The Journey to Your Garden

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Posted by @Joannabanana on
Have you ever wondered where all the plants came from that you buy from your local garden centre? Here’s a look at some common annuals and their journey to your garden.

Most annuals are propagated by seed or cuttings (vegetative). There are many plant breeder operations located in several countries, globally.  Each plant breeder specializes in specific plant species and they are constantly developing new varieties for the retail market.  The seeds or cuttings are shipped from the Breeder farms to authorized propagation growers or distributors.


Petunia Propagation by Seed (at Ball Costa Rica). These petunias are “Hand Pollinated”.


Ball Costa Rica. These seeds harvested from this facility are shipped all over the world to wholesale growers, authorized rooting growers or seed distribution companies.


Sowing Wave Petunias at Grozone Greenhouse Alberta. These petunias will germinate and grow for 4 weeks in these prop105 trays.  Temperature and humidity levels are controlled to ensure maximum germination success.


 Seed Propagation House at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta. After 4 weeks, it is time to transplant seedlings into the finished size.  On average, a 12” hanging basket will need 12 weeks grow time to be ready to sell to retail stores.


Hanging baskets at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta. The baskets are about 4 weeks from sell ready date. It takes petunias in 14 inch hanging baskets 14 to 16 weeks from sow date to retail sell time.  A local wholesale grower must plan their crops many months in advance.


VEGETATIVE (propagation by cuttings)

There are a number of reasons that plants are propagated by cuttings.  It may be that the plant produces very little amount of seed or the seed is sterile. Another reason may be due to the breeder’s patent and/or royalties for developing a specific variety. The cuttings are taken from the plants at the plant breeder’s location.

 Dummen Red Fox Ethiopia (poinsettia cuttings).


The cuttings are immediately put through a conditioning process which takes the heat out of the cutting, but retains the moisture.  Cuttings are sorted, bagged and shipped (Air) to the wholesale growers globally within hours.

Cuttings are “stuck” in propagation trays to root at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta. These cutting were harvested a day earlier in Kenya and are being stuck at a wholesale grower near Calgary, AB.  It will take a few days for them to set roots in a humidity and heat controlled environment. Once rooted, these are moved to a cooler growing environment to grow for about 4 weeks.


Temperatures are cooler in this house to produce strong plants at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta. The young plants (4 weeks in the prop tray)are then planted into the final sell size for a planned number of weeks.  12” hanging baskets usually take about 12 to 14 weeks to be ready for retail sales.


12” combo hanging baskets planted at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta.  This production run is 1000 baskets of the same recipe.


1 gallon petunias ready for retail at Grozone Greenhouse, Alberta.  It takes 8 weeks for 1-gallon petunias to be ready for retail customers in early spring.


Beautiful hanging basket that has plants from far away places, including Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador.


The MiniFamous Calibrachoa series are from Kenya. Home gardeners around the world enjoy the vast selection of plants available to create their own little paradise.




Photo 1, 2, and 6 are used by courtesy of Geoff Wood with permission.

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
just great!!! by Onewish1 Nov 21, 2012 12:48 AM 12
I recently took a similar tour in New Summerfield, Texas by dave Mar 17, 2012 2:53 PM 7

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