Plenty for Pots
Chris Beytes, Bill Calkins, Jennifer Zurko & Osvaldo Cuevas
Potted Hydrangea (Ball Ingenuity)
Francy is a two-colored collection—Purple and Pink—with lacecap flowers and a free-branching habit that makes a good florist-quality pot (Francy Purple is shown). To compliment these, Ice Boy is a white with nice, clear white flowers.
Kalanchoe Bongo (Beekenkamp)
The two varieties in the new Bongo kalanchoe series have variegated foliage—one that’s more silver and the other that’s dark green (pictured). The variegated types are later to flower than other kalanchoes on the market, so Beekenkamp is pushing these to grow and sell alongside your other succulents.
Welcome to the Jungle (Dümmen Orange)
There’s a lot going on with their new indoor foliage collection, from new production forms, like Sprouts (think peperomia from plantlets propagated like old-school African violets) to a new stock source in Antigua, Guatemala, where they’ve been building inventory for two years and are now ready to rock and roll. We appreciate the large collection of peperomia, tradescantia and unusual succulents they showed, including some trendy items like string of dolphins. The real key will be if they can supply it because everybody is looking for a dependable supply of foliage!
Oh, and their Gherkin Delosperma (AKA pickle plant) won a Retailer’s Choice Award from The Garden Center Group at Cultivate’22.
Cyclamen Metis Abanico Select Mini Deep Magenta (Morel)
The newest one in the Abanico series (which means “fan” in Spanish for its interesting wavy flower form) is Deep Magenta, which has mini dark purple flowers suited for 3.5- to 5-in. pots, making it a great little gift item.
Streptocarpus Ladyslippers Azure (Green Fuse)
Azure joins the other colors in the Ladyslippers series—Blueberry, Blue Zebra and Raspberry Ice. Owner Steve Jones told us streptocarpus, despite being considered an old-fashioned plant, have taken off along with all the other houseplants.
Hydrangea HI collection (Syngenta)
These are beautiful florist hydrangeas, all of which are sourced through Creekside Greenhouses in Ontario, who produces dormant pre-finished plants that make for an easy finish. The four new ones are HI Sky (blue or pink—both pictured), HI White Sun (white—also pictured), HI Shadow (purple-blue or pink) and HI Horizon (blue or pink).
Primula Touch Me Mini (Schoneveld)
Jen Zurko learned something about primula this year: that the word “primin” is taken from the traditional plant name Primula obconica and it’s a compound that can cause an itchy allergic reaction in some people. Schoneveld’s long-standing Touch Me series does away with the primin, making them safe to handle for all. New in the collection is Touch Me Mini, which joins Touch Me Midi and Touch Me Large, so now you can get primin-free obconicas for all pot sizes.
Zaluzianskia Star Balsam, Orange Eye (Hishtil)
Hishtil may be focusing on herbs, but they haven’t given up on ornamental plants, thankfully, because we saw some quirky genera that were completely new to us. How about Zaluzianskia ovata, a South Africa native commonly known as Night Phlox? It grows at high altitude, so probably would be good for rock gardens. Or pots, of course. Interestingly, it’s a nocturnal bloomer, no doubt to attract some sort of nocturnal pollinator like moths. But we were there at 10:00 a.m. and saw plenty of flowers. There were two varieties, Star Balsam (upright—on left) and Orange Eye (mounded—on right). They’re said to be good sellers in the UK.
Begonia Dreams Bonny, Frivola Magic (Beekenkamp)
This Dutch breeder has a lot of begonias in their repertoire and there are a couple of new additions to the Dreams series that caught our eye. Bonny is an elatior type that features bright red blooms, while Frivola Magic (pictured) has pale green flowers with pink edges that are reminiscent of a hellebore. It also performs well outdoors, too, if you want to put it out during the summer.
Cut Flower Kale Crane Ruffle (Takii)
This Japanese breeder has a new cut flower subseries of their popular Crane series called Crane Ruffle, featuring four ruffled colors—Red, Rose, White and Bicolor. All of these Crane kales are ideal for newbie cut flower growers, they say, because they’re easy to produce and forgiving.
Hellebore Winter’s Angels Vibey Velvet (Pacific Plug & Liner)
Vibey Velvet is now part of their Winter’s Angels collection of early blooming (December/January) hellebores. It’s got dark rose flowers, grows 12- to 18-in. tall and wide, and grows in Zones 5 to 8.
Primula Dania (Sakata)
What’s nicer than a pretty pot of primula to brighten a winter day when you live in the Midwest? The new Dania series was bred in Denmark to be naturally compact, requiring no PGRs. But the flowers are large, giving a good show of color. Dania starts with eight colors.
Tradescantia Pistachio White (Green Fuse)
Tradescantia Pistachio White was a standout for its variegated green-and-white foliage—variegated tradescantia tend to be more cream-colored than white. Good for pots, baskets or as a tropical groundcover. They even showed it in a living wall that you could see from all the way across the greenhouse. GP
You can watch all of our videos highlighting the new stuff we saw at CAST on our YouTube channel.