There is a deep pipeline in the breeding program behind the Hollywood Hibiscus line, and J. Berry has introduced two new Hollywood Hibiscus varieties in 2020: Disco Diva and Trophy Wife.
Disco Diva features blooms of orange and fuchsia ruffled flowers, and Trophy Wife features tricolor blooms with deep pink centers and delicate ruffled pink petals.
“The Hollywood Hibiscus collection is expanding rapidly because it delivers on the promise of being G Rated – Grower and Gardener friendly. The plants are easy for the grower to produce, with lower labor and chemical costs compared to the traditional tropical hibiscus varieties. From the gardener’s perspective, Hollywood Hibiscus are low maintenance, bloom spring through fall and have vivid flowers that last for three days with new ones opening daily,” says Jonathan Berry, owner and vice president of J. Berry.
This spring attendees can catch a glimpse of Disco Diva and Trophy Wife at the California Spring Trials. J. Berry will exhibit at Windmill Nursery, and attendees interested in touring should plan to make Buellton a stop on their California tour route.
J. Berry will provide a sneak preview of their new releases for 2021 at CAST.
To ensure only the best varieties are in the collection, J. Berry strategically narrows down the amount of Hollywood Hibiscus varieties to a core of about 12-15 winners, while bringing in 1-2 new and improved varieties each year.
“We have been improving tropical hibiscus by conventional plant breeding hybridization over the last 10 years. Our accomplishments of achieving bacterial leaf spot immunity and white fly resistance saves growers money by reducing their need to use pesticides," Hollywood Hibiscus breeder and J. Berry President Jim Berry says.
"The foliage and branching of the plants are just as important as the very high bud count, flower beauty and durability," he says. "Most growers have eliminated the use of plant growth regulators because the Hollywood Hibiscus varieties are naturally compact, self-branching with high bud and bloom counts."
"I see selections in our breeding program that will be designed for various container sizes, selections for different forms, and selections adapted to various climatic conditions for different production environments around the world. A recent breeding break thru will double and triple the flower power of tropical hibiscus very soon.," he says.
Additionally, Jim and the J. Berry team are working on quart-friendly varieties that will benefit greenhouse growers, allowing them to get an additional crop turn in their growing houses in the summer when hibiscus from the South Florida Growers run out.
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