March 19, 2008

Shasta Daisy Study Complete

In mid-January, the Chicago Botanic Garden released results of its seven-year study on Shasta daisy in its 30th issue of Plant Evaluation Notes: “A Report on Leucanthemum xsuperbum and Related Daisies.”  The Chicago Botanic Garden evaluated 36 cultivars of Leucanthemum xsuperbum and L. vulgare between 1999 and 2006 to identify outstanding leucanthemum for northern gardens. Twenty-seven taxa completed a minimum four-year trial, and some were evaluated for a longer period.  The top-rated daises in the study were Leucanthemum xsuperbum ‘Amelia’, L. xsuperbum ‘Becky,’ L. vulgare ‘Filigran’ and L. vulgare ‘Maikönigin,’ which earned Perennial Plant of the Year honors from the Perennial Plant Association in 2003.  All of the top-rated daisies received five-star excellent ratings because of consistent health, heavy flower production and robust habits through the evaluation period.  About half of the 36 daisies received high ratings based on heavy flower production, strong habits and adaptability to the soil conditions […]

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March 12, 2008

Plainview Growers Adds Fischer Varieties

Plainview Growers, ranked among Greenhouse Growers’ Top 25 young plant growers, is now licensed to root and sell vegetative annuals from Fischer. Syngenta Flowers acquired Fischer in 2007, so the licensed agreement means Plainview’s nationwide network of plant brokers can combine their customer’s orders for seed plugs and vegetative annuals in one shipment from a single greenhouse. The combination will save on shipping costs and increase production efficiency on both the plugs and annuals. “So far, the response from the brokers has been nothing but positive,” said Len Baum, plug manager at Plainview. “They have been the first to point out the added value this will represent to their customers.” For more information on Plainview Growers, which also produces bedding flats, potted annuals, mums, poinsettias and phalaenopsis orchids in Pompton Plains, N.J., go to www.plainviewgrowers.com.

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March 12, 2008

Grower Tool: Geranium Forum

Ecke Ranch recently launched an online geranium forum to the Ecke Ranch Tech Help Bulletin Board so growers can share information with each other and receive technical information from Ecke’s technical staff, respected industry leaders and university professionals. The forum can be accessed day and night, along with Ecke’s annual and poinsettia forums, at www.EckeRanchTechHelp.com. Users can generally expect a response from an expert within 24 hours. Topics expected to drive the site include general geranium culture, growth regulating, pest control, crop scheduling and variety selection. Anything geraniums goes, though, and all technical information offered is backed by Oglevee Products. Nearly 1,000 users have registered with the Ecke Ranch Tech Help Bulletin Board since the poinsettia forum was launched four seasons ago. More than 2,000 posts have been made on the poinsettia forum.

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March 5, 2008

Takii Buys Global Flowers

Takii, a Japanese flower and vegetable seed breeder, will strengthen its breeding capacity and sales in the flower seed industry with its recent acquisition of Global Flowers. The acquisition of Global Flowers is Takii’s second of a European flower breeding company in the last six months. Takii purchased K. Sahin Zaden B.V., a Dutch flower breeding company, back in September 2007. “We are very pleased and excited to have Global Flowers as a new member of Takii group companies,” says Denichi Takii, president of Takii & Co. “The product lines and breeding programs of Global Flowers perfectly match our goal of better serving professional and home garden customers with a wide range of high quality varieties. I believe that Takii, Sahin and Global Flowers can together create a synergy that is highly beneficial to our customers and the end-users.” Global Flowers, which employed 37 people last year, was founded by […]

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March 5, 2008

Peace Tree Hosts Novalis Open House

Excited to be the first grower for the Novalis Plants That Work by Color line of premium annuals, Lloyd and Candy Traven will host an open house at Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, Pa., on Friday, March 14, showcasing the entire Novalis program in a garden center format. “Peace Tree is extremely proud to be the very first Novalis Plants That Work by Color grower,” Lloyd says. “We have nationally known experts doing presentations (and by Candy and me). We’ll have a demonstration of just how easy it is for you to get yoru own store-specific signage, either done by us, or printed by you in-house, with your pricing and everything.We will have the production barn set up like a garden center, showing the entire range of Novalis products, fully displayed and with the entire gamut of gorgeous POP and signage.” There will be product displayed by Novalis partners Carolina […]

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February 27, 2008

STEPABLES Contest Engages Consumers

Independent garden centers carrying STEPABLES, a national brand of creeping perennials from Under A Foot Plant Company, can participate in the second annual “We’ve Got Sole” plant display contest and win prizes or donations for their favorite charity. New this year, however, is the consumer side of the contest. Consumers can also enter by submitting digital images of their STEPABLES plants fashioned along their home’s walkway, patio or water garden, for instance. “The ‘We’ve Got Sole’ contest has expanded in order to strengthen meaningful industry relationships while giving back to the community,” said Frances Hopkins, founder and president of Under A Foot Plant Company. “It is a way for STEPABLES to help garden centers connect with their customers and grower-suppliers, and motivate consumers to garden.” Consumers will be judged by best “Water-Wise STEPscape,” best “Walkway, Path or Patio STEPscape” and best “Hillside or Slope STEPscape.” Consumer photos can be submitted […]

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February 27, 2008

Tesselaar Goes To TV

Anthony Tesselaar Plants, an international marketer of high-quality plants based in Melbourne, Australia, will launch an aggressive multimedia advertising campaign this spring in the United States. The national ad campaign is designed to support Flower Carpet roses, Tropicanna cannas, Volcano phlox and other branded plant products, and it will air on HGTV and the DIY channel. Tesselaar Plants will also run an interactive and Flash video campaign online at www.hgtv.com and www.diy.com. The ads feature Tropicanna cannas dancing to a steamy South American beat, Flower Carpet roses as champs in a sports stadium and a bee delivering the buzz about Volcano phlox.

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February 27, 2008

Looking For Legendary Varieties

Just as we ranked the Top 25 Innovations in our January issue, as part of our 25th anniversary coverage we are looking for the most significant varieties and breeding breakthroughs. In the categories of seed annuals, vegetative annuals, perennials, foliage plants, blooming potted plants and fresh cut flowers, we are looking for varieties that: Became the industry standard   Created new markets  Revolutionized a genus  Revolutionized commercial production  Became a household name with consumers Please send your nominations to Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey at [email protected] 

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February 20, 2008

Skagit Adds Pack Trials Stop

Perennial propagator Skagit Gardens will be exhibiting at Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens from March 30-April 2 during the California Pack Trials. The botanical garden is located conveniently off U.S. Highway 101 past the Santa Barbara Mission at 1212 Mission Canyon Road. For more information and to schedule your visit, contact Barb Young, 800-334-1719 or [email protected]

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February 13, 2008

Novalis Adds More Growers

Novalis adds seven growers to produce annuals for its Plants that Work By Color line, while Bailey Nurseries joins the network on the perennial and woody plant side. The seven growers who recently signed on with the consortium to grow varieties for Novalis Plants That Work By Color program include: Armstrong Growers in California Beds & Borders in New York Carolina Nurseries in South Carolina Peace Tree Farms in Pennsylvania Sunbelt Greenhouses in Georgia Tanasacre Nursery in Oregon Wenke Greenhouses in Michigan  Both Carolina Nurseries and Amrstrong Growers will continue to grow the perennials and shrubs. The Plants That Work By Color program was brought into existence to provide independent retailers and professional landscapers with a fully comprehensive package of plant material and regional sourcing from a collective premium product supplier. One objective is to provide independent garden centers with new and unique merchandising with plants organized and displayed by […]

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February 13, 2008

Orchids Are Babe Magnets

Roses are red, violets are blue, and orchids are babe magnets, according to blooming potted plant grower Rocket Farms in Salinas, Calif. Rocket Farms launched a really innovative campaign to promote selling orchids to men for Valentine’s Day gift sales. The campaign, “Be A Babe Magnet,” was inspried by a real-life experience encountered by senior executive Marc Clark, vice president of operations, when he was walking through the airport carrying a potted orchid. He was clueless as women kept smiling and saying hello to him. Some even came up to chat. “The orchid is a babe magnet for the clueless guy,” he says. “Although my wife didn’t think the airport experience was funny, she definitely appreciated the orchid I brought home. It got me thinking that if guys only knew the power of these orchids, we would probably run out of stock.” The orchid already is a perfect symbol for […]

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February 6, 2008

Make Your Pack Trials Plans

With the California Pack Trials being a little earlier this year, March 29-April 6, now is the time to finalize your travel arrangements and visits. Make sure you have the most up to date information. Download the complete alphabetical list of exhibiting companies and contact information here. Or go to the National Garden Bureau’s Web site, www.ngb.org, for direct links to make appointments at each location.

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January 23, 2008

Poinsettia Production Images

Selecta First Class has posted greenhouse production images for most of its poinsettia varieties. “It is always nice to see poinsettia images from real production in the field,” says Selecta’s Stefan Reiner. “The catalog images are nice, but we all perfer real production images. During our travels, we do see a lot of production, and we started to take a lot of images.” Visit https://firstclassplants.com and click on products and care, Select poinsettias from the drop-down menu and then select varieties.

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January 16, 2008

Texas A&M Hosts Tour To Mexico

Brush up on your Spanish. Escape from winter. Don Wilkerson, Texas A&M University horticulture professor and Extension specialist is leading a week-long Spanish-language immersion study program to Cuernavaca, Mexico, Feb. 24-March 1. Whether you are interested in communicating better with Spanish-speaking employees or want to sell more plants to a growing Hispanic population, being able to communicate in Spanish and having an appreciation of Latin American culture are essential skills and experiences. Participants will have an opportunity to learn or practice functional and conversational Spanish in small classes with accredited teachers. In the afternoons, there will be educational field-study tours focusing on floriculture production and marketing. For more information regarding this unique educational opportunity, Dr. Charles Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, 979-458-3277, [email protected]

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January 16, 2008

GROWER TOOL: Pansy Primer

Syngenta has published a guide to protecting pansies that will help you manage crop growth, beat bugs and prevent foliar diseases and root rots. Download the guide here.  

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January 9, 2008

Color, Texture & Style

    Adenium Hot Pink’ is a special hybrid selection of adenium from Oglesby Plants International that is very vigorous, free branching and from a liner can produce a flowering 6-inch pot in 16 weeks. Produced from virus-tested stock to promote crop consistency and disease resistance.    Ajuga Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ from Plant Haven has elegantly scalloped, glossy foliage in midnight black. It is a vision in patio pots and combos with small, intense deep blue flower spikes and grows 4 to 6 inches tall. Available from McGregor Plant Sales.    Alternanthera ‘Brazilian Red Hots’ alternanthera from GroLink is truly hot. An upright grower reaching 18 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches in spread, ‘Brazilian Red Hots’ is ideal for combination planters and the landscape.    ‘Partytime’ from ItSaul Plants is a striking foliage plant with small, bright green leaves, broken up by dazzling reddish variegation. It has […]

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January 9, 2008

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. […]

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January 9, 2008

Syngenta Cuttings Farm Recovers From Storm Dama

The Syngenta Flowers cuttings production site in Guatemala has suffered significant damage due to high winds in the area last Thursday and Friday.   No injuries were reported; the site’s staff and their families are safe. However, a significant portion of the farm’s production area sustained major damage. This event does not affect the supply of cuttings from the legacy Fischer USA assortment. While the damage in Guatemala is severe, the site represents only a portion of Syngenta Flowers’ total cuttings supply. The company has already begun re-sourcing product through the Syngenta global supply chain and network. Syngenta is in the process of rebuilding the Guatemala facility at short notice and, as such, is confident it can resume deliveries in the third quarter. Syngenta Flowers remains committed to its customers and the high standards for sanitation that customers have come to experience from the company. Syngenta Flowers will not compromise […]

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January 2, 2008

Festive Fashions With ‘Diamond Frost’

Donahue’s Greenhouses in Faribault, Minn., had fun promoting euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ during its fall and winter holiday events by dressing up Stella the mannequin in three different outfits. “The holiday look for Stella was fun and lively,” says Kathy Donahue Nass. “Late in the summer we designed a skirt of ‘Diamond Frost,’ hoping it would become her holiday skirt. On Oct. 28, we held a fundraiser for our catholic high school and found Stella dressed in an ’80’s cheerleeding costume for the event. She received many compliments on this look. On Nov. 15 for our holiday open house, we needed to find an outfit that went with Stella’s classic personality. At an antique shop we found this classic outfit direct from Caesar’s Palace. Again, she was a stopper as you walked through our doors! And for her final look of the season Stella donned a beautiful red velvet top. She […]

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January 2, 2008

New Wave Campaign For ’08

Ball Horticultural Co. is rolling out its multimedia blitz promoting Wave petunias for the coming spring. One of the messages is, “Accept the accept the gardener in you.” An new Wave television commercial will run on leading lifestyle channels and more networks than ever before to reach a broader audience. Print advertising will continue in trade and consumer publications, as well as online advertising on popular consumer sites. There also will be a viral marketing campaign to build word-of-mouth buzz for Wave, leveraging social media like blogs, YouTube and MySpace to grow the Wave Consumer community. Public relations efforts will promote Wave in consumer magazines, radio and TV shows. Growers will be kept in the loop with post cards before and after Pack Trials and at trade shows and events. Growers will also receive the Wave Fan Club email communications and can take advantage of online support for the campaign […]

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