10 Spring Trials Takeaways

Whether you made the long journey across California or you couldn’t escape the greenhouse during peak season, we’ve got all things California Spring Trials covered for you this issue. But before you soak it in, get a flavor of the weeklong scene with my top 10 Spring Trials takeaways for 2011:

10. The exhibitor count is as big as ever. The return of Benary and Sakata and the seemingly increasing number of European breeders wanting to penetrate the U.S. market gave growers even more varieties to consider this year. Add in the growing presence of non-varieties companies like Braun Horticulture, OHP and Smithers-Oasis, and California is becoming a place where growers can also find crop input and marketing solutions.

9. A potential national promotion is coming. A number of organizations and groups have tried forming one over the years, but none have fully captured the industry’s support. However, the development of BloomIQ.com, a website that offers consumers ideas they can take to the garden center, could be the answer.

8. Variety favorites have new foes. ‘Snow Princess’ lobularia and ‘Black Velvet’ petunia were arguably the most-talked about new varieties of the last two Spring Trials, respectively. This year, Danziger is introducing an impressive lobularia ‘Silver Stream,’ while Dömmen brings its own black petunia to market in ‘Black Jack.’

7. 2D tags are here to stay. I may be the last person on Earth with a smartphone that has 2D tag-reading capabilities, but it’s clear breeders, growers and others see those funny-looking little codes as a way to connect with novice gardeners.

6. Plant introducers are rapidly evolving. Green Fuse and Hort Couture continue to broaden their offerings and give growers looking for one-stop shops more reasons to choose them as a supplier.

5. Roses can resurge. Greenhouse floriculture was so focused on flower type and color over the last 10 years that disease resistance and hardiness in roses suffered. The industry has a chance to win rose growers back, though, with a variety of new breeds and stunning marketing programs like the ones Greenheart Farms unveiled.

4. Growing is getting simpler. In addition to focusing on variety introductions, breeders like Paul Ecke Ranch and Ball FloraPlant are thinking more about how they can help growers expedite production. The Ecke Snap system and Ball’s Genesis cuttings are examples of such innovations.

3. Industry consolidation continues. Over the last four years, we’ve seen breeder acquisitions like Syngenta’s purchase of Goldsmith Seeds and Ball Horticultural Company’s purchase of Kieft Seeds. The latest is Agribio Group’s purchase of Guatemalan cuttings producer Oro Farms. Agribio Group is the parent company of Fides, whose cuttings will now be produced at Oro.

2. Edibles are gaining more traction. Sakata is a new player in the home vegetable garden market after unveiling its Home Grown program; Floranova introduced much-talked-about varieties like ‘Field Of Dreams’ corn and ‘Cherry Falls,’ the beautifully cascading tomato; and Burpee is enhancing its vegetable offerings with the addition of flowers to the brand.

1. Combos innovation is alive and well. When you first see Selecta’s Trixi 2.0 system for combos, you’re bound to mutter: “Why didn’t I think of that?” Trixi 2.0 took Spring Trials by storm, much like Dömmen’s Confetti multi-species liners did when they were introduced a few years ago.

Leave a Reply

More From Variety Trials...

April 25, 2018

Armitage Scholar’s Final Thoughts on the People and Plants of California Spring Trials 2018

"This trip solidified my desire to breed plants. Every time I was able to have a discussion about plant traits, genetics, and germplasm, I felt a thrill of excitement."

Read More

April 24, 2018

Proven Winners Reveals Marketing Efforts for 2018-2019 at CAST 2018

For the first time, the brand has generated one billion consumer impressions, and plans to keep that momentum going with a number of ambitious programs.

Read More

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Proven Winners and Danziger

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 25, 2018

Armitage Scholar’s Final Thoughts on the People a…

"This trip solidified my desire to breed plants. Every time I was able to have a discussion about plant traits, genetics, and germplasm, I felt a thrill of excitement."

Read More

April 24, 2018

Proven Winners Reveals Marketing Efforts for 2018-2019 …

For the first time, the brand has generated one billion consumer impressions, and plans to keep that momentum going with a number of ambitious programs.

Read More

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Pr…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More

April 20, 2018

California Dreaming Takes on a Whole New Meaning at CAS…

At California Spring Trials 2018, the Greenhouse Grower team witnessed the revitalization of a company, plus some awesome merchandising displays, and efforts toward automation.

Read More

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More
GG-and-Benary-Team

April 19, 2018

Spring Trials Rookie Inspired by Connections

The Allan Armitage Scholarship recipient has added a number of industry connections during his time at California Spring Trials, and discusses what that means to him and his career.

Read More
Benary 2018

April 18, 2018

At CAST 2018, Sakata Captures Consumer Attention Spans,…

More than halfway through the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team had a busy but fantastic day seeing dozens of our friends at American Takii and Benary, and spending time talking about the industry's past and its bright future.

Read More

April 18, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Varieties to Watch F…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from American Takii, Hilverdakooijj, Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, Sakata Ornamentals, and Ernst Benary of America.

Read More

April 18, 2018

How the Horticulture Industry’s Past Shaped Its P…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says the stories of plant origins help ground our industry to the people and places that have changed us.

Read More
Dummen-Christmas-Decorating

April 17, 2018

Dümmen Orange’s New Gamechanger, Plants for All S…

Greenhouse Grower's California Spring Trials Team headed north on Day 3, with stops at Dümmen Orange in picturesque San Luis Obispo and Floricultura in fertile Salinas.

Read More

April 17, 2018

Armitage Scholarship Winner Weighs in on Plant Breeding…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says breeders' persistence in making small and large breeding improvements is a testament to their passion and dedication to excellence.

Read More

April 17, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: Stand-Out New Plants fro…

Check out these new plant introductions from the California Spring Trials 2018 trail featuring breeding from Dümmen Orange , Westhoff, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.

Read More

April 16, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Gr…

New plants from Suntory Flowers, Terra Nova Nurseries, Prudac, Florist, PlantHaven, Anthura, Kapiteyn, Kientzler, 2 Plant International, and more on day two of California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Artemisia-Plant-Display-at-Terra-Nova

April 16, 2018

CAST 2018 Provides Fresh Inspiration for Infusing Marke…

The  second day of California Spring Trials took the Greenhouse Grower Team to GroLink in Oxnard, CA, and then up the coast to Windmill Nursery in Buellton. Here are some of the marketing, display, trend, and people highlights we saw at those locations, as well as some beautiful scenery from our evening in Pismo Beach.

Read More
Danny-Takao-Allan-Armitage-Andrew-Scheldorf

April 16, 2018

Armitage Scholarship Recipient Reflects on Conversation…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, is realizing the power of networking and building relationships in the floriculture industry.

Read More

April 16, 2018

Allan Armitage’s Top Plant Picks From Day One of CAST 2…

The Greenhouse Grower Variety Team at California Spring Trials (CAST) 2018 visited Green Fuse Botanicals, Floranova and Vegetalis, and Ball Horticultural Co. on the first day. Here are Dr. Allan Armitage’s top plant picks of the day.

Read More

April 15, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: Musings of a Spring Tria…

Andrew Scheldorf, winner of the Dr. Allan Armitage Scholarship for California Spring Trials and a student at North Dakota State University, shares his thoughts after visiting Green Fuse Botanicals, Floranova, Vegetalis, and Ball Horticulture.

Read More

April 15, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plants From Green Fu…

Breeders at Green Fuse Botanicals, Floranova, Vegetalis, and Ball Horticulture featured new plant varieties at the 2018 California Spring Trials with vibrant color and unique patterns that are easy for growers to produce and ship, as well as small-space friendly vegetables for patio and container growing.

Read More