Why Plant Breeders and Trial Managers Are Excited About the Future of Floriculture


Ohio State University 2023 Trial Garden Leap Day

Photo: Kathy Watson, OSU

As we celebrate Leap Day 2024, let’s hear what floriculture plant breeders and trial managers are most excited about as they leap into the future of floriculture:

  • Jason Jandrew, Ball Horticultural Company: “I’m excited for the continued exploration of that intersection of our deep knowledge of genetics and traditional breeding coupled with advanced technologies coming online.”
  • Arjan Koot, Dümmen Orange: “I’m most excited about Intrinsa. Disease resistance, heat resistance, and longevity combined with big data will bring products to market sooner and fast track breeding.”
  • Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals: “I think tissue culture is pretty cool. The idea that you take one mother plant and multiply it to have the exact same structure across hundreds of thousands of plants just blows me away.”
  • Kevin Hurd, Proven Winners: “I’m just awed by all the plant breeding operations going on all over the world. It’s amazing to see how far breeders have pushed the genetics to make horticulture a better place.”
  • Li Jiang, Syngenta Flowers: “I would like to put more effort into the yield and how to breed crops that are easy for the growers to handle. You can’t see traits directly like germination rate, rooting ability, and transportation tolerance, but they matter a lot.”
  • Shifeng Pan, Syngenta Flowers: “Flowers help people enjoy their lives, they enrich our spirit. When people are tired, they want to relax and go to the garden to enjoy. Flowers enrich our lives.”
  • Dan Gerace, Welby Gardens: “I recently took over as a judge for All-America Selections, so this is my second year doing it on my own. That’s been exciting for me.”
  • Bernadette Clark, North Carolina State University: “We are so fortunate to be in the field that we are because plants bring so much joy to people. On the tails of COVID-19, people found their solace in gardening.”
  • Pamela Bennett, The Ohio State University: “You can’t live without plants. The research data is coming out now showing the mental health and physical health aspects of floriculture. People are paying attention to this.”
  • Kristi Challender, Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants: “I’m looking forward to bringing more people in, especially with the cut flowers. It’s a great way to expose people to new varieties.”
  • Rachel Gooder, Plantpeddler: “I get excited about seeing all the new genetics.”
  • Chad Miller, Colorado State University: “As I get to know the breeders, I’ll be asking for unique varieties that are fun so we can bring visibility of these plants to the folks in our area.”



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