Astounded by market response to rooted combo liners, like Dummen and Selecta have been offering, Syngenta has trialed its extensive genetics to see which ones will work best as Kwik Kombos liners. “We didn’t realize the box store growers would embrace this, but there has been tremendous response,” says Syngenta Flowers’ Harvey Lang. “They want to simplify combo plantings. Problems occur when cuttings don’t arrive together for sticking crews. Growers are willing to pay more up front for the input because it will pay off later.”
Syngenta also is positioning its new geraniums that are ivy-zonal crosses as hybrid geraniums to consumers and the trade. The goal is to position them as a whole new class. Last year’s big hit was ‘Calliope Red,’ which looks and behaves more like a zonal and is a red unmatched in zonal geraniums. Home Depot is calling it ‘Big Red’ this spring and Walmart has been offering it in baskets and gallons. ‘Calliope Scarlet Fire’ is a new color in the series. The Calientes look and behave more like ivy geraniums with single flowers. New colors include Orange, Hot Coral and Pink.
Other new introductions in vegetative annuals include the dwarf Bandito lantanas, lobelia ‘Techno Heat White’ and Picnic mini petunias. The company is working on a bronze for the Sidekicks sweet potato vines introduced last year. This also was the first year of Syngenta showing the mum and aster lines acquired from Yoder Brothers.