Pelargonium – Breeding for Flower Power!

Pelargonium – Breeding for Flower Power!

Meet my guest!

Welcome to the 3rd episode of our mini-series of the Flora and Friends podcast on Pelargoniums. We are dedicating today’s episode to diverse aspects of industrial Pelargonium breeding.

My interview guest today is Lennart Johnsen from Syngenta Flowers.

Lennart has over 40 years of experience working in companies producing ornamental plants, and always had Pelargoniums as part of the material he worked with.  Today he is technical lead at Syngenta flowers, taking care of plant testing and production following Syngenta’s breeding programs of ornamental plants. Syngenta flowers provides plants for about 20% of the European Pelargonium market and 30% of the Swedish Pelargonium markets.

In this interview I asked Lennart

  • How breeding programs for Pelargonium are looking like today
  • What traits (characteristics) the breeders are looking for to create
  • How long it takes to create new Pelargonium hybrids that reach our flower shops
  • How long a hybrid can be maintained without undergoing genetic shifts and changing in shape, colour or other aspects
  • What the biggest challenges in Pelargonium breeding and cultivation are today
  • Whether genetic modification technology is used in Pelargonium breeding
  • Where you can find Syngenta’s popular interspecific hybrid pelargoniums such as the “kärlekspelargon”

I interviewed Lennart while he was on a travel to Portugal to one of Syngenta’s Pelargonium facilities. The interview gives lots of insights into the perspective of the ornamental plant industry and, I hope, will broaden your view on Pelargoniums even more. I would like to apologize for the suboptimal sound of the interview and I hope you will anyway enjoy it.

Want to learn more about Pelargoniums?

Have you listened to our other Pelargonium episodes yet? You can all find them here on our blog. Join the Flora-L community newsletter to receive updates when we release new episodes. You can also find and subscribe to the Flora and Friends podcast on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Deezer .

Look inside a Pelargonium flower stem

Together with the first Pelargonium episode we released a new microscopy pattern of pelargoniums that you can see below and find in our Society6 print on demand shop. The pattern features vascular cells in a pelargonium flower stem. These cells transport water and nutrients. We run our Society6 shop as a complement to our own linen textile webshop. The Pelargonium pattern is right now exclusively available only at Society6 on a wide range of products, from cups, to coasters, shower curtains, cushion covers, door mats, art prints, phone cases, paper note books, shirts… etc.

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