Jim Berry is owner and president of J. Berry Nursery and introducer of the Hollywood Hibiscus Collection. To help explain the nursery’s tropical hibiscus breeding, he says, “I wanted to take the opportunity to add perspectives and insights of my respected colleagues who have extensive experience with both commodity and Hollywood Hibiscus.”
Greenhouse Management: Can you give us an overview of Hollywood Hibiscus’ attributes?
Jim Berry: Hollywood Hibiscus varieties are a combination of my breeding and genetics from Europe. Each Hollywood Hibiscus was bred for multi-day lasting blooms, resistance to bacterial leaf spot, naturally compact habits, and exceptionally high bud and bloom counts. The performance of our Hollywood Hibiscus starting with the grower to broker to retailer to gardener has been award-worthy. Jim Eason is the owner of Eason Horticultural Resources. He confirms, “Retail consumers are constantly wowed by the exotic flower forms and colors that have been introduced to date. The acceptance and satisfaction level for growers, retailers, and consumers has been excellent.”
GM: What are the biggest advantages for a grower who produces Hollywood Hibiscus?
JB: Roberto Ramco, owner of Ramco Farm, was the first, and is today, the largest producer of our Hollywood Hibiscus Collection. He says, “From a production standpoint, Hollywood Hibiscus saves me money on chemicals, they require little to no growth regulators and labor, [and] they require less cuts to be ready for sale. Hollywood Hibiscus are the best in the business.”
GM: How does the Hollywood Hibiscus Collection benefit the retailer?
JB: We have received praise for our branded Hollywood packaging and presentation at retail. Hollywood blooms are durable, vibrant and countless. Jeff Everly, national account manager at Plant Man Consulting, has found Hollywood Hibiscus increases profitability for retailers by the square footage. He says, “The premium retail Hollywood Hibiscus commands better margins for retailers, without sacrificing turns.”
GM: Have you received any reviews from end consumers?
JB: Yes, we are extremely active with social media, and we have many fans who post pictures of their success! The popularity of the brand and marketing campaign behind the Hollywood Hibiscus Personalities/Varieties has inspired gardeners to collect our entire cast of characters! Kylee Baumle, gardening expert and author of “The Monarch: Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly,” is a fan of Hollywood Hibiscus. She says, “As a tropical hibiscus lover who lives in the north where they aren’t winter hardy, I appreciate how easy Hollywood Hibiscus are for me. I’ve grown them here for the past three summers and not only have they performed well, giving me an abundance of blooms all summer, they have experienced no ill effects from my laid-back gardening style.”
GM: What are your future goals for the Hollywood Hibiscus Collection?
JB: We are going to continue working to get our supply chain filled, strategically working with reputable growers, brokers and retailers. Hollywood Hibiscus live up to the hype, and due only to their popularity, there is a shortage in the market. We are continuing to breed for collection expansion with goals for even smaller formats, without sacrificing flower size and bud and bloom counts, among additional aspirations. We have high standards and will continue to lead the industry in innovation. Hollywood Hibiscus provide savings at production for the grower, faster and more profitable turns at retail, and consumer engagement and success in the real-world garden.