After the new Geranium 'Kelly-Anne' PBR EU 20200953 has been tested worldwide at various companies, it is clear: 'Kelly-Anne' is a real improvement on the current range. But it took some effort to make it this far.
“There were companies that were initially sceptical about 'Kelly-Anne' and thought it was just another Geranium that gets talked about a lot, but ultimately failed to perform. Peter and Tieme at Plantipp have worked incredibly hard to trial 'Kelly-Anne' worldwide - and they succeeded.” tells Remy Lubbe, owner of Molter B.V. “The results were super impressive. But of course we already knew that. After a short trial period, even the most sceptical companies indicated that they were 100% convinced: 'Kelly-Anne' was a real improvement on the current offer.”
From pot grower to open ground grower to breeder in sixty crops
Many know Molter B.V. as a nursery, but also the breeding of perennials is an extremely important activity at Molter BV. In fact, they can now be called a fully-fledged breeding company: “We are not gold diggers, but really focus on the breeding of perennials. We are now breeding sixty different crops.”
In addition to the success of Geranium 'Kelly-Anne', Remy and his team have already had several great successes: “My father worked at a mail order company and when we were working on the catalogue together, we noticed that the demand for 'new' was big. As soon as there was 'new' in the catalogue for a certain plant, sales skyrocketed. This motivated me to meet that demand for new plants, and I soon made my first crossings.”
The first plant to emerge from these crosses was Penstemon Red Riding Hood: a huge success. Red Riding Hood was so popular that seven more colours followed in the following years and the Riding Hood series was born. “If something like that happens to you, you're in love. It makes you enthusiastic and you continue with it with all your passion. We now have a team of three people working on breeding and we sow tens of thousands of seedlings from more than a thousand crosses every year.”
And then there was Kelly-Anne
Although breeding is a team effort, Remy himself was the lucky one who discovered 'Kelly-Anne'. “Although everyone says that Geranium Rozanne is sterile and does not set seed, we were eventually able to harvest about ten seeds from one plant. Those seeds ultimately formed the basis for the new seedlings - including 'Kelly-Anne'.”
And 'Kelly-Anne' stood head and shoulders above the other seedlings: “The colour was very striking, really pink. And that was the question and our search for it. What stood out even more over time was the fact that the qualities of 'Kelly-Anne' were even better than those of Rozanne. 'Kelly-Anne' flowers just a bit more compactly, and where Rozanne weakens with flowering at very high temperatures, 'Kelly-Anne' continues to bloom happily even in heat."
A real stroke of luck
After the discovery of 'Kelly-Anne' things suddenly went very fast. “We found 'Kelly-Anne' among the first crop of seedlings from the crosses of the first year. Truly a stroke of luck: the right plant in one go. 'Kelly-Anne' is really very good.” Fortunately, companies worldwide are now also convinced of this.
What does the future hold? “The Anne's Family® will be expanded considerably in the coming years with colors such as blue and purple. My biggest dream is to breed a white Geranium one day. We won't find a stunner like 'Kelly-Anne' just like that again, but with patience and hard work, a number of equally impressive family members will be added with equally impressive characteristics."