Syngenta’s Getting Crafty With Containers
Containers seem to be the name of the game for Syngenta, perhaps because the company knows that the consumer garden of today and of the future is on the deck. From Kwik Kombos to veggies, Syngenta’s California Spring Trials display provided a variety of options and information that growers and retailers can use to drive consumer success.
Bengal is a new series of F1 seed gerberas in six classic colors. The big brother to the popular Jaguar gerbera series, Bengal gerberas have a larger flower but remain compact in containers, and they’re ideal for six-inch and larger pots.
The grandiflora F1 hybrid Tritunia series is a compilation of genetics from three different petunia lines, to allow Syngenta Flowers to declutter the market and growers to simplify their orders. Tritunia is available in 20 colors and three mixes.
Kwik Kombos, Syngenta’s line of mixed containers, is a big deal for the breeder and this year, it’s intensifying its focus on new uses for combos and heat-loving combos, like the I like it Hot Mix, Summer to Remember Mix and Summer’s Promise Mix.
Last year, Syngenta introduced SeedSations, its version of seed-propagated combinations. While Kwik Kombos are grown from three cuttings fused into a single liner, SeedSations offer information to growers on which seed varieties will perform best and finish together when planted from separate plugs. Seed options offer a lower-cost option for growers, and many of the combos looked like they could be used as season extenders for early spring to late fall.
A new concept, the poinsettia-in-a-mum, should help growers and retailers to add value and inspiration to holiday crops.
On the veggie side, Jeannine Bogard, business product manager, Garden Vegetables at Syngenta Flowers, Inc., shared the results of her patio vegetable trials, which told an interesting story about differences in how patio vegetables grow, depending on the size of the container. Bogard tested tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans in a variety of container sizes, from a wine barrel down to a 10-inch pot. She said she was surprised that all of the plants, even the tomato, survived with just hand watering (sometimes spotty). While the plant itself was smaller with the smaller pots, there was no difference in fruit size, yield or taste. The plants typically put out fruit about two weeks earlier than those in the ground, and she found squash was a lot more manageable in a pot (the fishbowl effect).
From her trials, Bogard came up with the Decision Tree, a tool that helps simplify the overwhelming list of variety choices that gardeners have.
Veggie introductions include a 3-bean-salad mix, comprised of Italian flat beans, wax beans and green beans; Redhawk cabbage and Brice zucchini, which looks decorative, but its leaves are good at pest resistance because the look mimics powdery mildew.
Other notable intros include Syngenta’s line of dipladenias and its Perfetto line of large-flowered, uniform cyclamen in eight colors and two mixes. Its Sanguna Patio petunias also have two great new colors, in Pink Morn and Radiant Rose.