This May Be The Year Of …

Cascading Patchwork Cosmic Orange

It’s early April as I write this. There’s hardly any winter anywhere, and I’m already seeing the look of anticipation on the faces of growers, retailers and consumers. Unemployment is down and hope is up, so I look forward to hearing good news as spring progresses.

In my travels here, there and around the California Spring Trials, I could not help but notice a number of trends, plant groups or ideas that resurface time and again. These may be nothing more than passing fads, but here goes:

… Cascading Plants
I hear it all the time: What can I put in containers and window boxes that cascade? There have been many choices, but I keep seeing the breeders working their magic. From cascading pansies (Cool Wave), vinca (Cascading Cora) and impatiens (Patchwork, Tumbler series) to begonias (Crackling Fire,  Sunset), fruit (‘Toscana’ strawberries), veggies (‘Bellina’ sweet pepper) and hanging osteos (Osticade series) – and many more.

Are cascaders a trend or a fad? To me, these are a trend.

… Veggies
There’s no doubt veggies have always been popular, and ornamental vegetables have been around for many years. With the advent of the Vegetalis lines, in which edibles are also ornamental, veggies are moving into the mixed container and onto the patio.

This is a great thing because it is an avenue to allow the vegetable gardener (man) to actually talk to the flower gardener (woman), and have something in common. Such breakthroughs may even save some marriages.

We are seeing more work this year in patio-type veggies such as ‘Cayennetta’ sweet pepper, Tumbler and ‘Topsy Tom’ tomatoes. However, with the efforts Syngenta is putting into “real vegetables for real people in a real garden,” and Burpee’s efforts to bring all vegetables to growers and consumers, I have no doubt we will all be much healthier.

Grafted veggies such as Mighty Matos and heirloom tomatoes on vigorous rootstalks are also in vogue. This is good for healthy living, as well. A few English and Australian guys sitting around the lunch table with me one afternoon were making snide comments about American portion sizes in restaurants (as if anyone actually cleans their plates!), and that nobody eats greens (have they seen how people love their collard greens?). Now, with all these companies putting their skills to work, we shall have no choice but to be healthy.

A trend or a fad? To me, this is a five-year fad.

… QR Codes
Everyone is doing QR codes, and the information scanned is as diverse as the United Nations. MasterTag must have shown 50 different squiggles, and nearly all companies were displaying them.

Of course, to actually have anyone scan a QR code more than once will require some creativity. Why scan a tag to get information already on the label? Or to come to a complicated website that can hardly be read on a smartphone anyway?

We can do much better, and must, for QR codes to remain a viable marketing tool. I may never scan one but my grandkids sure will.

A trend or a fad? To me, QR codes are a 3-year fad.

… Roses
The ascendency of roses up the food chain of ornamentals has been nothing short of spectacular. The introduction of Knockout and other excellent foliar-cleaning roses have resulted in huge increases in woody nurseries. But the breeding of shorter material like Drift and Oso Easy, along with newer entries like My Bouquet and Table To Garden from Greenheart Farms, are putting rose genetics into the hands of the greenhouse trade.

And now, with the advent of series like Sunrosa (Suntory Flowers), Kolorscape (Greenheart’s exclusive series for Ball) and Sunblaze (Greenheart), roses are everywhere. Given the fact that I am now trialing Knockouts, Drifts, Floral Carpets, David Austins and Carefrees at the University of Georgia, my only question is: Where will I put them all?

A trend or a fad? To me, roses are a trend.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials at Danziger

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Latest Stories
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials…

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

January 19, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Hosting Spring Previews in February

The previews, which provide education, new variety information, and retail support programs, will take place in Illinois, Minnesota, and Boston.

Read More
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
Begonia Whopper Experimental

January 2, 2017

2016 The Ohio State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

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