Gary Knipe, managing director of the Keepsake Plants division of Aris Horticulture, Inc., has raised the bar once again with this year’s offerings. Aris offers a wide range of florist-quality hibiscus in brilliant hues, perfect for outdoor spaces.
Greenhouse Management: What is the Tradewinds Hibiscus series and what does it offer growers in regard to appearance and performance?
Gary Knipe:The Tropical Tradewinds Hibiscus™ from Aris Keepsake Plants provides growers and retailers products that tap into the increasing outdoor-living lifestyle trend. We have learned a few things in our 100 years of breeding in chrysanthemums and azaleas, and put them to work in our hibiscus line to achieve high quality — you might say florist quality.
For growers, the varieties have been perfected through 38 years of breeding and are the industry standard for beauty and performance. Clean, actively growing liners, free of growth-regulator use means fast take off and more breaks from a pinch. During production, growers will see Tradewinds Hibiscus grow vigorously, break freely and initiate buds easily with proper light and temperatures. Plant habit is perfect for use in beds, borders, and upscale patio containers.
For retailers, Aris offers a wide range of florist quality, flowered ready-to-sell sizes perfect for the patio or garden. Key traits are large, dark-green glossy foliage, tight internodes, heavy budding and flowering.
“For growers, the varieties have been perfected through 38 years of breeding and are the industry standard for beauty and performance.”
GM: How can growers fit these varieties into their crop offerings?
GK: Tradewinds Hibiscus are a natural addition for production and sales with other patio and landscape plants, such as Suntory Mandevilla, Hydrangea Breeders Association hydrangeas, ferns, colocasia and lavender. With three liner sizes available, any container size can be grown. (Liners are available as 2-cutting Oasis, 1-cutting Oasis and as a larger 4.5-inch Quick Start multi-cutting, pre-pinched liner.) The liner product forms allow for the lowest cost input to meet price points. Quick Starts allow for faster finish time.
GM: What are some new advancements in the Tradewinds Hibiscus series that growers should be aware of?
GK: Performance in the landscape, in containers and in production is key to the success of the Tradewinds Hibiscus varieties. Providing new colors is also important. Aris Keepsake Plants is excited to introduce Island Wind, a new variety for 2020. This plant captures the “warmth of the tropics” with 5.5” to 6” medium-yellow blooms accented by an enticing bright red throat.
GM: What are some hibiscus trends you’ve seen in the past few years?
GK: We’re always looking at how Tradewinds Hibiscus can fit into today’s outdoor-living lifestyles. Unique container ideas are a popular trend, such as a mix of different flower colors in the same pot. Through our breeding efforts, we have created a Cayman Wind family of varieties in different colors, but with the same habit and growing traits. These are marketed as Cayman combos and were introduced this year at the Tropical Plant International Expo — to rave reviews.
Another trend is going vertical! We offer specific varieties that work well in hanging baskets: Antigua Wind, Bonaire Wind, Calypso Fire, Cayman Wind, Fire Wind, Lilikoi Yellow and Orange Sunset Wind. Another vertical option is our 10-inch topiary tree, which can be used as a stand-alone plant or as the focal plant in high-end combo containers.