Build Your Perennial Quart Program
It was not long ago that perennials were first finding their place on the retail shelf. Back then, perennial plants were offered in quart containers near the back of the garden center. As the benefits of using perennials in the landscape became more well-known by the consumer, production started to shift to larger containers. With the recent rise in raw goods and production costs, the lowly quart container is starting to look more economically appealing. Whether it be as an easy impulse buy or a promotional item, customers see the potential in this smaller input. They like the idea of being able to mix and match varieties to obtain more diversity. While not all perennials are appropriate for small containers, Syngenta’s perennial offering has several appropriate products for small container production.
Just as pansies and violas are a must-have to start the spring season, there are some key perennials that customers expect to see on the bench. The following perennial options are well suited for early-season quart programs.
The bold colors and upward-facing flowers of Kirigami™ are a spring favorite. Through new breeding, Syngenta introduced a series of Aquilegia that did not require traditional vernalization. This innovation allows Kirigami to be truly programmable like other spring annuals.
The large double flowers found on Bellis Bam Bam™ are a great compliment to the Spring Pansy and Viola programs. Bam Bam is a cold-tolerant series and does not require vernalization to flower.
This F1 Iberis series introduced last year is a clear improvement over past seed Iberis. The uniformity of the flower timing and plant habit of Iberis Whistler White™ makes en masse production easy. Traditional vernalization is still needed to induce flowers.
A traditional perennial that requires a true vernalization to flower. GoldiPhlox™ has multiple colors to choose from, including a unique Cherry color.
For distinctive reds and pinks in early spring, nothing beats Saxifraga Touran™. This free-flowering and tough-as-nails traditional perennial is a must-have.
As the seasons shift from spring into summer, quart-produced perennials offer new marketing possibilities. Handle packs or jumbo four-pack trays offer the grower the ability to create combinations that take the guesswork out of landscape design for the consumer. Below are some of the perennial staples that will fit any late spring/summer program quart pot program.
This first-year flowering, heavily scented English lavender series is produced from seed. Scent™ is offered with either blue or white flowers on a densely branched plant with silvery-green foliage.
Javelin™ Compact Purple offers the same large flags and flowers you find on Javelin Forte™ Deep Purple now on a shorter, more compact plant.
This compact plant boasts bright white, double-petaled flowers. Pisces is the earliest to flower out of all the Western Star™ series, with minimal chill requirements for uniform flowering.
Castello™ Compact Gold boasts tons of bright yellow flowers produced on a compact, heavily branched, first-year flowering perennial.
Possesses an indeterminate growth habit, resulting in a much denser, rounded presentation in the garden. This heat-loving perennial continues to produce brightly colored flowers all summer long. Barbican™ is available in Red and Yellow with Red Ring.
Low-growing Sedum are typically grown for their foliage, but the Spot On™ series produces exceptionally large flowers. Deep Rose and Pink have similar habits and can be grown side-by-side.
While the need for larger perennial containers will always exist, a quart perennial can fill a price point that benefits both the grower and the consumer. With the varieties that have been listed, there is enough diversity to supply a quart program throughout the year. For complete culture guides, please visit the Syngenta Flowers or ThinkPlants websites for more information.
Mike Fischer is a Technical Lead for Syngenta Flowers North America.
All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.
© 2022 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status and proper use. Some or all of the varieties may be protected under one or more of the following: Plant Variety Protection, United States Plant Patents and/or Utility Patents and may not be propagated or reproduced without authorization. The trademarks or service marks displayed or otherwise used herein are the property of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective third-party owners.