Spring 2015


The Rieger Begonia

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This is why Rieger Begonias have such strong devotees

Riegers are famous for those blooms, so it is not hard to see why they have such a dedicated fan base. A display in its prime says it all—anything beside the flowers just becomes a detail. A blend of the tuberous and wax Begonia, Rieger pulls traits from both worlds. Like the tuberosas, Riegers have dramatic blooms in bright, vivid colors, usually in doubles that bear a striking resemblance to roses. Like the wax Begonia, they sit more upright on stiffer stems, hold up better in outdoor work, and bloom for a longer time. To play off their strengths, it is important to remember a few things about Riegers.


The Caladiums

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Two contrasting Caladiums: ‘Strapleaf Miss Muffet’ and ‘Strapleaf Red Ruffles’

We grow Caladiums for two major reasons. First is their ability to brighten up dark corners with flashes of red, white, or green and interesting patterns of red, white, and/or pink. Every property seems to have at least one of these dark spots, and the unexpected color catches your eye as you come across it. This example is Caladium’s most famous trait.

Our second reason for growing Caladium is its tropical look, like a small forest of elephant ears when we plant several in a stand. In a way, this is performance art in the garden because the plants tremble and shimmy with the smallest breeze. Actually, the look is more versatile than it appears because in the Midwest Caladiums can move into partial and light shade, and some cultivars can handle a lot of sun.


The Importance of Toasting

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Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ toasted to a vivid red

Certain plants are promoted with an unusually rich color to their leaves. We are thinking of Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ in this case, but the same is true for a number of other plants we sell: Pepper ‘Black Pearl’, Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’, and others. Their significant feature is that vivid color; however, we are certain you have also seen samples of these plants with muted or washed out tones. “What’s the deal?” you may be asking.

This is toasting—or the lack of it—in action. Toasting is a technique of placing certain cultivars in hot, blazing, preferably full-day sun in order to bring out the famous, foliage color. Let’s take a look under the hood so we can understand what’s going on and what’s going wrong.


The Holiday Red Carpet

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Lush Poinsettias lay a multi-colored carpet in this greenhouse

It’s time to fill your Poinsettia inventory, as most of the season’s plants will be moving over the next several weeks. We grow our Poinsettias for big bracts with crisp edges for a lush, full canopy of color over the top. We have a wide selection in a number of categories so let’s take a stroll along the Red (and beyond Red) carpet in the greenhouses for a look at what’s shipping.


Back to the Future with Beacon Impatiens

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Elmer explains our bed of Beacon Impatiens at Field Day 2019

We could say that the past decade has been a quest to find an acceptable replacement for Impatiens but nothing quite fits the bill. There have been contenders—New Guineas, Begonias, and Salvias—but nothing caught on like the original. Here we settled on SunPatiens as the best work-alike, but the truth be told, nothing does the Impatiens look quite like an Impatiens. In our hearts, we want the real thing, Impatiens walleriana. We know our buyers want it as well, because we continue to grow traditional Impatiens for the people who still buy them and love them, downy mildew and all.

Now along comes the Beacon series of Impatiens from PanAmerican with new breeding that brings us back to the future: our beloved walleriana has been updated with disease resistance. Beacon represents the return of the king, armored up to face the new horde of barbarians that crowd around the garden gate.

We’ve also noticed that tucked into this regime change there is a new concept for the market: the premium Impatiens.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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