Mar 26, 2019
2019 California Spring Trials — Day 3By Tim Hodson

It’s hard to believe that the 2019 edition of California Spring Trials is already more than half over — but it really is. Over the last three days, we’ve covered a lot of miles, talked to a ton of people and seen a lot of great plants that are in the pipeline.

Yesterday morning, we started off at American Takii’s facilities in Salinas. This year Takii is also hosting HilverdaKooij and the team from OHP.

In addition to seeing the latest offerings from Takii, we learned that Hilverdakooij and Florist Holland’s previously announced plans to merge are right on schedule.  The deal should be completed later this year. We also learned about some of the new (and old) products that OHP has been working on including Astun, a fungicide that is really helping ornamental growers combat botrytis.

Next, we made the quick trip to the other side of Salinas to check out the introductions and amazing displays that the team at Sakata had put together for the trials. This year the company has 84 new introductions including the new Viking begonias that are setting sail soon (see below).

Our last stop of the day was at the scenic Edna Valley Winery in San Luis Obispo, where Dümmen Orange has set up shop this week. In addition to the new introductions, we got a one-year update on Basewell, Dümmen’s innovative rooting technology that debuted at the 2018 California Spring Trials. We also got an update from Quick Plug, the manufacturer of substrates for a wide variety of crops and culture practices.

Here are some of the stars from Monday …

Digitalis ‘Pink Panther’
American Takii

This first-year flowering plant really puts on a show. It is quick to flower and is compact for easy shipping. Its foliage is well balanced and the flowers are sterile. This helps prolong their life and enhance the consumer’s enjoyment. ‘Pink Panther’s’ sturdy branches help produce multiple and colorful flower spikes.

Rebel Pot Dahlias

Hilverdakooij had several new plants on display that have yet to be named. The company plans to really roll out the red carpet during the European Flower trials that take place Week 24. The Rebel dahlias are easy to grow and will be available in a wide range of cheerful and saucy colors.

Viking Begonias

This year Sakata is launching two new series of begonias — Viking and Viking XL. The all-weather begonia will work well in the landscape or large containers. They are available in green, bronze and deep chocolate leaf colors. Viking is available in eight colors and Viking XL is available in four colors. ‘Viking Pink on Chocolate’ is shown here.


Zinnia ‘Profusion Cherry Bicolor’

The award-winning Profusion series of zinnias has added a new, high-impact, eye-catching color. This is the first bicolor in the series. This zinnia is very uniform which makes it appropriate for bench run sales. It can take the extreme heat and is drought tolerant for excellent landscape performance.

New Guinea Impatiens ‘Roller Coaster Hot Pink”
Dümmen Orange

This variety is a standalone introduction that will provide a wild ride for 2020. It has beautiful double flowers with a ruffled edge and is made for the shade. It is a garden performer that has a medium vigor. Retailers can use it as a season extender for late spring and early summer sales.

Impatiens SunStanding Jazzy series
Dümmen Orange

This year Dümmen Orange is adding two subseries to the company’s SunStanding impatiens: SunStanding Jazzy and SunStanding Spot-On. Jazzy has two colors in the series including (‘Jazzy Coral’ is pictured here). Jazzy has bright jewel tone colors and vivid variegated foliage to grab the attention of today’s gardeners.

We are continuing our southward journey for the final two days, so stay tuned for our next recap in tomorrow’s Culture Connection. And as always, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

—  Tim


Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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