Highlights from the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week

By Gabrielle Stannus

Could not make it to the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week last week? Here is a quick summary of the highlights on display at each of the six plant exhibitors.

Dahlia LaBella® Maggiore Yellow

Botanical name: Dahlia pinnata LaBella® Maggiore Yellow

Dimensions at maturity: Height = 45-70cm, width = 19-23cm

Flowering colour and timing: Large yellow flowers

Cultivation and maintenance notes: Full sun

Landscape uses: Use in pots on the balcony, terrace and patio. Suitable for the gift market.

Other interesting features/notes: Check out Yellow’s counterparts: Deep Rose, Fire, Purple and Rose Bicolor

Available from: Haars Nursery

Dianthus Constant Cadence® Milk Cherry

Botanical name: Dianthus hybrid Constant Cadence® Milk Cherry

Dimensions at maturity: Height = 15-25cm, width = 20-25cm

Flowering colour and timing: First true tricolour changing carnation. Their double, fragrant blossoms will open pure white, then they harden to deep rose and finally dark red. Will flower from early spring through to autumn in containers or garden bed.

Cultivation and maintenance notes: Their daylength neutrality and zero cooling requirement means they are not only a great spring performer, but bring a completely new, hassle-free element to the holiday season production.

Landscape uses: Plant in the garden for use as seasonal perennial with stunning blooms

Other interesting features/notes: From Green Fuse® Botanicals

Available from: JD Propagation

Grownet – Biodegradable plug liners

Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery has been reaching its limits as to how many plants it could produce in a season. To move to the next stage of production, this nursery decided to install more automation and a transplantable plug.

Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery’s new Grownet is a concept developed over the last decade in the Netherlands, where it is called ‘Growcoon’. The Grownet is a completely biodegradable plug liner, made up of a biodegradable web, with an open net structure. The net structure not only ensures binding of the root ball, but it also provides a structure so that the plant’s roots can continue to grow uninhibited.

Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery claims that by using the Grownet, their customers can remove the de-tubing process and eliminate tube waste. More importantly, plants grown in this liner rapidly develop a stronger root system and experience less root disturbance.

Available from: Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery

Lomandra Bananarama

Botanical name: Lomandra longifolia ‘Bananarama’

Dimensions at maturity: Height = 1m, width = 1.5m

Flowering colour and timing: Large flowers the size of a banana (hence their name). Highly fragrant - some have said they smell like lolly bananas.

Cultivation and maintenance notes: Full sun or part shade, adaptable to most soil conditions

Landscape uses: Garden beds, especially edging. To attract native bees.

Other interesting features/notes: A new, albeit smaller form of Lomandra longifolia, Bananarama has a narrower foliage that creates a smaller clump.

Available from: Touch of Class Plants (Greenhills Propagation Nursery)

Petunia Blueberries and Cream / Ball Australia

Botanical name: Petunia x hybrida ‘Blueberries and Cream’

Dimensions at maturity: Height = 25-30cm, width = 35-40cm

Flowering colour and timing: Striking, double flowers in blue with white edge. Long flowering period. Bloom Season: Spring, Summer, Late Summer

Cultivation and maintenance notes: Full Sun

Landscape uses: Great for hanging baskets, mixed containers or garden beds.

Other interesting features/notes: Prolific, warm-loving soft perennial with green leaves and large flowers. When flowers have finished, remove and feed with a liquid fertiliser, as this will encourage another flush of blooms to appear. Petunia Blueberries and Cream has a neat compact, mounded habit.

Available from: Ball Australia

Schismatoglottis wallichii (Silver Fin)

Botanical name: Schismatoglottis wallichii

Dimensions at maturity: The plants will vary in size, with leaves that range between 15cm – 45cm

Flowering colour and timing: n/a

Cultivation and maintenance notes: Thrives in high humidity and prefers bright, indirect light.

Landscape uses: Indoor use

Other interesting features/notes: Originates from the rainforest of Borneo, Malaysia and Thailand. Oblong foliage has a heart-shaped coloration and a light green band around the margin.

Available from: Majestic Young Plants (late 2021)

NB. Information is provided here as a general guide only. Consult with the relevant nursery before purchasing to ensure the plant or product meets your needs.