Spring Trials was full of tropicals

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News and Inspiration from the world of foliage and tropical plants GrowerTalks MagazineGreen Profit Magazine

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Debbie Hamrick Subscribe
Tropical Topics
Trials Full of Tropicals
Other BI Tropical Stuff
Flamingo Holland
On the Succulent Side

Trials Full of Tropicals
I knew last week’s California Spring Trials would have an instance or two of something new and interesting for the tropicals and interiorscape market, but I didn’t think I’d see as many as I did.
We saw tropicals right off the bat, too, on our very first day at Ball Ingenuity (the division of Ball Horticultural that deals in third-party genetics). The biggest news here is that Ball has now got itself into the orchid biz, at least to a certain extent. The Bud to Blossom orchid orogram offers customers prefinished, pre-budded orchids that are grown by 3H Farms in Texas. Buy them in, put them on the bench, keep them under 60% shade with high humidity, and in 10 to 12 weeks you’ve got a flowering orchid crop to sell.
The program is ideal for grower-retailers, because these orchids can be ordered in small quantities of 36 to 50 plants per box, depending on size, with each box containing five to six different varieties. Each order comes with stakes and clips. Pot them up in your own decorative containers as you wish. I like what they did with the ones on display—adding several orchids to each container and under-planted with succulents. When you consider it takes about a year to grow an orchid and all you have to do is grow it on for just a quarter of that time, it’s a pretty good deal. 

Other Ball Tropicals
Ball Ingenuity had a few other tropical items, as well. They’ve added to the Cannova series of cannas with Bronze Orange, with, you guessed it, bronze leaves and true orange flowers. Cannova cannas, bred by Takii, are from seed, making them safe from many of the diseases that hit vegetative cannas.
Ball Ingenuity also added to its Summer Romance series of mandevillas with the lovely apple blossom-hued Bush Easy Pink.

Flamingo Holland
Flamingo Holland was the third company I spotted showing orchids this year (the second was Anthura, but I talked about their orchid program last year). The company is represented in the U.S. by Floricultura, a ginormous orchid producer in Salinas, California, where Flamingo Holland was exhibiting. 
Flamingo, which is well known for its callas, freesias and lilies, is now offering a pre-spiked, 10-weeks-to-finish orchid program. Each plant is guaranteed to have at least two spikes. They offer three sizes with about 40 plants per box. Since white is the most popular orchid color, each box is packed with at least 35% white varieties, with the rest being a mix of other colors. Can you order a box of all colors? Sure you can. But if whites are the best seller, as they say, why would you? 
They showed us a few new calla intros, as well. Ivory Art is a much clearer and brighter white compared to previous intros. Plus, it’s naturally compact. The pot below has no PGRs.
Also new is Royal Duchess… 
And this lovely calla is also new in the Royal series called Royal Valentine. Gorgeous, isn’t it? 

On the Succulent Side
We don’t cover just the tropical stuff here in Tropical Topics. If you’re looking for unrooted cuttings of about a million different succulents (okay, I exaggerate a little), the folks at HMA (Horticultural Marketing Associates) has them for you. They work with Floraplant SA de CV in Mexico and some domestic facilities as well, and ship them throughout the U.S. and Canada.
HMA will be introducing 60 new varieties—mostly succulents—in the next 18 months. Some of those new varieties include:
Echeveria Black Knight:
Echeveria Pollux, which is great if you’re looking for an echeveria with a bit of a faster growing time,
And a gorgeous aeonium called Sunburst. I’d call that a sunburst, alright! 
HMA’s Jacqueline Azbill says that the succulent trend is still going strong. Folks who are putting their orders in early are having no issue getting the varieties they want. However, she says, if you book late you may run into issues with receiving substitutions. Hey, succulents are popular! You gotta be on the ball with something so hot. 

That’s it for this week’s Tropical Topics. I’ll be back in about two weeks with one or two things more from Spring Trials. Meanwhile, if you have any comments on anything above or have something to share in an upcoming issue, just drop me a line at ewells@ballpublishing.com.

Ellen Wells
Green Profit

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