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





Wednesday, August 8, 2018

String of Dolphins... You gotta see this!

String of Dolphins
 String of Dolphins… You gotta see this!

 
            Plants can be interesting in any number of ways--- color, flowering, variegation, size or shape.

            Common names and novelty help attract casual lookers.  We have String of Peas (Senecio rowleyanus), String of Beads (Senecio herrianus), String of Bananas (Senecio herrianus).

            Now we’ve found the most clever of them all ---String of Dolphins.  By looking at the leaves up close and at the right angle, there is no doubt that this is a Dolphin.  The diving Dolphin has one or two fins on its arching body.

            I don’t understand how this novel plant (Senecio pregrinus) has not been around. It’s not in commercial production and is still only found from eBay collectors at high prices.

            I paid those high prices and am attempting to build stock.  So far, it is easy enough.  Those indoor gardeners lucky enough to find one will have no trouble growing Dolphins at the windowsill.

            Will this be the next internet wonder to sweep through the expanding houseplant craze?


Diving Dolphin's body






Monday, July 30, 2018

International News


       
         Chris Beytes, Editor of Grower Talks' Acres Online, visited our Penn State Flower Trials at Landisville and talked to the group with his insights on the horticulture industry.  He stopped by my table at the Mini trade show where 15 vendors advertised their plants.  He told me that his wife, who has a horticulture background, had recently discovered the Chinese Money Plant and its high price.  So, Chris has been following this internet phenomenon.

          I am honored that he included my story into his online news and commentary, seen by 23,102 loyal readers around the World.



Chris Beytes...

         "I was impressed to learn that Gary Hunter of Gary's Specialty Plants was moving loads of small foliage plants and hanging baskets to area retailers. He got into houseplants from annuals about 8 years ago and now moves a ton of them. He even had the current "it" plant, Pilea peperomioides, in 2.5-inch pots."



Showing off Chinese Money Plant at Landisville Flower Trials