June 11, 2008

Bigger, Brighter Blooms

  Ball Seed The Halios Select collection of cyclamen are eyecatching, fancy varieties that offer the same outstanding Halios performance. The DHIVA varieties are compact plants with large, thick-petaled flowers and round, flat petals that spread out like a fan. They are available in Light Purple, Pure White, Purple and Salmon. The Fantasia varieties have bicolor flowers with thick petals that are curved out at the rim like a spoon. Magenta has a white rim and up to 30 percent standard blooms. Fringed varieties include White with dark foliage and Mix. Victoria 50 varieties have 50 percent fringed and 50 percent standard blooms. Salmon and Mix are new for 2008.    Fischer USA Goldalia dahlia offer dynamic bicolor flowers (available in rose, scarlet and orange) that will wow your customers with vibrant colors and gorgeous blooms. With outstanding performance in garden beds and containers consumers will enjoy the Goldalia varieties […]

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June 11, 2008

Last Chance At Reader’s Choice Award Voting

For 20 years, Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Awards has recognized talented individuals, visionary companies and exception breeding that have played significant roles in the growth of the global floriculture industry. Make your voice heard and cast your vote for the 2008 Reader’s Choice Award. The award will be presented during the annual Medal of Excellence Awards Ceremony, July 14, during the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s nominees include: Geranium ‘Calliope Dark Red’ Breeder: Goldsmith for Syngenta Flowers       Mandalay and Bellagio Begonias Breeder: Kientzler for Proven Winners       Ptilotus ‘Joey’ Breeder: Benary       Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ Breeder: Goldsmith Seeds       To cast your ballot, click here.

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June 11, 2008

Color Spectacular

  Ball Horticultural Co. Henna coleus is very uniform with serrated foliage and a unique chartreuse to copper color with dark burgundy undersides. Ball Horticultural Co. ‘Fiesta Pink Frost’ double impatiens is the newest variety in the Fiesta series. With striking variegated foliage and pretty pink blooms, this variety works well in shady landscapes, baskets, mixed containers and patio pots.   Benary Begonia x benariensis BIG begonia series offers big flowers (2 to 3 inches), habit and landscape performance. The deep green or bronze foliage adds vibrancy and contrast to the striking red or rose colored flowers.   Benary Begonia tuberhybrida ‘Nonstop Fire’ is a truly unique, vibrant addition to the series. Named for its hot shades of yellow, gold and orange, flowers contrast against deep green foliage.    Bodger Seed American Marigold, Discovery Yellow and Orange are being introduced again, with the same compact habit that commercial growers covet. […]

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June 11, 2008

The Best For Summer Heat And Drought

 Boy, what a hot, dry mess 2007 brought to the Southeastern United States. The worst drought in 100 years strangled this area of the country, bringing landscapers, retailers and gardeners to their knees. North Georgia was one of the hardest hit areas; in Athens this summer the rain spout turned off around the first of July, and did not turn on again until November. Every day in August was above 90ËšF with 14 of those days exceeding 100ËšF. The drought was so severe, that dire predictions of running out of drinking water were broadcast every day. Gardeners were not allowed to water, at all. It was hot, it was dry, but mostly it was depressing. If stories of Mother Nature taking vengeance on Mother Earth seem familiar, it is because they are. All that changes is the location and the form of onslaught. However, ornamental horticulture has not been around […]

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June 11, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Plants that will someday be planted and grown outside in the sun and rain are often given their start inside under a roof. Creating a perfect environment indoors, with little or no help from Mother Nature, is the necessity of a successful greenhouse grower. While healthy plants in the right environment is the number one priority, it’s not the only priority. We share stories in this issue of how growers also save money and the environment, as well as make works of art, with their structures.  Cost And The Environment Concern for the wallet has turned into care for the environment. Buckley Growers Illinois, Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses and Rambo Nursery are all saving money on heating costs thanks to changes in their structures. Buckley is using methane gas from landfills to heat its greenhouses. Methane gas! Unfortunately, garbage is a renewable resource, but at least someone’s found a way to […]

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June 11, 2008

Riding The Wave Of Spring

I am quite pleased to have an opportunity to touch base with the readers during the spring rush. Having been a grower myself for 30 years, I remember how crazy it gets when you’re still planting and shipping at the same time. As we get pulled in so many directions at once, it’s easy to lose focus on quality aspects. I thought I would talk a bit about Wave® petunias and what you can do make it easier to keep a handle on the quality of your crop. The following tips pertain to all Wave varieties. When you are getting Wave petunias ready for transplant, here are a few things to think about: – The week before transplant, Wave plugs should get their last PGR application of B-Nine or Bonzi. This will help in pushing out more breaks after transplant and create a fuller plant at finish. – Make sure […]

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June 11, 2008

Jumping Right Into Sustainability!

So many words, so little understanding. So much style, so little substance. That is how I feel sometimes when climate change, immigration reform, health care and other hot-button issues are discussed. Regardless of what side of the fence one sits on, issues like these need fixing, but politics is a sticky situation and most of the time all we get are words and style. I do not want to get into a political donnybrook (heck, you don’t even let me, a Canadian, vote), so I will leave those issues to be discussed in a civilized bar over some civilized wine. However, another hot-button issue that is pervading our industry is sustainability. No one can even define the term, so it is no wonder we are all a little confused. I went to the venerable Merriam-Webster Dictionary and looked up sustainable, and read the following: “capable of being sustained.” Hmm, that […]

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June 10, 2008

Legendary Varieties

What does it take for a new plant or variety to become legendary? To revolutionize the industry? While this objective in itself may be the ultimate quest for breeders, the entire industry benefits when new markets are created and consumers receive greater satisfaction from superior products. In our January issue, we rated the significance of technological innovations in greenhouse production as part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary celebration. Last month, we asked readers at large and varieties experts to identify varieties they would consider legendary in five key crop categories: seed annuals, vegetative annuals, perennials, foliage plants, blooming potted plants and fresh cut flowers. We asked them to nominate varieties that: – Became the industry standard–Created new markets–Revolutionized a genus–Revolutionized commercial production–Became a household name with consumers We received the most input on seed annuals and a wide range of perennials and plan to pursue even more information on this […]

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June 4, 2008

Springing For 2009 At The Niagara Pack Trials

Stops at Colonial Florists, Jeffery’s Greenhouses and Vineland Research Station are part of the Niagara Pack Trials experience June 25 and 26 this year, taking place in and around St. Catharines, Ontario. The event is free. Hotel and sign-up information is available online at www.copf.org. The Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF), which is sponsoring the Niagara Pack Trials with Greenhouse Grower, also has maps and directions available online. Suggestions and event activities are listed there, as well. Growers who attend Pack Trials will see 2009 bedding varieties from at least 10 different breeders, including Ball Horticultural Co., Cohen Propagation Nurseries, Danziger, Dömmen USA, Florist De Kwakel, Gröenewald, Northern Innovators, Proven Winners, Selecta Klemm and Syngenta/Fischer USA. All three stops are within a few minutes of each other, Niagara Falls is only a few minutes away and Toronto is a short drive as well. For more information, call COPF at 800-265-1629 […]

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June 4, 2008

Mixing And Matching Selecta Varieties

Selecta has developed a list of 10 fun recipes for TrixiLiner, its rooted liner program, which roots varieties for the East Coast at Gro’n Sell in Chalfont, Pa., and for the West Coast at Sunshine Greenhouses in Provo, Utah. TrixiLiner combines three different varieties per liner using one crop. Recipes are rooted in 72-cell standard trays, and they’re already pinched and ready to grow for quick finishes. The 2008-09 recipes include Raspberry Parfait, Spring Valley, Caribbean Cocktail, Sweet Candy, Sunset, Sunrise, Cotton Candy, Twinkle Star, Ayers Rock and Blueberry Parfait. They can be viewed here, along with more information on Trixiliner.

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June 4, 2008

Armitage Updates Perennial Plant Guide

The third edition of Allan Armitage’s “Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on their Identification, Culture, and Garden Attributes” is now available with dozens of new genera, up-to-date changes in taxonomy and more than 1,200 pages. The first edition of Armitage’s book was designated as one of the best 75 books written in the last 75 years by the American Horticulture Society. The third edition is filled with information on the joy of gardening, much like the first, but it has been updated with Armitage’s new travels, teachings and trialing experiences. About 3,600 species are described in the third edition, and more than 300 color photos are placed throughout the book. To order a copy, click here.

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May 28, 2008

The Dream Backyard With Forever & Ever Hydrangeas

First, there’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Now, it’s the Hydrangea Forever & Ever $20,000 Backyard Makeover Sweepstakes. The $20,000 Backyard Makeover Sweepstakes runs through September 3, and is open to anyone 21 years of age and up. One random winner will receive a prize that includes design and installation of plant material and hardscapes by a professional landscape firm, and the Forever & Ever grower group is willing to fill the winner’s backyard with a variety of its own hydrangeas. Three Forever & Ever hydrangeas that could fill the winner’s backyard are relatively new, including ‘Peppermint’, ‘Blue Heaven’ and ‘Together’. ‘Peppermint features gorgeous white mophead blooms with a brushstroke of pink in the center, ‘Blue Heaven’ blooms are over 12 inches wide and a magnificent blue and ‘Together’ starts the summer by opening with a light green color before changing to pink or blue by midsummer. To enter the sweepstakes, […]

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May 21, 2008

Last Chance At Reader’s Choice Award Voting

For 20 years, Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Awards has recognized talented individuals, visionary companies and exception breeding that have played significant roles in the growth of the global floriculture industry. Make your voice heard and cast your vote for the 2008 Reader’s Choice Award. The award will be presented during the annual Medal of Excellence Awards Ceremony, July 14, during the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s nominees include: Geranium ‘Calliope Dark Red’ Breeder: Goldsmith for Syngenta Flowers       Mandalay and Bellagio Begonias Breeder: Kientzler for Proven Winners       Ptilotus ‘Joey’ Breeder: Benary       Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ Breeder: Goldsmith Seeds       To cast your ballot, click here. 1

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May 21, 2008

New To The Super Floral Show

A grower tour and an iron designer competition are among some new features to this year’s Super Floral Show, being held June 17-20 in Orlando, Fla. The grower tour will take place on the morning of June 17, before the show floor opens. It will include stops at Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses in Apopka and DeLeon’s Bromeliads growing facility in Mt. Dora, but space is limited to 80 registered buyers and exhibitors. Tourists will have breakfast at Hermann Engelmann, view its Exotic Angel Plants and more than 400 tropical foliage varieties and learn more about the greenhouse’s new eco-oriented growing techniques and marketing innovations. The Exotic Angel Plants program will receive Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence for Marketing this year. DeLeon’s greenhouse, meanwhile, was completed in 2006, and growers will see its state-of-the-art computerized growing system in action. The iron designer competition will take place the next morning, June 18, and […]

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May 14, 2008

Solving The Name Game

The International Association for Cultivated Plant Taxonomy (IACPT) was recently formed during the fifth International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants to provide necessary leadership in the field of taxonomy and nomenclature of cultivated plants. Members of the IACPT include taxonomists, international cultivar registration authorities, representatives of plant breeders rights authorities, industry scientists and specialists and public garden professionals. The IACPT council for the United States includes John Wiersema, Michael Dosmann and Dennis Collins. To achieve its goals, the association will sponsor symposia, publish a journal dedicated to cultivated plant taxonomy, develop databases and online resources for improving stability in the nomenclature of cultivated plants and become a vehicle for discussion on the implementation of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). For more information on the IACPT, go to www.iacpt.net.

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May 14, 2008

ASCFG Celebrates Its 20th Year

Allan Armitage and Judy Laushman formed the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) at the University in 1988. Now, the organization provides production and marketing information to 600 growers across the United States and seven other countries. One of the most popular member services is the online bulletin board, which connects growers on topics as diverse as grass control in perennial cut flowers, the best fertilizer injectors for small growers or production methods for greenhouse ranunculus. All discussions are archived, providing years of valuable information. Another online project is the ASCFG Price Index, into which members enter their own retail, wholesale and farmers market prices so that other growers can compare prices in their markets. ASCFG provides networking opportunities to its members, too, through its annual national conference and trade show. This year, it will take place September 8-11 in Portland, Ore. For more information, go to www.ascfg.org.

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May 14, 2008

Ecke Pelargonium, Geranium Breeding Relocated

As part of a planned move to focus research and product development at its corporate headquarters, Ecke Geraniums, LLC has completed a relocation of its pelargonium and geranium breeding to its Encinitas, Calif., facilities. “Having all research and development in one facility allows us to capitalize on all of our resources–people, facility and processes,” notes Steve Rinehart, Chief Operating Officer of Ecke Geraniums, LLC. Rinehart continues “We have invested in facilities here in Encinitas devoted to clean breeding of pelargonium’s, allowing for the movement of gene pool and breeder trials.” “Centralizing all the breeding activities here in Encinitas allows me to utilize our resources more effectively, and provides me with faster feedback and assessment of trials, crosses, and breeding effects,” says Margaret Schaber, geranium breeder for Ecke Geraniums. “I look forward to accelerating and enhancing the level of breeding we are currently conducting.” As part of this planned, two year […]

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May 7, 2008

Proven Winners Dresses Up The Derby

Proven Winners brought beauty to Churchill Downs as an official sponsor of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks races over the weekend. Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey and garden celebrity P. Allen Smith got a behind-the-scenes VIP tour. Our hosts were Sharon Gravitt of EuroAmerican Propagators, one of the Proven Winners founders and partner growers, and John Backert (right), director of horticulture at Churchill Downs. Gravitt’s husband Jeff Warschauer of Nexus Greenhouses also joined us, but happened to be taking this picture. Backert already was a customer of Proven Winners, buying liners from EuroAmerican for Churchill Downs and years before, when he and his wife ran a small growing operation. For the spring kickoff, he grows 30,000 plants to decorate the grounds. A few years ago, he and Gravitt discussed taking EuroAmerican’s and Proven Winners’ participation to the next level as an event sponsor. This is the third year Proven […]

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April 30, 2008

Pack Trials Plants Benefit Good Cause

The annual Charity Garden Tour & Plant Sale that follows the California Pack Trials raised a record $30,000 earlier this month for Community Resource Center (CRC), which helps abused women and children, low-income families and the homeless. Evelyn Weidner, a CRC board member, started the annual garden tour seven years ago to expose the public to beautiful gardens in North County San Diego and to support CRC. She personally selects the residential gardens included on the tour, which included stops in Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Solana Beach this year. Paul Ecke III hosted the private plant sale at Ecke Ranch, and more than half of the event’s earnings this year were raised as a result of plants sold there. “[The tour] has developed quite a following thanks to Evelyn Weidner, Paul Ecke and so many other supporters in the community,” says Laurin Pause, executive director of CRC. “Evelyn and […]

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April 30, 2008

Fun Flower Facts For Mother’s Day

The product mix between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day couldn’t be more different, but the sales dollars generated from each are just about the same according to Stan Pohmer, executive director of Flower Promotion Organization. Mother’s Day, which accounts for 25 percent of all floral holiday sales, results in $2.3 billion in floral sales. Here are some other fun facts Pohmer gathered: – Cut flowers represent 45 percent of Mother’s Day sales. Outdoor bedding and hanging baskets represent 38 percent, and flowering houseplants and foliage represent 17 percent of all sales. – Of all purchases, 64 percent are made by women while 36 percent are made by men. – According to a National Retail Federation/BIGresearch study of Mother’s Day in 2007, more than 72 percent of Mother’s Day purchasers bought some floral products at an average retail of $27.59. – Most Mother’s Day purchasers (62.5 percent) bought for a mother […]

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