Retailers’ Choice Awards at Cultivate’18

Retailers’ Choice Awards at Cultivate’18

Twelve companies received awards for 15 standout products at the yearly AmericanHort trade show.

July 25, 2018
Samantha Cottrill

Columbus, Ohio — Retailers’ Choice Awards were presented to 12 exhibiting firms for 15 products at Cultivate’18 in Columbus, Ohio on July 16, 2018. The Garden Center Group’s Danny Summers led the search as garden retailers selected the best new products to bring excitement and high level of interest for their stores in the coming season. Following is a list of firms (presented A-Z) and the products receiving recognition:

New ‘Canary Wings’ Begonia form Ball Ingenuity 

This new ‘Canary  Wings’ Begonia offers a unique look for a plant that is a staple in gardens around the world! Canary Wings has bright foliage with beautiful red blooms all season long. Canary Wing was found in a greenhouse located in Ohio and following several years of development, this plant continued to shine in uniqueness and performance. The foliage comes out yellow and eventually changes to chartreuse throughout the year. It is a great option for shade baskets, pots and combinations. Height is 12-18 inches, spread is 15-18 inches and shade exposure.


Asperello T34 from Biobest USA, Inc.

Asperello T34 Biocontrol is a biofungicide which contains the antagonistic fungus Trichoderma asperellum strain  T34. It has multiple modes of action. Asperello colonizes the roots, forms a barrier against pathogens and supports healthy root growth. Asperello triggers the plant’s natural defense mechanisms and it parasitizes and actively kills pathogens. It is used in a preventative way to protect ornamentals against the major root diseases, including Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia. Asperello T34 is OMRI listed for Organic Use. For full details and listed crop use, see the website.


New Animal Themed Ceramic Planters from Carol’s Gift & Garden  

Our judges were drawn to this collection of new animal themed ceramic containers, perfect for succulents and other small plants. The whimsical styles come in several designs and multiple colors and included an alpaca, dogs, chickens and more.


New FedEx Pallet Pack for Tropical Plants from Heart of Florida Greenhouses Inc.

Having a consistent flow of fresh Florida Tropical Plants throughout the year is a challenge for smaller retailers. Heart of Florida Greenhouses has an excellent option. Heart of Florida has partnered with FedEx Freight to change LTL Foliage Shipping. With easy-to-figure cost and consistent service, the pallet box is great for shipping 4-10 inch deckable. We carefully stage and stack your box to maximize its capacity. One box can fit an average of 40-50 cubes of material. Pallets ship out Monday and Tuesday each week. FedEx Priority Freight will deliver Wednesday, Thursday or Friday the same week. Your plants never stop moving.

New additions to the Under the Sea Coleus Collection, new edible kale introductions and a new Petunia  ‘Glamouflage Pink Lemonaide,’ all from Hort Couture Plants

Hort Couture Plants was the only Cultivate’18 exhibitor to receive three Retailers’ Choice Awards. Here’s a  recap of all three award items. 

The Under the Sea Coleus’ Collection has six new additions: Coleus ‘Electric Eel’, ‘Pink Scallop’, ‘Magic Coral’, ‘Black Coral’, ‘Fire Coral’ and ‘Red Snapper’ (far left image).

Hort Couture has introduced five new Edible Kale. The development of new varieties of Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale include varieties with vibrant pink, purple and white veins that make this plant more electric. Chefs around the  world will seek out the Culinary Couture Tuscan Kales to add color to their palette. The Tuscan Project also has  greatly improved these kales to where they have larger, flatter leaves that are easier to use and create much more plant body and weight, varieties with quick recovering basal branches that give the grower multiple harvests and varieties that have increased sugar levels and heat tolerance in the field. Introductions include:

  1. Kale ‘EDIBLISS Italian Lace’ — lacy-leaved, frilly and good for texture on the plate or in the mixed container
  2. Kale ‘Italian Black’ — a large growing, very dark and warty variety with improved sugar content
  3. Kale ‘Italian Pink,’ which has bright pink-red stems that make it glow in containers or on the dinner plate, and it is very sweet flavored compared to regular Tuscan;
  4. ‘Italian Blue,’ a large, flat leaved tuscan that has highly metallic looking leaves that are a sky blue color;
  5. Kale ‘EDIBLISS Blanc’ (middle image), which looks ornamental but is very sweet and delicious. 

Petunia ‘GLAMOUFLAGE Pink Lemonade’ is new with citrus yellow variegated leaves and very early hot pink flowers (far right image). 


New sunflower ‘SUNbelievable’ and Seaside Serenade Hydrangea Series from Monrovia

The new 'SUNbelievable' (top) was awarded third place in this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year competition. It provides extraordinary summer color with large, vibrant blooms. This multi-branching, heat tolerant, non-invasive annual produces over 1,000 flowers in a single season throughout summer until first frost.

The  Seaside Serenade Hydrangea Series (bottom), first introduced in 2016 is continuing to be expanded, and now features nine varieties for 2019. Shown here is one of the newest additions, Seaside Serenade ‘Martha’s Vineyard’. This variety is long-lasting, and it has pink-red mop-head blooms that are not influenced by soil pH. Flowers develop a lovely green tinge as they age. A compact, reblooming variety, with lush dark green foliage,  is perfect for massing in the landscape or for use in containers.


New Floating Aquatic Plant System from Netherland Bulb Company

Netherland Bulb has developed a floating plant system that includes large light-weight containers that are filled with water and add aquatic plants in a floating container to create floating water gardens. Their grower, Andy Pollock, discussed their system development and the many options a retailer has to introduce this easy system for the retail customer to enjoy in their own water garden. 


Assorted Vertical Wall Planters from Pride Garden Products  

Pride Garden Products continues to expand its offerings for vertical wall planters. The line includes both metal and wood looks, many include AquaSav Coco Liners and some even have a stand for displaying free-standing. This assortment of creative designs compliments today’s trend of uses for succulents in the home or office. 


New Amazel Basil from Proven Winners

New for Retailers in 2019, this new hybrid is truly a game-changing plant. It is the first Italian sweet basil that is resistant to downy mildew, a disease that often plagues basil. And since it’s sterile, this large, vigorous plant produces a higher yield of usable, deliciously aromatic leaves. Our judges were “amazed” at its form and vigor. 


Brindabella Shrub Roses – Smell Me!  from Suntory Flowers/Sun-Fire Nurseries

These new Suntory introductions of Brindabella Roses, developed by Australian breeders John and Sylvia Gray, with the focus of a tough shrub rose that is equally disease resistant also bring back great fragrances. Seven colors will be offered in this tough, disease-resistant rose with fragrance! Watch for Brindabella Roses available for the 2019 spring season at retail.


New Ceramic Coffee Mug Planters from Very Cool Stuff

Our judges were drawn to these “Very Cool” Coffee Mug planters featuring butterflies and lady bugs. They will make the ideal combination with a small plant for the office desk or whimsical home décor.  


New Sterile Barberries from Willoway Nurseries/SynRG

Following the loss of most barberries in the landscape because of their seed and invasive habit, SynRG has introduced two new sterile varieties. Fifteen years in development, WorryFree Crimson Cutie Barberry (left) is the first in a series of sterile Barberries introduced to the market by SynRG Growers. In addition they have also introduced a new gold-leaf variety called  WorryFree Lemon Glow Barberry (right). Both are expected to be available for retailers in 2019 from SynRG Growers. For more information, see

The awards at Cultivate’18 was a joint presentation by AmericanHort/Cultivate’18 and The Garden Center Group.