Summer Survivors and Thrivers
Earlier this year, columnist Vaughn Fletcher attended and evaluated the trial at Costa Farms in Florida. He shared his thoughts on the 2020 annual and perennial introductions in the June and July issues of GPN.
Fletcher revisited the trial in late May after the new varieties had withstood 23 weeks of heat, humidity and rain to reevaluate the plants that continued to reflect attributes essential for success throughout the country. And he gave a final evaluation, “Enduring Annual Performers,” in the September issue of GPN.
The selections he highlights in his article exhibited durability, flower stability, floriferousness, habit and disease resistance in May, and based on their performance in the Costa trial they can expect to show the same performance in other regions throughout the summer.
Here are some of his top picks. To read his full evaluation, click here.
Angelonia ‘Serena Rose’
This new Serena introduction was the only angelonia that had not cycled out of flower by late May. The plants were durable and upright, and the two-tone flowers were eye catchers. Rose is an outstanding addition to Blue, Purple and White.
Petunia ‘Shortcake Blueberry’
‘Shortcake Blueberry’ is a standalone variety originating from the Dekko breeding program. The white and blueberry bicolor midsize flowers were distinct, the color separation was sharp, and there was no evidence of color degradation following over 20 weeks of growth, development and maturity.
Coleus ‘Stained Glassworks Presidio’
Presidio exhibited excellent foliage stability and a strong upright habit. The chartreuse foliage with burgundy flecks was striking and nonfading. The low maintenance, texture and multicolored foliage offer a vibrant choice for beds and containers in partial shade.
Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Frosting’
The Garvinea series is labeled as a garden gerbera and lives up to the hype in any setting. The series has demonstrated uniformity, disease resistance, robust upright habit, strong central canopy, heat and humidity tolerance and extended bloom time in multiple regional trials. Sweet Frosting is new for 2020 and was an eye catcher with large, pure white, multiple flowers and strong architecture.
Catharanthus ‘Soirée Kawaii Red’
Soirée is a low-maintenance series that thrives at high temperatures with excellent uniformity. There are six varieties in the series including the new White Peppermint, Red and Light Purple. All three were colorful in the trial, but Red stood out with its intense bright color. This is a late-flowering series for the northern market, but it is worth the wait.
Lantana ‘Gem Compact Orange Fire’
Danziger introduced two new lines for 2020, the more vigorous Gem series and a compact Gem subseries. The compacts did not disappoint with dark foliage, mounded habit, excellent flower stability and floriferousness. Orange Fire had deep red florets with a splash of yellow and dark green foliage that was striking from a distance.
Calibrachoa ‘Uno Double Plumtastic’
The award-winning Double Pinktastic was introduced last year, and Selecta followed up with four double introductions in 2020. Plumtastic was the top calibrachoa performer in the trial with a canopy of proliferous blue bicolor flowers. The habit is compact and semi-trailing with outstanding flower stability.
Have you had a chance to attend the Costa Farm trial at all this year? What other trials do you attend? Do you have any new favorites from any of trials you have attended? Shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts; I’d love to hear from you.