November 25, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: University of Georgia

University Of Georgia Trial Gardens, Athens, Ga. Trial Manager Meg Green says the summer was the most unusual of any in the past decade or more. Lower-than-normal temperatures in the high 80s and abundant rain (almost to the point of too much) marked the spring season for this intensely planted garden. Between 800 to 900 cultivars of annuals are trialed here, along with some perennials. Despite concerns about disease, Green says she saw very little evidence of it. In late summer, the rain stopped and temperatures soared past 90°F. However, nearly all of the plants continued to thrive. Top Performers: Acalypha ‘Inferno’ Caladium ‘Summer Breeze’ Gomphrena ‘Las Vegas Purple’ Hibiscus ‘Panama Red’ Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Compact HotCoral’ (in sun) (New Guinea) Plectranthus ‘Stained Glassworks Luminesce’ (coleus)        

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November 25, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

The J.C. Raulston Arboretum, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. More than 600 annuals are tested at The Arboretum. The summer was cooler than normal, cloudy and wet. Unusually for North Carolina, the first 90°F day was not until June 12. Hanging Baskets: Impatiens ‘Sonic Magic Pink’ (New Guinea) Pelargonium ‘Calliope Dark Red’ (geranium) Pelargonium ‘Calliope Burgundy’ Sundance MixMasters Mix Containers: Begonia ‘Breezy Pink’ Begonia ‘Dragone Dusty Rose’ Begonia ‘Rhine Brigitte’ Begonia ‘Rhine Red Baron’ Gerbera ‘Garvinea Orangina’ Gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Dreams’ Lantana ‘Bandana White’ Rosa ‘Veranda Brilliant’ In-Ground: Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Spreading Pink’ (New Guinea) Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Compact Red’ (New Guinea) Impatiens ‘Magnum Salmon’ (New Guinea) Ipomoea ‘FloraMia Nero’ Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ (Graceful Grasses)

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Zinnia 'Zinnia Zahara Sunburst'

November 25, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Massachusetts Horticultural Society

  Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Wellesley, Mass. The trial garden at MassHort includes 150 varieties and is composed of 90 percent annuals and 10 percent perennials. Annuals are trialed on their performance in the garden, as well as in containers, while perennials are planted only in the garden beds. An unseasonably cool, wet spring was accompanied by total rainfall more than double the average — 10.5 inches in June. July had average rainfall with periods of regionally unusual heat from 90°F to 100°F. August was quite dry with seasonably normal temperatures averaging a high of 80°F and a low of 64°F.       Top Performers: Begonia benariensis ‘Surefire Rose’ Bidens ‘Sun Drop’ Lantana ‘Little Lucky Red’ Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ (Graceful Grasses) Plectranthus ‘Cranberry Bog’ (coleus) Scaevola ‘Fairy Pink’ Torenia ‘Catalina Midnight Blue’ Verbena ‘Superbena Violet Ice’ Zinnia ‘Zahara Sunburst’

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: University of Wisconsin

University Display Gardens, University of Wisconsin, West Madison Agricultural Research Station, Verona, Wis. The UW trials feature only annuals. This year, 337 varieties were evaluated.             Top Performers: Begonia ‘Whopper Red With Green Leaf’ Gomphrena ‘Forest Pink’ Isotoma ‘Beth’s Blue’ Kwik Kombos Night in Pompeii Mix Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ (Graceful Grasses) Petunia ‘Sweetunia Black Satin’ Thunbergia ‘Lemon-A-Peel’ Zinnia ‘Zahara Double Fire’  

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University, Department of Plant Sciences, Fargo, N.D. The trials featured 200 full-sun annuals, 25 shade annuals, 16 vines and four grasses. Weather conditions during the trials were cool and rainy early and hot and dry from mid-July through mid-September.       Top Performers: Angelonia Serena Series Celosia ‘Fresh Look Yellow’ Celosia ‘Fresh Look Gold’ Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’ Gaura lindheimeri Melinis spp. (pink paintbrush grass) Petunia Tidal Wave Series Petunia Pop Rocks Series Pennisetum spp. (fountain grass) Zinnia Profusion Series Zinnia Uptown Series Zinnia Zahara Series

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Michigan State University

  Michigan State University, MSU Horticulture Demonstration Gardens, East Lansing, Mich. The MSU trials include approximately 400 sponsored entries (both in-ground and container trials), as well as more than 100 entries from All-America Selections (flowers and vegetables), the American Garden Award and Fleuroselect. Daedre Craig, annuals trial manager, says the trials had one of the wettest springs on record. There was regular rainfall throughout summer with moderate temperatures and one week-long heat wave above 90°F.       Top Performers: Angelonia ‘Archangel Raspberry Improved’ Begonia ‘Dragone Dusty Rose’ Begonia ‘Sunset’ Calibrachoa ‘Celebration Banana’ Calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous iGeneration White’ Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ Confetti Garden Mix Rockin’ Red Gerbera ‘Garvinea Jasmina’ Gerbera ‘Garvinea Orangina’ Lobularia ‘White Knight’ Tagetes ‘Alumia Gold’ (marigold) Petunia ‘Trilogy White’  

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa The wet conditions experienced by most of the Midwest delayed planting until June 3. By July 4, the rain had let up, and it was dry and hot for the rest of the season. Reiman trials 111 varieties — most are from seed. Top Performers: Calibrachoa ‘Cabaret Bright Red’  Calibrachoa ‘Can-Can Dark Purple’ Celosia plumosa Fresh Look Series

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: C. Raker & Sons, Inc.

C. Raker & Sons, Inc., Litchfield, Mich. The Raker trials are extensive and include sponsored beds, All-America Selections beds, comparison trials and multiple areas for overwintering various perennials. A Hort Couture trial area was added this year with more than 600 containers of current catalog and experimental varieties. Spring and summer weather conditions were average. It started out wet and then stayed pleasant throughout the season. Temperatures ranged from an average high of 81.8°F (July) to an average low of 49.7°F (May). Total rainfall for the months of May, June, July and August was 15.28 inches. Top Performers: Angelonia ‘AngelMist Purple Stripe’ Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Bronze’ (snapdragon) Kwik Kombos Plumtastic Mix Lobularia ‘White Stream’ Lantana camara ‘Prisma Magenta Yellow’ Pelargonium ‘Master Idols Flame’ (geranium) Plectranthus ‘Gnash Rambler’ (coleus) Plectranthus ‘Dream Catcher’ (coleus) Portulaca ‘Salmon Pink’ Zinnia ‘Zahara Sunburst’  

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Pike Creek Horticulture Center

  Pike Creek Horticulture Center, Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wis. Approximately 50 varieties were trialed at Pike Creek in 2013. Compared to last year’s extreme drought, the weather was a complete turnaround, with a cool spring and plenty of rain. The summer was mild with moderate temperatures in the 80s and few hot and humid days. Early August brought rains and night temperatures in the 40s and low 50s for a week.         Top Performers: Begonia ‘Breezy Pink’ Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’ (variegated tapioca) Petunia ‘Easy Wave Plum Vein’ Petunia ‘Easy Wave White’  Rosa ‘Peach Drift’ (rose)    

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Mo. Like many other Midwestern trial locations, the spring began with cool temperatures. There was adequate rainfall for the first half of summer, but very little in July and August. However, this was not a concern because the trial beds holding 165 varieties of annuals are irrigated. Temperatures at 90°F and above prevailed the second half of the summer.           Top Performers: Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ Gomphrena globosa Pinball Series Impatiens ‘Paradise Rococo Orange’ (New Guinea) Pentas lanceolata ‘Starcluster Lavender’ Petunia ‘Miniblast Rose’ Verbena ‘Lanai Candy Cane’

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Fuseables Burgandy Starlight Mix

November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota, Morris, Minn. The annual flower trials at the University of Minnesota put certain varieties of annuals to the test under different Minnesota conditions to see how they perform.  Top Performers: Bacopa ‘Big Falls Dark Blue’ Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ Catharanthus ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’ (vinca) Fuseables Burgundy Starlight Mix Pelargonium ‘Boldly Dark Red’ (inter-specific geranium) Plectranthus ‘Mastermind’ (coleus) Portulaca ‘Soleil Yellow’ Scaevola ‘Paper Doll Top Model’ Thunbergia ‘Lemon A-Peel’ Verbena ‘Temari Cherry Red’  

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Green Leaf Plants

Green Leaf Plants, Lancaster, Penn. Green Leaf evaluates 800 varieties of perennials, herbs, grasses, shrubs and annuals in its trial gardens. All plants are in the ground. Trials Manager Melanie Neff says the trials had a normal spring with a lot of rain and cool temperatures. The summer was also cooler than in the past few years.     Top Performers: Anemone Pretty Lady Series Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’ Delosperma Jewel of Desert Series Echinacea ‘Supreme Elegance’ Gaillardia Galya Spark Series Heucherella ‘Cracked Ice’ Physostegia ‘Pink Manners’

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November 22, 2013

2013 Field Trial Results: Lucas Greenhouses

Lucas Greenhouses has been running trials for six years, mainly growing varieties from Syngenta. This year, Syngenta/Yoder mums, as well as some new introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger, were added. Trial Manager Jason Szymanski says the trial had unseasonably cool temperatures with “tropical-like” rain, at times getting 3 to 5 inches of rain within a few hours. 2013 Top Performers: Lavandula ‘Sweet Romance’ Petunia ‘Indian Summer’ Pentas Starcluster Series Verbena Twister Series Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket’  

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November 22, 2013

Best Of Show: 2013 Field Trial Results

Greenhouse Grower asked trial managers to share which of the varieties they evaluated performed best, along with details about the weather conditions at their location. Seventeen trial managers responded, providing their best performers from hundreds of new (or recently new) varieties. This is a non-scientific poll, because not every location trialed every variety. However, there were a number of cultivars that appeared on the top performer list several times. Two varieties, Ball FloraPlant’s Angelonia ‘AngelMist Spreading Dark Purple’ and several cultivars of PanAmerican’s Zinnia Zahara series earned the most accolades. Varieties Appearing On Top Performer Lists At Least Twice: Begonia ‘Breezy Pink’ (Ball FloraPlant) Begonia ‘Dragone Dusty Rose’ (Dümmen) Catharanthus ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’ (vinca) (Syngenta-Goldsmith) Catharanthus ‘Titan Burgundy Improved’ (vinca) (Ball FloraPlant) – not pictured Celosia Fresh Look Series (Benary) Gerbera ‘Garvinea Orangina’ (Florist Holland) Lobularia ‘White Knight’ (Proven Winners) Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ (Graceful Grasses) (Proven Winners) Scaevola Fairy Series (Selecta) Verbena ‘Superbena Violet Ice’ (Proven Winners) Zinnia […]

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November 18, 2013

Check Out Cosmos ‘Pink Popsocks,’ ‘White Popsocks’ And Cat Grass ‘Tabby’ From Thompson & Morgan

Keeping an eye out for what’s different, take a look at Allan Armitage’s favorites from Thompson & Morgan, including a new color in cosmos and a barley grass.

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November 18, 2013

MSU’s Horticulture Gardens Celebrate 20 Years

Michigan State University marks the 20-year Anniversary for its Horticulture Gardens. The Trial Gardens help growers and gardeners choose the right plants, part of a gardening tradition that spans more than 150 years of history.

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November 14, 2013

Taking Time To Educate Consumers Pays Off

How many springs have we been hearing customers lament over failed echinaceas? “Fancy” echinaceas (peach, salmon, mango, yellow, doubles, shaggy, hideous) are not our native purple coneflowers — not even close. They have been infused with blood from at least four other species, none of which are as vigorous or tough as the purple coneflower. The result is that gardeners plant these unusual beauties with great enthusiasm, only to find they do not return the next year. I’m not sure how many people actually read this column, but I bet many of you are nodding your heads in agreement. From Akron to Atlanta, the complaint is the same: the new echinaceas are not long-lasting. How many times must we shoot ourselves in the foot? Soon we will need prosthetics. Little research has been done, and I am aware of no scientific papers published on this phenomenon. So what do we […]

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The team at RED FOX Las Mercedes

November 12, 2013

Two Dümmen Overseas Facilities Earn Certifications

Two of Dümmen’s overseas facilities have earned certifications: Red Fox Ethiopia reached the Gold certificate of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer & Export Association and Red Fox Las Mercedes successfully passed MPS-GAP certification for good agricultural practices. RED FOX Las Mercedes in El Salvador started working on MPS-GAP in March 2013 and is now successfully certified. Originally developed for fruit and vegetable production, MPS-GAP has been adapted for the flower industry. MPS-GAP looks at the whole production process: land use (for example avoiding erosion); parental material; training of workers and advisors; storage and use of chemicals and fertilizers; safety, health and hygiene; policies on use of energy, chemicals and substrate; call-back procedures and waste management. To obtain an MPS-GAP certificate the participant has to have an MPS-ABC certification. MPS-ABC focuses on the environmental impact: use of crop protection agents, fertilizers, energy, water and implementation of recycling programs for paper, plastic and other waste […]

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Verbena 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' from Proven Winners

November 11, 2013

Three New Verbena Superbena Introductions From Proven Winners

Three new varieties have joined the verbena Superbena line-up this year: 'Superbena Royale Plum Wine,' 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' and 'Superbena Violet Ice.'

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