What’s New for Next Season?

Chris Beytes

Ken Day and Melanie Byrne of McHutchison get the scoop on the latest varieties from German breeding company Westhoff and Christian Westhoff himself during the California Spring Trials, held April 14-18. Westhoff was one of four companies exhibiting within the greenhouses of orchid producer Floricultura in Salinas (the others were Beekenkamp, PAC Elsner and Plug Connection).

GrowerTalks and Green Profit once again visited every stop and wrote about nearly every exhibiting company, and produced videos of the highlights (all of which can be found at What was our takeaway of the event? First, it was a quiet year, introduction-wise. Plenty of good color introductions, but few all-new series and no game-changers … at least not obvious ones. The standard has gotten so high in most classes, it’s hard to breed a true improvement.

Second, we continue to see plenty of activity in the hot categories of perennials and foliage, but we saw only a few succulents this year. Lastly, the big topic outside of new varieties was the weather—namely, the terrible weather hitting much of the country before and during the event (even in California, we saw some rain and cool, windy conditions. But we weren’t complaining!).

Interested in attending next year’s Spring Trials? Mark your calendars for March 23-27. GT