Proven Winners’ New Superbells, Syngenta’s Improving Kwik Kombos And More

The Kwik Kombo Plumtastic Mix includes Lobelia 'Techno Heat Violet,' Petunia 'Whispers Lavender Eye' and Verbena 'Lanai Deep Purple'

Allan Armitage, who is traveling with the Greenhouse Grower team, sees plants through different eyes than most other visitors at Trials. Each day he’ll tell us what catches his attention and why. It may be a plant with great promise for consumers, or it may be a program that makes life easier for growers. Keep up to date with what’s happening this week in California with Dr. A. Today he shares his favorites from Proven Winners and Syngenta Flowers.

Proven Winners:
I can’t wait to see the landscape performance of Lobularia ‘White Knight,’ a new introduction from Proven Winners. ‘Snow Princess’ “made” the alyssum market what it is today, but many growers and retailers found that it was too aggressive to put in a mixed container.  The color is good, the habit appears much improved, and if it plays better with others, we have a winner. There’s only so much space for new alyssum cultivars, so I think ‘White Knight’ is something we’ll be looking closely at.
Regarding new introductions of calibrachoas, I think Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’ was one of the finest new calibrachoas I’ve seen in many years. That’s saying something, since I look at 75 of them every year.

‘Lemon Slice’ is part of the Superbells series, and Proven Winners’ newest entry, ‘Pomegranate Punch,’ seems to be very closely aligned with the other Punches in the series. Consumers, landscapers and people in retail stores seem to like bicolor flowers more and more. ‘Pomegranate Punch’ provides that look.  I am a bit of skeptic as to the need for one more calibrachoa, but there’s no doubt about it — ‘Pomegranate Punch’ is beautiful.

Another plant worth noting from Proven Winners is a perennial catmint — Nepeta Cat’s Meow.’ I believe nepeta could be a big genus for breeders, as there are many different forms already available, yet lots of room for expansion.  While I haven’t seen the landscape performance of ‘Cat’s Meow’, I am pleased to see Proven Winners making a serious push to get a better nepeta in their program.  The habit is compact, the flowers are upright, and the plants are “cute.”

I believe as a filler plant with important woody plants like roses, the possibilities nepeta offers have no limit, and this one also offers great possibilities in mixed containers. My goodness, if we can sell bacopa, we can certainly sell nepeta. With Proven Winners’ genetics and market expertise, I have every confidence this is going to be on grower benches very soon.

Syngenta
Syngenta has an absolutely spectacular winner with the new Pentas Starcluster series. What really impressed me was the vigor of the plant (there is nothing “dwarf” about this one), the size of the flower and the stem strength. Given the fact that they were grown in a warm greenhouse, I’m truly impressed with the strength of the stems. I think the industry is ready for a more robust pentas and this one appears to be able to spit out heat and humidity — I am in love!

The Kwik Combos certainly caught my eye. I’ve been looking at combinations for many years, and while they were very nice, they had not been on top of my list for great landscape performance. However, in my trials and all my travels last summer, I was really impressed with the Kwiks’ performance relative to combinations from other companies.

With what I saw today — three new combinations to complement a much improved series of Kwiks — I believe growers, retailers and consumers definitely should not be ignoring this group of combination plantings. The company is putting money, time and expertise behind this product, and they have it nailed! Take a good look at the new combos; you will be pleased.

The third innovation at Syngenta that very much impressed me was not a single plant, but a program to reduce crop time of some important plants. It will also help ensure that some of Syngenta’s best plants remain in production.

The program, called Cutting Time, is based on excellent science and innovative production techniques. It uses callused cuttings to be sure that some difficult-to-propagate crops such as ‘Nirvana’ vinca and ‘Scentopia’ heliotrope not only remain in production, but can be produced far more quickly and with better results by the grower. Syngenta chose nine different crops to place in this program, and I believe it to be an important breakthrough in production. We all need great crops, and we all want to save time on the bench — this program is a potential no-brainer — take a close look.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

January 18, 2017

2016 C. Raker & Sons Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornamentals

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower on New Venture

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
Latest Stories
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

January 18, 2017

2016 C. Raker & Sons Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornament…

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower o…

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
Dipladenia Sundenia

January 11, 2017

New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…

Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.

Read More
craspedia-golf-beauty-danziger-feature

January 9, 2017

Growing Tips for Craspedia ‘Golf Beauty’

Laura Robles of Mast Young Plants offers advice on ‘Golf Beauty,’ a novelty plant with can’t-miss yellow flower heads and silver foliage that blooms throughout the summer.

Read More
Bride with wedding orchids.

January 7, 2017

How to Stand Out in the Orchid Market

With the popularity of the Phalaenopsis orchid growing and its saturation in the market, orchid growers are hunting for new ways to stand out from their competitors.

Read More
California Coast

January 3, 2017

Expect Big Changes for California Spring Trials 2017

California Spring Trials 2017 will be here before you know it. Find out what you can look forward to and get a head start on planning and registering for your trip.

Read More
westerlay-orchids-feature

January 1, 2017

How Westerlay Orchids Solved Its Bacteria Problem

Water-borne bacteria was causing havoc with Westerlay Orchids’ production, so the company took preventative action to ensure the health of its plants.

Read More
nepeta-purple-wave-with-roses

December 30, 2016

Allan Armitage: Plants That Can Bring Success in the Ne…

Are you wondering which plants to grow? Here are some perennials, annuals, and herbs that are gaining popularity.

Read More
Honeybelle combo

December 27, 2016

19 New Combos for Containers Big and Small

Check out 19 combos and mixes new for the retail marketplace in 2017 that offer something for every container type.

Read More
sun-parasol-original-crimson-web

December 20, 2016

Suntory Launches Unrooted Cuttings Program for Sun Para…

While the domestically produced rooting program for the Sun Parasol will continue, growers who would like to purchase unrooted cuttings will have the opportunity for the Sun Parasol Original varieties and Garden Crimson.

Read More
santos flare

December 20, 2016

Ball Horticultural Expands Potted Plant Offerings With …

Ex-Plant, which specializes in potted plants, will become a part of Ball’s PanAmerican Seed division.

Read More

December 16, 2016

Please Take Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia S…

Are plant sales up or down compared to last year? How did Black Friday set the tone for this season? What varieties and sizes were your best sellers? Did you try anything new this year to appeal to younger consumer demographics? We tackle all of these questions and more to help you understand the trends in Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Poinsettia Survey.

Read More

December 13, 2016

Dümmen Orange Shares Trends And Season-Extending Tips A…

As a purveyor of a wide collection of poinsettia and potted plant genetics, Dümmen Orange offered attendees a look at current trends – and a glimpse into the future – at its annual event in Columbus, OH.

Read More
Lollipop Flaming Hot Melon combo

December 13, 2016

21 New Combos For Spring To Fall Color In 2017

With the flood of new varieties and flower colors coming on the market, there is no end to the combinations and mixes available for hanging baskets and containers.

Read More
all-america-selections-new-website-home-page

December 3, 2016

New Mobile Responsive Website From All-America Selectio…

All-America Selections has launched a newly redesigned and revamped mobile-responsive website that includes a more attractive design, enhanced search tools, and easier and simpler navigation.

Read More
Sea Breeze Catharanthus combo

December 2, 2016

Four Mixed Container Trends To Watch

Mixed containers are still one of the best-selling SKUs at retail. Pay attention to these four trends that are making their mark on multi-liner mixes and combination containers.

Read More
kelly-norris

December 2, 2016

Kelly Norris: How The “Me Too” Philosophy Affects Plant…

When you’re selling the exact same thing as everyone else, it’s unrealistic to expect customers to buy only from you.

Read More