Jul 25, 2018
Make the Most of Basket Performers By Jasmina Dolce

It is now July 25. This is the time of year that certain plants in my garden begin standing out more than others. I like to diversify my garden each year and try out new plants to compare, so I can continue to improve my selections each season.

While I hate to admit it, I’d still classify myself as a rookie gardener. Sure, some of my plants thrive in their given spot in my yard. But others … not so much.

And I have to say, it’s usually my baskets that require the most love and attention. I think I’ve almost mastered my landscape, but I have yet to create the ultimate hanging basket.

I think I can confidently say I’m not alone in this. Gardeners, especially new ones, want so badly to create (or buy) basket presentations that will survive AND thrive all season long. When the summer heat starts taking its toll on our baskets, we feel as though we have failed.

So what can we do about it? I know from visiting all the various stops along the California coast this past April during Spring Trials, breeders are hard at work introducing varieties that produce long-blooming, weather-tolerant, nicely mounded and trailing varieties that are perfect for baskets. So … all you have to do is grow them!

Need some inspiration? Here are some new introductions that are perfect for baskets and containers.

Verbena ‘Vanessa White’

The new Vanessa series is bred specifically for mildew resistance. Plants flower early and keep their color all season. Their mounded habit is best for baskets and combinations.

Fuchsia ‘Windchimes Basket Double Pink Lilac’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Boasting larger flowers than previous genetics, Windchimes fuchsia is perfect for any size container. They flower under short days and continue to perform through summer heat.

Angelonia ‘AngelMist Spreading Berry Sparkler’
Ball FloraPlant

This unique bicolor adds a novel selection to the large-flowered spreading angelonia series and will have a big impact in baskets. It can handle the heat and is a great option for shoulder sales.

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Double Chiffon’
Proven Winners

These fully double, soft lemon yellow blooms are early to flower on a vigorous, well-branched plant. Plants cascade nicely in container presentations, and exhibit excellent heat tolerance.

Geranium ‘Reach Out Light Purple’

Reach Out is a new ivy geranium series that produces a full canopy of flowers, with a compact habit and short internodes. Plants are excellent in baskets and don’t get tangled up.

Begonia ‘I’Conia Portofino Champagne’
Dümmen Orange

Portofino is a new expansion on the I’Conia line of begonias and is bred for larger flower size and a semi-upright habit. Growers will appreciate its resilience through shipping and its premium appeal.

What are some of your best basket performers? Do you plan to grow any of the above varieties? 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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