Geraniums on Comeback

February 20, 2008
Written by Greenhouse Canada
Consumers like its ease-of-use and reliability during the season

phpn5nlgwpm
Photos by David Schmidt
A tiny-petalled Bodger petunia: (top) an overview of the expansive Westcan trials.
php5cgsz6pm
After being in the doldrums for a while, geraniums have been coming “back in the game” the past three years, says Ball Seed regional sales director Yves Cournoyer.

Cournoyer was one of several seed company representatives attending the 11th annual spring trials open house at Westcan Greenhouses in Langley, British Columbia.

One of six open trials held across the continent, the Westcan trials gave several hundred seed companies, growers and retailers a chance to compare almost 300 different varieties of geraniums from Ball, Dummen, Fischer, Oglevee/JVK, Selecta First Class, and S& G Flowers. Also included were almost 400 other spring flowers, including angelonias, argyranthemums, bacopas, begonias, bracteanthas, calibrachoas, diascias, fuchsias, impatiens, lobelias, nemesias, osteospermums, penstemons, petunias and verbenas.

“This is one of the best trials,” Cournoyer notes, explaining that it is a true comparative trial where all plants are grown the same way.

While the Westcan trials began as a geranium trial, the proliferation of plants now being included indicates the wide variety of flower species being grown in greenhouses and nurseries today. At the same time, the fact geraniums remain the largest species in the trial is a testament to its staying power.

Cournoyer credits the resurgence of the geranium to the fact it is easy for consumers to maintain. He calls it a “secure” plant unlike many of the other plants that require more care to grow. “People are never disappointed. Consumers can buy a geranium and forget about it.”

Plants like the calibrachoa, verbena, bacopa and bracteantha are declining in popularity because consumers find them more difficult to grow. Geraniums are also replacing bedding plants due to changing consumer preferences. “Before it was do-it-yourself, now it’s ‘do it for me.’ Potted plants are taking over the marketplace,” Cournoyer says.

phpeff7czpm
Photo by David Schmidt
Gary Moran of Northern Innovators, with two new Mini-Famous calibrachoa developed by Selecta First Class.

Rather than landscape their yard, consumers are now buying containers to “decorate” their yard. They see the pots, which generally come from Mexico and China, as “sculptures” and expect garden centres to fill them. That puts a new kind of pressure on growers and retailers. They not only have to be able to grow the plants, they also have to be able to create attractive plant combinations.

“Some people are disappointed with the basket stuffers they receive. Too many growers are inexperienced and put the wrong plants together,” Cournoyer explains. “You have to be careful with the mix.”

For example, containers intended for full sun must only include plants suited to full sun, while those intended for shady areas must have plants suited to shade. Plants must also be selected to complement each other in a mix. For example, a small plant with small flowers should not be put in the same basket as a large plant with lots of foliage as it will only get lost. Growers also need to have an eye for colour, as the colours in a container must complement each other.

phpfsu5gopm
Photo by David Schmidt
Gary Moran of Northern Innovators admires ‘Moonlight Strawberry Blush’ pelargornium from Selecta First Class.
Colour is another reason more consumers are turning to container plants. Unlike a perennial landscape, in which the colours are set for years, containers allow homeowners to decorate to a specific theme and to change that theme on a moment’s notice.

While the changing demand is recreating opportunities for geranium growers, it is making life more difficult for bedding plant growers.

“It’s forcing companies doing seed for bedding plants to come up with better products,” says Cournoyer.

Comments  

 
0 #9 Ida 2017-06-08 21:49
I have been seeking Apple Blossom pelargonium for some time, if you still have any available I would love to purchase from you. If not can you help me to locate this plant.
I would really appreciate any help you can give me. thank you
Quote
 
 
+1 #8 Dana 2017-04-14 15:16
[quote name="Peggy Rose"]I have seen comments on this site regarding the different kinds of geraniums which are impossible to get in Canada.
However....I do have some Appleblossom Rose, Tulip flowered, and dark red rosebud which I would be willing to share. I am just a person who grows them in my windows so don't get excited that I have millions. If you contact me I can talk to you. Hi Peggy,
I too have been searching for a Canadian source for the Appleblossom Rosebud geranium. I would be so pleased to get just one plant. Please contact me at if you have one I could buy from you. Thanks so much.
Quote
 
 
-1 #7 Peggy Rose 2017-03-17 09:53
I have seen comments on this site regarding the different kinds of geraniums which are impossible to get in Canada.
However....I do have some Appleblossom Rose, Tulip flowered, and dark red rosebud which I would be willing to share. I am just a person who grows them in my windows so don't get excited that I have millions. If you contact me I can talk to you. Peggy
Quote
 
 
0 #6 Patricia 2017-03-16 13:54
I am interested in more Rosebuds but am facing the same issues of finding same in Canada. I did find a California company with something around 10 different kinds of rosebuds and they will ship to Canada but require a min order of $200. (all US dollars) plus phyto & Fed Ex.
Would anyone be interested in doing a collective order?
I am in the lower mainland of BC.
Patricia
Quote
 
 
0 #5 Herman Kepler 2017-02-13 14:09
Hello, I too have attempted to purchase individual unique plants from anybody. Green houses don't seem to be interested in individual plants sales. I am looking for unusual geraniums. I would swap w/a fellow gardener. I have rosebuds in white w/pink edging, and red..to swap for other colour of this variety.Also, Ivy geranium double flowered in lavender. Very probable other colours may exist. Also have Graffity in pink;, am interested in other colours
Quote
 
 
-1 #4 pat 2016-08-18 19:58
Hi
I am still trying to find out where I can locate where I can buy Novelty Geraniums in Canada?
No such luck so far
Rose bud / Apple blossom
and even Lord Blunt
I am interested in Novelty geraniums
I have called all around the Different garden nurseries
and the Different Horticultural Societies as well
In Canada, and so far no such luck
Now, if one sells the here. About the USA, will they ship to Canada, and you need this special paper as to go get through Canadian customs.
Please let me know, I really want to find out about these Novelty geraniums.
Quote
 
 
0 #3 Pat 2016-07-11 09:04
Hi
I am searching for Rose Bud / Apple Blossom Rose Bud
Novelty geranium, where can I find this type of geranium
has searched on google and no such luck. and Other types of Novelty Geraniums ? Please email me,
Please let me know. where in Canada, I can find this
type of geranium. I have emailed different garden nurseries and they never get back to me, on this, so I am hoping that you will.
thank
Quote
 
 
0 #2 Pat 2016-07-11 06:20
Hi
I am searching for Rose Bud / Apple Blossom Rose Bud
Novelty geranium, where can I find this type of geranium
has searched on google and no such luck. and Other types of Novelty Geraniums ? Please email me,
Please let me know. where in Canada, I can find this
type of geranium. I have emailed different garden nurseries and they never get back to me, on this, so I am hoping that you will.
thanks
Quote
 
 
0 #1 Mary 2016-06-15 10:22
Hi……I am searching for the miniature zonal pelargonium "Little Alice" and Austrilan Pink Rosebud.
I really want these plants very much.
Help me to find it.
Please let me know.
Thank you……ary
Quote
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

CIB 2018
Wed Sep 26, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
CanWest 2018
Wed Sep 26, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Canadian Greenhouse Conference '18
Wed Oct 03, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo
Wed Nov 07, 2018 @ 8:00am -

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.