Providing Advantages and Flexibility in Perennial Production: No Cooling Needed By Mike Fernandez

How can first-year flowering perennials benefit your business?

Perennials that finish fast and bloom earlier have the potential to deliver early sales. Choosing varieties that flower in the first year, without the need of a cooling period, can make the growing process more efficient, and increase profitability.

One of the key differences in all of Danziger’s perennial varieties is that they flower in the first year without a cooling period. This attribute is directly related to where these perennials are bred and tested. “Our perennials are developed in our facilities in Israel,” says Ori Danziger, deputy CEO for Danziger. “The weather in this part of the world makes it impossible for us to provide a cooling period for any of our perennials. So, we’re choosing varieties and species that flower without cooling.”

Because of these growing conditions, crops such as Sunstrong erysimum, Solanna coreopsis, Lucille leucanthemum, Apex salvia and all of Danziger’s perennial series can all be grown in a warm greenhouse and still flower in the first year.

Producing these perennials in a warm greenhouse gives growers several advantages. The plants finish faster, require less effort and are ready to ship on a more programmed schedule. This can allow growers to extend the season on either end.

LESS EFFORT

Since these perennials don’t require a cooling period, the days of reserving space and moving product during perennial production are over. This can save space, time and labor costs.

MAXIMIZE OPPORTUNITIES

Perennials that flower in the first year provide a great option for growers, giving them optimal color when they need it. These perennials also give growers the flexibility to take advantage of last-minute opportunities for sale. If a perennial grower gets a last-minute order or a late order, they typically can’t respond with varieties that need a cooling period. The growing schedule is too long. With first-year flowering perennials, the cooling period is not needed. Growers can stick the plants and within 12 weeks have product that is ready to ship.

RESULTS AT RETAIL

Another important reason to choose perennials that flower in the first year is their retail appeal. The ability to have predictable production also means you’ll always be able to have color on the racks. “Perennials without a strong show of blooms tend to sit on the bench and get passed over by the consumer, even if they will do well for them in the garden later on,” says Lisa Heredia, marketing and key accounts manager at Danziger. “Great looking plants sell faster; they also spur impulse buys. Our goal is to help growers produce perennial flowering plants that look great on the bench, drawing in customers who are searching for a particular variety or who are just captivated by the beautiful blooms.”

SEASON EXTENDERS

First-year flowering varieties can help growers extend the season, starting earlier and driving sales past the tradition spring rush, with long-lasting, heat tolerant color. Here are a few to try:

The Solanna coreopsis series puts a new spin on this classic perennial. Solanna flowers in the first year with no cooling needed. It also flowers exceptionally early, with large blooms covering the plants as early as April and lasting through October. This series is perfect for both early and late season sales. For the home gardener, Solanna is a great landscape or container plant. This series is very low maintenance, and can take the heat and still look great.

Sunstrong erysimum is a true breakthrough in breeding. In the past, erysimum were seen only as spring bloomers. Now, Sunstrong flowers early and provides blooms all summer long, even in warm climates. ‘Sunstrong Orange’ has bright, tangerine hued flowers with a delicate, fresh scent. This perennial has exceptional heat tolerance and is a great filler plant in large containers. It is also stunning in the landscape.

The Steffi series of gaura provides first-year flowering with no cooling needed. ‘Steffi Dark Rose’ shows excellent heat tolerance with a medium growing habit. It will also bloom in short days. This perennial provides continuous rosy, dark-pink blooms from early spring through fall.

Apex salvia, available in both Blue and Pink, features first-year flowering with no cooling period needed. This compact and exceptionally uniform salvia series is very hardy. Apex boasts upright, well-branched inflorescences that are very quick to rebloom. The foliage stays short and narrow, allowing the flowers to stand out.

ULTIMATE FLEXIBILITY

Even though Danziger perennials don’t need vernalization, they can be produced with a cooling period. Several growers have great success with their traditional perennial growing programs. But, having the option and flexibility can ultimately increase growing efficiencies and drive profitability.

“We’re committed to developing varieties that help growers be more
profitable,” says Ori Danziger. “But we don’t stop there; our experts are
here to help with research-backed growing tips and information to help
our customers choose the best varieties to meet their business goals.”

Can first-year flowering perennials benefit your business?



Mike Fernandez

Mike Fernandez is the North American market manager for Danziger. You can reach him at [email protected]



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