Walters Gardens, Inc. and Darwin Perennials (DarwinPerennials.com) recently announced that Darwin Colombia, a vegetative perennial production farm near Bogota, Colombia, will begin offering unrooted cuttings of select Walters Gardens genetics in spring 2017. Darwin Colombia will offer unrooted cuttings of more than 40 varieties of Walters Gardens’ new genetics, including many popular genera such as Agastache, Monarda, Nepeta, and Phlox.
“Over the years, we’ve been developing what we feel are top-notch perennial genetics,” says John Walters, CEO of Walters Gardens. “As a company of our size, we can only penetrate so much of the market. We made the decision to open up our lineup in the unrooted form, so our product can be readily accessible to many growers.”
Darwin Colombia was a natural choice as a supply partner for such a venture, Walters says, due to its reputation for quality and delivery.
What This Means For Greenhouse Growers
According to Karin Walters, Marketing Director at Walters Gardens, for most Walters Gardens customers, the news shouldn’t change the way they do business.
“Walters Gardens will still offer all of the varieties that will be available in Darwin Colombia and will grow them in the format customers have come to expect from Walters Gardens (high-quality liners and bare root),” Karin says. “If, however, you are a large grower who prefers to buy in unrooted cuttings, this is now an option for you. Additionally, if you are a grower or retailer that has been restricted from purchasing from Walters Gardens due to freight costs, this could open up opportunities to try Walters Gardens genetics.”
Karin also says that Walters Gardens chose Darwin Colombia as a partner specifically for its perennial producing/growing expertise.
“Perennials just aren’t produced the same way as annuals, and it was important that we found someone who understood that.”
For the first year, Karin says there will be limited availability in a lot of varieties, so it would be best to submit orders early. By the second year, the unrooted cutting availability will increase.
“We are excited to add Walters Gardens genetics to our 2017 assortment,” says Mike Klopmeyer, General Manager of Darwin Perennials. “This partnership will strengthen the supply chain for these sought-after perennials and complement our offering of Darwin Perennials varieties and other genetics into the market from the farm.”
Walters Gardens unrooted cuttings are offered for sale through Darwin Perennials’ established North American distribution channels. The company also notes that Proven Winners Perennials, a successful program for Walters Gardens, is only available through the Proven Winners network.