Early Spring 2014


Three New Gazanias

Gazania-mainWe discussed gazania a few years back, but we want to revisit it. Gazania presents us with the true “treasure flowers” of summer in the comfortable and familiar daisy shape. Although gloriously dramatic, the plant itself is not daisy-like—gazenia likes to grow in mounded, compact shapes with a silvery fuzz on the leaves. Here, the flower is the reason to buy the plant—it really delivers on the “wow factor”. The Kiss Series has been particularly effective at color coverage—an issue we care about deeply at Diefenbacher—so this year we’ve added three new Kiss cultivars to our Gazania Collection.


Dianthus ‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’

Dianthus00We’ve added ‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’ to our dianthus line because we’ve noticed more and more that mixes get sales. In a sense, it is easy to see the value comparison: a tray of one color vs. a tray of three colors—more variety for the same price. ‘Merlot Mix’ is an exceptional choice because it includes equal amounts of high-contrast colors: red, pink and white.

‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’ is a prime candidate for strong frontline sales for genetic reasons as well. Flower size stands out in particular—it features a nice, big, juicy blossom. This dianthus is a cross between a chinensis (prolific bloomer) and a barbatus (cold-hardy), so it blooms prolifically in cooler weather—always a good thing.


The Rex Begonias

BEG-mainWe’ve seen steady sales growth of Rex Begonias over the past four years so we’ve decided to expand our program. Unlike other begonias, the Rex Begonia is sold primarily on the strength of its foliage. The leaves have a painted quality to them, and some cultivars feature interesting textures or irregular leaf margins as well. Many put on a showy display with big leaves up to six inches—plus they flourish in shade!

Foliage plants offer great value to landscapers because the color interest never goes away. Rex Begonias deliver color and style with a flourish. When you walk into a professional building—to visit the doctor, for example—huge urns filled with plants often flank the entranceway. Many times those decorative containers are tucked in close to the building where a shadow is cast for most of the day—enter the Rex Begonia, because shade is where it thrives.


Bliss Series of Tuberous Begonia

Tuberous-Begonias mainBegonia is a very wide-ranging genus with lots of permutations within the cultivars assigned to it. Tuberous begonias add plenty of drama because of their big, papery rose-like blossoms. Plus, they love the shade—when they are in bloom, everyone wants one. Unfortunately, performance can vary widely from cultivar to cultivar, so finding the best one requires a bit of research. Through trialing and testing, we have found a series that performs the way we like: The Bliss Series.


Our Expanded Hellebore Program

HELL-mainWe’ve expanded our Hellebore program to include a total of (14) cultivars this year with a broad range of colors and types. Hellebore is turning into a premium choice for color to open the early spring season. Plants are extremely cold-tolerant—they bloom naturally when the threat of snow is still in the air and shrug off any snow that does come along. Breeders have been very active, so we have a generous range of colors and styles that we simply did not have a few years ago.

Once the leaves come out, Hellebores need full to partial shade. Here is a rundown of what we will be shipping in 1-gallon pots: