10 CAST 2022 first day personal favorites

10 CAST 2022 first day personal favorites

One editor chooses his favorite 10 new varieties from Day One at CAST.

March 31, 2022

Greetings from the Golden State!

We're here in California putting the finishing touches on our Day One coverage. Today, we visited Green Fuse and its partners in Somis, the Ball Horticultural family in Santa Paula, and then we finished the day up at the Santa Barbara Polo Club grounds (snazzy new spot!) seeing new intros from PlantHaven International, Suntory, Pacific Plug & Liner and more. 

The good news? This is just the beginning of our on-the-ground coverage in California. Stay tuned to GreenhouseMag.com, NurseryMag.com, and GardenCenterMag.com for the rest of the tour, as well as any parting thoughts we have once we're back in the office next week!

To everyone on the trek alongside us, and to all of you at home following along via our e-newsletter coverage, have a great week!

-Matthew J. Grassi

Here's 10 of my favorite varieties from Day One:

1Westhoff New Illusion Series ‘Dracula’ calibrochoa

© Photos by Matthew J. Grassi
According to the breeder, Westhoff’s new Illusion series offers growers a totally new color pattern in Calibrachoa that is like nothing seen before. The dramatic deep red and dark hues of ‘Dracula’ were particularly eye-catching when perusing the Westhoff offerings. Breeder reps on-site agreed, noting a similar reaction when presenting the new series to consumers. Growers will appreciate the compact, mounded habit and consistent bloom strength throughout the heart of the summer season.

2. Westhoff New Hot + ‘Blue with Eye’ Lobelia

Westhoff’s new Hot + Lobelia series is “the next generation in heat-tolerant Lobelia breeding,” according to breeder reps on hand at the Green Fuse Botanicals stop in Somis, California. Other attributes of this striking lobelia include exceptional heat tolerances, heavy basal branching, and season-long flowering.


3. Ball Ingenuity New Celosia Floriosa ‘Red Dark Leaf’

The plumosa Floriosa series is available in several colors, including the above vibrant red variety new for 2022/2023. She shines with her flaming torches from April as a cheerful spring bloomer to October as a rewarding fall décor program. If finishing before the end of May, Floriosa can be grown without black shade cloth – an exciting extension for this plant and grower alike.


4. Darwin Perennials New ‘Red Lark’ Delphinium

The breeder’s new delphinium throws up a floriferous main spike with several branching offshoots, and is recognized for it’s vibrant color choices. Its sturdy stems ensure the main spike does not flop over throughout the season, and it won’t stretch overly tall while maintaining a good upright habit that is perfect for containers.


5. PlantHaven International New REALFLOR ‘Sunset Orange Ruffles’ Gaillardia

These bold, beautiful new Gaillardia features a unique flower form with double echinacea-style flowers in warm, kissed-by-the-sun tones. Attractive to pollinators and bred for robust plant health and a tidy mounding habit.


6. PlantHaven International ‘Royal Hawaiian Waikiki’ Colocasia

This new colocasia has been bred to be happy in full sun, and are reportedly sturdy garden performers, and great container specimens. Each is disease resistant with fabulous foliage and stem interest, and with their tidy clumping habit would be a welcome addition in any garden or landscape.


7. Suntory New Surfinia ‘Heavenly Amethyst Burst’ Petunia

Suntory says this is the world’s leading petunia based on “outstanding garden performance.” It features robust flowers and petals that can stand up to extreme weather, and it’s versatile enough to go from the basket to the container to the landscape. These petunias thrive in full or partial sun.


8. Suntory New Senetti ‘Blue Halo'

Breeder representatives on-site at CAST 2022 say this is a collection of pericallis hybrids that offer the gardener a first to spring flower with vivid blues, magic magentas, ultraviolets and stunning bicolors. Plant vigor is stepped up big time with this introduction, as the plant can handle nighttime temperatures down to 35 degrees F, making it a great candidate for early season production runs.


9. Pacific Plug & Liner New ‘Echibeckia Summerina’

A new echinacea-rudbeckia hybrid, this zone 7-9 plant loves full sun. Floriferous double blooms stand out with the sunny yellow petals and contrasting center.


10. Pacific Plug & Liner New Delgenius ‘Blue Fabulosa’ Delphinium

Another new delphinium for 2022-2023, PP&L’s offering is the result of over 10 years of breeding. The flower power of this plant is huge, having multiple, semi-double blooms with rebloom and no need to use PGRs, helping growers save on the costs of application and labor.