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Chuck Pavlich, Terra Nova Nurseries on Agastache Pink Pearl:

“I think it will become a perennial classic”

“It’s easy to propagate, whether cuttings are floral or not, roots quickly, finishes fast, has a great natural disease resistance, great habit, months of flowers, on point color combo, long shelf life and innate charm. All in all, I think it will have a long life in the industry and become a perennial classic", says Chuck Pavlich, Director of new product development at Terra Nova Nurseries when talking about Agastache ‘Pink Pearl’.

Agastache Pink Pearl, a Kudos 2.0 Variety
According to Pavlich one could call Agastache ‘Pink Pearl’, a Kudos™ 2.0 variety. “The Kudos series were called “a game changer” by one of the world’s largest plant propagators when they were introduced back in 2013, and for good reason. Here's the back story. While hiking in an Eastern Oregon desert, I saw a small, pink flowered weed thriving in the crack of a rock and identified as an Agastache species. The eastern Oregon deserts are scorching hot in the summer and bitter cold in the winter – inhospitable for most plant life. This Agastache was thriving in terrible conditions. I photographed it and collected some seeds and took it back to Terra Nova. It took some convincing, on my part to get the breeder of the Kudos™ series, Janet Egger to see the advantages of using a weedy looking plant in her breeding work. She did use it, and to our advantage. The “weed” gave Janet’s work an edge over all other breeding. The Kudos series exhibit a naturally dwarf habit with dense flower spikes, better hardiness than other early seed types and perhaps the best attribute is much increased tolerance to Downy Mildew – Agastache’s nemesis."

So, how what makes Pink Pearl a Kudos 2.0 variety? "Similar to an improved computer software program, 'Pink Pearl' uses the same platform as the Kudos series; increased hardiness, tolerance to Downy mildew, great habit, but with more features, namely better branching, larger and more prolific flowers and longer bloom time."

"It combines all the best qualities of an “elevated” perennial" Agastache ‘Pink Pearl’ was introduced in 2022 and according to Pavlich, visitors to their trial grounds were floored by its performance and full habit. “Trial garden visitors had pretty much all the same reaction: wow. Pink Pearl combines all the best qualities of an “elevated” perennial: natural dense branching without pinching, bred-in disease resistance, months of repeat flowering, without grooming and a soft pink ombre’ color cascade in each spike of flowers.”

Advantages for every link in the chain
For a variety to become successful, it is important that it performs well and pleases all links in the chain. So, what are the advantages of this variety for the grower, retailer and end consumer? Pavlich: “The advantage for the grower is the ease of propagation and lessesned need for human intervention, less disease pressure, less labor for maintenance and greater tolerance of grower errors. For the retailer, this product has the “wow factor”. The colors that ‘Pink Pearl’ has in each spike are trending quite high. It can stand alone in a bed or container or be a gracious neighbor in any setting. It’s that good.”

Increasing demand for agastache
According to Pavlich, the demand for agastaches has increased steadily in the last decade. "Especially since we introduced our KUDOS™, with several copycats being launched by nurseries worldwide.” The demand has increased for several reasons, he continues. “First, the increased tolerance to a broader range of weather conditions, substantially better disease tolerance, greater color range and being a favored host for pollinator insects.”
Keeping up with the demand
The greatest challenge is to keep up with the demand, says Pavlich. “Sales for ‘Pink Pearl’ are great. We’re at a point now, after a year past the introduction where cutting farms are now meeting demand and not disappointing anyone.

For more information:
Terra Nova Nurseries
[email protected]