After a positive start, the primula sales dropped towards the end of the season. Even though this mainly had to do with the late onset of the winter with low temperatures, the quantity of sold primroses in Europe is decreasing for the last years now. Therefore, bringing new and non-traditional primulas on the market is essential. And it seems to pay off. German breeder Ebbing-Lohaus, for example worked on breeding primroses with a stem and they have become very fashionable.
Günter Kemper at the FlowerTrials 2018.
Satisfying start of the season
The primula season in Germany runs from the end of December till the end of March. This year, it took off positively with a good demand and satisfying prices. However, towards the end of the season, the end of February, the demand as well as the prices started to drop. "This probably had to do with the late onset of winter with low temperatures", says Günter Kemper of Ebbing Lohaus.
Primula sales decreasing
Weather is always influencing the sales, but over the last years, Kemper has seen the primula sales decreasing. "This can not only be said for the German market, but also for other European countries." According to him, an important reason for the decrease of sales volume is that primroses are not used for graveyards’ planting or for beds as often as in the past. "Urn-graves, graves covered with grass or anonymous burials are getting more and more popular during the last years. The final consumers’ gardens are changing as well to a higher use of crushed rocks and tree barks and less beds with flowering plants."
On the left: sibel red. On the right: eblo bloody mary.
A fashionable primula
"Even though the sales of primulas decreased over the last years, they are still very favored by costumers, in my opinion. For a breeder, it is very important to bring up new types and shapes every year, to enthuse clients again and again", says Kemper. "Currently, the primulas with stems are fashionable and quantities are on the rise." Fortunately, they have been breeding this type, the Primula Polyantha, intensively for several years. Now, they sell the medium early type 'sibel' and the late type 'stella'. "Special about these varieties is that several stems are flowering at the same time and that these stems are very strong. Especially stella is very suitable for planting in flower boxes outdoors, as they are hardy and the flowers stay beautiful even after rain."
el unistar rose
Range of colors
Another way to stand out is by the color. "In all series, from early to late flowering type, we try to have all kinds of colors - flowers with an eye, striped and special colors. Also for our primula with stem series sibel and stella, that have a good position in the market, we offer new colors every year. All in all, we are pleased with the great range we have built up over the years and fortunately, our customers appreciated it."
Besides the appearance of the plant, the growing habits are as important. "As breeders our aim is to produce plants, which flower uniformly and grow homogeneous. Growers want to have compact series that can be cultivated without the use of inhibitors." Based on these requirements of the grower, they have bred compact series (bonneli, delia, aurela and gelaya).
Expanding markets in the future
As the volumes of primula sales decreased over the years, it according to Kemper, becomes more important to expand markets and start supplying Non-European countries. "We have noticed over the last years, that there is a high demand for primroses in Non-European countries. Gardeners from there do need robust sorts with big flowers like el unistar or eblo. Here, within Europe, it is important to give detailed and exact consultation to find the right products for every producer and his costumers."
Eager to learn more about Ebbing-Lohaus and their products? They will be attending the FlowerTrials in Germany (at the location of Westhoff in Südlohn-Oeding). Due to the time of the year they will show young plants only. "Additional pictures of flowering primroses will give an impression of our assortment. We would like to emphasize our novelties, such as sibel red, el unistar pink-light and new colors of the eblo series. An extraordinary new color is eblo bloody mary, which blooms with an intensive dark-red flower and a yellow eye."
For more information
Ebbing-Lohaus Vertriebs GmbH
Borkener Straße 29
Tel: +49 (0) 2867/266
Fax: +49 (0) 2867/9430