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Alstroemerias
November, 2018
The range of Inca Alstroemerias we produce at Growing Spectrum have proven to be one of our most popular perennial plants we send into garden centres during spring. The range of colours are divine, ranging from soft pastels to the bright and vibrant tones of orange and red.

Planted in the garden or in a container the Incas have a medium habit and with minimal care these plants will reward the gardener with flowers for months from spring through to Autumn.

Plant Care:

  • • To stimulate the plant to produce new flower spikes Alstroemerias benefit from pulling off the dead flower stems at the base.
  • • Once plants establish themselves divide them by lifting in the winter months, this will ensure you get a mix of flower producing and vegetative tubers.
  • • Alstroemerias benefit from feeding, apply a slow release fertilizer early spring and autumn. If planted in the garden add an organic mulch early spring.

Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Elegance of Topiaries
October 2018
Topiary - The art of clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes.

Whether it’s enhancing the garden with a stunning focal point or giving containers that ‘wow’ factor, topiary plants give a sense of depth, drama and elegance to any garden setting. Topiaries can be planted as single specimens, planted in a row for more formal setting or simply grouped in containers.

Care and maintenance

Trimming your plant
To keep their shape most topiaries will need trimming. Generally, lightly trim to shape in August before their spring growth and once again early autumn. If your topiary plant has flowers trim these off after flowering. Sterilize tools before trimming to stop the spread of plant diseases from one plant to another.

Container grown plants
Apply a slow release fertilizer and a handful of sheep pallets early spring. To maintain good health during the summer months, add a liquid feed every two or three weeks of Phostrogen or seaweed fertilizer.

During dry periods it is important to water regularly, do not allow your plant to dry out. 
If cared for topiary plants can happy remain in the same container for up to two to three years, however check annually that the container plants have not become pot bound. When purchasing a new container ensure it is several centimetres wider than the root ball, and even bigger for larger topiary plants.

Garden grown topiary plants
For newly established garden grown topiary plants extra care must be taken, ensuring regular watering during the summer months and light watering in winter. Fertilize early spring with a slow release fertiliser along with a generous application of organic sheep pallets.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Dianthus
September 2018
For the last few years the wide range of Dianthus we grow under the ‘Living Fashion’ brand have been a favourite for gardeners.

These ‘Magnifi-Scent’ series of Dianthus are ideal as a smaller perennial at the front of a border or as a low stimulate further flower flushes. Feed with slow release fertilizer in early spring for best performance. Quick to establish, very easy care. Evergreen.

New for Spring 2018 - Dianthus Pinball Wizard

This beautiful new Dianthus produces fragrant, double ruffled flowers speckled pink and white. Perfect for use as a picking flower or a border plant in the garden.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Magnificent Magnolias
August 2018
One of Growing Spectrums speciality crops are deciduous Magnolias. Over the past four weeks our teams have been busy processing and sending these trees out to Garden Centres.

The magnificent flowers of a deciduous Magnolia tree are one of the most striking to be found in the winter garden. With several different varieties to choose from, the fabulous and often fragrant flowers come in many different forms and colours ranging from white, pink, purple or yellow.

Given the space Magnolias are easy to grow, require very little maintenance and are well worth considering as feature plant in the garden.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Iberis 'Snow Top'
July 2018
The long nights and short days of winter have a habit of feeling endless and it’s during this time we look for any small sign that spring is on its way.

One of the most delightful, early flowering plants we grow, and which gives us a peak at the season ahead is Iberis Snow Top also known as perennial Candytuft. This cold hardy is a little ground cover with evergreen foliage is covers itself with a blanket of large clusters of snow white flowers from early winter to late spring.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Winter trees and shrubs
June 2018
The constant cycle of Nursery production certainly comes around quickly and once again we find ourselves at Growing Spectrum preparing to process the many varieties of deciduous trees which have been growing at our open ground nursery for the past two or three years.

On those cold and sometimes frosty Waikato mornings our teams at Growing Spectrum will spend the next couple of months, bagging, potting and dispatching these trees into garden centres who will have customers waiting for these beautiful seasonal specimens.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Daphne Perfume Princess™
May 2018
Daphne Perfume Princess™ was released in 2015 and since this time has become one of the most popular crops Growing Spectrum produce, and one that sells out each year.

Production of this crop is done in several stages and recently our experts in the propagation team have been busy taking cuttings from stock plants which will form part of the crop we will send out to Garden Centres in 2019.

Daphne Perfume Princess™ is not the only Daphne we produce, however the key features listed below have proved it to be an all-time favourite for gardeners.

  • - Masses of large flowers open blush pink and fade to white
  • - Highly perfumed -  with soft citrus undertones
  • - Long flowering season
  • - Intense clusters of blooms that can also bloom down the stems
  • - Bushy growing to 1.2m high x 1m wide with rich glossy green foliage


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Topiary Plants
April 2018
Topiary plants are one of Growing Spectrums speciality crops and one of the most stunning varieties we produce is Liquidambar ‘Gumball’, commonly known as the ‘Lollipop Sweetgum’.

This beautiful topiary plant is grown in the shape of a super-sized lollipop and produces lush lime green growth in spring which deepens to a dark emerald green in summer, then with the onset of autumn the leaves turn brilliant orange-red and wine-purple which hold into winter.

To create this lovely topiary our teams at Growing Spectrum have been preparing the trees for grafting which is a specialised technique that requires careful preparation and precision over two years.

They then take buds from the naturally dwarf growing ‘Gumball’ variety and graft them onto the 2 year old Liquidambar trees at the desired height.

Grafting is where tissues of plants are joined so they continue their growth together. The upper part of the combined plant is called the scion while the lower part is called the rootstock. The success of this joining requires that the two tissues grow together and join, eventually forming a rounded head on a tall stem

After this process is complete the plants are left on the Nursery for a further 12months to grow. During this time, they will be carefully trimmed and shaped into a topiary, ready for supply into garden centres throughout the North Island.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Hedging Plants
March 2018
With Autumn fast approaching now is the perfect time to start planning and planting hedges. Hedging and screening plants will not only give shade and privacy but also add beauty and style to your garden.

Once established both hedging and screening plants, can be trimmed into formal hedges or left to grow as informal screens.

The top selling evergreen hedging and screening plants we grow at Growing Spectrum are Griselinia Broadway Mint, Camellia Sasanqua Setsugekka, Michelia Figo, Buxus Sempervirens, Photonia Red Robin, Feijoas and a stunning range of evergreen Magnolias.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Saliva ‘So Cool’ series
February 2018
With the tropical weather we are currently experiencing, some plants we grow stand out as real winners proving to be tough, versatile and standing up to the hottest of conditions. The Salvia ‘So Cool’ series are some of these.

Bred in Australia to handle hot dry conditions these Saliva’s come in a range of ‘cool’ colours and are certainly very appealing massed planted in the garden.

Growing Spectrums Saliva’s are looking stunning at the Nursery and are well worth considering as a plant to use for long lasting colour during the summer months.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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A Busy Time of the Year
January 2018
At Growing Spectrum preparation is well underway for that busy time of the year, Autumn.

Our production teams have been busy potting new crops, and preparing space on the Nursery for the many thousands of plants we produce. January and February are very busy months for our propagators who are preparing cuttings and planting tissue culture which will be our plants ready for sale 2018 and 2019.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Inca Alstroemerias
December 1 2017
Commonly known as Peruvian Lilies our range of beautiful Alstroemerias at the Nursery are looking absolutely stunning and are proving to be a favourite for gardeners to plant at this time of the year.

The range of Inca Alstroemerias we grow at Growing Spectrum are bred and selected by one of the world’s largest breeders in Holland. These fabulous perennials have a long lasting flowering period perfect for planting in the garden or in pots, and if used as a cut flower they will last for weeks in the vase.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The 'Tractor Seat' Plant (Ligularia reniformis)
November 1 2017
Growing Spectrum has been growing this outstanding large leafed, structural plant for the last couple of years. A distinctive clumping plant Ligularia reniformis produces glossy leaves which truly look like a tractor seat, a fantastic accent plant for woodland or shady areas of the garden.

Our plants on the nursery look fabulous again this year and will be sent out to garden centres in the North Island this month.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Argyranthemum Daisies
October 1 2017
Our popular selection of pretty daisies are now being sent into Garden Centres for spring. This new breeding of daisies are quick and very easy to grow, are great for filling in gaps in well-established gardens or planted with perennials, roses and annuals.

Plant them into virtually in any well drained soil in a sunny spot and they will flower for months. A little light pruning of the flower heads when finished encourages the plants to re-flower and become stronger growing.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Gardeners love affair with Hydrangeas
September 1 2017
Over the last few years, these beautiful flowering shrubs have become a favourite with gardeners. Given the right position hydrangeas are easy to grow.

To maintain the colour it is as simple as applying the correct fertiliser, for pink hydrangeas add dolomite lime, blue hydrangeas aluminium sulphate, white require neutral soil. Although hardy and easy to grow they do require pruning by about a third late autumn through to midwinter, with most varieties rewarding gardeners with a display of beautiful flowers in early November.

One of Growing Spectrums speciality crops are our lovely range of hydrangeas which are now ready to send out to garden centres for their spring sales.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Spring is the time of plans and projects
August 1 2017
With the long-awaited signs of spring slowly appearing at the Nursery we are all gearing up for the busy period ahead.

The early flowering evergreen Magnolia is truly beautiful with its lush green leaves and large scented white flowers, and there is nothing more delightful than seeing the odd clumps of daffodils starting to burst into flower.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Deciduous Trees for 2017
July 1 2017
A busy couple of months ahead for Growing Spectrum as we begin to process hundreds of new seasons deciduous trees. To ensure these trees are ready on time for Garden Centres to sell to their customers the processing of trees will be our full focus for the next six weeks.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Lavender Ghostly Princess
June 1 2017
Early frosts and signs of an early winter are certainly evident at Growing Spectrum. The Lavender Ghostly Princess crop, a new release for spring looks stunning covered with frost. Ghostly indeed!

Our gallery photos show a peak of what Lavender Ghostly Princess will look like in flower this spring.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Deciduous Trees and Shrubs
May 1 2017
May is a busy time at our large nursery in Pirongia which produces Growing Spectrums extensive range of field grown deciduous trees and shrubs.

Work is well underway with the first process of lifting trees and shrubs from the field in preparation for our production nursery to start bagging and dispatching these plants to Garden Centres for retail sales.

The first stage in processing field grown plants is to undercut the roots while they are still in the field. This involves cutting the taproot and any deep roots with a large blade which results in the plant forming a fibrous root system which then makes it easier for the plant to establish itself when replanted into the home garden.

Our May photo gallery shows recent photos of plants which have been undercut and are resting in the field ready for processing which will take place in May and June.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Buxus Sempervirens
April 1 2017
With the change of the season slowly creeping in, it brings with it fresh new crops on the nursery ready to send to garden centres for autumn sales. Currently our staff on the nursery have been busy processing the first of our open ground grown Buxus plants for 2017.

Buxus are a favourite plant with gardeners for use in the garden as a topiary specimen or as a hedge. They are one of Growing Spectrum's crops which have a long production cycle. From the initial stage of taking cuttings to the finished product ready for sale it takes four years, a special plant indeed.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Producing Our Plants From Tissue Culture
March 1 2017
With autumn rapidly approaching we are well underway with production of not only our spring plants for 2017 but planning our 2018 crop production.

At Growing Spectrum our Propagation Team have been working hard to process the thousands of minute plants that come to us as tissue culture plants at this time of year.

Tissue Culture is a technique where cells or pieces of tissue are taken from the original mother plant in laboratories, which are then grown under sterile conditions where they form tiny plants identical to the ‘mother’ plant.

When these plants are ready they are sent to growers who carefully process them through various stages of production until they are ready for sale. This process that can take up two years to produce beautiful plants ready for us to supply into garden centres and then into your garden!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Year New Look!
February 1 2017
Growing Spectrums sales vans have had a fabulous new make-over featuring many of the plants we grow. Our vans have certainly been noticed and admired by other road users and what a pleasant view if stuck on the motorways.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Princess Lavender
January 1 2017
The production of plants never stops at Growing Spectrum and for the next few months, we are potting thousands of plants in preparation for next spring.

Our popular Lavenders, a favourite with gardeners during spring are well underway.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum