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Manfred Heekeren, Jacob und Heekeren Staudenkulturen:

'In-the-shelf flowering sedums highly demanded'

Today's consumer likes to buy their plants already flowering. But this can't always be achieved with sedum plants: many varieties do not flower in the shelves, since their flower stems often break during transport. For this reason, breeders are continuously investing in enhancing sedum varieties in this aspect, and growers are noticing the benefits. The top selling products in the sedum assortment of German perennial grower Manfred Heekeren of Jacob und Heekeren Staudenkulturen, for example, are the in-the-shelf flowering varieties.

Manfred Heekeren.

Flowering in the shelves
Over the years, Heekeren recognized that a sedum variety needs to do more than look attractive to become a popular variety. Quality is also key. "Plants are increasingly considered to be impulse purchases, as they are not only offered at garden centers anymore, but at discounters and supermarkets too. And today's consumer prefers to buy flowering plants." However, to offer a flowering sedum does not seem to be that easy. "There are many sedum varieties on the market that flower. However, these often cannot be sold flowering as their stems break easily during transport. And also on the field, when they are too heavy, they often break from the wind and rain", he says. And healthiness is key. "It all starts with a good variety and good young plants. This combination enables us to offer sedum varieties that will flower in the shelves." And Heekeren notices the difference in the demand and sales. Their in-the-shelf flowering sedum varieties are among their best selling varieties.

Mr. Goodbud. In 2006, this variety won the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS.

Mr. Goodbud
Mr. Goodbud is one of the best selling products at Jacob und Heekeren during autumn. This dusky S. spectabile hybrid, bred by Terra Nova Nurseries and propagated by Vitroflora, has been grown by Heekeren for about ten years now and is still in high demand, year after year. "This variety can be put in the shelves when it is flowering. So, the dense foliage and strongly contrasting colors between its light buds and dark mauve flowers immediately catches the eye of consumers."

Touchdown Teak.

Touchdown Teak
Another sedum that sells well is the Touchdown Teak. This dark leaved sedum variety, also bred by Terra Nova Nurseries and propagated by Polish Vitroflora, is known for its glossy red-brown to purple-brown leaves, red stems, and a vigorous, upright but low habit. In the summer it has rose-red flowers. "And it might not come as a surprise, during this time of the year, the sales of this product increase. Also, this product flowers in the shelves."

Heekeren has been growing this variety for three years now and every year, they see their sales rising. "When introducing a new variety to the market, we as growers are always awaiting the response from our clients. When a variety is new, they are often in high demand at first, but over time, this variety needs to prove itself", says Heekeren. However, after growing and supplying this sedum for 3 seasons now, Heekeren is pleased with the demand. "It is increasing and I expect to have more offers this coming season as the plant, even without its flowers, always retains its ornamental value. We will see. In the beginning of spring, we will receive the orders and the end of spring we will start planting them", he says.

Jacob und Heekeren Staudenkulturen
Heekeren & Jacob und Heekeren Staudenkulturen is a grower located in Rheurdt, Germany. On their 10.5 ha outdoor growing space and 3.5 ha greenhouse, they grow perennials, grasses, ferns and some herbs. They mainly supply to the German market, but their plants are also being sold in Switzerland and Austria.

For more information
Jacob und Heekeren Staudenkulturen
Manfred Heekeren
Email: [email protected]