Chinese market embraces new hydrangea

"Simply irresistible!" That was the response to a beautiful new hydrangea Suntory Flowers introduced at the Beijing Florascape Co. Ltd. (BJFC) tradeshow last month, explains Munenori Inagaki, manager of Suntory's Asian business development team. The new variety, '无尽星河Wu Jin Xing He,' means eternal Milky Way. "Customers were drawn to the vivid shades of deep blue and pink and immediately noticed the plant's compact habit and high flower count."

The show display at the BJFC tradeshow. 

Benefits for the grower
But the benefits for growers are even more dramatic, he continues. "These highly branched plants can be produced with just one rooted cutting per pot. Normally, a grower would need to plant two or three rooted cuttings to produce a full plant. A single rooted cutting of 'Wu Jin Xing He' can produce more than 10 branches. Growers also save by using less PGR (plant growth regulator) – just one application, or none at all."

It's also easy for growers to control the flower color to be completely blue or solid pink, or somewhere in between. "Once purchased, consumers can enjoy the changing colors in their homes."

How the plant looks as blue or pink.  

New brand HydrAngel
Based in Japan, Suntory Flowers has introduced this variety under a new brand, HydrAngel. "To introduce the category worldwide, we've established the umbrella brand name of HydrAngel for the series," Inagaki explains. "HydrAngel means aquatic angel, combining the words hydrangea and angel. Feather-like flowers continuously bloom throughout the season. Starting from 'Wu Jin Xing He,' we'll launch a number of new varieties you won't want to miss!"

The initial launch will be in China and Korea. "In major cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guahngzhow, Honk Kong, and Seoul, the majority of the people live in large apartments or residential complexes without gardens. HydrAngel will make it easy to bring the beauty indoors."

Increasing popularity hydrangeas
For the past 10 years, hydrangeas have become a popular Mother's Day plant, replacing pot carnations as the traditional gift, Inagaki says. "Remarkable breeding improvements have made this possible. These include compact growth habits, a wider range of flower colors, earliness to flower in May, as well as postharvest qualities, like the ability to withstand transport, ease of indoor care, and extended shelf life."

High expectations
If the BJFC show is any indication, the market is ready for the next generation of breeding. As an innovative breeder and marketer, Suntory Flowers looks forward to HydrAngel soaring as its next big brand.

For more information:
Suntory Flowers
Delilah Onofrey
Marketing Director

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