Sunday, October 28, 2018

What should we call it?

Peperomia polybotrya
       "If it doesn’t have a name and a use, you will never sell it”

     “Botanical names are mandatory for plant science; Common names are necessary for marketing plants”

            Pilea peperomioides would have not had its success without common names of ‘Chinese Money Plant’ or ‘The Friendship Plant’.  These names are tied to the folklore of this obscure foliage houseplant.

            The next internet wonder after Pilea peperomioides could be Peperomia polybotrya.  Initially, and probably in the future, the two will be confused.  Plant collectors who know both plants, tell me that they like the Peperomia much better.  It is bigger, more upright, less floppy and has shiny leaves.  It is a low light plant, less phototropic (doesn’t grow toward the light), is self-branching and is more durable.

            But what to call it?

            An internet search comes up with ‘Owl’s Eye’ and ‘Raindrop’.

            Each leaf has a round dot with radiating lines out from it.  I liked ‘Owl’s Eye’, at first, because older leaves had distinct radiating lines and I could see the connection to an Owl’s eye.  Younger leaves don’t show this.

            ‘Raindrop’ seems to fit better.  You have the dot which could be where the raindrop hit the concave leaf and the splash radiated out onto the shiny leaf.

            Will the rage be: “Do you have a ‘Raindrop’ plant? --- It’s similar to the ‘Chinese Money Plant’, but better”


Peperomia polybotrya 'Raindrop'



Friday, October 26, 2018

The Houseplant Boom from The Economist.

String of Peas for The Sill



          It’s always interesting to see what outsiders of the plant industry say about us.

I’m copying from The Economist, an international magazine.  The story was pointed out by Chris Beytes, Editor of Grower Talks, the leading horticulture trade magazine.

I’m impressed that we grow 6 of the 8 plants searched for on Google.  Also, I sell to one half of the U.S. businesses mentioned.

--- The closest I’ll come to international notoriety.



People born after 1980 have been slower than previous generations to settle down. Some want to explore the world before they get married and have kids. Others simply cannot afford to buy a house. But they can afford houseplants, and many are finding that nurturing them is a more manageable form of domesticity.

Since the turn of the century, exports of plants from the Netherlands—by far the world’s biggest producer of plant life—have increased from $6bn in 2000 to $9bn in 2016. In that year, Europeans spent some €36bn ($42bn) on houseplants and flowers. And in America, Millennials are thought to account for fully one-third of the houseplant sales. Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, began selling plants last year, and direct-to-consumer start-ups like Patch and The Sill have cropped up, delivering leafy goods in pretty pots to doorsteps everywhere.
To illustrate the piece, they pulled Google search data for eight different plants, showing the increase in search queries between 2010 and 2018.




Friday, October 12, 2018

Groupies are everywhere

Groupies are everywhere.

            You never know when you’ll run into some of your groupies.

            These three young people came to the Delaware Gesneriad Show and Sale in Wilmington.  They had come from Philadelphia to look at interesting plants and buy some.

            When they saw that my plants were there with the recognizable blue tags, they were even more surprised that I was there in person.

            They proceeded to tell me that they have been following my ‘Mini’ plants, looking for varieties they don’t have.  They’ve been to many of my customer’s garden centers and plant shops in and around Philadelphia.

            I guarantee you that these delightful plant collectors are not normal   They knew botanical names and what the hottest trends are with houseplants.  There are few young people as knowledgeable as they are.

            I hope to meet them again.




Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Delaware Gesneriad Society Show and Sale, September 29, 2018


Primulina 'Diane Marie', BIS, 2017

Delaware African Violet and Gesneriad Society (DAVGS) Plant Sale and Show
Where: Delaware Center for Horticulture
When
: September 29, 2018
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: FREE

Asian Violet Workshop
Where: Delaware Center for Horticulture
When: September 29, 2018
Time: 10 am to 11 am
Cost: $15  DCH Members;   $25 Non-DCH Members
Additional Information/Registerhttps://www.thedch.org/activities-events/calendar-events/event/asian-violet-workshop
Asian violets, botanically know as primulinas are the newest plant to hit our shores vying for our attention. With their distinctive foliage and ease of growth, they are always a delight to look at and grow, even when not in bloom. These plants, which hail from China and Viet Nam, will be featured in a very special workshop sponsored by the Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) and the Delaware African Violet and Gesneriad Society (DAVGS).
This fast-paced one-hour hands-on lecture will provide you with:
·       The cultural information you need to grow these versatile plants in your home – under lights, on the windowsill, and in the warmer weather, outside;
·       Instructions on how and when to pot up primulinas;
·       The hands-on experience of potting up a primulina which you will take home
·       The hands-on experience of propagating a leaf from a primulina which you will also take home
·       The opportunity to ask questions of the session facilitators, who all grow primulinas and have won prizes for them.
Each workshop participant will go home with one primulina and another pot holding their newly propagated leaf.
Best of all, the workshop is being given concurrently with the DAVGS’s Annual Show and Sale. After the workshop you are invited to inspect the show (which is open to the public for free) and purchase more primulinas (and other gesneriads, including African violets) at the sale. 
Both DCH and DAVGS invite you to participate in the workshop, see the show and enjoy the nearby Taste of Trolley Square celebration later that afternoon. We hope to see you at the workshop and/or the show.
About DCH: https://www.thedch.org/
About DAVGS: http://www.davgs.org/




Thursday, September 6, 2018

String of Hearts

String of Hearts - Ceropegia woodii


String of Hearts

            There is no doubt that String of Hearts should be called String of Hearts.  Every leaf is perfectly shaped like a Valentine heart, attached to a thread-like stem.

            Once rooted, they can trail over the pot by feet.

            Perfect for the interior waterfall look, they are grown in small hanging baskets.

            Start with a full pot and let them grow and flow.

            Look for the green version and get started.  Then you can dream about the pink one.




Sunday, September 2, 2018

Strings of Things

String of Peas - Senecio rowleyanus



Strings of Things

            If you want to know what is trending with interior plants, look at Pinterest.  I’ve been doing this despite my aversion to these types of time sinkholes.

            There are pictures of living spaces decorated with oddly shaped trailing houseplants.  It is greenery to give a waterfall look.

            As soon as one catches fire, there is a world-wide shortage of these rarely grown trailers. Although, String of Peas (Senecio rowleyanus) has always been here and is available in the international succulent supply-train.

            Now I see that the urge to collect plants is back, there are many Strings of Things.  If I’m right about demand, production of these trailers is going to be difficult.  First, there is no stock supply.  They grow slowly, and it takes many pieces to fill out a small pot.

            Luckily, many are succulents which make them survive with owners’ erratic watering and low humidity.

            I have String of Bananas, String of Beads, String of Dolphins, String of Hearts, etc.  There are easily a dozen species that could qualify and if we throw in Rhipsalis, a series of 25 is possible ---- the Strings of Things Collection!




Saturday, August 11, 2018

How to decide who gets this rare plant?

String Of Hearts - Pink



The collectors are coming out of the woodwork.  This rare pink form of String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is very desirable.  If you really want one, what price will you pay?

The eBay market has some reasonable low prices ($14 - $ 36).  The catch is that nobody has any quantity.  If I ration every customer to 6 pots, I will need 300.

Pink variegated plants grow slowly.  It may take a year to get 300 Pots.

Now who should get them …. And at what price?

When there is short supply, most small businesses take care of their best customers.  Good Will counts.

Less friendly but fair is ‘First come, First served’ at the ‘Fair Market Price’.

How to determine the market price when there are so few available?

The demand for these pretty pink hearts will never be satisfied!


String of Hearts - Ceropegia woodii variegata