selecta believe in developing plants for the future considering three main aspects: contentment, convenience and conscience.  What do we mean by that? It is obvious that ornamental plants are used for decorating homes and gardens. They are there to enrich our lives and to bring beauty and a feeling of being in touch with nature. A nice garden area offers us a private haven. To achieve this, breeders are constantly developing new and exciting plant types, such as hanging petunias and calibrachoas, and interesting new colors. But ornamental plants need to be not only beautiful. As an industry, we need to meet the consumer’s desire to achieve more with doing less. Not everyone is a hobby gardener; hence we need to breed plants that are more forgiving and tolerant to less water and wrong planting spots, as well as parasites. These traits will offer consumer and producer benefits […]

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December 2, 2008

High Praise For SunPatiens – Even In Texas

Jimmy Turner, the director of research at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, initially scoffed at the notion of sun-loving impatiens excelling in North Texas. He later discovered the “gardening myth” behind Sunpatiens, was indeed true. And after praising them in an article, Ecke Ranch, Sakata America and Floragem donated 15,000 Sunpatiens for the arboretum’s summer and fall display. “No plant makes it into our seasonal displays without first proving its metal in our trial program,” Turner says. “We have tested the Sunpatiens the last three years and they absolutely take the full infernal heat of a Texas summer and flower constantly.”  Dave Forehand, vice president of gardens for the arboretum, thinks highly of this particular impatiens, bred by Sakata Seed and distributed through Ecke Ranch. “Sunpatiens have been the unexpected star of our summer and fall displays this year,” he says.  “Their vibrant colors and non-stop flowering have been […]

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November 24, 2008

Unrooted Suntory Cuttings More Widely Available

The genetics for Suntory’s best-selling varieties are now all available for nine of its brands, Jackson & Perkins announced last week, to give growers a more cost-effective option for producing bedding plants. The Suntory Collection unrooted cutting (URC) program will be available through the Suntory network of brokers, and cuttings will be shipped from Guatemala and Costa Rica. “Unrooted cuttings provide a fabulous product at an enormous cost savings over rooted liners,” says Lou Aguirre, Suntory licensing manager for Jackson & Perkins. “They also provide growers with more flexibility to grow premium plants in various sizes and forms.” The following brands are included in the URC program: – Million Bells calibrachoas–Surfinia petunias–Tapien verbenas–Temari verbenas–Summer Wave torenias–Angel Earrings fuchsias–Marietta bidens–Summer Splash nierembergias–Surdiva scaevolas

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November 24, 2008

A Breeder’s Challenge

The last 25 years have seen dramatic changes for grower, retailers and the end consumer. Plants have become better performers in the garden and on the bench, with brighter, longer-lasting colors and enhanced resistance to diseases and pests. But there’s always room for improvement, and the industry’s leading companies are continuously looking for ways to improve their products to benefit growers, retailers and, of course, the end consumer. Here’s what some of those breeders think the next 25 years will bring in terms of new varieties, and what’s on the wish lists of some of Greenhouse Grower’s readers when it comes to breeding better plants. Developing New Poinsettias by Paul Ecke III Bedding Plants Of The Future by Nils Klemm Succeeding With Bedding Plants by P. Allen Hammer Breeding At Kieft by Jeff McGraw The Next “It” Plant by Steve Jones Perennials For Plant People by Mary Vaananen Benary’s Breeding […]

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November 24, 2008

Young Plants Companies Unite Under Fleuroselect

Representatives from 40 European young plants companies met at the European Ornamental Young Plant Producers Convention and elected to unite under the Fleuroselect umbrella. Organizations for young plants producers already exist at the national level, but the group felt a platform was needed for all of Europe in order to network, share experiences and develop strategies. The group chose Fleuroselect for several reasons. It likes the fact that Fleuroselect encompasses production and distribution companies, as well as breeders of vegetatively propagated material. It also likes the fact that it’s an independent, non-political, international organization. Many of the 40 companies uniting are already members of Fleuroselect anyway, and all 40 will now have voting rights as members of the organization. Herman Hamer of Florensis and Josef Clodius of Syngenta will represent the group at the board level on the production and distribution business unit. Permanent working groups will be set up […]

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November 19, 2008

Winning The Gold Medal Oso Easily

Spring Meadow’s ‘Oso Easy Paprika’ was recently awarded the Gold Medal for Best Groundcover Rose at the Rose Hill International Rose Trials, held outside of Los Angeles. The Paprika received this award after a two-year evaluation, scoring highest in the shrub/groundcover category. The Paprika has a spicy orange bloom and does best in full sun. It is resistant to black spot and mildew, not requiring fungicide treatments. It grows 1 to 2 feet tall, and is Zone 5 hardy. For more information on Spring Meadow Nursery’s award-winning ‘Oso Easy Paprika’ rose, click here.

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November 19, 2008

Syngenta’s Plans For Ornamentals

Syngenta Professional Products has brought new leadership over from Europe to direct activities in North America and maximize synergies between recent acquisitions. Bert Wagemans, who was the global business manager for ornamentals, is now the NAFTA market lead in charge of business development.  Wagemans grew up in Holland and has spent the last 18 years focused on agriculture, starting as a sales manager for Rhone Poulenc Agro and then moving into international product management at Zeneca Agrochemicals. Eight years ago, Novartis and AstraZeneca merged their agribusinesses to form Syngenta, the first global group focused on agribusiness. “The last two years, we’ve seen enormous market uplift and investment due to increased demand for row crops and biofuels,” he says. “We’re just seeing the first generation of biofuels now. The next breakthrough will be cellulosic fermentation.” Syngenta’s global market for agriculture is now $60 billion compared to $40 billion before, he says. […]

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November 19, 2008

Athens Select Teams Up With Southern Living

      The Southern Living Plant Collection was first introduced in spring 2008 to solve some specific landscape challenges for the gardener. The 2009 collection will look to answer those same challenges, and Athens Select will now be bringing six new varieties to market as part of the collection as a result of a newly formed partnership. Here is a look at a few of the plants in the collection: – Begonia ‘Bonita Shea’ is a compact, mound-shaped begonia with dainty white to pink flowers borne over curled reddish-green leaves with red undersides. It grows 6 to 10 inches and blooms spring until fall. – Cuphea ‘Plum Mist’ has two-tone flowers in light and dark lavender that stand out nicely against the medium green foliage. An exceptionally free-flowering, well-balanced, low growing plant, ‘Plum Mist’ grows 10 to 12 and blooms spring until fall. – Ruellia ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ has vivid red […]

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November 18, 2008

Beyond Our Borders by Paul Ecke III

With the exception of mums and a few other classes of plants, most vegetative genera, like spring annuals, cut flowers, perennials and tropicals, are produced outside the United States today. The trend started in the early 1970s, when rising energy costs forced many domestic cut flower growers offshore, with cutting producers following. For poinsettias, the offshore movement has allowed for more competitive prices, increasing availability and substantially more volume to satisfy increasing consumer demand. After adjusting for inflation, the price of an unrooted poinsettia cutting has declined by more than 70 percent over the past 25 years. Contrary to the belief that labor is the biggest savings component, energy and infrastructure costs were the factors that were most positive when Ecke Ranch moved offshore. Additionally, the offshore movement allows Ecke to produce more than five times the volume of cuttings that were produced domestically in 1983. This has allowed us […]

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November 18, 2008

Growth Or Confusion? by Allan Armitage

There were so many to choose from, she couldn’t make up her mind–so she didn’t buy any. That was my daughter Heather’s sentiment. She was reporting back to me after I recommended a heuchera. It puts into perspective the dilemma we so often see today: balancing the need for new plants with the need to simplify the buying of any plants. “New crops are the lifeblood of our industry,” I wrote about new crops many, many years ago, and I believe that as strongly now as I did then. Back then, however, I did not foresee the landslide of new crops and cultivars that has occurred in the last 10 years. It is unbelievable. In the trial gardens at the University of Georgia, we routinely receive 50 new geraniums, 20 new verbenas and 10 new torenias every year. In the past, add 20 new impatiens, 25 New Guinea impatiens and […]

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November 12, 2008

Stepables Names Display Contest Winners

Under A Foot Plant Company and its national brand, Stepables, revealed the names of three independent garden centers that received first place honors in respective plant display categories as part of the second annual We’ve Got Sole contest. The contest included three categories: Best Definitive Display, Best Stepscapes Display and Best Use of Space. The winners include Deneweth’s Garden Center in Macomb, Mich., Natorp’s Mason Garden Store in Mason, Ohio, and Heights Flowers in Peoria, Ill. “One of our primary goals for the contest was to encourage growers, retailers and consumers to ‘Step Forward and Give Back,’ the contest’s theme,” says Fran Hopkins, Stepables president and founder. “These three garden centers really understood the meaning behind the contest and created awesome plant displays I hope will inspire other retailers to try something new and be creative.” Deneweth’s Garden Center won the first-place prize for Best Definitive Display. A check for […]

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November 12, 2008

Selecta’s Refined Selection

For 2009, Selecta reduced its poinsettia offering for two reasons: easier selection for the buyer, and to make it easier for Selecta to produce the best product it can. There are seven new varieties in the 2009 poinsettia class, and we identified two that got us excited for the holiday season. ‘Christmas Carol White’ Evolution is a new and improved variety to the early finishing Christmas Carol series. This variety is great for color mixed tubs. ‘Christmas Feelings Marble’ Evolution is improved and can be started and grown the same way as all other varieties in the Christmas Feelings series. To see all seven of Selecta’s new poinsettia varieties for 2009, click here.

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November 12, 2008

Ball Wins Award From EPA

Ball Horticultural Co. has been awarded the 2008 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness, which recognizes park districts, municipalities and corporations that make extensive and creative use of native landscaping. “This is the fourth award Ball Horticultural Co. has been presented with for the Ball Ecological Restoration Project,” says Keith Guimon, who is the coordinator of the Restoration Project.  Ball’s ecological restoration area started in 2001 and has grown into 27 acres of native restoration. Invasive plants have been removed and replaced with native ones, wildlife habit has been restored and walking trials for employees have been created. This area is located in West Chicago, Ill., where Ball’s corporate headquarters reside. An audio tour of the restoration area is also available for visitors. “Many Ball employees have been involved in this project over the years and this success is the result of a […]

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November 12, 2008

Taishan Marigolds A Standout In Beijing

Taishan marigolds, bred by PanAmerican Seed, won’t be available until 2010 but it already had a season in the sun this summer at the Olympics in Beijing, China, where it thrived amid high humidity and extraordinary heat among more than 200 plants at the games. Taishan was a prominent performer in the landscape at Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. The plant was named after the Taishan Mountains, regarded as preeminent among China’s five sacred mountains. The Taishan Mountains were elected to the World Heritage List in 1987 and are recognized as a symbol of power in the Chinese culture. Additionally, the Taishan series offers stronger branching for improved landscape performance and delivers excellent, high-impact color. It’s available in three colors: gold, yellow, orange and also a mixture. For more information about PanAmerican Seed’s products, click here.

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November 5, 2008

Oklahoma State University

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Trial Manager: Haldor Howard  Trial Location: Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City Planting Dates: Last week of May Weather Conditions: Temperatures were warm, becoming consistently quite hot by mid-July. Some night time lows were in the 80s. August was rainy. Best In Show: Capsicum annum ‘Purple Flash’ ornamental pepper–”with showy, purple spackled foliage.” Top 5 Overall: Begonia ‘BIG Red with Bronze Leaf’ from Benary–”with BIG features all around.” Celosia ‘Garden Leader Higro Yellow’ from Grimes Seeds–”with a stately posture.” Impatiens ‘Super Elfin Salmon XP’ from PanAmerican Seed–”with exceptionally strong and consistent flowering.” Petunia ‘Mini-Me Red’ from Cohen Propagation Nurseries–”with compact yet vigorous and floriferous habit.” Zinnia ‘Zahara Coral Rose’ from PanAmerican Seed–”with a nice uniform mounding effect.”

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November 4, 2008

Unique Michigan Conservatory Breaks Ground

Community leaders in West Bloomfield, Mich., broke ground on the PLANTERRA Conservatory, a 23,000-square-foot conservatory-style facility that will house exotic plants and tropical ornamental foliage, orchids and decorative pottery in the region. The facility is expected to be completed by next fall. Locals are excited about the project because it is expected to fuel the economy and bring more permanent jobs to the area over the long term. About 70 people are currently employed at the conservatory. “This project is the best of all ideas for rejuvenating West Bloomfield,” says L. Brooks Patterson, a county executive. The PLANTERRA Conservatory’s inventory will feed Planterra Corporation’s interior landscaping business, but everything in the conservatory’s collection will be open for public viewing in a botanical garden-like experience. The project is also special because of its structure. The conservatory will comprise three adjoining glass greenhouse structures with European hipped rooflines. For more information on […]

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