A Star is Born - Annuals
New plants are the life's blood of any plant company and our outstanding new varieties are sure to find homes in your garden.
When planting our gardens, most of us likely think first in terms of what colors to use and then focus on finding the best plant that fits that color. So first we think, I want something bright pink and then we choose Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™. Since color is our focus, I thought I'd introduce our newest plants in color groups so if you are thinking of something in white or red or yellow or blue you'll know exactly what new Proven Winners® plants to search for.
Yellow and Orange
Sometimes, you see a plant and know instantly that you've got a hit. Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa (photo, upper right) is one of those plants. The flowers are completely unique - alternating pie-shaped wedges in white and bright yellow create a pinwheel effect on each bloom. The foliage is dark green and shows off the flowers wonderfully. Often, flower color and pattern breakthroughs come coupled with plants that leave a bit to be desired. Not this time. Superbells® Lemon Slice was a champ in containers on my deck last year. Despite extreme heat they maintained their plant habit, foliage color and flowered without blinking. If you try only one new plant this year, this should be it. Like all Calibrachoa they are best in a sunny spot and in containers or landscape beds with excellent drainage.
Lantana are revered by gardeners because of their toughness. Our new Luscious® Piña Colada (photo, left) and Luscious® Berry Blend™ (combo photo, lower right) are free-flowering and sure to be garden mainstays. They are heat and drought tolerant, work in the landscape or containers, love full sun and are easy to maintain.
In gardens white is often considered the bridesmaid, rather than the bride, but our new white plants are ready to take a starring role. Finally, a sister for Señorita Rosalita® Cleome - a plant whose praises I have been singing for years. Señorita Blanca™ (photo, left) has all the pluses of the original, but with a silvery-white flower that blushes pale pink in cool weather. While Señorita Rosalita® can be a bit challenging to mix with other colors, Señorita Blanca™ goes with everything. In case you aren't familiar with this type of cleome, they aren't sticky or spiny, they bloom all over the plant -- not just on top and they don't self-seed so seedlings won't try to take over your garden for years on end. They are great for height in landscapes or containers, don't need to be deadheaded and have excellent heat tolerance. They are best in a sunny locale.
If you are looking for a plant to cascade out of a container or spread in a landscape, Frosty Knight™ Lobularia and Whirlwind® White Improved Scaevola (photo, right) are perfect choices. Both plants are heat tolerant and will bloom all summer in most climates, prefer full sun and have a soft, almost frilly appearance despite their toughness. In addition to everything else it has going for it, Frosty Knight™ is wonderfully fragrant and features green and yellow variegated foliage.
Blue and Purple
First of all, there's a new TRUE blue flowering plant and it is heat and drought tolerant. Does that blow your mind? Ok, that might be taking it a bit far, but Blue My Mind™ is a fun name for a great new Evolvulus. The flowers are substantially larger and more numerous and the plant has excellent branching, both much improved over older varieties. The foliage is fuzzy silvery-green and I have plans to incorporate it in baskets and beds in my garden this season. While Evolvulus might be new to more northern gardeners, southern gardeners have enjoyed this tough, pretty plant for years. The improvements in habit and flowering have advanced this plant from a southern niche plant, to one any gardener might covet.
Blushing Princess™ (in combination Velvet Skies photo, right) is another outstanding new Lobularia. If you are familiar with Snow Princess®, the original plant in this group, you know that vigor isn't a problem. This fast growing plant is buried in fragrant flowers and requires almost no input from the gardener, other than regular watering. The purple tones are most prominent when the light is high and temperatures are on the cool side.
Superbena®Stormburst Verbena has silver-white bicolor clusters of flowers on dark green foliage. While mildew used to be a major drawback to verbena, our Superbena® series rarely, if ever, has problems with mildew. Place the plants in a sunny spot, fertilize occasionally, water as needed and they will flower all summer.
Red - Including Pink
Oddly enough, all of the new flowering plants in shades of red are Supertunia® Petunias. This diversely colored group includes, Supertunia® Hot Pink Charm which has a watercolor version of pink, gracing petite flowers. Supertunia® Picasso in Pink™, (photo, below right) on the other hand, has a normal sized flower and a more abstract, bright pink color framed with green.
Supertunia® Petunias are great when used in containers or the landscape, do not need to be deadheaded and will bloom all summer in most climates. They will do best when planted in a location with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun a day. Regular fertilization will maximize size and flowering. Think of the plants as teenage boys - they need food and lots of it to grow big and tall.
Burgundy and maroon also fall under the red umbrella and this season the dark foliage of ColorBlaze® Wicked Witch™ coleus (photo, below left, Solenostemon) can add a splash of mystery to your garden. One of the fun parts of my job is getting to try out the new plants a season before you can buy them at a garden center. Despite extremely hot weather, this plant was perfect all summer in full, blistering sun. It was dense, lush and didn't bloom at all. With coleus, blooming degrades foliage which makes late blooming a valuable feature for this group of plants. It will perform well in sun, shade, landscapes, containers and combinations. It is a flexible plant with many uses in the garden.
Frosty Knight™ Lobularia hybrid 'INLBUPRIPR' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' PP: 17730 Can. Can.: 2871; Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL5302M' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Luscious® Berry Blend™ Lantana camara 'LAN 876' PPAF; Luscious® Piña Colada Lantana camara 'LANZ0004' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Senorita Rosalita® Cleome hybrid 'Inncleosr' PP: 19733 Can.: 3290; Senorita Blanca™ Cleome hybrid 'USCLESNABL' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Whirlwind® White Scaevola aemula 'Bomy Whit' PP: 20790; Blue My Mind™ Evolvulus hybrid 'USEVO1201' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Blushing Princess™ Lobularia hybrid 'INLBUBLUPR' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Supertunia® Pink Charm Petunia hybrid 'USTUN19603' PP: 21675 Can.: 4079; Supertunia® Watermelon Charm Petunia hybrid 'USTUN47601' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Supertunia® Picasso in Pink™ Petunia hybrid 'USTUN48002' PPAF Can. PBRAF;