Nurseries grow more profitable with new plant choices
Consumers want the latest and greatest plants with larger flowers, disease and insect tolerance, improved drought tolerance and other desirable traits. With a focus on sustainability, University of Georgia researchers are developing new plant selections for consumers. They use traditional breeding, as well as new techniques, to create new plants. Bringing new cultivars to market increases the profitability and productivity of the ornamental horticulture industry.
The UGA program has released 23 new ornamental plant cultivars. Twelve of these selections have U.S. Plant Patents, while other cultivars are in the process of being patented. Licenses are also being developed for Canada and the European Union. There also trialing agreements for over 150 ornamental plant selections with many prominent nursery marketing programs in the United States and Europe.
Two successful plant brands started from this research are the Aim High™ Hollies and Head Over Heels® Hibiscus. Of the cultivars currently on the market, estimated sales in 2020 were over 250,000 units. This ornamental plant breeding program has had a calculated economic impact for the ornamental horticulture industry – wholesale, retail and landscape – valued at more than $18 million.