Talking With Anthony Tesselaar

Talking With Anthony Tesselaar

It is hard enough to create a regional plant brand that encompasses all the characteristics necessary to thrive in a variety of conditions, but it is even tougher to create a national brand that creates successful gardeners throughout all the climates of a country.

That is Anthony Tesselaar’s end goal, by the way: successful gardeners. Though it was 10 p.m. in Silvan, 75 miles east of Melbourne (which is 14 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast), Tesselaar was kind enough to chat with Today’s Garden Center Editor Jen Polanz recently about everything related to the company’s branding efforts. In North America, it has marketed Flower Carpet roses, Tropicanna cannas and Bonfire begonia, and about seven other plants, as the main branded properties from Anthony Tesselaar International. It is also currently trialing a new drought-tolerant petunia called Soleil, which was highlighted at the Selecta First Class California Pack Trials location this year.

“The rest of the world is going toward plants that are requiring a minimal amount of maintenance,” Tesselaar explained. “That’s always been our focus from day one. We cater to the person who wants a garden who doesn’t know how to garden.

“When we go out, that’s the philosophy we go by. It has got to be good for a long time in the garden.”

Those at Tesselaar travel the world to find new plants, then bring them back to the 20-acre trial garden at Silvan for testing. It can take five to seven years on average for a plant to make it to the market, and out of the hundreds that get brought in, only about 10 percent make it to various markets around the world with the Tesselaar name on it.

The plants get tested not only in Australia, but in any market in which the plants could be sold. That means trial gardens all over the world. But Tesselaar says the United States is the most difficult, because of a temperature range of 130 degrees Fahrenheit between the warmest and the coldest regions in the country. A plant that is marketed nationwide has to be able to withstand all types of conditions.

“Next we have to find out whether it’s easy to propagate for the grower,” he adds. “We don’t want a product that’s too expensive to propagate. At the same time, we’re doing work on the branding of the product, looking at the characteristics of the plant, working with public relations people to develop stories, advertising and creating labels that match up. So there’s a lot of background coming into it.”

The Rose That Almost Was

Tesselaar gave an example of a breeder that came to the company with a beautiful, striking blue rose. He thought the rose could be a huge development–the “holy grail” when it comes to roses. The company began to trial it all over the world to see how it would perform. “We started seeing the first flowers, and they were mauve-y,” he says. “We sent the same person to each trial location to photograph them, and everything was mauve. But at the breeder’s garden it was blue.”

After lots of experimentation, they found the perfect mix of care and feeding that made the rose blue. But ultimately, it would be difficult for the average gardener to reproduce at home. “We didn’t go ahead with it,” he explains. “That’s the most extreme case we’ve seen. But we always try to make sure the ultimate outcome is best for the gardener.”

Keeping The Focus

Branding isn’t just a one-time effort to put out a plant in a special pot with tags and point-of-purchase material. It’s a continuous effort, which is why some brands don’t last very long.

“To keep a good branding program is very, very difficult,” Tesselaar says. “There’s a lot of people that run out and say I’ve got a brand, but if you’re going to brand a plant you’ve got to do a lot of work to keep it there. You’ve got to keep coming back to adjust and keep it there. Most brands ultimately fall over quite quickly.”

Anthony Tesselaar International has been marketing Flower Carpet roses since 1992, and has about 15 branded products in markets on four continents across the globe.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Edibles

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In Columbus, OH

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianthus

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More
Latest Stories
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Ed…

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In …

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianth…

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More

July 19, 2016

17 New Vegetable Intros For Greenhouse Production

New varieties of edibles introduced at 2016 California Spring Trials offer something for every type of gardener, from the beginning do-it-yourselfer to the hardcore, heirloom-only type. Check out some of the new varieties we saw at Spring Trials this year that will be available for retail in 2017.

Read More
One Earth Edibles From Peace Tree Farm

July 16, 2016

How To Capture Your Share Of The Edibles Market

At Peace Tree Farm, One Earth Edibles represent healthy living on a healthy planet.

Read More
Terra Nova Nurseries Catalog

July 15, 2016

New Product Catalog From Terra Nova Nurseries Designed …

The new catalog, which made its debut at Cultivate’16, offers easy access to organized genera grouped alphabetically, and also by size, color, habit, top sellers, photography, newest varieties, and USDA horticultural zones.

Read More
Pleasant View Open House

July 8, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens And D.S. Cole Growers Hosting Ope…

The 20th annual event will feature new introductions from Proven Winners, as well as annuals, combos, and Pleasant View’s new Savor Edibles and Fragrants line.

Read More
NatureSweet

July 5, 2016

NatureSweet And Ganfer Partner On Tomato Production

The partnership will add more than 250 acres of NatureSweet greenhouse tomato production over the next three years.

Read More
SunPatiens Sakata Medal of Excellence Feature

June 29, 2016

SunPatiens Earns The 2016 Medal Of Excellence In Market…

With its reputation for excellent garden performance from spring to frost, and as a problem-solver for Impatiens Downy Mildew, SunPatiens has become a “hero plant” that helps gardeners succeed.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

June 28, 2016

Kelly Norris: Three Variety Trends That Caught My Eye T…

My reflections on promising new plants, the realities of market penetration, and adding value along the supply chain.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

June 25, 2016

Three Types Of Plant Consumers To Watch

There are three emerging groups of plant consumers that you should be targeting for plant sales in the future, according to Allan Armitage.

Read More
FleuroStar Award Ceremony

June 20, 2016

Begonia Hybrid ‘Miss Malibu’ Takes Home FleuroStar Awar…

The award from Fleuroselect was announced at the Green Inspiration Event in Amsterdam.

Read More
Caryopteris 'Beyond Midnight Bluebeard'

June 20, 2016

Keep The Sales Coming With 16 New Blooming Varieties Fo…

Plants that put on a show from first frost long into fall and offer the color options consumers want for their gardens go a long way toward extending sales further into the season and can help maintain your sales momentum going strong. Check out these 16 new blooming varieties, both traditional favorites and new alternatives, for your fall crop selection.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 18, 2016

Mark Your Calendar For Sakata Seed Trials In August

Sakata has set two dates for its California-based trials: Aug. 15-17 in Salinas, and Aug. 17-19 in Woodland.

Read More
Tomato Congress Logo

June 15, 2016

International Tomato Congress In Mexico Will Focus On G…

The event, which takes place in San Luis Potosi from July 20-22, will feature discussions on production strategies, cost management in protected structures, and optimizing your greenhouse environment.

Read More
Nir Nursery Wax Flower Pot Plant

June 14, 2016

Danziger Reaches Deal To Distribute Nir Nursery Varieti…

With the agreement, Danziger becomes the exclusive distributor of Nir’s product line, which includes cut flowers, foliage, pot, and garden plants.

Read More

June 14, 2016

Dümmen Orange Expands Its Succulent Offerings Through N…

According to Dümmen Operations Director Kate Santos, succulents are an attractive growth category because of their ease of use, shelf life in stores, drought tolerance, and versatility in application.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 14, 2016

New Cool Season, Vegetable, And Foliage Crops For Fall …

Whether you’re providing pansies and violas to the garden center for fall color or decorative edibles to grace patio containers, consider these 16 varieties for fall crop sales, newly introduced for 2016 and hitting retail in 2017.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]