Jun 11, 2019
Trending in Foliage By Jasmina Dolce

Earlier this year, I made it a point to read numerous articles analyzing gardening trends for 2019 and beyond. Some items were fairly predictable … hello houseplants. Others seemed more like educated guesses, such as predicting color trends.

One trend that seemed to surface quite a bit was the growing popularity of foliage. This probably has a lot to do with other trends, as foliage is an easy tie-in with things like indoor gardening and even creating mixed combinations.

Foliage is amazingly versatile. Many varieties can be used both indoors and out. Foliage makes an excellent component in mixes when you want to balance out the flowering varieties. Foliage can add fun texture to gardens. The possibilities seem endless.

While I was sadly not in attendance at the 2019 California Spring Trials, I made sure to keep up with my team as they toured each site. I’ve since rummaged through hundreds (if not thousands) of photos, read through pages of notes, and skimmed through all the catalogs and brochures that the exhibitors passed out to attendees.

And sure enough, foliage is very much alive. The breeders are coming up with new foliage varieties, from Rex begonias to grasses, and everything in between. Not just green, these varieties showcase fun, bold colors that can be used in almost any application.

That being said, have you been taking advantage of the foliage trend? What types of foliage varieties are you growing? What are your top sellers? Will you be adding any new foliage varieties to your line up next year?

If you need some inspiration, here are some new varieties unveiled during Spring Trials …

Rex begonia ‘Bewitched Red-Black’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Begonia Bewitched - Green Fuse Botanicals

Bewitched is a vigorous supplement to the Shadow King quart program. It has a shorter crop time, and is currently available in three colors. Bewitched is easy to grow for the home gardener, and it can be grown outdoors or inside.

Heucherella ‘Firecracker’
Terra Nova Nurseries

Heucherella Firecracker - Terra Nova Nurseries

Hardy to Zones 4 through 9, this new heucherella features dark orange-red centers surrounded by bright yellow margins. It has a compact habit, high crown count, and loves the sun.

Caladium ‘Scarlet Flame’
Proven Winners

Caladium Scarlet Flame - Proven Winners

A new joint venture, Proven Winners has partnered up with Classic Caladiums to offer their most unique and top-performing varieties through the brand. ‘Scarlet Flame’ is a strap leaf type that features increased disease resistance and sun tolerance, and season-long color.

Didelta ‘FanciFillers Silver Strand’

Fancifillers didelta Silver Strand - Westhoff

FanciFillers is a new program featuring foliage items that are specifically bred for use in combinations. They are compact enough to not take over, yet vigorous enough to make an impact. Silver Strand has velvety soft, silver leaves that are heat and drought tolerant.

Coleus ‘Heartbreaker’
Ball FloraPlant

Coleus Heartbreaker - Ball FloraPlant

This new coleus is a great season extender. Its beautiful pink foliage pattern doesn’t fade in the full sun. ‘Heartbreaker’ reaches 14 to 26 inches tall and spreads 14 to 16 inches.

Pennisetum ‘Lumen Gold’
Pacific Plug & Liner

Pennisetum Lumen Gold - Pacific Plug & Liner

A sport of ‘Gilbstiel’, ‘Lumen Gold’ is hardy to Zone 5 and easy to grow. Foliage emerges bright gold in the spring and fades to a lemony green in the summer. This heat-tolerant variety has a compact habit with abundant flowering.

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.

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