Category Archives: Flowers

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 5 (4/12/16)

Day 5 brings us to Salinas, CA to visit the Sakata, Takii and Speedling facilities. Each day brings more and more interesting plants. Let’s take a look at what they had to offer. SuperCal Petunia is a calibrachoa x petunia hybrid from Sakata. The series has an excellent color range and flower size. Red Robin Tomato from Sakata will be a great choice for container production. The compact habit and dense branching will provide plenty of tomatoes throughout the season. Salvia Summer Jewell Series (Salvia coccinea) from Takii… Read More →

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 4 (4/11/16)

It is day 4 and we are at the half way point of the 2016 spring trials. The weather has been much nicer since we’ve reached the central coast and the plant introductions just keep getting better and better. Today we visited the second site for Dummen Orange in Paso Robles, CA and Floricultura which is hosting Westhoff, Plug Connection, Beekenkamp and Pac-Eisner. Here are the highlights of today’s visits. Coreopsis Red Elf is a new dwarf perennial from Dummen Orange. Red Elf has dark scarlet flowers presented… Read More →

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 3 (4/10/16)

It is day three and we have a few stops along the central coast. Today we visited Windmill Nursery who hosted 9 companies in Buellton, CA and Dummen Orange in Edna Valley, CA. The visits are starting to increase the number of “WOW” plants should also increase. Let’s see what Sunday had to offer. Agastache Kudos Series from Terra Nova has a compact habit along with an awesome color range. Agastache is a great perennial for summer flowers. Calibrachoa Chameleon Blueberry Scone from Dummen Orange is an interesting introduction… Read More →

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 2 (4/9/16)

It’s day two, here are some plants of interest. Stop 1 – GroLink Plant Company – Oxnard, CA. GroLink was the host to 13 companies, and there was plenty to see. Sun Parasol Apricot is the newest addition to the Sun Parasol Mandevilla series from Suntory Flowers. The growth habit is similar to the other colors in the series, but the apricot flower color is a first to the market. Patio Gerbera Volcanoes is ideal for your favorite planter on your deck or patio. Available from Florist Holland, the Volcanoes variety… Read More →

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 1 (4/8/16)

Hello there! I’m traveling the next 7 days in CA visiting seed companies and breeders with colleagues from Texas A&M and Texas Tech for the annual Spring Trials. The Spring Trials allow the green industry to see the latest in new bedding plants, perennials and even some woody shrubs. I will be providing a daily update with highlights from my visits. Oh, and by the way who said “It never rains in Southern California”, that’s all it has been doing here since I arrived on Thursday. EuroAmerican –… Read More →


We had another great year for plant trials in 2015. Our rainy spring delayed our trial installation since we were a bit on the wet-side. The trials were planted in early June, and evaluated for flower production, leaf color, uniformity of habit and flower, resistance to insects and diseases and overall appearance. Hot Pak™ French Marigold – This new seed series of French marigolds look great not only in packs but also in the landscape. Our trays of 3” pots were uniform across all colors (no PGR applications… Read More →

Landscape Pest & Disease Workshop

If you work in the green industry and deal with pests and diseases in the landscape, or work at a garden center and answer questions from customers on plant diseases and pests; then don’t miss out on the Landscape Pest & Disease Workshop on January 29, 2016. We have an excellent group of presenters that will cover the following  program topics. Pollinator Protection Pesticide Laws & Regulations Landscape Disease Management Landscape Ornamental Pests (Common Culprits & New Invasives) Turfgrass Disease Diagnosis & Management Continuing Education Credits available  TDA Pesticide… Read More →

Beneficial Insects: Green Lacewings

The green lacewing (Chrysoperla sp.) is a common beneficial insect found in the landscape. They are a generalist predator best known for feeding on aphids, but will also control mites and other soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, leafhoppers, mealybugs and whiteflies. The adult green lacewing has a long slender green body and golden eyes. It has prominent wings with lace-like veins. An adult will be approximately 0.75” in length. They are typically night flying insects.  Females can lay up to 200 tiny, oblong eggs on silken stalks attached… Read More →

Seeing Canna Rust?

Cannas are a popular herbaceous perennial that can be grown in containers, as a boarder background or as a specimen in gardens and landscapes throughout Harris County. It did not take long after the wet spring for fungal problems to start rearing their ugly head. We have recently received several emails and calls regarding orange pustules on Canna leaves. Yes, your plant has Canna Rust (Puccinia thaliae). The Puccinia fungus requires long periods of humid weather, poor air circulation and waterlogged soil to grow and flourish. That sounds just… Read More →

Rose Rosette Disease (RRD)

Rose Rosette Disease is in Texas but currently not in Houston. This blog entry will provide a brief overview of the disease along with links to valuable resources for the green industry. RRD Overview: Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) has been identified in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area, but has not been confirmed in Houston. RRD is caused by a virus (Rose Rosette Virus-RRV) that is transmitted by the eriophyid mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphylus. RRD was initially identified in the US in 1941 – spread of the disease in the… Read More →