Aug 12, 2014
2015: Year of the Coleus!By Jasmina Dolce

The National Garden Bureau recently announced its “Year of the” crops for 2015. The three crops that will be featured in next year’s program are:

– Annual: Coleus
– Edible: Sweet pepper
– Perennial: Gaillardia

As always, the National Garden Bureau Board of Directors selects crops that are easy to grow and genetically diverse. Breeders, growers, brokers and garden centers are encouraged to consider these plants when planning for the 2015 season as the publicity from this program is substantial. To check out publicity from past programs, visit the National Garden Bureau website and click on “Press Room.”

Today I would like to focus on the crop selected in the annuals category. I’ve seen new coleus varieties introduced more and more in recent years, and gardeners are definitely using this diverse crop in their landscape and container plantings. Breeders are coming out with awesome colors and shapes in coleus, it’s no wonder this crop is generating excitement in the gardening community.

Do you grow coleus? Are you thinking of expanding your lineup? Here are some of the newest coleus introductions you may want to consider adding to your production for next season:

‘Marquee Red Carpet’ (Burpee Home Gardens)

With intense color and a unique leaf form, ‘Marquee Red Carpet’ is a standout at retail. Naturally branched, no-pinch plants do well in small pot programs. This late-flowering variety performs well in sun and shade.

‘Hipsters Zooey’ (Terra Nova Nurseries)

Zooey has a low spreading habit and narrow leaves with spiky margins. Leaves are yellow green with a magenta center. This plant can be used in containers, summer borders and masses, or as a house plant.

‘Under the Sea Sunfish’ (Hort Couture)

This new addition to the Under the Sea collection features a rich, warm color of red undertones. An upright, mounding thriller, Sunfish can be used in mixed containers or the landscape.

‘Abbey Road’ (Dümmen/Red Fox)

With deep purple and red leaves with bright green edges, this coleus boasts vibrant foliage. It has excellent branching and is an ideal centerpiece in mixed containers. Part of the Main Street collection, it does not flower.

‘Golden Dreams’ (EuroAmerican Propagators)

A great landscape plant, ‘Golden Dreams’ coleus adds attractive foliage to shade. It features golden to chartreuse leaves with red veins.

What are your favorite coleus varieties? Which ones are your top sellers? Shoot me an e-mail and let me know!

– Jasmina

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Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]

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