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'Coreopsis verticillata about to lose bad reputation'

The Coreoposis verticillata have had a bad reputation for many years in Germany, but there might be light at the end of the tunnel. This year, German perennial grower Stephan Plesse of dieter denzer gartenbau, supplied the first varieties to one of Germany's major garden centers, and they are eager to put them in their stores again next season. "After having had bad experiences for many years, we all had to be convinced to put this variety on the market again. Fortunately, the results were very pleasing."

Coreopsis verticillata varieties clockwise starting upper left: Lightning Bug, Firefly, Imperial Sun, and Ladybird.

Bad reputation
20 years ago, Plesse had his first experience growing Coreopsis verticillata, but he was not satisfied with the quality and therefore stopped growing them. "The varieties were sloppy, not hardy, and were not strong in growing. We tried out several varieties, but we had so many failures with all these different varieties that we decided to stop growing them." However, two years ago their young plant supplier Vitroflora came up with some new coreopsis verticillata varieties: Firefly, Lightning Bug, Imperial Sun and Ladybird from breeder Terra Nova Nurseries. "At first, we were not interested at all. But as Vitroflora told us that these varieties are hardy and higher in quality than the varieties that we used to grow, we decided to test them. In 2015 we ran the trials with the varieties and we were pleased with the results."

Persuading customers
Then the challenging part: Plesse had to propose this variety to their customer; one of the leading garden centers in Germany. "The first reaction of this garden center was 'no'. They were also unhappy with the results of these varieties in the past. So, first we had to persuade them of the fact that these varieties were different and afterwards, we could send some samples. Then they trialed them again, brought them to their stores and tested if people liked them or not and if they were selling well or not. And fortunately, they were pleasantly surprised as the variety had better success than expected. So, they decided to offer them in the stores for next season."

Bright future
"So, since a very long period of time, we sold our first coreopsis again in 2016. We sold about 2000-3000 plants. And of course, this is not much if we compare it to our total perennial plan production of 3 million, but we foresee a bright future for this variety."

For more information
dieter denzer gartenbau
Stephan Plesse
Email: [email protected]