Josef Heuger, Heuger-Gartenbaubetriebe:

Europe: Room for innovation in hellebore market

The hellebore is a well known plant and is commonly known as the Christmas rose in Europe. The market is good and a lot of developments are going on in the hellebore sector. According to Josef Heuger, owner of Heuger-Gartenbaubetriebe, the traditional hellebore are still highly demanded, but new and other varieties are becoming increasingly popular.

On the left: Josef Heuger at the IPM Essen. Above right: HGC Wintergold. Bottom right: HGC Jacob Classic.

Top sellers
Heuger is a breeder and grower of hellebore and hydrangea young plants, pre-finished plants and finished plants. As a breeder, Heuger is always looking for new and innovative hellebore varieties that are early flowering, coniothyrium resistant and have good production and garden performances. At the moment, the hellebore assortment of Heuger consists of 55 different varieties. When looking at their top selling varieties, Heuger notices that their classic varieties have been their top sellers for several years now. "Our HGC Wintergold and the HGC Jacob Classic hellebore varieties, for example, have been on the market for quite a number of years and they are still highly demanded."

On the left: HGC Jasper. "This variety is early and rich flowering and fills bigger pots easily in one season. On the right: HGC Jesko. "HGC Jesko is a more compact but also early, homogeneous and very rich flowering H. Niger."

Upcoming varieties
However, according to Heuger, the demand for these classic varieties is not increasing, but remaining stable. This is in contrast to the demand for new and other varieties. "In the Niger group, new varieties, such as the HGC Jasper and HGC Jesko are growing fast. Also the interspecific hybrid group is becoming increasingly popular. It seems that the trade and the consumers are now finding out about this group of Hellebore," says Heuger. According to Heuger the characteristics are probably the main reason for this increasing popularity. "These plants are easy to care for, robust, hardy and long lived perennials, which is valued. At the moment, our top sellers in this group are the HGC Marlon and the HGC Snow Dance," says Heuger.

HGC Marlon and the HGC Snow Dance.

Market situation
In general, the hellebore is doing well, especially in Europe. The market for hellebore heavily depends on the weather conditions as they are mainly planted outside. "In Central Europe, where most of the hellebores are sold, the winters were quite mild over the last three years. This resulted in a good market position and prices for the hellebore," says Heuger.

For more information

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