by Jasmina Dolce, Lawn & Garden Retailer
Choosing new varieties to keep stocked on your benches can be quite taxing. Which ones will sell, which ones will perform, and which ones will keep your customers happy? Following is our annual breakdown of award-winning varieties that deserve your attention.
It is not easy to predict which new introductions will perform from the greenhouse to the end consumer. That is why multiple organizations take on the responsibility of trialing and evaluating new varieties each year in various regions around the world.
These awarded varieties left a lasting impression on judges with their lasting color, strength, and versatility. If you’re looking for new plants to diversify your offerings, look no further.
PERENNIAL PLANT ASSOCIATION
The 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year, Stachys ‘Hummelo’ was the highest-rated Stachys in the Chicago Botanic Garden evaluation trials for its strong flower production, vigor, quality and winter hardiness. A colorful and compact winter, it is an excellent addition to full sun perennial borders or in combination with ornamental grasses, echinacea, and Asclepias.
This brand new begonia with large, uniquely colored dark leaves judges impressed with how the deep bronze color remained sharp and intense throughout the season. Covered with vibrant red flowers, this compact plant keeps its shape all season and is perfect in both landscapes and containers.
This new Leucanthemum from seed has been developed to compete with the latest cutting-raised varieties. ‘Madonna’ is easy to care for, builds new flowers over the fading ones and flowers from summer to early fall. It is a beauty in pots and containers and also offers a lovely display in beds or landscaping.
From ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS
Marigold ‘Big Duck Gold,’ ‘Big Duck Orange,’ ‘Big Duck Yellow’
All three colors in the Big Duck series were long-lasting winners in the trial gardens. These marigolds grow vigorously creating well-branched plants with clean, deep-green foliage. Full double 4-inch blooms pop on the 15-inch plants and continue blooming through the end of the season. Easy to grow, they are great for beds, containers, landscapes, hedges, and borders.
Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose’
This is the first nasturtium to be awarded by All-America Selections since the 1930s! ‘Baby Rose’ is a petite-flowered, mounding variety with dark foliage. It is ideal for containers and small space gardens with its compact habit and upright blooms. The rose color is uncommon in nasturtiums and contrasts beautifully with the foliage.
Petunia ‘Wave Carmine Velour’
The newest addition to the popular Wave collection, ‘Carmine Velour’ was one of the highest-scoring plants in the 2018 trials. Judges enjoyed the unique color, describing it as nonfading, stunning and intense. This petunia features large, 2- to 2½-inch flowers on easy-care plants that rarely need deadheading.
Vinca ‘Mega Bloom
Mega Bloom was bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to diseases. Vinca Polka Dot exhibits these traits plus boasts large, 3- to 4-inch, showy flowers on vigorous plants that stay tidy and compact.
Zinnia ‘Holi Scarlet’
This beautiful zinnia is named after the famous Holi Festival of Colors because of its vibrant color. Its bright color, size, number of blooms, and disease resistance impressed judges. ‘Holi Scarlet’ will keep producing fresh blooms all season long, even through heat, humidity, and drought. The uniform, mounding plants will make a stunning display in mass plantings.
Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose’
A double award winner, this nasturtium earned judges’ praise for its non-trailing, compact habit and innovative deep-rose color.
Silene ‘Sibella Carmine’
This new Silena pendula presents multifunctional color for pots, containers and bedding applications. ‘Sibella Carmine’ is self-cleaning, so flowers do not scatter and deadheading is not needed. Judges were impressed with the intense purple-red color, semi-double flowers, and early flowering.