Going indoors at the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week

Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Shangri-La’ (Image: Ball Australia)

By Gabrielle Stannus

Are you a wholesale grower of indoor plants or an interior plantscaper seeking interesting varieties for your designs? Check out some of the new and experimental varieties on display during the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week.

Ball Australia – Colourful foliage

“We are always sourcing new varieties with features to suit ease of care, compact size, and foliage that makes it a standout,” says Kate Grant, Ball Australia’s Marketing Manager, “The growth in tissue culture lines and indoor plants continues to increase and so the need to expand our network of breeders and suppliers to find the next unusual and appealing feature plant keeps us on our toes.”

Bred in Australia, Nature’s Décor Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Shangri La’ is an attractive tropical shrub with a compact habit growing to a height and width of 1m. ‘Shangri-La’ is best grown indoors in bright, indirect light in a warm, moist environment. ‘Shangri-La’ is a non-vining philodendron variety, so it does not require support. With its deeply divided fresh green leaves, this variety would be ideal as a feature floor plant in a small indoor space. Other new plants on display included Begonia rex ‘Bewitched’ series’, which includes ‘Wintergreen’, ‘Red Black’, ‘Pink’ and ‘Lavender’; Sansevieria cultivars including ‘Black Dragon’, ‘Boncel’, ‘Green Crown’ ‘Silver Blue’, ‘Star’ and ‘Twist’; and the Christmas Mouse® Poinsettia with its unique mouse-ear shaped bracts.

Ball Australia also had on display a range of experimental lines that may be released in 2021, including alocasias (‘Black Sumatra’, Alocasia sarian), Anthurium ‘Jungle Fan’, begonias (‘Edinburgh’, ‘Plum Paisley’, ‘Rex Silver White’), Fatsia japonica ‘Spider Web’, Ficus abidjan, hoyas (H. carnosa, H. coronaria Red, H. micrantha, H. pubicalyx Blue), peperomia, philodendrons (‘Atom’, ‘Violin’, ‘Prince of Orange’), scheffleras (S. arboricola, Dwarf) and Scindapsus pictus ’Argyraeus’ (Silver Pothos).

Haars Nursery – Hanging baskets

If you are looking for a trailing plant with flair, look no further than these new additions to the FanciFillers™ range from Westhoff: Lysimachia x ‘Karat’ and ‘Outback Sunset’, and an edible Indian Mint (Satureja hybrid). Available through Haars Nursery, these varieties are perfect for hanging baskets. All three varieties would make the perfect ‘spiller’ in a mixed combination, especially in a larger pot over which their foliage could drape.

Satureja x ‘Indian Mint’ (Image: Haars Nursery).

Satureja x ‘Indian Mint’ is a vigorous, evergreen perennial possessing delicate white flowers on long stems. This member of the Lamiaceae (Mint family) is edible and highly aromatic, although being a ‘virtual visitor’ on this tour, I was unable to verify that for myself. According to Brendan Haar, Director of Haars Nursery, the Indian Mint can grow up to 1.5m in a single season. Both the Lysimachia x ‘Karat’ and ‘Sunset Outback’ possess strong trailing opposite foliage. ‘Outback Sunset’ is a much thicker, stronger form, whilst ‘Karat’ is more delicate with cascading greenish-gold leaves that turn bright yellow in full sun. According to its breeders, ‘Karat’ is a very durable and cold tolerant perennial and may also be used as a groundcover or in patio pots.

Majestic YoungPlants – Unique foliage

“We pride ourselves on being first to the market, and innovative, certainly in the indoor category,” says Joel Crameri from Majestic YoungPlants. His team keep up to date with online trends via Instagram and Facebook and they have some very interesting indoor foliage plants in the pipeline over the next twelve months.


Schismatoglottis wallichii ‘Silver Fin’ (Image: Majestic YoungPlants)

Schismatoglottis wallichii ‘Silver Fin’ is an aroid native to the rainforests of Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand. At maturity, this perennial herb has a medium growth rate, reaching between 0.15-0.4m in height and 0.8-0.25m in width. ‘Silver Fin’ prefers high humidity and bright, indirect sunlight, not surprising given its tropical origins, and should not be allowed to dry out. Display this plant in containers to show off its attractive silver, oblong foliage with heart-shaped colorations. Propagated from tissue culture, this plant will be available from Majestic YoungPlants in late 2021. Monstera karstenianum ‘Peru’ is a humidity-loving, fast-growing climber with large, dark green, leathery, puckered leaves suitable for growing on totems (available 2022). Piper crocatum also loves humidity, and its pink-red metallic leaves really attract attention. Also coming in 2021 are Alocasia baginda ‘Silver Dragon’, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Tiger Fern’ and Pilea spruceana ‘Norfolk’. If you cannot wait for these varieties to enter the market, check out Monstera adansonii ‘Monkey Mask’, Alocasia x ‘Portodora’ and Alocasia cuprea ‘Red Secret’.

Gabrielle Stannus

Inwardout Studio

M: 0400 431 277

E: gabrielle@inwardoutstudio.com

Board Member, Interior Plantscape Association

www.interiorplantscape.asn.au

Begonia brevirimosa ‘Edinburgh’ (Image: Ball Australia)

Piper crocatum plug tray (Image: Majestic YoungPlants)

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