The Newest Trends For Blooming Potted Plants

'Red Springs'

The operative phrase in 2012 for blooming potted plant producers is “what’s new?” be it new genetics, new uses for familiar plants or new ways to market products.

“What we’re seeing is that sales of your more traditional pot plants have probably declined over the past two or three years,” says Kevin Roethle, head of new product development at Ball Seed. “We can pretty confidently say we’re looking into different types of opportunities, some different plants and really trying to find the next new pot plant.”

Roethle cites celosia ‘Intenz,’ a Ball Seed/Ball Ingenuity introduction, as a successful example of a new pot plant that pleases both consumers and growers.

“I think the selling point we’ve seen consumers gravitate toward is the color. It’s very distinct – it’s a bold color, it’s a bright color. It’s easy to maintain. In that aspect, ‘Intenz’ has really resonated with consumers.”
Roethle adds that growers like the more compact habit, which makes it better for distribution.

Other new plants Roethle is betting on this year are two new members of the Dahlietta series: ‘Julia,’ which is a spectacular canary yellow color, and‘Lily,’ a new salmon color with a superb flower shape and doubling.
“We see Dahlietta as another series that’s done a lot of work to meet the grower’s side of things and has consumer appeal with the wide range of colors,” Roethle says.

Ball’s Blooming Potted Contribution

Dianthus ‘Scarlet Evolved’ is a new, deep red addition to the SuperTrouper series from Selecta North America. Roethle says pot carnations have caught on in the last five years due to the broad range of colors available, their compact habit and their toughness once they reach the hands of consumers. The SuperTrouper carnations are excellent pot or garden plants, he says.

Another new introduction from Ball Ingenuity is the Funtastic gerbera series, featuring Canary, Mango, Fire Orange, Blush, White, Enduring Burgundy and Yellow. This series displays exceptional heat tolerance, Roethle says.

“In the Southeast a lot of gerberas have problems in the summer when it’s really hot and really humid; they get diseases and tend to go down,” he says. “But this series is bred to be able to handle those types of conditions.”

Roethle points out that ‘Funtastic Mango’ was trialed at the University of Georgia this year and was a Plants of Distinction selection at least three times in the summer and early fall.

“It’s a high accolade, because that is a good heat tolerance trial,” he says.
Roethle sees an increasing interest in patio plants, so plants that can cross into that area are of special interest.

“The Funtastic gerbera is one you could say is a pot plant but really moves the bar in terms of being able to use it as a patio plant as well,” he says. “In terms of growth opportunity, [the patio plant market] is probably growing faster than your traditional year-round pot plant program.”

Roethle’s position with Ball Ingenuity was created 18 months ago, and he now spends 100 percent of his time with Ball working with third-party breeders to bring new genetics to North America. One result of the new position is Ball’s Double Gloxinia, with large, showy, double flowers and a fast finish time – eight to 10 weeks from liners. Bred by Logan Nursery and available through Ball Ingenuity, this series features flexible leaves on sturdy plants, allowing easy sleeving and shipping. Its colors include Suspense (deep purple), Fuchsia, El Grenada (red), Orchid, Watermelon, Perfect Double Purple, Perfect Double Red, Perfect Double White and Purple Tigrina.

“This is an example of a new take on an old plant,” Roethle says. “We found a breeder whose passion was gloxinia, and he had developed this line of really large, double-flowered plants. [It is] a very striking flower, and I think the growers who have taken this plant on and have been able to fit it into their growing regime and distribution models have done really well with it.”

Roethle adds that several growers have finished ‘Perfect Double Red’ and ‘Perfect Double White’ for the holiday season as an alternative to poinsettias – not replacing them, but using the double gloxinias as an addition to their holiday assortment.

New Player To The U.S.

Beekenkamp Plants is also introducing several new Christmas plants in 2012. Poinsettia ‘Saturnus Twist’ is a deep scarlet red with a bit of a ruffle on the flower bracts. ‘Portia Red’ and ‘Charon Red’ are also new.

Martijn Kuiper, Beekenkamp’s North American sales manager, says consumers might not notice a difference with ‘Portia Red’ and ‘Charon Red,’ but growers will like that they are easy to grow, branch well and do not need large amounts of growth regulators. The two varieties are also not prone to botrytis and other diseases.

“Growers are not making a lot of money on poinsettias so they need as easy a crop as possible,” Kuiper says.

A new Beekenkamp cyclamen, Bellissima, is a large (5- to 6-inch) bell-type with fringed petals. It’s now available in white and a white and purple mix, but Kuiper says they are being bred for more color. A Cyclamen persicum series, Maxiwella Bells, is another 5- to 6-inch bell-type, that’s new to the North American market. It comes in eight colors.

Additionally, because Beekenkamp is the largest producer of young begonia plants in Europe, it’s no surprise Beekenkamp wants to bring begonias to the U.S.

“We’re trying to bring the living room outside, so we’re breeding begonias also for outdoor use,” Kuiper says. “We are growing for the patio and outside market as much as possible.”

In other areas, Kuiper sees a decline in year-round potted products.

“Normally with begonias, you could have year-round availability, but that market is really declining. So we’re getting peak-season products; [for example] begonias more for spring and also a little bit for fall – that kind of product production.”

Kuiper is particularly proud of two new Begonia elatior introductions: ‘Lax’ (peach) and ‘Glory’ (pink), which offer more consistent branching and flowering on all sides of the plant. Beekenkamp also has four new varieties of Kelos celosia this year in Magenta, Pink, Purple and Scarlet. Kuiper says the Kelos are compact and ideal for fall production.

“Celosia has a really good shelf life,” he says. “I often joke that you could play soccer with it and it would survive.”

Mum’s The Word

“What’s new?” is also the operative phrase for Liz Hunt, senior market manager for Syngenta Flowers, the parent company of Yoder mums. For the pot mum market, “new” not only means new genetics but also new ways to present existing products.

Yoder’s Living Bouquets are multicolor pot mum container recipes that present existing mum varieties in a new way.

“The more traditional combinations like the Blush, where it’s all daisies – that’s been done for a number of years. That’s not new,” Hunt says. “What is new is using seedlings that are unrelated. So you are using some anemone flower forms and some daisy flower forms and different colors that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily combine.”

Hunt says Syngenta has combos suited for fall and some wintertime combinations designed for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Pot mum growers are very traditional on the whole, she says, so they’re often skeptical of change. “But combos have been very well received by a lot of retailers, so that’s encouraging,” Hunt says.

Hunt strongly suggests growers use Yoder’s combo recipes, or trialing first, because varieties from seed can differ in timing or habit. Like other breeders, Hunt sees a consumer trend toward bold colors, and that is reflected in the new mum cultivars.

Two new mum introductions, ‘Purple Springs’ and ‘Red Springs,’ offer bold colors and a unique flower form.

“‘Purple Springs,’ for example, is starting to almost not even look like a pot mum,” Hunt says. “‘Red Springs’ is also a great red color, but with an anemone center to it – not a typical daisy, adding a little bit of interest for the consumer.”

Another new, boldly colored introduction this year is ‘Sabine Bronze’ in the Fleurette series. Hunt says the series has been revamped over the last two years to offer more vibrant colors and a faster response time for growers – almost a week faster than some of the original Fleurette genetics.
And, because mums are still primarily a seasonal and holiday crop, another new introduction, ‘China Doll,’ a red with gold undertones, is being promoted for the Chinese New Year, which can be a big pot mum holiday.

Leave a Reply

More From Blooming Potted Plants...

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
2014 Poinsettia Season Report

March 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Seas…

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish. Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Survey received 143 responses from growers around the country. Here, you can download the complete results of the survey, by filling out the form.

Read More

March 17, 2015

16 New Blooming Potted Plants You’ll See At The 2…

Blooming potted plants are perfect gift items, and they put the finishing touch on any style of home decor. So when new varieties come on the market, growers and retailers alike take note of plants they know are going to make consumers happy. Check out the slideshow to see some of the new blooming potted plants making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More

February 17, 2015

Poinsettias Had Their Best Year In Many In 2014

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Growers were encouraged by high plant quality, enthusiastic shoppers and a stronger, less saturated market for poinsettias throughout the selling season. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Holiday Plant Trends And New Varieties

Growers had mixed feelings about the 2014 poinsettia season according to Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Poinsettia Survey. Read about their plans for 2015 and stay up to date on 14 of the newest cyclamen and poinsettia varieties on the market.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Charon Red'

January 6, 2015

Dan Schantz Farm 2014 Poinsettia Trial Recap And 2015 D…

The 2014 Dan Schantz Poinsettia trials featured more than 170 poinsettia varieties. Here's a summary of the event, as well as a 2015 date for your calendar.

Read More

December 29, 2014

Suntory Makes Spirits Bright With Princettia Displays

Suntory Flowers started to introduce its varieties to sister company Beam Suntory by collaborating on a holiday interiorscape featuring Princettia at Beam Suntory's offices in Deerfield, Ill., near Chicago.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Poinsettia Sales Kick In For 2014

Poinsettias are showing up in big box store ads, as well as at independent retail stores. Here's a look at how prices are shaping up for 2014.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University of Florida Poinsettia Trials Will Be Held De…

Poinsettia trials event at the University of Florida will be held on December 9 in Gainesville, Fla.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University Of New Hampshire Hosts 2014 Poinsettia Trial…

The University of New Hampshire will host 2014 Poinsettia Field Trial Open House at its Macfarlane Greenhouses facility on December 4 to 6.

Read More

September 9, 2014

16 Flowering Potted Plants For Every Occasion [Slidesho…

Flowering potted plants are no longer just traditional annual varieties that one buys at the grocery store for a gift. Check out 16 of the newest varieties to hit the market.

Read More

August 12, 2014

Suntory Flowers Partners With Dümmen Group For New Prin…

Suntory Flowers announces the formation of a new rooting network for Princettia euphorbias. Growers now have a choice of what inputs they would like to receive.

Read More

June 26, 2014

California Spring Trials: 20 Potted Plants For 2015 [Sl…

With plants for every use from decorating the kitchen table to gifts to patio containers, breeders are honing in on consumer demand for more variety in potted plant options. Here are 20 new varieties to integrate into your crop mix.  

Read More

March 12, 2014

2013 Poinsettia Cultivar Evaluation From The Ohio State…

The Ohio State University and AmericanHort collaborates on a poinsettia rating project that aims to inform growers about the differences between consumer and grower preferences on new poinsettia cultivars.

Read More

February 4, 2014

11 Pretty New Poinsettias [Slideshow]

Poinsettias are the signature plant of the holiday season. Here are new varieties to consider adding to your crop selection for premium holiday crop sales.      

Read More
Chrysanthemum 'Hilo Tangerine' from Syngenta/Yoder

September 25, 2013

6 New Chrysanthemums For 2013

Here are six new chrysanthemums varieties to brighten up your fall sales.  

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Three

Gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ (from Syngenta Flowers)Cartwheel gerbera have large, semi-double flowers that add a sense of novelty and value. The new ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ comes in shades ranging from buttery yellow with a hint of pink to a deep strawberry with a hint of yellow. These bold colors will capture immediate attention at retail.      

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Two

1-2 Punch Poinsettia Combo (from Ecke)This show-stopper is a great way to offer customers something different utilizing well known, easy-to-grow varieties. 1-2 Punch is a combination of ‘Ice Punch’ and ‘Sparkling Punch’ using two plants of each variety in an 8-inch container.  

Read More

August 7, 2013

7 Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part One

Gloxinia ‘Avanti Blue’ (from Sakata)A long-lasting pot plant with impressive bell-shaped, velvety flowers, ‘Avanti Blue’s’ small leaves nicely offset the striking blooms.

Read More