Grower Talk

Roland Smith

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It’s rare in our industry that a product is so ground breaking that the public knows it by its brand name. MNP has achieved this a number of times, but never so dramatically and importantly than with the Surfinia® family of trailing petunias. The introduction of Surfinia’s changed the way we look at trailing plants, and created a whole new market of basket plants for our industry. Imagine our towns and pubs in the summertime without their cascades of colour.

Selling a young petunia plant propagated by a cutting was alien to nurseries 30 years ago, no one could have imagined how its success would change production and introduce many new species to our baskets and gardens. Bringing a new variety to the market can take years of painstaking trialling. Many factors can prevent the most beautiful looking variety ever getting into our garden, including – failure to root well, produce enough cuttings, or be susceptible to diseases.

The time and dedication of breeders is only rewarded when they have finally built up enough healthy stock to launch onto the market. For every cutting that is sold a small licence fee will go back to the breeder allowing them to continue their creative work. This system has encouraged the industry to continue to strive to make outstanding new products to delight our customers each year. While many copycat cultivars have been introduced since the launch of the Surfinia®, it is still the garden centre customer’s first choice. They love the colours, the trailing habit, but above all they know it will perform wherever they are planted.

It is remarkable that after 30 years the Surfinia® family are still the go-to series of trailing petunia’s, still dominating the market with their outstanding garden performance.

Roland Smith

W. D. Smith & Son (UK)
Tekengebied-8702icons-mnp

MNP / Suntory from the Netherlands is the company behind this successful brand. At this “house of brands” in Leimuiderbrug is where the magic happens: powerful brands are created after extensive tests and accurate selections of the highest quality genetics of indoor & outdoor plants coming from Suntory Flowers Ltd. (breeder) in Japan. MNP / Suntory gives custody for production of our products to carefully selected growers (propagators) in Europe, which we call our licensees; meanwhile, innovative stories are written. For this reason, we are the plant pioneers! “Pioneers & trendsetters in breeding, selecting, marketing and licensing of innovative and superior quality (bedding) plants.”

To experience what characterises our unique products, you cannot miss a single one of “the plant pioneers” brands, click on the logos to discover them!

Grower Talk

David Spray

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We live in an age where the market is overwhelmed with options for bedding and baskets plants. Where selecting the best varieties for your garden can be a daunting task if you are not in the horticulture business. However, one thing is certain, most customers will know and ask for one variety by name – Surfinia®.

As a nursery and garden centre we are in the unique position of growing plants for sale to various customer types with different needs and by far the most popular basket plant is a Surfinia® and has been for many years now. From home gardeners to commercial properties and Parks & Gardens departments within local authorities. The Surfinia® range still accounts for more than 50% of our annual cutting raised petunia production. I believe the popularity is down to the knowledge that planting a Surfinia® will provide you with a grand display to be admired by many! A Surfinia® is a reliable choice for summer colour and will keep flowering until the first frosts.

If they start to look a little untidy during the season, cut the plant back, add a handful of control release fertiliser and you will be amazed at how quickly they bounce back. You would be surprised how quickly a Surfinia® recovers from our Scottish rain and they are much tougher than the seed raised petunia’s on the market.

I would recommend use in baskets, containers, window boxes and as a ground cover. The plants give a beautiful cascade of colour and with so many striking colours to choose from they can be easily combined with complementary or contrasting colours to add interest to the garden whilst also being able to hold their own in a single coloured basket.

We always look forward to new colours being introduced to the range as do my customers and I am quite sure the popularity will not fade whilst this reliable range fails to let us down with its excellent garden and outdoor performance.

David Spray

Pentland Plants Ltd (UK)
Tekengebied-8702icons-mnp

MNP / Suntory from the Netherlands is the company behind this successful brand. At this “house of brands” in Leimuiderbrug is where the magic happens: powerful brands are created after extensive tests and accurate selections of the highest quality genetics of indoor & outdoor plants coming from Suntory Flowers Ltd. (breeder) in Japan. MNP / Suntory gives custody for production of our products to carefully selected growers (propagators) in Europe, which we call our licensees; meanwhile, innovative stories are written. For this reason, we are the plant pioneers! “Pioneers & trendsetters in breeding, selecting, marketing and licensing of innovative and superior quality (bedding) plants.”

To experience what characterises our unique products, you cannot miss a single one of “the plant pioneers” brands, click on the logos to discover them!

Grower Talk

Garry Grüber

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As I was browsing through a German plant magazine, I noticed a brief article stating that the German authorities had received applications for three cutting-grown petunia varieties from a company in Japan; there was also a photo of bright purple carpets of brilliant petunia flowers.

Until then, petunias had only been grown from seed – and certainly never had this show-stopping performance –

so I had a pretty good hunch that this could really be something revolutionary, especially if a Japanese company goes to the expense and bother of protecting these varieties in Europe. We reached out to the company via our established contacts in Japan and eventually received trial material. Needless to say, we were blown away by the sheer vigor, performance and flower power of these Surfinia® varieties! The rest is history…

Dipl.-Ing. Garry Grüber

Cultivaris GmbH (heute)
Product Development Manager –
Kientzler Jungpflanzen (1988 – 2007)
Grower Talk

Peter Seabrook

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The arrival of cuttings raised Surfinia’s 30 years ago was greeted with some scepticism by traditional growers, but the public loved their vigorous, pendula habit and massed free flowering performance. It took a little time for people to realise stronger growing plants needed more space to grow (so needed less plants in any given size of container), more watering and feeding.

Given this more generous style of cultivation, performance proved and continues to give outstanding garden decoration, flowering non-stop right through the summer and autumn.

While arriving in the single purple shade, there is now the full range of colours and I look forward to celebrating the Surfinia® 30th Anniversary with a display of them at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in May 2020. After the show plants will be grown on in the Floral Fantasia area at the RHS Hyde Hall Garden for hundreds of thousands of visitors to see and enjoy.

Peter Seabrook

British gardening writer
and television broadcaster
Gardening editor, The Sun
Grower Talk

Michael Perry

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For me, Surfinia® defines a whole generation of patio and basket plants. It really set the blueprint for how a branded plant could be launched, and it deserves every success! The prospects for such a plant are steered by a combination of factors- marketing and a recognisable name, good point of sale (whether in a retail store or on a paper catalogue page), timing, and most importantly, excellent performance in a consumers garden. Surfinia® ticks all the boxes with a big fat inky pen!

Surfinia® made such a strong brand for itself that it became hard to convince consumers about any other trailing petunia, however beautiful they may have been.

It’s the same as someone turning their nose up at an inferior Cola brand when there’s a gleaming can of red Coca-Cola® sitting there in the vending machine! Branding gives confidence at every stage of a consumer’s journey. Quite often, a plant grown in trials doesn’t translate to easy home growing, however Surfinia® really does! I have grown Surfinia® in trials many times, and they are the most vigorous of any petunia, and require the least encouragement to trail, and the least enhancement to keep looking good. There’s little wonder this beast of a plant is still NUMBER ONE!”

Michael Perry - Mr. Plant Geek

Instagram @mr_plantgeek
Twitter @mr_plantgeek
Facebook @mrplantgeek
Grower Talk

Romeo Sommers

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My experiences with Surfinia® are only positive. Surfinia® flowers beautifully and long in hanging pots and hanging baskets, hanging beautifully over the edge of the pot.

Once a week I take a rest moment and remove the faded flowers, so I have time for myself. What I find so special about Surfinia® is that the plant also does well in full sun, so you can use it on your patio in flower boxes.

I think Surfinia® could be given a more modern look. My favorite petunias are the veined varieties, but also beautiful trios in a pot with beautiful tone-in-tone tones. A popular trend is a vertically planted pallet in beautiful neutral colors combined with evergreen plants, or in a high-gloss black pot with white or lilac Surfinia’s. In this way Surfinia® gets a more modern look for a younger audience.

Romeo Sommers

Trendwatcher & Green Stylist
“ByRomeo”
www.byromeo.nl
Grower Talk

Ivo Putman

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After Ice Saints, when all danger of frost has passed, the time has come! It’s time for summer bedding! Summer bloomers such as the Geranium, Mandevilla, Bidens, Erigeron etc. come in many different colors. All joy! But one plant really stands out, Surfinia®!

This plant likes to show itself and wants to prove itself. The fun starts with the purchase, Surfinia’s are available in many colors, something for everyone!

Once in the garden, Surfinia® starts as a modest plant, but … it doesn’t take long! Surfinia® finds its way quickly; grow and bloom! She shows herself and takes her place in the garden. The beautiful flowers, you can’t ignore it. Even insects love this plant. Surfinia® continues to bloom until autumn, she will do her best for you until the last flower. Enjoy the queen of bedding for an entire summer, what more could you want!

Ivo Putman

Presenter & Garden Expert
“De Grote Tuinverbouwing”
SBS6
Grower Talk

Oase Lease

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Surfinia® fits well in public space. Dressing up a public space with flowers seems like a difficult undertaking. How do you ensure that the flower comes into its own in the often large and open space and where you also have little time for care? Surfinia® makes it easy for you.

Thanks to the enormous vigor of Surfinia®, you quickly created a large sea of flowers. Surfinia® is also known as hanging petunia. Oase Lease also often opts for the Surfinia®, because it comes into its own in a bridge or façade wall hanging. With the different bright colors, the flower boxes stand out from afar.

Arnaud Oortwijn & Mark-Jan Ton

Oase Lease
“Supplier of Public Green”
www.oase-lease.nl
Grower Talk

Nomi Hen

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For Cohen Propagation Nurseries, Surfinia® is a very special product that is also related to the history and future of the company. Cohen was the first in the early 1990’s to hold a stock for the first time of Surfinia® cuttings in Israel for the European market.

Over the years production has grown by hundreds of percentage and Surfinia® has become the company’s flagship product.

In the past years supply has also expanded to the North American and local Israeli market. Today, Cohen produces tens of millions of Surfinia® cuttings per season. We also hold very big part of the variety range and work closely with both Suntory and MNP to promote new varieties to the market. Stocks are held in Israel at the highest and most strict standards in the world, including NAKT certification and Global Gap.

Nomi Hen

Cohen Propagation Nurseries (Israel)
www.cohennur.co.il
Grower Talk

Leo Hoogendoorn

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Surfinias have really changed the world of the pot and bedding plants. Surfinia® has made the breakthrough of everything that subsequently came onto the market in cuttings propagated products and today has a large share in our range.

In the early years, this product was laughed about and it was far too expensive for the market. That was the classification until consumers saw the added value of this product for themselves and started asking about this product every year at garden centers in Europe. The production costs were relatively high, but have come down due to the relocation to Israel and have become suitable for the spring package.

The strength of the plant and its flowers during our summer period is great and distinctive from many other varieties. Surfinia® still wins on garden performance compared to many competing varieties. The Surfinia® brand has also been elevated to a generic product name because it was the first on the market, so that today almost all trailing petunias are characterized as Surfinia’s.

In short, Surfinia’s have really changed our world and therefore the business and we are waiting for the next Surfinia®.

Leo Hoogendoorn

CEO – Florensis
“Breeder and Supplier of Young Plants”
www.florensis.com
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