Liven up your tropical assortment with unique mandevilla varieties that sizzle all summer!
By Delilah Onofrey
From the Mediterranean to the Swiss Alps, sunny Florida to cool Canada, Suntory’s Sun Parasol mandevillas captivate gardeners all over the world and have become the most fashionable plant for patios, balconies and hanging baskets. No longer a niche tropical, mandevilla is a major plant category thanks to revolutionary breeding, starting with the first true reds.
Sun Parasol plants demonstrate superior garden performance and disease resistance, thrive in the heat and don’t mind consumer neglect! It’s often the only plant that is still alive when gardeners return from vacation. With the widest range of colors and forms, Suntory’s breeding program is unmatched! Thousands of mandevilla hybrids are evaluated each year to find that perfect new introduction.
Following are three fresh introductions that will make your offerings stand out from the crowd!
SUN PARASOL GIANT MARBLED CRIMSON
This striking new variegated variety just debuted this month at the Tropical Plant International Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It is a sport of the top selling Giant Crimson, producing large flowers spanning 4-6 inches. Foliage has a stable variegated pattern of creamy lime and dark green. Unlike other variegated varieties, vigor is strong, and plants will finish at the same time as the other Sun Parasol Giant varieties. This natural climber is stunning trained to a trellis or cascading from hanging baskets.
SUN PARASOL APRICOT
Looking for a different color scheme? Sun Parasol Apricot blends beautifully with pretty pastels or adds dimension mixed with darker colors. Best suited for hanging baskets and patio pots, this heavy bloomer produces large, light peach flowers spanning 3-5 inches. Growth is vigorous, faster than Sun Parasol Giant varieties. Branching is excellent.
SUN PARASOL DESIGNER WHITE
Sun Parasol Designer White is unlike any other mandevilla. It’s a completely new form with sturdy stems that don’t require staking. Grow as an upright non-vining shrub or train like a hibiscus to create standards/trees. Plants create bushes of beautiful glossy, green foliage with attractive white blossoms for a classy addition to any summer landscape or patio. Your friends will ask, what is that? Position with your premium tropicals.
If you are a retailer, you have a great opportunity to position yourself as the place for Sun Parasol! With nearly 20 varieties to choose from, you can make sure your assortment isn’t the same as your competition down the street. Get creative with premium combo planters. While the box stores have the basics, you can offer so much more!
About the author: Delilah Onofrey is license manager for Suntory Flowers in North America. She can be reached at 440-522-1447, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Sun Parasol mandevillas, visit www.sunparasol.net.