United Nursery’s primary farm is located along the Florida Everglades’ eastern fringe, where year-round heat and humidity deliver optimum conditions for lush, tropical plant growth.
The lushest of them all is Hollywood™ Hibiscus, a plant known for its vibrant color scheme, long-lasting blooms and outstanding bud and bloom counts. United Nursery grows and sells Hollywood Hibiscus to garden centers and retail outlets throughout the country.
Production Manager Frank Peraza says the hardy series is a spectacular performer, able to thrive in Florida’s climate with little to no leaf spot.
“Hollywood’s flower bloom is eight to 10 times that of a regular tropical hibiscus,” Peraza says. “Day-to-day hibiscus may get 10-15 blooms; Hollywood has 50.”
Deriving from J.Berry Nursery, the star plants carry clever names such as Social Butterfly, Best Friend and Leading Lady. United Nursery’s most popular seller is Hot Shot, a blood red flower with a burgundy throat. Close behind is Chatty Cathy, which has yellow petals and a pink and white throat.
“Our customers are drawn to red and yellow, and the red we carry is a ‘true’ red,” Peraza says. “Hot Shot also has a flower that’s five to six inches across.”
Hollywood Hibiscus fits perfectly into the company’s tropical blooming category. This spring may have been United Nursery’s first season of taking Hollywood to market, but buyers are already asking for the plants by name.
“We displayed at TPIE [Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition] and had retailers booking right on site,” says Peraza. “Their customers are very aware of the branding.”
United Nursery’s buyers appreciate Hollywood’s heavy bud count, colors and ease of use. One customer switched his source of product based solely on how much he liked the multihued hibiscus.
“That shows me we have something very good,” Peraza says.
Hollywood sells for 30 percent more than a common hibiscus, a lucrative trend that’s prompted United Nursery to increase hibiscus production by 15 percent.
“We’re looking forward to some new introductions in 2018,” Peraza says. “We’re working with a team [at J. Berry Nursery] that knows the product line and is keeping us ahead of new hybrids so we can introduce those to the market.”