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Proven Profits, January 2020

Are You Ready to Grow in 2020? In this first Grower-to-Grower article of 2020, Dennis Crum shares his list for pre-spring season planning. Give your crops a head start by taking care of business before the growing season begins.

High Availability: We're Ready When You Are Our goal in planning and production is having availability of grower ready liners throughout the season, especially the busiest growing weeks. Find out how you can count on Four Star for plant availability when you need it most.

We're Focused on Availability How do we make sure we have the plants you want all season long?  Watch Angie VanWashenova, Internal Sales Supervisor, explain our process that makes sure high quality, current week grower-ready liners are available throughout the season.

It's Not Too Late to Order Give us a call or go online here to get the plants you need now!  You can find all the details about liners and more in our online Plants & Programs guide.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, December 2019

Get More Creative with Combinations In Part One of this article, Four Star's Signature Garden Designer Ian McGreevy shared his techniques for choosing containers and selecting plants and colors that guarantee beautiful combinations. He explores using texture and surprise elements here, along with ways to ensure those plants stay beautiful all season long.

Bundled Combinations Shine in Every Region Which combinations work best for your area of the country? Find the ones with varieties that flourish in your region and are sought-after by home gardeners.

From Our Garden to Yours Every year, Ian McGreevy, Four Star's Signature Garden Designer, creates 16 large display beds and several unique combinations, using more than 25,000 plants. He explains how this is done and how the Display Gardens give new ideas and inspiration to both consumers and industry professionals. See it here.

High Availability for 2020 Favorites We're growing a wide selection of current Proven Winners® favorites, along with the hottest new varieties debuting in 2020, so they are on hand, in stock and ready to go. Check today's availability for top selling liners like Goldilocks Rocks® Bidens, Aromance™ Nemesia, Sunstar™ Pink Pentas, Supertunia® Raspberry Rush™ Petunia, Diamond Snow™ Euphorbia and Rockin'® Blue Suede Shoes™ Salvia. See all the varieties using this year's catalog here.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, October 2019

Plan Now for a Great 2020 Season Well-planned production can boost your sales and profits. Dennis Crum shares his methods for gathering information, doing research and staying creative to ensure each year's crops are fresh and interesting to buyers.

Get Creative with Combinations With so many options at hand, it's easy to design creative combinations, says Ian McGreevy, Four Star's Signature Garden Designer. In this two-part article, we offer his tips for selecting the right plants to create new combinations your customers will love.

AquaPots™ Revolutionize Watering These premium ceramic containers are specially designed to make watering and fertilizing easy. AquaPots™ are a unique concept in self-watering containers that are freeze- and frost-resistant. Jack Barnwell, landscape designer and co-owner of C3 Gardens in Naples, FL, explains how the pots work via a unique reservoir and wicking process that allows plants to go up to a week without watering in this video. AquaPots are available exclusively from BFG Supply Co.

What's New at Four Star Place your plant order by Oct. 15, 2019 and save 2% on your favorite Proven Winners® varieties, including our newest Supertunia Vista® Snowdrift™! See what's new in the 2020 Plants & Programs Guide.


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Proven Profits, August 2019

'Supers' Raise the Bar for Performance and Habit Retailers and gardeners love Proven Winners® 'Super' varieties:  Superbells® Calibrachoa, Supertunia® Petunia and Superbena® Verbena — with good reason.  For more than 25 years, these plants continue to set the standard for superior garden performance, beauty and easy-to-grow habit. Find out how we do it!

Quick Turn™ Shrubs Make Growing Easy You don't need to set up a nursery or take the time to overwinter shrubs.  Proven Winners® Quick Turn™ liners let you finish young shrubs along with your annuals for a low-risk way to offer beautiful shrubs to your customers.

Jessica talks about Proven Winners at Cultivate Jessica DeGraaf, Proven Winners Retail Account Manager, tells how Proven Winners' 2019-2020 marketing programs will generate more than two billion consumer impressions in this video.

What's New at Four Star Angie VanWashenova Selected for GPN's 40 Under 40. 

Save Money with the Early Order Discount! The popular Early Order Discount is back again!  You can save 2% on plants just by ordering before October 15, 2019.  To learn more, visit or call us at 734-654-6420.  See the new digital catalog here.


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Proven Profits, June 2019

Insider's Guide to Top 2020 Picks Proven Winners®' rigorous trialing and selection process chooses only varieties with the best potential for beauty, performance and disease resistance. This year's new varieties are no different and include several essential options consumers will adore!

We put our Hearts in these new Caladiums! The Heart to Heart™ Collection of new Proven Winners Caladiums will be available for 2020, and it's generating a lot of buzz in the industry.

Delicious Newcomers from Proven Harvest™ The two new additions to the Proven Harvest™ herbs and vegetables line are "true to the Proven Winners model" to give growers and gardeners innovative selections with exceptional yield and flavor.

See why these 2020 Varieties are Essentials Josh Miller, Four Star's New Product Development Manager shows some of the most exciting new varieties to debut for the 2020 season. 

Get your 2020 Digital Catalog now! Click here to see the digital catalog now or here to request a printed copy.


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Proven Profits, March 2019

Transitioning to a New Generation When the new generation starts taking responsibility in the family growing or retail business, things get interesting! We asked four young professionals how they are making that transition work.

Unbeatable Begonias for Shade Gardens Gardeners who choose from our outstanding collection of premium Begonias will love their ability to thrive in the shade, with so many options of foliage, color, habit and beauty.

See the New Auto Stix Machine in Action See our amazing new Auto Stix machine in action as it takes biodegradable strips of cuttings and uniformly sticks them at a rate of up to 10,000 cuttings per hour!

New Culture Guides are Available! This guide is a complete resource to help growers succeed. To receive a printed copy of the Four Star 2019 Culture Guide, click here or call 734-654-6420


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2019

Labor Solutions: 6 Ideas from Four Star The difficulties of hiring and keeping good employees, as well as rising labor costs, have challenged growers across the country.  We asked Four Star President Tom Smith for some ideas on how growers large and small can improve their labor outlook.

Save Labor with Supernova® Liners For more than 20 years, Supernova liners have delivered beautifully flowering plants early to market, without the need to pinch or add PGRs. What's not to like?

Video Highlights Availability See Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations, explain how our system is set up to make sure your favorite varieties are available at peak times this season.

We Have Your Must-have Varieties! See what our availability is on your favorite varieties here.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, October 2018

Don’t Miss These ‘Must-Haves’ for 2019 Hundreds of new annual varieties debut every year, so how does a grower or retailer know which are best to grow? We asked Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations, for his favorites in the Proven Winners® Class of 2019. Here are his recommendations.

Spring Meadow Raises $1 Million for Cancer Cure Spring Meadow knows that breast cancer stands no chance when we work together to find a cure. This year, the Invincibelle Spirit Campaign hit a significant milestone in its drive to raise money for research — a milestone reached through the collective efforts of garden centers across the U.S. — and they're not done yet. Here's why it is succeeding, why the campaign keeps growing, and how you can join the movement for a cure.

Video Highlights Late-Season Performers In this new video, Four Star’s Signature Garden Designer Ian McGreevy talks about particular features of three of his favorite garden plants: Surefire® Begonia, Luscious® Lantana and the Graceful Grasses® Pennisetum grasses like ‘Sky Rocket,’ ‘Fireworks’ and Purple Fountain Grass.

New 2019 Catalog is Here! See the new Proven Winners® and Proven Selections® annuals, perennials and shrub varieties for 2019 in the new online catalog here.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, August 2018

Award Winning Plants for Every Region In just one year, Proven Winners® varieties won more than 1,300 awards in independent trials across the United States and Canada! These trials at universities and public gardens measure performance against other industry varieties. Here's how the award-winners are chosen.

New Bundled Combinations Debut for 2019 When hanging basket and upright combinations are beautiful and easy to grow, with outstanding performance, they appeal to growers, retailers and consumers across the country. Four Star's Bundled Combinations for 2019 have been created with these characteristics in mind.

See How We Ship Your Plants Safely In this video, Tom Brown, Logistics and Customer Fulfillment Manager for Four Star explains how we handle sorting, packaging and shipping of as many as 24,000 trays per day in peak season.

New 2019 Catalog is Here! See the new Proven Winners® and Proven Selections® annuals, perennials and shrub varieties for 2019 in the new online catalog here.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, June 2018

Innovative New Varieties for 2019 Better performance, more disease resistance, bigger flowers, stronger branching and compact habits ideal for urban environments lead the new varieties debuting next spring.

New Proven Harvest™ Varieties Coming in 2019 Great taste meets healthy with the new Proven Harvest™ fruit and herbs from Proven Winners® in 2019.  These amazing tomatoes, basil and strawberries will please consumers and growers alike with their delicious flavors, disease resistance and beauty.

Josh Miller Honored as GPN 40 Under 40 Four Star Greenhouse is proud to honor Josh Miller, New Product Development Manager, as part of GPN's Forty Under 40 Class of 2018!

See the New Varieties Video! Josh Miller, Four Star's New Product Development Manager, highlights some of the most exciting new debuts for the 2019 season in this video.

New 2019 Catalog is Here! See the new Proven Winners® and Proven Selections® annuals, perennials and shrub varieties for 2019 in the new online catalog here.


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Proven Profits, March 2018

4 Ways Proven Profits Support Growers Proven Winners® has celebrated its 25th year in business as the breakthrough brand and marketing force in the horticultural industry.

Grower Support from Four Star Last fall, Four Star introduced our new 104 Liner tray after three years of trialing and limited grower introductions. Due to very strong demand and overwhelmingly positive feedback from growers, we've expanded the selection to include all varieties currently offered as 84 liners.

Video: See How 104 Liners Save You Money Want to know more about our innovative new 104 liner trays? We asked Product Line Manager and Offsite Manager Brian Bourdon to show how these trays offer more plants and save time and shipping dollars!


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2018

We're Just Getting Started at Proven Winners®! Proven Winners® has celebrated its 25th year in business as the breakthrough brand and marketing force in the horticultural industry.

New 104 Liners Now Available in More Varieties! Last fall, Four Star introduced our new 104 Liner tray after three years of trialing and limited grower introductions. Due to very strong demand and overwhelmingly positive feedback from growers, we've expanded the selection to include all varieties currently offered as 84 liners.

Video: See How 104 Liners Save You Money Want to know more about our innovative new 104 liner trays? We asked Product Line Manager and Offsite Manager Brian Bourdon to show how these trays offer more plants and save time and shipping dollars!


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, September 2017

Fast finish time, plus savings on shipping Four Star's innovative new 104 liner tray design adds more liners per square foot with a finish time equal to our 84 liner, so growers can get 20 percent more plants for their shipping dollars!

5 Ways to Slash Your Shipping Rates You can save significant money on shipping costs by taking advantage of these great programs.

Supernova® Liners: Quick Turns Plus On-time Flowering If you plant multiple turns, you want short crop times and consistent flowering.  Supernova® liners deliver these advantages, plus less pinching and fewer PGRs are needed!


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, August 2017

Exciting New Annuals for 2018 The outstanding new varieties and improvements for 2018 have been chosen because they offer home gardeners the exceptional beauty and reliability they expect from Proven Winners plants.

How to Plant Bestselling Combinations Combination plantings are more popular than ever. They're a win-win for home gardeners – offering instant beauty and color in a take-home package.

Bundled Kits Make Combinations Easy Why do all the work of creating combinations yourself? Bundled Combination Kits offer you the choice of nearly 300 grower-tested recipes in an easy-to-order kit.

The New 2018 Catalog is Here! The new Four Star 2018 Plants & Programs catalog is available now!


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, March 2017

Strong Brands Have Staying Power Changes are inevitable as our industry evolves. This makes consistency and dependability for your operation more important than ever.

Fast, Accurate Shipping to Your Door Shipping live plants can be challenging, which is why we've created some unique sorting and shipping processes to make sure your plants arrive quickly and at the peak of health.

High-Tech Build Adds Growing Space A total of eight new acres of growing space has been added in the last three years to keep up with the demand.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2017

Three Trends to Embrace in 2017 If you know what consumers buy at retail, you can take a lot of risk out of planning for 2017.

Finding a Perfect Niche Dave and Emily Wirick changed their business from 100% garden retailing to "focused" growing, and discovered the ideal way to become more profitable while keeping their family life the way they want it.

Variety Focus: There's a 'Tut' for Every Garden Gardeners around the country are discovering the unique appeal and beauty of the three Tut varieties of Graceful Grasses®.  Each of these Cyperus are easy to grow and offers a truly exotic look for gardens and containers.  In fact, they're the new "hot thing," based on recent sales.

Robotic Sticking at Four Star The ISO Model 2500 automated sticking machines are here! This robotically driven machine is programmed to stick upwards of 2,400 cuttings per hour and it's new at Four Star this season.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, September 2016

What to Grow & Sell in 2017 If you know what consumers buy at retail, you can take a lot of risk out of planning for 2017.

Bring on the Heat! The summer of 2016 will go down in the books for its extreme heat and humidity — conditions that can stress many plants. As you plan 2017, check out these classic and new varieties that showed exceptional ability to stand up to intense heat.

National Plant of the Year: Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® When a plant is outstanding in so many ways, it deserves recognition. For more than 10 years, Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® has led the pack as a favorite of growers, retailers and home gardeners.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, August 2016

Why Clean Growing is Important We sat down with Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations, to learn how Four Star’s ‘Clean’ growing practices result in distinct benefits for growers.

Grow These Impressive Shrubs “Shrubs traditionally have been seen as a background plant in the landscape, but today’s new Proven Winners® options offer so much variety, color and appeal that homeowners realize shrubs can be the focal point in a garden,” says Mark Osgerby, public relations specialist at Spring Meadow Nursery, Grand Haven, MI.

Save Money with Self Propagation Take advantage of Four Star’s Self Propagation program to save money and gain serious Key Account benefits. As Curt Varsogea, sales manager, explains, “Many growers who already grow the popular varieties in this program can immediately qualify for Key Account status, which gives them savings in plant pricing and shipping costs, as well as all the other advantages of Key Account status.”


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, March 2016

Retail Trends: Reach Young Customers Retail sales drive the industry, so it's important to understand ways to continue that growth with younger buyers. We spoke with two innovative young retailers about how they relate to their customers.

4 Container Trends for 2016 What will consumers want to buy at retail garden centers this year? We know there are plants and combinations that will always be popular, but shoppers are also looking for something new. We think these four trends are important for growers and retailers to know.

Video: New Growing Space at four Star We're expanding our growing spaces as part of our commitment to offering a wider selection of perennials and shrubs! Watch the latest new growing areas in the "Four Star Update" video.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2016

2016: Year of the Smart Consumer Consumers are getting smarter every year. Growers and retailers who understand this have the opportunity to increase sales and profits in 2016.

Marketing in 2016 — Creating New Opportunities Follow the trends set by leading companies and you'll develop new ways to reach younger consumers, while you grow your business.

2 New Videos Show 2015's Bestsellers Want to know the annuals, perennials, shrubs and combinations that sold best in 2015? Two new videos show the surefire hits from last year -- plants and combinations that consumers loved and will be looking for in 2016.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, September 2015

Benchrun Collections Make Growing Easy Simplify your growing operations with plants from a Benchrun Collection.

Two National Combinations to Extend Sales Separate Spring and Summer Proven Winners® National Combinations give growers and retailers more opportunities for sales.

The "Classics" meet a "New Kid" Our "all-star" varieties are enhanced by a new star on the horizon. Learn more about all of these great performing varieties.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, June 2015

Combinations -- the Easy Way The popular Bundled Combinations program has expanded this year and now includes 235+ different combinations! Find out how this simplifies your ordering and growing.

We Do Read Your Cards! Spring is a busy time of year, yet we're glad to report that many customers take the time to fill out the reply cards included with each shipment.

News from Four Star Mark your calendar and plan ahead to visit us during the summer; 2016 Plants & Programs Guide is available.

Variety Focus Superbells® Frostfire Stands Out.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, February 2015

Add More Sales to Your Spring Want to get more production (and sales) from your operation this spring? We talked with Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations at Four Star, and learned several ways you can easily grow your sales this year.

Variety Focus Vermillionaire™ Cuphea.

New Greenhouse Goes High-Tech The latest expansion of our growing space went online this past autumn, incorporating some amazing technologies to enhance growing.

Past Issues

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2015

Four Trends to Watch in 2015 Our industry is always changing, and it pays to anticipate trends that will affect your business. There are four trends I believe will have a major impact on our industry this year.

The Value of Trendwatching Today's trends show us how to get started now to redefine great customer service for 2015 and beyond.

Variety Focus Anytime™ Pansiola Loves Summer.

New in Video Place Tags for the Best Retail Impact

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, September 2014

Know What to Grow & Sell in 2015 Take the guesswork out of 2015 crop planning by growing what consumers are actually buying. Four Star's bar code sales data from retail shows the most popular plants and combinations sold this year.

Perennials & Shrubs — Choose Your Best Option Perennials and flowering shrubs are grabbing consumers' attention, and many annuals growers are starting to grow them. Here are some tips to help ensure that your plants are healthy and ready for market.

Different Plants, Many Advantages Ever wonder why there are different Supertunia® Picassos®, several types of Lobularia, and other multiple options? We asked Tom Smith, President of Four Star Greenhouse, to explain what makes each variety stand out, and why you should grow them.

Variety Focus Get Big Impact with Caladiums.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, July 2014

The Endless Search for Winning Plants Every year, Proven Winners® trial managers evaluate thousands of plants — yet only a select few make the cut. Learn how they find the best.

The Bright Side of Shade The void left by seed Impatiens is quickly filling with new varieties, and plant marketers are even looking at some popular sun-loving standbys in a whole new light.

Capture Extra Sales in Fall By catering to customers' seasonal color preferences and creating inspired combinations, you can easily extend your selling season and grow more sales.

Variety Focus Bahama Beach — The New National Combination.

New Video Streamlined Shipping = Extra Day to Order.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, April 2014

Color Trends Heat Up Sales Use color wisely to inspire customers and boost revenues.

Five Ways to Get Your Garden Center Noticed Is your garden center "invisible?" Smart marketing doesn't have to cost a lot. Be focused and use your resources wisely.

Inspire Higher Sales with Smart End Caps The space at the end of your aisles is prime real estate. Create effective end cap displays that inspire shoppers and influence impulse buys.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2014

Three Changes to Watch in 2014 Change keeps coming and it pays to be aware of key trends that will change the way we do business.

Are You Ready for these Trends? Be ready to give the customers what they want to ensure success in the New Year.

Grower-To-Grower: Your top FAQs answered.

Selecting the Right Water-soluble Fertilizer To balance your growing media pH, select a water-soluble fertilizer that works with your irrigation water.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, October 2013

Four Star University was a Success Growers from around the country gathered at Four Star for an educational event designed exclusively for hands-on growers.

4 Ways to Keep Training on Track Consistency is the key to smooth production, and a regular program of training helps make sure our growers continue to produce high quality crops.

Choose the Right Size Liner for Small Containers There's a perfect size for each of your small container needs.


Proven Profits

Proven Profits, August 2013

Know What to Sell in 2014 The sales numbers are in and they can help you prepare for 2014!

How We Prepare for the New Season Cleaning and preparation begin mid-summer here, so we're well prepared when the new growing season starts.

Dennis Crum wins Head Grower Award Plus, news on Four Star University, catalogs available, and more.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, June 2013

2014 Variety Preview Take a look at some outstanding plant varieties debuting in the "Class of 2014."

Knowledge is Power Use the sales info we've gathered at retail to confidently plan your future crops.

Supertunia® Watermelon Charm In this recurring column, we've invited real-life gardeners to share their thoughts after trialing Proven Winners® plants in their gardens.

Grower Open House Moves Outdoors Growers have the opportunity to see hundreds of Proven Winners® and Proven Selections® plants growing in real-life garden conditions in the 2013 Grower Open House Week August 5 through 9.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, March 2013

3 Reasons It Pays to Visit Us Take advantage of reward travel to attend two new grower-focused events here at Four Star.

Teach Your Staff to Avoid Over-Watering Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations, believes that far more plants are lost each year to over-watering than to under-watering.

ColorBlaze® Marooned™ Coleus In this new column, we've invited real-life gardeners to share their thoughts after trialing Proven Winners® plants in their gardens.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, January 2013

Four Trends to Watch in 2013 Four Star Greenhouse President Tom Smith shares the key trends he sees changing the industry in 2013.

Become Proactive with Downy Mildew Issues One of the key factors in disease management is taking preventative measures.

Impatiens Alternatives Offer Advantages Many homeowners and landscape professionals will be looking for alternative bedding plants for shade gardens that offer outstanding performance.

Proven Profits

Proven Profits, September 2012

4 Steps to Winning Combinations Follow these four steps from Dan Foster, Grower/Product Line Manager, and create combinations that grow well together, look great, and have huge consumer appeal.

Proven Combinations for Real-Life Gardens Learn how to keep combination plantings looking great throughout the season. Our Display Garden Supervisor Pat Seibel shares his tips and recommendations.

Simplify Your Combo Planting with STREAMLINER™ Our STREAMLINER™ MULTI-LINER™ combinations really do make things easy — read our top five grower advantages to this program, presented by Brian Bourdon, Offsite/Product Line Manager.

Proven Profits, July 2012

Hot Enough For You? Dr. Rick Schoellhorn, Director of New Products at Proven Winners, explains why PROVEN WINNERS® plants are tough enough to handle heat and tough conditions.

Why We Grow Outdoors Growing crops outside in spring and summer offers advantages we just can't overlook. Offsite/Product Line Manager Brian Bourdon explains how this can mean extra profitability for you, too!

Sales for All Seasons Use the FALL MAGIC® line of varieties to boost your fall production and extend your seasonal sales. Dan Foster, Grower/Product Line Manager walks us through the process.

Proven Profits, May 2012

What it Takes to Be a PROVEN WINNERS® Plant Trialing is only part of the equation for a plant to become a PROVEN WINNERS®. Learn what the trial managers like Betsy Kollman look for when searching for the best of the best.

Making the Most of a Visit to Four Star Shanna Clark, Marketing Development & Events Coordinator, offers tips for visitors to maximize their time during a visit to the annual Four Star Greenhouse Open House.

Proven Profits, January 2012

To Brand or Not to Brand Selling name-brand plants can be a game-changer for many retailers, explains Sales Manager Curt Varsogea. Find out if they're an ideal fit for your operation.

The Science Behind Better, Faster Flowering Plants Head Grower Dennis Crum explains how Supernova® liners were developed to simplify growing and produce superior plants.

Tray Size Matters! There's a reason Standard 84 Liners are popular. Larger plugs have many advantages, including quicker finish and more robust plants.