PW_calibrachoa_holy moly1

April 17, 2015

Proven Winners Shows Off Its Newest Plant Rock Stars At Spring Trials

With its wide assortment of plants, great presenters and an amazing location atop a hill at a spa/resort, Proven Winners is a can’t-miss stop during California Spring Trials. The Greenhouse Grower team first visited with Proven Winners’ nursery partner, Spring Meadow, where we got to see the new shrub introductions. Shrubs Proven Winners has two new hydrangea series. The Let’s Dance series is third generation breeding and boasts strong reblooming and a compact habit. The new mountain hydrangea, ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff,’ is another rebloomer and grows to 1.5- to 2-feet tall. Its leaves take on a purple hue when they encounter cool night temperatures. The attractive new Gem Box ilex, an ink berry holly, is suggested as a boxwood replacement for those areas being hit with boxwood blight. It grows to 2- to 4-feet tall and takes full to part sun, but cannot take full shade the way boxwoods can. Spring Meado Nursery  is […]

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Asian-Vegetables-Lettue-Trio-American-Takii

April 16, 2015

American Takii’s Asian Vegetable Line Is Designed To Connect With Consumers

Unlike many of the other breeders displaying at Spring Trials, American Takii didn’t have many new introductions. But it did have a new program that has prompted many visitors to post to social media — its Asian vegetables. Takii, which is well known for its vegetable breeding, is in the process of vetting the eight to 12 vegetables it will include in the program, and it should have its list fully complete by fall 2015. It is selecting plants that will be easy to use in Asian cooking and will help it stand out from the many vegetable programs in the ornamental market. The Takii marketing team designed bright-red Chinese food takeout containers to act as plant sleeves and a small booklet with five recipes. Honey Chicken With Pak Choy looked especially tasty. Take a look at how the program looks and let us know what you think.       HilverdaKooij is a […]

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HGTV HOME Plant Collection_pre-made succulent container

April 16, 2015

HGTV Incorporates Plants Into Lifestyles And Helps Consumers Solve Design And Function Concerns

When we visited Dummen’s site at Edna Valley Vineyard, the HGTV HOME Plant Collection display was teeming with excited visitors checking out the new varieties, designer mixes and concepts.

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Westhoff_Crazytunia_Swiss Dancer

April 16, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds Some Surprising Intros At Floricultura

Allan Armitage visited three breeders at Spring Trials’ newest location, Floricultura. He found several plants that made Floricultura’s debut a must-stop site in 2015. Westhoff At Westhoff, plant breeding is alive and well, with many things to embrace. The petunia program is vibrant and creative, and I am particularly confident that the Crazytunia program will continue to grow. Crazytunias should fly off the shelves because of their unique colors. Westhoff also brings more standard fare to the table. The Epic series of bacopas have large flowers and should be of particular interest. ‘Epic White’ is particularly nice. And the lobelia in the Hot series has been excellent. ‘Snow White’ adds a good white to the mix. The Hot series does tolerate heat better than most lobelias and now it has a reasonable number of colors. The plant that caught my interest the most this year was ‘Lilac Cascade.’ According to Westhoff, this […]

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westhoff_lilac falls

April 16, 2015

The New Floricultura Stop Showcased A New Interspecific Variety And A Novelty Vegetable

Floricultura is a new stop for Spring Trials that hosted Westhoff, Beekenkamp and Plug Connections. It is a welcome addition to the California tour, offering a backdrop of an impressive high-tech greenhouse with orchid production underway within a few feet of the Trial displays. Westhoff The first breeder the Greenhouse Grower team toured, Westhoff, is a relative newcomer to CAST. This German company brings its storied European history of breeding plants (it’s a more-than-100-year-old company) to the U.S. Here in the U.S., Westhoff is best known for its Crazytunia series of petunias, with its vivid and sometimes unexpected colors. It introduced eight new varieties in the series, with ‘Limy’ and ‘Cherry Cheesecake’ getting some pointed attention from attendees. The Hot series of lobelia captured a lot of attention. These lobelias are tested in Florida, Texas, California, Michigan and Colorado, and offer more toughness than we are used to seeing from this genus. The […]

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April 16, 2015

Golden State Bulbs And Sakata: Allan Armitage Highlights New Offerings

Dr. Allan Armitage was excited to see both new and improved breeding, as well as have the chance to meet breeders and talk shop at Sakata Seed and Golden State Bulb. Sakata Seed At Sakata, we wandered through traditional crops like zinnias, New Guinea impatiens, calibrachoa and petunias. However, I have always been impressed with the SuperCal program, and this year’s introduction of vibrant colors of Light Yellow and Pink really caught my eye. The flowers of Light Yellow are significantly larger than other colors in the series. I believe the SuperCals are poised for major additional sales. Everybody was talking about ‘Dragon’s Breath’ celosia, and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. It is surely hype-worthy. The plants I observed were large with obvious vigor, and the foliage was coppery with huge, bright, rose-red flowers. Apparently this is a plant that benefits from minimal inputs, such as […]

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Dummen_SunStandingseries_Salmon Pink1

April 15, 2015

Dümmen Group Updates Confetti, Debuts New Mixes And Consolidates Genetics

At two separate locations, the Dümmen Group presented its new take on several lines of plant genetics from the many companies under its brand umbrella. For the second year at Edna Valley Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, the Dummen Group presented new varieties of Red Fox plants, along with the HGTV HOME Plant Collection. Meanwhile, Dummen Group held its second trial location about 30 minutes up the road, at BarrelHouse Brewery in Paso Robles. Both locations were beautiful settings, but the vineyard provided especially lovely panoramic views through the tasting room window.

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CAST15_Suntory_Soiree1

April 15, 2015

McHutchison’s Vaughn Fletcher Reviews New Offerings From Suntory Flowers And Westhoff

Vaughn Fletcher with McHutchison Horticultural Distributors is part of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel. Fletcher recounted some of the standout varieties he saw while visiting Suntory Flowers and Westhoff during California Spring Trials.

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Basil_Persian-AAS2015_620x329

April 15, 2015

All-America Selections Launches New Perennial Trial

All-America Selections (AAS) in partnership with Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will launch an herbaceous perennial trial, with entries due this July. It will follow many of the basics of the recently launched AAS Vegetative Ornamental trial. Entries accepted will be herbaceous perennials propagated from seed, cutting, tissue culture or bare root.

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PAC Elsner_Pelargonium 'Bermuda Pink'

April 15, 2015

Kientzler Makes First Independent Display At Spring Trials, And Terra Nova Nurseries Promotes Naturally Compact Plants

The Spring Trials exhibit at Windmill Nursery in Buellton is a fairly new location as of 2014, and it continues to evolve, with a number of new suppliers presenting their wares. Kientzler, Terra Nova Nurseries and PAC-Elsner presented new varieties while McConkey, Pelemix and Dramm promoted their products.

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Hort Couture_Asclepias Monarch's Promise

April 15, 2015

Hort Couture Boosts Butterflies With ‘Monarch’s Promise’ And Gediflora Provides Mum Production Secrets

The new milkweed 'Monarch's Promise' aims to improve butterflies' forage options, and it's already working. Plus, chck out the action from GroLink's 11 displaying companies.

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Zucchini 'Brice' (Syngenta Vegetables)

April 14, 2015

18 New Vegetables For Easy Growing And Healthy Eating

Current breeding efforts have focused on vegetable varieties that cater to small space and urban gardening trends and offer consumers good performance with minimal efforts. As a result, new, easy care vegetable introductions packed with flavor and loaded with fruits have swept onto the market. Here are 18 of the newest vegetables already on the market or hitting the market in 2016.

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Asclepias-Monarch-Promise

April 14, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds Old Fashioned Plants Are New Again At CAST 2015

Day two of California Spring Trials was packed with breeders and all their new introductions and marketing. Allan Armitage found several varieties he felt were worth a second look.

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lobularia_YOLO

April 14, 2015

Dümmen And HGTV: Allan Armitage On What Looks Promising

On his third day of California Spring Trials, Dr. Allan Armitage visited two Dümmen sites and HGTV HOME Plants. (Full disclosure: Dr. Armitage consults for HGTV HOME Plants.) Take a look at the new introductions that caught his eye during these stops.

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Mast Young Plants Team

April 14, 2015

Mast Young Plants Recaps CAST Standouts At Benary, Pacific Plug & Liner, Proven Winners And Syngenta Flowers

The team from Mast Young Plants, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and part of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel, recounted their first day at California Spring Trials, and let us know what caught their attention. The team includes Jim Raterink, Laura Robles and Brian Weesies.

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CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

April 14, 2015

Floranova Adds New Colors To The Bossa Nova Series

Floranova received some excellent feedback from the market about its Bossa Nova Begonia boliviensis series after introducing the first six colors in 2014. That recognition included receiving Greenhouse Grower’s Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice Award during Evening Of Excellence at Cultivate’14. At California Spring Trials, Floranova introduced six new colors for the Bossa Nova series that it will add for 2016, and whereas the original six were bright and vibrant colors, the new ones are softer, including a new White variety.

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April 13, 2015

Keeping Your Greenhouse Vegetables And Fruits Safe: Overview Of Best Food Safety Practices

This is the first installment of a four-part series that will bring you up to speed on what it takes to fulfill food safety mandates for greenhouse production.

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Suntory_EuroAmerican Propagators_CAST2015

April 13, 2015

Suntory Flowers’ New BeeDance Bidens Causes A Buzz, While EuroAmerican Propagators Saves Water With Sipsters

At the top of a scenic lookout on the grounds of the Ventura Botanical Gardens, guests said they felt a little more zen when they left the Suntory Flowers and EuroAmerican Propagators Spring Trials site. It could have been the delicious meal, the panoramic, ocean view or the four seasons garden trail highlighting the different uses of plants at the trials site. Or it could have been because of the buzz of all the bees attracted by Suntory Flowers’ new BeeDance bicolor bidens.

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Coleus-Campfire-BallFloraPlant

April 13, 2015

Ball Horticultural Co. Jolts Life Into Gardening With CAST 2015 Introductions

Representing eight breeding companies, Ball Horticultural Co. is the anchor of the southern half of California Spring Trials. It was our last stop on day one, and overwhelmed us with options and opportunities. Ball doesn’t do anything small, and California Spring Trials is proof.

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