Jun 13, 2016
New Varieties: Pretty in Pink By Jasmina Dolce

As I go through the hundreds of photos I snapped at the 2016 California Spring Trials, one color continuously graces my computer screen: Pink. Each year, it seems one or two colors dominate the new variety displays. This year, numerous shades of pink — from blush to deep rose — were everywhere.

It’s really no surprise gardeners love this popping color. It is versatile and available in a variety of shades, and so it matches well with almost any color, from white to yellow to blue.

Sometimes certain colors seem impossible to breed in specific species, but pink can be found in almost all plant categories. Gardeners can use pink varieties in landscape beds, baskets, combinations, perennial gardens, and the list goes on.

Here are some of my favorite pink introductions from this year’s trials:

Geranium ‘Calliope Medium Pink Flame’ (Syngenta Flowers)

Geranium Calliope Medium Pink Flame (Syngenta)

This year, Syngenta split its popular Calliope series into two size categories: Medium and Large. ‘Calliope Medium Pink Flame’ features large, semi-double flowers with intense color. It has a controlled habit and can be produced in quarts and gallons.

Purslane ‘Hot Shot Flambeau Rose’ (Green Fuse Botanicals)

Purslane Hot Shot Flambeau Rose 4

The Hot Shot series has been upgraded for brighter color and larger flowers. A new color for 2017 is Flambeau Rose, which features a vivid pink flower above interesting variegated foliage.

Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Spreading Pink Kiss’ (Sakata)

Impatiens SunPatiens Spreading Pink Kiss (Sakata)

While the SunPatiens series is now 10 years old, Sakata continues to expand its lineup. Spreading Pink Kiss boasts an abundance of soft blush-pink flowers with a striking dark rose eye.

Calla lily ‘Lip Gloss’ (Golden State Bulb Growers)

Calla lily Lip Gloss 3

This versatile new calla presents a great habit in smaller pots and can also be used as a cut flower. It starts out hot pink and ages to darker pink.

Petunia ‘Surfinia Sumo Glacial Pink’ (Suntory)

Petunia Surfinia Sumo Glacial Pink 3

New to the Sumo subseries, Glacial Pink is a vigorous landscape petunia. It has mounds of gorgeous color, with delicate pink blooms paired with a very dark eye.

Veronica ‘Magic Show Pink Potion’ (Proven Winners)

Veronica Magic Show Pink Potion 2

With improved vigor and flowering, Pink Potion replaces Sweet Lullaby. Its baby pink flowers cover the top half of the plant in early summer to midsummer. It is hardy to Zones 4 through 9.

Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Memories’ (Florist Holland)

Gerbera Garvinea Sweet Memories

One of Florist’s newest additions to the Garvinea collection, Sweet Surprise boasts stunning medium pink blooms. It is self cleaning and produces a ton of flowers on one single plant.

Dianthus ‘Pinball Wizard’ (Plant Haven)

Dianthus Pinball Wizard 3

Part of the Whetman Pinks collection, ‘Pinball Wizard’ took eight years of breeding work and has highly scented double flowers. It is covered in masses of fancy pink and white blooms above silvery blue foliage.

What are your favorite pink varieties? Is pink one of your best-selling colors? Are there other colors that seem to be most popular with your customers? Shoot me an email, and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

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

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