“It is quite a new product for the North American market, and the demand and potential is high,” says Jeremy Acker, Nursery Director at DeVry Greenhouses, when talking about the patio/garden roses of Select Breeding. At the IPM Essen in 2020, the large flowers of these plants caught his eye, and he convinced his team to trial them at their greenhouses in Canada. After successful trials, they gradually increased the amount of plants, and currently, they are producing 30,000 plants.
Left to Right: Rajvir Prasher- Head Grower, Jeremy Acker – Nursery Director
Devry Greenhouses, founded in the early 1930s, grows a wide assortment of plants, including bedding plants, hanging baskets, patio roses, shrubs, and hedging arborvitae, and distributes them to retailers and garden centers all over North America. Their products are grown across several locations in Canada – one in Alberta and two in British Columbia. Total production space covers over 800 acres (300+ha). The climate conditions in this area are comparable to that in Holland.
Why these patio roses?
“Big flowers and a good hardiness of the plant. This is what people are looking for nowadays, and when visiting the IPM Essen in 2020, the big flowers of these patio/garden roses caught my eye. I immediately wanted to know more about this plant, and I could not wait to trial it at our location. We first started to trial this variety by producing 7,000 plants, and the year after, we increased the trial to 20,000 plants.” And the plants seem to grow well in their greenhouses. “On top of the big flowers, the plants are compact, flower from spring to fall, have a good cold hardiness (they even survived -20°C in my garden), and disease resistance. When the plant is cut back, it grows back in the same form each year.”
Acker is very pleased with the demand so far. “Currently, we are producing 30,000 plants, and they are almost all sold out. The flowers are one of the USPs of this product, and we can get color very early and start shipping budded and flowering roses in May in time for Mother’s day. All in all, we receive very positive reactions from our retailers and their product managers, but we even receive emails from consumers who are pleased with the varieties and ask questions about cultivation.”
Inflation and demand
During the pandemic, plant sales went through the roof as people started to invest in decorating their homes and gardens instead of going out and on vacation. This year, however, besides the fact that people can go out again, inflation may also result in people spending less on plants. And Acker sees retailers reacting to it. “They seem to be more careful and selective with new products and lines in their assortment. Bedding plants are not expected to be hit that hard as they are more impulse purchases.” For the patio/garden roses, Acker still has high hopes. “As I said, there is certainly room in the market for such impactful roses, and the characteristics are appealing to many consumers. In the next years, we will increase the production based on the demand.”
Select Breeding at the IPM Essen again?
Eager to meet the breeder of the patio/garden roses? After the successful first participation at the last edition of the IPM Essen Select Breeding decided to exhibit again at this trade fair that will take place from January 24-27 in Essen, Germany. Eager to meet the team of Select Breeding and see their products? You can visit them in Hall 7, Stand 7A35.