May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Ball Horticultural Co.

Ball Horticultural Co. This was a big year for Wave petunias with exciting introductions and mixes. Three new Easy Waves are Burgundy Star, Violet and Plum Vein. New mixes with these colors are Starfish Mix and Plum Pudding. Denim is a new Shockwave, with colors that fade and become stonewashed, just like your favorite blue jeans. The biggest vegetative introduction is Breathless euphorbia in White and Blush. While White is comparable to Proven Winners’ ‘Diamond Frost,’ Blush offers dark foliage and subtle pink striping in the flowers. Another one that caught a lot of attention is osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow,’ which is two weeks earlier than others but lasts longer through the summer. Other key seed introductions include the Versa coleus series in six colors, which can be planted in sun or shade, and two All-America Selections winners–zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ and ‘Mesa Yellow,’ the first F1 hybrid gaillardia from seed. […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Floranova

Floranova British breeder Floranova’s patio vegetables have been so well received, the company has launched a new division of the company to focus on vegetables. Vegetalis was created with the sole aim of breeding and producing edible varieties for sales in the ornamental market. This means plants not only have to perform in the garden and bear delicious fruit but also look attractive in pots. The timing couldn’t be better with a resurgence in vegetable gardening we haven’t seen in decades. New introductions include the Sweet ‘n’ Neat tomatoes in Scarlet, Cherry Red and Yellow. Two more yellow varieties are ‘Tumbling Junior,’ a compact version of ‘Tumbling Tom,’ and ‘Little Sun Yellow’ with larger fruit. The highly ornamental basil ‘Aristotle’ with mounds of tiny leaves that look like a tidy bush or hedge. Floranova also has launched a Grow For Good brand to promote organically certified seed. Proceeds benefit a […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Bodger

  Bodger We didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the last time we would visit Bodger at the Pack Trials. In April, most of the seed annuals were sold to Benary and in May, Bodger’s sales and marketing director Steve Jones purchased the vegetative division, Bodger Botanicals, and has launched a new company called Green Fuse Botanicals based in Santa Monica, Calif. It appears Benary will exhibit at the Lompoc location next year and Green Fuse will be at GroLink in Oxnard. GroLink’s sister company Athena produces cuttings in Brazil and has been contracted to produce Green Fuse Botanicals. Distribution is still exclusively through Henry F. Michell in the United States and JVK in Canada. Vegetative introductions that will be carried by Green Fuse Botanicals include a thin-leafed version of the Sweet Caroline ipomoeas called Sweet Talk in Green and Purple. Some are calling it the ‘Diamond […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Fides

Fides Fides always presents its varieties with an artistic flair, with high fashion, edgy models and graphics. One interesting addition to the outdoor gardens were two-dimensional, almost lifesize screens that looked like the front of homes with real plants set out in front to provide an idea of how plants would look at someone’s house. Known worldwide for blooming potted plants like kalanchoes and cut flowers, the Dutch breeding company owned by Kirin in Japan has really expanded its offerings in vegetative annuals. The Tamarinda New Guinea impatiens have performed very well in trials, as well as the Margarita osteospermums, which include designer colors like Caramel, Bronze Bicolor and Sunset. Since acquiring the Merite lines, Fides has been focused on breeding zonal and ivy geraniums that are early to flower, with excellent branching and are fast to finish. Other well-received lines include AngelArt nemesia and Double Wave petunias. INTRODUCTIONS –Dahlinova […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Ball Horticultural Co.

  Ball Horticultural Co. A new way of presenting the trials was a big hit at Ball Horticultural Co. in Santa Paula. The “Shoppes On Main” concept was developed by Jennifer Neujahr, who is product marketing manager for key brands like Wave petunias. Each stop had a distinctive look: Fantastic Foliage and Flowers as Pottery Barn, PanAmerican Seed as Nordstrom, Wave petunias as a groovy surf shop, Burpee Home Gardens as a farmers market, and Ball FloraPlant and Ball Seed as upscale clothing stores. Visitors could window shop, go inside each store to see more or go even further back to learn about production information. Exciting new petunias include the Sophistica and Debonair collections in designer colors mixing rose and lime. While the Sophisticas match the Dreams grandiflora series, Debonairs match the Madness multiflora series. New vegetative petunias from Ball FloraPlant include Sun Spun, which are compact and pot tight, […]

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May 29, 2009

Visit Green Leaf Plants June 24

Green Leaf Plants, the perennials division of Aris Inc., will host its 2009 open house Wednesday, June 24 in Smoketown, Pa. Visitors can tour the garden and greenhouse at their own pace all day between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. In the greenhouse, attendees will view Green Leaf’s perennial propagation, production and shipping. The Smoketown facility is located at 3269 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster, Pa., 17602. To register, call 800-321-9573 or e-mail [email protected]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Speedling

  Allure cyclamen   Osteospermum ‘Evita’ Speedling Trials hosted by Speedling in San Juan Bautista and coordinated by broker Henry F. Michell have really become a world tour. Participating companies include GGG Grünewald from Germany, Greenex from Denmark, Northern Innovators from British Columbia, Thompson & Morgan from United Kingdom, and Schoneveld Twello and Hem Genetics from The Netherlands. Cuttings producer Plant Source International (PSI) and horticultural packaging company MasterTag also exhibited. Ranked at No. 3 on our Top 25 Young Plant Producers, Speedling is a leading transplant producer in both vegetables and ornamentals. The first ornamental Speedling grew as plugs was seed geraniums. Speedling has perfected its 10-week geranium plugs to finish for growers in a 4-inch pot in four to five weeks. Plants are budded and ready to bloom. Speedling also is helping growers save on freight with its “Pull and Pack” program, shipping four trays worth of geraniums […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Pacific Plug & Liner

Pacific Plug & Liner When you visit Pacific Plug & Liner in Watsonville, you also get to see a whole new world of floriculture with the Agrexco alliance of companies in Israel. These range from Jaldety’s varieties of niche annuals and perennials and plants with foliage and texture to Cohen’s mainstream vegetative annuals, Hishtil’s herbs and vegetables and Schwartz geraniums bred by Endisch. New this year was Isaacson Flowers, with gorgeous, double-flowered mandevillas and large-flowered, blue thunbergias. Pacific Plug & Liner (PP&L) is the young plants division of Smith Gardens in Bellingham, Wash. The company is always pursuing licensing agreements with the most innovative genetics, including a striking new salvia, ‘Wendy’s Wish,’ from PlantHaven. Each year PP&L conducts independent comparison trials of a few key product lines. This year it was heat-tolerant lobelia from cuttings in baskets, scaevolas and perennial Salvia nemerosa. INTRODUCTIONS –Euphoria scaevolas–Happy petunias–six colors–Mandevilla ‘Super Trouper Double […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Sakata

Sakata As an independent global breeding company based in Japan, Sakata is looking for ways to be more proactive promoting its lines in the marketplace with distribution partners. “The way we see ourselves is as a premium, independent, non-integrated breeder, which are disappearing,” says Sales Director Ron Cramer. “In the past, we relied on distributors to do everything for us. They do a good job, but they have other masters than Sakata. We want to be there to help and have a broader, more fuller partnership.” One example is with Paul Ecke Ranch and Home Depot with Sunpatiens, the first sun tolerant impatiens that have received rave reviews in trials and landscapes. Sunpatiens are now open for complete market distribution. New Sunpatiens include Compact Deep Rose, Compact Magenta and Spreading White Variegated Leaf. Other introductions are Vanilla Blush and Blue in SuperCal Petchoas and Caligrande calibrachoas. INTRODUCTIONS –Begonia ‘Fortune Coral […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Skagit Gardens

Skagit Gardens This was Skagit Gardens’ second year exhibiting at the scenic Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Based in Mt. Vernon, Wash., Skagit produces specialty annuals and perennials. The company also breeds and selects innovative varieties, including Big Bang coreopsis bred by Darell Probst, Cone-fection double echinaceas by Arie Blom and Commotion gaillardias bred by John Dixon. Skagit Gardens is a partner propagator for many of PlantHaven’s introductions, too. The company has added more than 100 new perennials to its catalog. The dianthus Scent First series produces large, double and semi-double carnation flowers with fragrant perfume. Tender grasses, like Carex ‘Rekohu Sunrise,’ is another category generating interest. New annuals include fuchsias and Ecke Ranch’s Flower Fields. Specialty seedling varieties include acalypha, centradenia, solenopsis and talinum. Hot new cupheas include ‘Magenta Border’ and ‘Southern Border.’ INTRODUCTIONS –Brunnera ‘Mr. Morse’–Carex ‘Rekohu Sunrise’–Caryopteris ‘Hint of Gold’–Centaurea ‘Amethyst Dream’–Chasmanthum ‘River Mist’–Coreopsis ‘Sienna Sunset,’ ‘Cosmic Eye’ […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Danziger

Danziger It was a banner year with Danziger showing 45 of 65 new varieties. One exciting addition is ‘Calitunia Pink,’ which joins ‘Calitunia Purple’–a breakthrough as the first genetic cross between petunias and calibrachoas, offering large flowers and pH tolerance. When it comes to large-flowered bacopas, Danziger is the undisputed king with ‘Scopia Gulliver White’ as its top-selling variety in the company by volume. To become a Gulliver, flowers must measure one-inch across in diameter. In the Great subseries, flowers are just shy of becoming Gulliver. The big new breeding direction for Danziger is perennials and hardy annuals. Plants include heuchera, lamium, coreopsis and gaillardia. Oro Farms with production facilities in Guatemala added several new lines, including Floranova’s Bright Idea ipomoeas and Sakata’s SuperCal Petchoas, also a cross between petunia and calibrachoa. Florensis varieties include euphorbia ‘Gloria,’ an alternative to ‘Diamond Frost.’ INTRODUCTIONS –Angelic argyranthemums–five new colors–Brasco brachyscomes –’Calitunia Pink’–Genta […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: American Takii

American Takii For the past two years, Japanese breeder Takii has been assimilating the offerings of two key acquisitions–Sahin in Holland and Global Flowers in Denmark. All three specialize in different types of seed varieties. Takii’s strengths have always been vegetables, cut flowers and seed annuals. Global Flowers is known for blooming potted crops, especially gerbera. And Sahin breeds interesting niche crops, like grasses, perennials, as well as violas and coleus. Takii’s message was that the three companies together offer service, selection and quality. As far as new introductions go, this was a light year for American Takii. The big one on the seed annuals side was the Cadenza hedgiflora petunias. Plants grow up and out in a V-shaped habit. Colors are Rose, Rose Pink, Rose Red and Salmon Pink. Takii also added Frosty Blue and Yellow w/Blotch to the Nature pansies and a light Heavenly Blue to Gem violas. […]

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