Day 3 at the California Spring Trials
Team GPN had another action-packed day in California. Day 3 started in Salinas where we visited American Takii and HilverdaKooij, and we also got to catch up with the folks at OHP and Philips Lighting. In addition to introductions for 2019 — like a new eye-catching capsicum and new cannas — they also showcased a ton of experimental varieties that are in the pipeline. HilverdaKooij continues to do a lot of work with dianthus, echinacea and one of my favorites, a long-season hellebore.
Next, we headed to Sakata. They never fail to impress with their incredible displays that really inspire visitors and show what consumers can achieve with their full product line. SunPatiens, as always, looked outstanding, and Sakata simplified the collection this year. Now, there are two categories — Vigorous and Compact — that make it easier for growers to create custom programs for their customers. MasterTag and Summit were also at Sakata displaying their fun and creative packaging ideas that really make the plants pop.
Our final destination was in San Luis Obispo where Dümmen Orange wowed us with new products and concepts. We enjoyed their retail tent that featured all their various product lines — from alstroemeria and callas to calibrachoa and begonias to kalanchoes and poinsettias — and how they can be used year-round. We also got to learn about the new Basewell technology that can simplify the rooting process.
We’ll continue heading south today, but for now here are some highlights from Day 3’s adventures:
Canna ‘South Pacific Orange’
Three new colors have been added to South Pacific, creating a whole new series. ‘South Pacific Orange’ is an All-America Selections winner, with improved disease tolerance and prolific and vivid blooms.
‘Kaylee’ isn’t necessarily new this year, but the company’s marketing concept for this incredibly fragrant dianthus is. This cheerful and sweet-smelling pot carnation can be used as a gift item or even an impulse purchase at retail. The perfume bottle tag was a big hit and had everyone stopping to take a look.
Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Vigorous Orchid’
Sakata added four new vigorous varieties to its evolving SunPatiens line. They feature even better branching and strong plant vigor. They are ideal for cooler regions where fast-growing color is desired.
Petunia ‘SuperCal Premium Sunray Pink’
SuperCal Premium is the next generation of SuperCal petunia-calibrachoa hybrids. These five new colors feature more unique colors, larger flowers and a more mounded habit than traditional SuperCals. The current colors all fit into a fall color range, but more colors will be coming soon.
Begonia ‘I’Conia Portofino Yellow’
Portofino is a new line of I’Conia begonias that have been bred for larger flower size and strong, natural branching. No pinching is required, and these plants are resilient. With a more upscale premium appeal, POP concepts are available to growers.
Calibrachoa ‘Aloha Nani Tropicana’
This fun and unique color adds a novel interest to the Aloha Nani series. It fits right in with the uniform, compact collection. No pinch and no PGRs are necessary. Tropicana is perfect for smaller containers, baskets or even tabletop bowls.
I can’t believe our Spring Trials journey is already more than halfway complete. I’ll be sharing more updates from the road the next couple days. If you’d like to keep up with our travels, check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.