SunPatiens Earns The 2016 Medal Of Excellence In Marketing Award

SunPatiens SakataIn the same year as its milestone 10th Birthday, the SunPatiens brand has more to celebrate, as it receives Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Excellence In Marketing Award. Bred by Sakata Ornamentals, SunPatiens is the first global brand the company has promoted. In the 10 years it has been on the market, it has proven itself as a consistent garden performer that delivers color all season long for growers, retailers, landscapers, and consumers

“Our typical approach is to reflect local market tastes or regional distinctions in the marketing teams, for various reasons, but with SunPatiens we made a very clear decision that we would do this globally, and that has helped the brand,” says Sakata Seed CEO David Armstrong. “It’s like Coca-Cola — whether you go to China, Brazil, or Brussels, you’re going to see SunPatiens called SunPatiens, and it’s going to perform and be marketed the same way. That was an important part of the brand building for Sakata.”

Sakata Ornamentals has supported the brand with a consumer-facing website, SunPatiens.com, a website for the trade, SakataOrnamentals.com, as well as a logo and packaging that looks the same worldwide. The original message found on all tags and branded pots was the tagline, “The Power To Grow,” which is still the underlying foundation of its success, says Product Manager Mark Seguin.

With dozens of varieties in the line, SunPatiens has won 23 awards in the North American market, as well as countless others internationally. Thanks to its performance in both containers and the landscape, the SunPatiens brand has established itself as one of the top-selling bedding plants.

SunPatiens And CBD

SunPatiens got its start in Indonesia, when Sakata plant breeders identified a distinctive impatiens species growing in the wild that was flowering under full-sun conditions. Realizing its genetic potential, Sakata contracted the use of the plant from the Indonesian government under the CBD protocol. After eight years in research and development and countless crosses with other species, Sakata introduced SunPatiens in 2006.

How SunPatiens Overcame The Retail Disconnect

It wasn’t always easy for SunPatiens, Seguin says. In the early years after its launch, the retail presentation was challenging, as growers often produced SunPatiens using the same culture as traditional New Guinea impatiens, which resulted in less-than-ideal finish material. The vigorous nature of the very early introductions were often limited to larger containers with higher price points.

“Initial sales growth was modest, but awards for their outstanding performance in flower trials continued to accumulate,” he says. “We demonstrated this versatile performance in countless flower trials throughout North America, and in the many awards and distinctions earned through presentations to retail merchants and their grower councils. Our broker/distributor partners also played a vital role in promoting the product potential of SunPatiens by supporting the sales and growing recommendations with their grower customers.”

Sakata credits The Home Depot and its grower council with seeing the promise of SunPatiens’ extraordinary garden performance early on.

“The series really developed with the introduction of the Compact SunPatiens,” Seguin says. “Growers refined their production techniques, and with the improved genetics were able to deliver high-quality plants in various sizes and containers to retailers and landscapers alike.”

SunPatiens resists downy mildewThe Downy Mildew Dilemma

Another sales boost for SunPatiens came with the unfortunate onset of Impatiens Downy Mildew. The disease was death for seed impatiens, while New Guineas and SunPatiens proved resistant. Trials showed the side-by-side comparison of SunPatiens standing up and thriving in the same beds where Impatiens walleriana were completely wiped out. With the supply chain and consumers looking for shade alternatives to the millions of units sold of Impatiens walleriana in the aftermath of Impatiens Downy Mildew, many people were exposed to SunPatiens who may not have been, Seguin says.

“While New Guineas were often pushed as an alternative, because they, too, are resistant, I think people found the SunPatiens offered more, given their vigor, so fewer plants are needed in the landscape,” Seguin says.

“The downy mildew issue really opened the door for people to try SunPatiens, and they have been happy with the performance and come back for more. The result has been extraordinary growth, as more end-users discover the real value SunPatiens deliver.”

That growing awareness of SunPatiens and its reputation for excellent garden performance will likely be helped along by Sakata Ornamentals’ recently expanded agreement with garden guru and plantsman P. Allen Smith, who will promote SunPatiens as one of his partner brands in consumer media. Smith has called SunPatiens a gamechanger in impatiens because it can be grown anywhere, provides disease resistance, and allows consumers to be successful.

“SunPatiens is a hero product because it’s one that consumers are likely to not fail with, and the more of those that we can roll out, the more confidence we can build among consumers. We’ve got to keep that momentum going.”

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 25, 2017

Kelly Norris: Diversity is the Key to Growing the Ornamental Grass Market

Offering a selection of ornamental grasses that cater to customer needs will keep sales from stagnating.

Read More

April 25, 2017

41 New Vegetative Petunias From California Spring Trials 2017: Northern Sites

With the abundance of new introductions for the 2018 retail season, we’ve made it easier for you to sift through them by separating out the vegetative petunias from the Northern sites, which includes selections from Westhoff Flowers, Sakata Ornamentals, Danziger, Proven Winners, and Syngenta flowers.

Read More
Begonia Spectre Silver Terra Nova Nurseries

April 20, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases Two New, Attractive Begonia Varieties

Stardust is the latest addition to Terra Nova Nurseries’ existing T Rex Begonia series, and Silver is the first introduction to the company’s new Spectre Begonia series.

Read More
Latest Stories
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 25, 2017

Kelly Norris: Diversity is the Key to Growing the Ornam…

Offering a selection of ornamental grasses that cater to customer needs will keep sales from stagnating.

Read More

April 25, 2017

41 New Vegetative Petunias From California Spring Trial…

With the abundance of new introductions for the 2018 retail season, we’ve made it easier for you to sift through them by separating out the vegetative petunias from the Northern sites, which includes selections from Westhoff Flowers, Sakata Ornamentals, Danziger, Proven Winners, and Syngenta flowers.

Read More
Begonia Spectre Silver Terra Nova Nurseries

April 20, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases Two New, Attractive Begon…

Stardust is the latest addition to Terra Nova Nurseries’ existing T Rex Begonia series, and Silver is the first introduction to the company’s new Spectre Begonia series.

Read More

April 18, 2017

Cool Combos From CAST 2017 – Editor’s Choic…

With container gardening becoming more of a lifestyle among consumers than a trend, and breeders continuing to put more effort in container mixes and components, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the special combinations that not only caught my eye at California Spring Trials, but absolutely took my breath away and made me want to immediately get started gardening.

Read More
Danziger New Hires

April 16, 2017

Danziger Invests in Continued North American Business G…

As part of a new business structure for its North American market, Mike Fernandez has been appointed Market Manager North America for Bedding Plants and Perennials, and Kate Zvara was named as Key Account Manager and Retail Specialist.

Read More
Florida Flower Trials

April 12, 2017

Looking for Info on New Varieties for Hot Climates? Che…

The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association’s Florida Flower Trials, which are focused on new and improved varieties able to thrive in the extremes of Florida’s climate, are a great opportunity to connect with national breeders.

Read More
Lupinus Staircase Series (Green Fuse Botanicals)

April 11, 2017

Begonias, Celosias Among Dr. Allan Armitage’s Favorites…

Check out some of Allan’s top picks from his final day at CAST 2017, which included visits to Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova.

Read More
Rex Begonia container mix at Green Fuse Botanicals

April 11, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals’ Rex Begonias and First Looks; Fl…

Here are the highlights from Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova on the last day of CAST 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

Hort Couture Wows With Farm to Table; Florist Holland R…

On the last day for GroLink and the second to last for the Greenhouse Grower team, the wealth of genetics, marketing programs, and announcements were pleasing to our eyes, ears, and hearts.

Read More

April 7, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Five: Notable New Plant Va…

See some of the new varieties for 2018 displayed at Ball Horticultural and GroLink Plant Company on day five of California Spring Trials 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

PanAmerican Promotes Pentas, Plug-and-Play, and Veggies…

On Day 5 of the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team hit the Southern California Trials and saw a multitude of new introductions and exciting programs.

Read More

April 7, 2017

CAST 2017: Musings of a California Spring Trials Rookie…

The number of opportunities presented to me are enough to make me rethink my location, but I still have a lot of big decisions to make for the future.

Read More

April 6, 2017

Dr. Allan Armitage’s Top Picks From Ball and GroL…

Here are Dr. Allan Armitage’s five variety picks, plus one display, from on Day 5 of CAST 2017.

Read More

April 6, 2017

Dümmen Orange Provides Retail Concepts; Terra Nova Offe…

Greenhouse Grower hit the Central Coast of California on our Day 4 of California Spring Trials, and what we saw was inspiring and exciting.

Read More

April 5, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Four: New Plant Intros fro…

The Greenhouse Grower team saw loads of memorable plants during day four, as it visited Dümmen Orange, Chisan Orchids, and Windmill Nursery. Dümmen had several notable introductions, including Wild Romance New Guinea impatiens in Blush Pink and White, which inspired the theme of its displays. One of the standout displays was its perennial combos with some new leucanthemum additions. Chisan Orchids in Los Alamos, CA, with Israeli breeders Hishtil, Jaldety, and Cohen Propagators, was a new stop on the route this year. Hishtil has a new gaura series out that includes a compact, low-growing variety, ‘Baby,’ with a mass of pink blooms. Cohen displayed Verbena ‘Mickey Red Rose,’ a unique bi-color that looks like a mixed combo, and Jaldety featured an interesting Cyperus prolifera. Windmill Nursery was the last stop of the day, with breeders Terra Nova Nurseries, Kientzler, J. Berry Nursery, and KiwiFlora. Terra Nova had several new heuchera for show, including ‘Onyx,’ which is a mounding, […]

Read More

April 5, 2017

CAST 2017: Musings of a California Spring Trials Rookie…

Set-aside all the varieties - I have come to the realization that being a grower is where I belong.

Read More

April 5, 2017

Dr. A’s Day Four Top Varieties for CAST 2017

Check out Dr. Allan Armitage's top five picks from visits to Dummen Orange, Chisan Orchids, and Windmill Nursery during day four of California Spring Trials 2017.

Read More

April 4, 2017

Dr. A’s Day Three Picks for CAST 2017

Take a look at Dr. Allan Armitage’s top five favorites from the American Takii, Sakata, and Floricultura stops during the 2017 California Spring Trials.

Read More