selling named cultivar plants at market

diggerdee zone 6 CTMarch 28, 2006

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and pretty new to market gardening. I kind of fell into it and started selling cut flowers at my local farmer's market last year. I'm still learning a lot as I go along.

Today I was dragging some of my many potted perennials out of my garage, where they spend the winter. I noticed that some of the daylilies were getting crowded in their pots, and the thought crossed my mind that I could sell some at the farmer's market. (I sold some annuals and a few perennials last year which I started from seed, but that was the extent of my plant sales.)

My question is, are there any ethical/legal issues regarding selling named cultivars? (I'm very fuzzy on the whole hybridizing/naming process, and quite frankly don't even know if I'm using the right vocabulary here, but hopefully everyone can understand what I'm getting at) If I sell a named daylily, for instance, is there someone somewhere who should be getting a cut? And how do I go about doing that? Or is it okay to sell named plants?

Can anyone help me on this issue, or direct me to where I can get more info?

Thank you,



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If the cultivar is patented then you can't sell it without permission from the patent holder (most often you pay a fee to propagate these varieties).

Look up the names in any current index (any catalog or trade publication) and if the PPAF or patent pending info is included in their listing then the plant is off limits for propagation.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 3:58PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Thanks, TriangleJohn! This is a big help and I appreciate your response.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 12:11PM
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heidi41(z5 Mass)

Question....Let's just say I have some patented daylilies growing. What if I just sold them as lemon yellow day lilies(or whatever) If I didn't say they were a certain cultivar, could I still sell them?????

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 8:56AM
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I've seen it done. It is a way some people get around the patent protection thing. It does seem that customers do respond to the marketing jobs done on named cultivars though. So you may not move as much of your Lemon Yellows when you tell people "they're just as good as Megapatent Yellows". If you look through much of the plant material available (especially the showy foliar perennials) you will see plenty of identical twins, at least to the untrained eye. And I have a problem with some of the old timey favorites that are now offered as an improved version under a different name and patented. To me, if you want a patent protecting your hard research efforts, do a better job of refining the cultivar.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 7:25PM
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Added note re: Heidi's question. Ethics here! What if you are the patent holder? It is quite a process to get a plant or seed stock patented and you want to recoup the expenses. The customer has a right to expect pure stock, too. I've even seen seed exchangers offer hybrid seeds of a known item when you know right well they had no access to the parent lines.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 11:00AM
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