The Value of Growing Petchoa SuperCal®

Last winter I wrote a blog post about this relatively new genus and series. Now that the growing season has begun for next spring, it’s definitely worth revisiting the SuperCal series as they continue to grow in demand and popularity.

SuperCal Terracotta
What makes SuperCal unique is that they’re a genetic cross between the Petunia and Calibrachoa genera. What makes them a value is that the cross brings the best characteristics of each genus to the series, and pretty much gets rid of the icky traits. Examples: Large showy flowers (petunia genetics), non-sticky leaves (Calibrachoa), flower power (both), tolerance to high soil pH (petunia), self-cleaning plants (both), excellent performance in both cool and warm environments (both).


SuperCal Neon Rose
We conducted a thorough container trial of the SuperCal’s this summer at our facility here in Rochester, NY. Our unusually hot and dry summer really put this series to the test, and I must say we were very pleased with the overall results. The advantage for growers is the SuperCal’s can be grown cool, so that’s a nice energy savings. For the end user, the good news is they performed exceptionally well in high heat and direct sun! The claim of self-cleaning was evident in our trials throughout the summer. We never had to deadhead the plants – EVER. Consider that a nice energy savings on the consumer side!
 
My favorite of the series is Neon Rose. The containers were packed with flowers and the color really popped – two great traits. Rest assured there are several other colors that round out the series, such as new Blushing Pink, Blue, Cherry, Terracotta, Violet, and more.

I could go on and on about the SuperCals… and I will, but not today! You’ll be seeing more details about the SuperCal series as we progress towards spring. As a professional grower, if you haven’t added the SuperCal’s to your product line, here is a strong ‘heads up’ to consider them. The liners are available through our Plug & Liner program. 

SuperCal Blue
For home gardeners, be sure to ask for the SuperCal’s by name at your local garden center next spring. We are also working on a home gardener mail order transplant program that will include the SuperCal’s. Details of the program should be available by late November.

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That’s right! Even MORE New Flower Introductions for 2013!

Can you tell that there’s a plethora of new intro’s for the 2013 gardening season? And I’m not even done yet! Today’s post wraps up the new variety highlights. And guess what - there are even more in addition to what I’ve covered in these last four blog posts! Stay tuned as I’ll be covering some of these in more detail throughout the year. In the meantime, take peek below. Clicking here will give you even more detail of the varieties below.

Vegetative Liners
  • Super Bells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa – This new Proven Winners® variety has looked bright and zesty in the trials I’ve visited this spring and summer. Plants are covered in lemon yellow and white flowers in a distinctive star pattern.
    Super Bells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa
  • SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange New Guinea Impatiens – This new, high-impact color lights up SunPatiens’ 2013 line. You’ll be hearing more from me about the entire SunPatiens series during the course of the season!
    SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange New Guinea Impatiens
  • Calliope® Hot Pink Geranium – The award-winning interspecific Calliope series welcomes three new colors, including bold Hot Pink. Superior branching fills containers quickly for a premium finish.
    Calliope® Hot Pink Geranium
  • Clio Magenta Cleome – This upright bushy newcomer provides inspiration in both gardens and large containers.
    Clio Magenta Cleome
  • SuperCal® Artist Rose Petchoa – The SuperCal’s are gaining in recognition, and deservedly so. New Artist Rose provides a nice color addition to this fantastic series. You’ll be hearing more from me about the entire SuperCal series during the course of the season!
    SuperCal® Artist Rose Petchoa
  • New multi-liners galore! There are a number of new multi-liner combinations from various breeders. Consider multi-liners of Proven Winners, and Celebrations, of Trixi’s and Mixi’s, of Kwik Combo’s™ and more! Click here for just a snapshot of multi-liner combo’s. More detail to follow as we go through the season. Stay tuned!
    Multi-Liners

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That’s right! Even MORE New Flower Introductions for 2013!

In my previous 2 posts a few of the many new flower seed and vegetative introductions were highlighted that will be available for the 2013 gardening season. Today highlights even more new flower seed and plug varieties that are available to grow this season. All are available through our seed or plug programs. Clicking on the links below will give you even more detail.

Flower Seeds and Plugs
  • Santa Cruz Sunset Begonia – The first B. boliviensis type begonia from seed, Santa Cruz Sunset has already won gardening awards this spring and summer. It’s an excellent item for hanging baskets and containers. Can be grown in full sun.
    Santa Cruz Sunset Begonia
  • Cool Wave Mix Pansy – A major improvement over Plentifall, Cool Wave offers increased vigor and larger flowers. Its true spreading habit covers containers and baskets nicely and is packed with flowers.
    Cool Wave Mix Pansy
  • Sophistica Blackberry and Sophistica Lime Petunias – Both of these new Sophistica varieties held up well in our hot summer. I was pleased to see that Blackberry did not fade out at all, but rather became richer and deeper in color as summer progressed. Sophistica Lime held its lively yellow lime color all summer long.
    Sophistica Blackberry and
    Sophistica Lime Petunias
  • Picobella Cascade Petunia – This brand new series demonstrated very nice performance this summer. I would place it in the same class as the Shock Wave series. Both have tighter internodes resulting in a bushier spreading habit and smaller blooms than typical spreading seed petunias.
    Picobella Cascade Petunia
  • Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea – This brand new AAS winner for 2013 is already the talk of the market. It possesses an excellent color range for Echinacea Mix from seed.
    Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea

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More Enticing New Flower Introductions for 2013

In my last post a few of the many new flower seed introductions were highlighted that will be available for the 2013 gardening season. This post spotlights a sampling of the many new vegetative introductions that are available to grow this season. All are available through our plug & liner program. Clicking here will give you even more detail of the varieties below.

Vegetative Liners
  • Calipetite Calibrachoas – Wow, did these turn our heads in trials this spring! Calipetite offers neat bursts of color in pots, containers, and window boxes.    
    Calipetite Calibrachoas
    
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  • SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange New Guinea Impatiens – This new, high-impact color lights up SunPatiens’ 2013 line. You’ll be hearing more from me about the entire SunPatiens series during the course of the season!
    SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange New Guinea Impatiens
    
  • Calliope® Hot Pink Geraniums – The award-winning interspecific Calliope series welcomes three new colors, including bold Hot Pink. Superior branching fills containers quickly for a premium finish. 
  • Calliope® Hot Pink Geraniums
    
  • Colorblaze® Keystone Kopper Coleuses – This new Proven Winners® sun coleus will catch your eye with its rich, deep copper foliage. It makes a great landscape coleus. Also be sure to check out its new companion Colorblaze Marooned!
    Colorblaze® Keystone Kopper Coleuses
    
  • Petunia Ray Sunflower – It’s unique alright. Check out the dark maroon and yellow starred pattern of this conversation-starter!
    Petunia Ray Sunflower
    
  • SuperCal® Artist Rose Petchoas – The SuperCal’s are gaining in recognition, and deservedly so. New Artist Rose provides a nice color addition to this fantastic series. You’ll be hearing more from me about the entire SuperCal series during the course of the season!
    SuperCal® Artist Rose Petchoas
    
  • Lanai® Candy Cane Verbenas – I’ve really enjoyed the color pattern of this addition to the Lanai series. It’s performed beautifully all summer long in a hanging basket at home and put a twinkle in my eye.
    Lanai® Candy Cane Verbenas
    
  • Pardon My Purple Monardas – This new Proven Winners® Monarda caught my attention with its nice short plant stature. It can be grown for the fronts of perennial gardens and used in mixed containers.
If you’re a home gardener, be sure to bookmark this page so you can ask for the varieties by name next spring at your local garden center!

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Exciting New Flower Introductions for 2013

After a full spring and summer of viewing and trialing new flower varieties, it’s exciting to bring you some highlights as our commercial grower customers start preparing for the 2013 spring selling season. Clicking on the links below will give you even more detail!

Flower Seeds and Plugs
  • Serenita Angelonia – Bred to be shorter than the Serena’s, the series will be particularly useful in the South. Serenita Raspberry a unique color with a great habit and long lasting flower power.
    Serenita Angelonia
    
  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Coleuses – I really like the color combination of this new sun coleus from seed, and was pleased to see that the color didn’t fade during our unusually hot and dry summer in our container trials. I recommend growing and selling it in large containers on its own, and not mixed with other annuals. 
    Chocolate Covered Cherry Coleuses
    
  • Spring Matrix Pansies – This new pansy series was bred to flower up to 2 weeks earlier than Matrix. It will be a nice addition for the spring market primarily in the northeast and mid-west where the pansy selling season is short and sweet.
     
  • Shock Wave Deep Purple Petunias – This is a great addition to the Shock Wave series, with a fantastic deep purple flower color. Use this better performing variety to replace the discontinued Shock Wave Purple. (Note: this variety is also available in Harris Seeds home garden packets.) 
    Shock Wave Deep Purple Petunias
    
  • Happy Trails Portulacas – This is a nice new trailing Portulaca. I saw little difference in habit or performance outdoors compared to Sundial, but they are earlier in packs and pots for retail. Happy Trails also has a deep red color which you’ll not find in Sundial.
    Happy Trails Portulacas
    
  • Cora Red Vincas – This is long awaited new color for the Cora Series vincas. It really was outstanding in the outdoor trials I visited this summer, with bright snappy color on a nice uniform plant habit. 
    Cora Red Vincas
    
If you’re a home gardener, you may want to bookmark any flower varieties in this list that interests you so you can ask for the varieties by name next spring at your local garden center. Stay tuned for my next blog post that will highlight some intriguing new 2013 vegetative annuals!

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All-America Selections Trials

A summer review

In early August I attended the All-America Selections Summer Summit in Michigan. This summer meeting rotates around the country so that our AAS judges and industry members have an opportunity to view AAS trials in different climatic areas. This was the first year in Michigan, and it was a wonderful event! In a two day period we visited Michigan State University in E. Lansing, C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, Elzinga Greenhouse in Kalamazoo, Mast Young Plants in Grand Rapids, and Frederick Meyering Gardens in Grand Rapids.


The various AAS flower, bedding plant and vegetable trials demonstrated how different organizations grow and trial their plant material. Even though judges only score based on the results of their own trial, looking at other trials helps round out the perspective of how a variety is performing overall.

There are some pretty interesting entries in the AAS flower trial this year. We turn in our summer trial scores pretty soon, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to blog to you about some potential winners in the upcoming months!


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New and Upcoming Trends Spotted at the OFA Short Course

Trends are very important in any marketplace, and that is true as well in the world of ornamental horticulture. Here is what Michael Wells, our Garden Trends Marketing Manager spotted at the OFA Short Course this week:

At the OFA Short Course and throughout the trade show, many trends were apparent relative to food, small space gardening and sustainability.



As food is a priority in our lives, it wasn’t surprising to see that more garden centers are starting to offer gourmet food products along with fresh produce as part of their product line.  Some growers are adding produce field production to their operation while others are purchasing from other local farmers.

Small space gardening is hitting an all time high as both time and space are limited.  Raised beds and large containers of veggies have been seen alongside mixed containers of ornamentals.  One trend that is quickly spreading with women is Fairy Gardens.  These gardens are miniature habitats that may include houses, arbors, water features, seating and even tools that welcome enchanted fairies into your garden. 



Sustainability has really moved beyond a trend to a lifestyle, and many suppliers are using recycled materials now to develop containers and other everyday items.  Also consumers and garden centers are being creative and giving old items a new use… ladders may turn into shelving units and pallets could turn into vertical gardens! 

Trends come and go and we would love to hear what is causing a stir in your neck of the woods, or city block…

Michael

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