Cruising around SoCal in the spring and taking in the magnificent beauty of flowers and foliage may seem like a dream, but it’s the real deal. Get an advanced look at what PlantHaven has planned for visitors to the California Spring Trials (CAST) this year.
Sneak peekThe PlantHaven stop features both indoor and outdoor display areas that gives visitors a comprehensive look at the plants’ lovely qualities.
PlantHaven is thrilled to introduce a new program for 2017 that addresses a critical need in the market. The WatersaverTM program will be populated with plants that not only look amazing, but don’t require much water to thrive. Mediterranean varieties are the perfect fit for this program, such as selections from PlantHaven’s premium Euphorbia program. Also in the WatersaverTM program is Isotoma FIZZ N POPTM ‘Glowing Violet,’ an Australian plant that produces a profusion of star-shaped, violet-purple flowers over an exceptionally long period – up to six months in California trials! The PlantHaven team is continually looking for crops that don’t require copious amounts of water and provide exceptional interest to be included in the WatersaverTM program.
A closer look
A visit to the PlantHaven CAST stop will surely delight the senses. But if you can’t make it this year, here’s a sampling of what will be on display.
Bidens CUPCAKE™ Strawberry
This variety features elegant bicolor flowers in cheery pink and pure white tones. It flowers through summer and into fall, and the pollinators love it.
Dahlia PAINTER™ Collection
Dahlias in this collection offer huge double flowers at 4 inches in diameter. Colors are rich and vibrant making them stand out in a retail setting with a long blooming period of summer through fall.
Adenophora FAIRYBELLS™ ‘Gaudi Violet’
Heads will turn at the masses of elegant soft-violet, bell-shaped flowers that bloom from summer through fall. It has a tight, clumping habit and matures to 18 inches high and wide. Hardy to Zone 4.
Miscanthus ‘Little Miss’
This unique compact selection grows only to 2 or 3 feet high. Its graceful arching foliage emerges green in spring and persists through the summer. In fall, the foliage turns to striking red and purple tones. Hardy to Zone 4.
Passiflora RIVERSIDE® ‘Snow Queen’
The stunning large pure-white flowers are larger and longer lasting than regular Passiflora hybrids. The blooms, which last for two or more days, complement the dark green leathery foliage. Hardy to Zone 8b.
Lavandula WALBERTON™ Arctic Fox
Violet blue-lavender blooms appear from summer through fall. The foliage is a stable variegated foliage that is blue-green edged with broad cool white margins. With a compact rounded habit, it grows to about 40 inches tall and 23 inches wide. Hardy to Zone 6.
Costa Trials: Put to the test
The Season Premier Trial Garden provides the first look at the industry’s best performers.
Thanks to Miami’s climate, growers and retailers can kick off the year with a wealth of knowledge from the Costa Farm’s Season Premier Trials.
The 2-acre trial garden is transplanted in December, between weeks 51 and 52. Each variety has six plants in the trial garden. Plants are supplied at their finished stage in the equivalent retail sizes, such as 1¼ quart for annuals and 2½ quart or 1 gallon for perennials.
The trials are designed to emulate the end consumers’ experience with a new plant.
Plants are rated for several characteristics, including flowering state, insect and disease issues, nutrient deficiencies, and uniformity.
By the time the late January reveal rolls around, the gardens are blanketed with color and texture from annuals, perennials, tropicals and woodies.
Can’t make it to Miami? No worries – go to http://rd.costafarms.com/public/trialgarden.aspx and type in the name of a plant to view biweekly photos and trial information.
A towering discoveryPlantHaven learned an extremely helpful fact after
testing Diascia TOWERS OF FLOWERS® — the tender perennial offer exceptional heat and humidity tolerance. The results from the Season Premier trials at Costa confirmed the valuable characteristic to be true, even in the sweltering climate of Miami.
Diascia TOWERS OF FLOWERS® Light Pink continued to flower and retain its beauty after Week 20 in the high Miami temperatures. This helped PlantHaven convince growers and retailers that this collection of Diascia is exceptional compared to the more traditional cool season-only varieties.
A winning performance
As you peruse the trial gardens this year, keep a close watch for premium color lines and perennials, as well as lush tropicals from some of PlantHaven’s independent breeder clients.
In the tropics
The Royal Hawaiian line of Colocasia showcases some amazing colors and lush leaves. Royal Hawaiian ‘Tropical Storm’ features dark foliage with central white markings pair beautifully with the dark stems. It has a compact, clumping habit. It’s available for retail this year, and it came through the trials last season with outstanding results. Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ is an experimental selection from breeder John Cho. It’s glossy, lush leaves and compact habit should make a statement at trials this year.
Perennial with pizzazz
Dianthus DEVON COTTAGETM Pinball Wizard is not only bursting with color, but also with a refreshing, spicy scent – a characteristic that’s often overlooked at retail. Flowers have cool pink-white undertones that are boldly striped and speckled with vermilion red. Masses of double flowers are carried on sturdy stems. Hardy to Zone 5.
Some of PlantHaven’s WatersaverTM plants will make waves in trials this year for their garden performance and their water conservation traits. Look for a full retail rollout of the WatersaverTM program in 2017, including Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow with its multicolored foliage and Euphorbia Glacier Blue with its cool blue and white tones. Both plants present the end consumer with exceptional interest from summer through fall.