Photo: Dean Riggott

After more than 35 years in business, Cresco, Iowa-based Plantpeddler has expanded its offerings and customer base in the horticultural industry. Among its major product offerings are liners, which Greenhouse Management recently discussed with owner Mike Gooder.

Greenhouse Management: What makes Plantpeddler’s liners stand out from the rest?

Mike Gooder: We have developed extensive rooting protocols by genus and species to ensure liners are fully rooted, compact, vegetative, exhibit natural branching, without the use of heavy PGR applications. This allows growers to have more control in finishing Plantpeddler-grown liners.

GM: How have Plantpeddler’s liner offerings expanded over the years?

MG: With the addition of Syngenta and niche breeders like Koppe, we now bring to growers top-performing varieties from nearly all of the major independent breeders globally. Our list of breeders is very extensive, which allows us to bring elite selections in all major annual categories.

GM: What are some of Plantpeddler’s most recent liner offerings?

MG: There are some important new introductions. A key focus of Plantpeddler’s is begonias, so we have made an exclusive agreement with Koppe. Their tagline is “begonia specialists.” This furthers our leadership in this genus.

The other primary new introduction this year is the Syngenta breeding lines, and within that is the Syngenta industry leading geranium lines, including Calliope interspecific geraniums. Beyond geraniums, Syngenta genetics in spring annuals are proven performers.

For garden mum growers, starting this spring, Plantpeddler will offer a rooted program featuring Syngenta and Gediflora. Plans are to produce a cost effective, premium liner that, like our other products, offer growers greater opportunity for success. The garden mum program is followed by poinsettias, where we offer every variety from every breeder.

That is a few of the hundreds of new offerings. What is most important, no matter the genetics, we focus on “nearly naked” liners. It is a very natural rooted liner, built through the use of good cultural practices versus heavy applications of plant growth regulators. Our philosophy is that we produce a really nice, compact liner through culture and not to use a crutch that may screw up the finish grower down the line due to excessive growth regulation in propagation.

GM: What are some of the different sizes of liners that Plantpeddler offers?

MG: From a liner perspective, we produce multiple sizes to match grower needs. Large liner format for crops like begonias, geraniums and interspecific (hybrid) impatiens in our DoubleUp 25X configuration. The EcoLiner 50X are a very economical production system for spring annuals and accents. The jumbo format, SuperLiner 50X fits special applications. This size is especially important item in begonias, multi-liners and other genus.

GM: How does Plantpeddler ship liners to growers?

MG: We’ve developed extensive upper Midwest grower truck routes, servicing as far east as Michigan and Ohio, west into the Great Plains. Our grower truck freight program is not only cost-effective freight, but it also is very secure. For those growers outside of those grower truck routes, we offer extremely competitive FedEx rates, allowing shipping Priority Overnight at similar cost to standard two-to-three-day rate programs offered by other sources. — Interviewed by Patrick Williams