Spring 2015


The Marble Poinsettia

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Poinsettia ‘Marbella’

Marble is a popular Poinsettia, mainly because it offers some pizzazz against the sea of Red. Some people consider it a novelty, but we believe the plant has enough sales to break out into its own mainstream category. Marble was one of the first Poinsettias on the market that was off the beaten path decades ago, so it has a dedicated fan base that spans generations. We sell two varieties for very specific reasons.


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.


Princettias for Décor

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Pure, clean star-like bracts of ‘Princettia Pure White’ 

Princettias have several features that make them useful for professionals working on Christmas décor projects, or retailers who want to offer Poinsettias that are a cut above. In a season when it’s important to set out the best, everyone turns to the Poinsettia and choosing a better Poinsettia helps make a display stand out from the crowd. Princettia delivers the best white in the business, but it is a better Poinsettia for other reasons as well.


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.