“Must Have Perennials’ niche is garden-worthy perennials that the everyday gardener can grow and enjoy when they come back every year,” says Laura Wagner, senior product manager at Must Have Perennials.
As Laura explains, Must Have Perennials is a breeder agent with a supply chain. The company works with breeders large and small to identify interesting varieties that may fit into the Must Have program. Once such varieties are identified, Must Have Perennials evaluates the varieties in its trial gardens over a number of years, also collaborating with universities and other trials worldwide to extend the different parameters that can be tested. If the variety successfully runs the gauntlet, Must Have Perennials then works on naming and protections such as patents before rolling it out to its licensees, who are located throughout North America, Europe, the UK, Japan and Australia.
“We have seen a surge in people interacting with our industry and beginning to garden. One of the silver linings of the supply chain issues is that it got us thinking out of the box and trying new things,” says Laura. “Because we have a unique selection, we have a lot of interesting varieties so people can try something new.”
In the spotlight: Igloo Mums, Echinacea, Butterfly Bush and Delosperma
As Jason Tabor, digital marketing manager, explains, Must Have Perennials has had significant success with its ‘Rozanne’ Hardy Geranium and uses this variety’s traits as a baseline for forthcoming introductions.
“We try to introduce plants with Rozanne’s characteristic high performance. We offer plants that are hardy, come back every year and are easy to grow. We also provide various technical guides to show how to grow our varieties,” says Jason.
Must Have Perennials’ Igloo Mum series is a top performer that reintroduces the hardiness that seems to have been lost in the mums category. In recent years, the hardiness of mums has weakened and while they are still considered perennials, many varieties don’t actually survive the winter months. The Igloo Mum series is truly hardy and has been tested to Zone 4.
The ‘Lovely Lolly’ echinacea is another winning varieties with a hot pink double flower and beautiful dark stems, making it a favorite at the Penn State Trials. Further, the ‘Mountain Dew’ and ‘Orange Crush’ Delosperma (i.e., ice plant) is a high-performing plant for dry spots in the garden. Finally, Must Have Perennials’ ‘Butterfly Gold’ Buddleja, or butterfly bush, is particularly stunning with its creamy yellow-green variegated foliage and purple flowers.
Left to right: "Mountain Dew" Delosperma, "Lovely Lolly" Echinacea and "Butterfly Gold" Butterfly Bush
Must Have Perennials has multiple varieties in the pipeline for 2023 and are looking forward to seeing growers again at Darwin Days in June, Cultivate in July and the Perennial Plant Association National Symposium in August among other events. The company will also be scouting new varieties at the Netherlands flower trials in June.
For more information:
Laura Wagner, Senior Product Manager
Jason Tabor, Digital Marketing Manager
Must Have Perennials