“This year, the testing reports have shown that our rose breeding has been really successful,” says Rosa Eskelund, owner of Danish rose breeding company Roses Forever. “As we have not been able to travel, the extra time enabled us to really focus on improving our selection and test growing, and we are very excited to bring the resulting varieties to growers.” Eskelund shares in what ways their rose selections have changed, as well as how bigger greenhouses and new markets are leading to an increased demand.
The Roses Forever team, Rosa Eskelund in the middle.
Focusing on selection
When Roses Forever is working on developing new varieties, there is much quality testing that occurs before the new roses make their way to the growers. After the tests in Denmark are done, they send the varieties out to other countries, such as The Netherlands, Norway, and China. “We then see what they have to say, and compare their reports to our own. An interesting effect of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, is that the testing outcomes of this year’s breeding have been incredibly successful. Instead of the usual travelling, we have been spending this time at home working on our selection. Overall, we have been able to enhance our selection processes by having more time, more square meters, and more varieties tested. In 2020 and 2021, we have test grown over 500 new pot rose varieties from our breeding, and from them only 2-5 will be left after our very strict selection. They have to be better than what is already on the market to be included into our Infinity or Roses Forever series.” Eskelund shares that this year’s tested varieties have bigger flowers, sharper colors, and are naturally compactly growing. “Of course, growers want something new every year and it has to be better than the ones they already grow. That means that they need shorter culture time, easier to grow, bigger flowers, more compact plants, new colors, etc. Therefore, we are very excited about bringing them these new varieties soon.”
Test line of the new pot roses, September 2021
New markets and bigger greenhouses
And it is not just the rose breeding itself that has been successful, as Roses Forever’s demand has been strong as well. And it is not just their well-known Infinity line that is doing well, the overall demand for their roses has been increasing. “Even though we were not at the exhibitions, there is still a lot of demand from new growers who want to start up a pot rose production. We are currently in contact with a South African grower, which is a completely new market for us. Interestingly, we are also noticing that the Chinese license greenhouse growers are increasing their greenhouses, so they want to grow more of our roses as well.”
Eskelund meeting with growers.
Eskelund shares that Roses Forever will be at this year’s IFTF in The Netherlands (November 3-5), and is welcoming growers to visit their booth. “We will be showing our popular Infinity roses, our new varieties of pot roses, as well as our new cut roses. We will be bringing our best varieties for everyone to see in person and are excited to finally meet everyone again.”
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