2021 California Summer Trials

Coming to a Garden Near You … By Jasmina Dolce

Last month, we shared some of the overall trends and themes uncovered along the California coast. This month, we dive into the latest breeding breakthroughs and innovations that will be gracing gardens in 2022.


Angelonia Angelissa

The new Angelissa series offers three uniform complementary colors. Angelissa varieties are ideal component plants in combinations. The large flower spikes make a statement on strong, sturdy stems.

Angelonia Serafina

Serafina has been in the making for nearly five years and is making its debut with big flowers on heavily branched plants. This heat- and drought-tolerant angelonia is the perfect summer plant with seven colors to choose from.

Antirrhinum Statement
American Takii

This new dwarf snapdragon series is colorful with an abundance of larger flowers on compact plants. Sturdy plants are durable and hold up well with heavy branching.

Begonia ‘Glory Bicolor’

A real eye catcher, this new begonia presents yellow and pink flowers on a round plant fully covered in blooms. It is a standout in containers and works well in a 5-inch pot.

Begonia ‘I’Conia Scentiment Peachy Keen’
Dümmen Orange

Part of a new I’Conia family, Scentiment represents a bountiful display of color with multidimensional blooms and an abundance of fresh summer fragrance. This durable begonia offers reliability and outstanding performance in the garden.

Begonia Viking Explorer

Viking and Viking XL were recent introductions for landscape and container applications. The new Viking Explorer series is intended for hanging baskets with
its trailing habit. Two colors are currently available (Red on Green is pictured), and they flower earlier than comparable varieties with more flowers at first flush.

Calilbrachoa ‘MiniFamous Neo Pink Hawaii’
Selecta One

Neo Pink Hawaii brings a new star pattern to the MiniFamous series. The raspberry-colored blooms display a large yellow star with black edging. Habit is semi-trailing with medium vigor, perfect for big baskets.

Calibrachoa Rainbow
Dümmen Orange

Rainbow is a new series of calibrachoa offering a color-changing effect. They offer a classic Aloha habit and perform well in larger baskets. Plants exhibit incredible heat tolerance, presenting a long-lasting and unique look in the garden.

Centaurea ‘FanciFillers Chrome Fountain’

FanciFillers is a collection of foliage varieties that add novel textures to mixed combinations or make a thrilling statement on their own. The newest FanciFiller is ‘Chrome Fountain’, which features silvery-white foliage on a dramatic vase-shaped fountain.

Coleus ‘Spitfire’
Ball FloraPlant

This micro coleus features a strappy leaf with pink coloring and lime edging. It is bred to be smaller than the Flamethrowers and can possibly even double up as an indoor plant. It performs well in both sun and shade.

Dahlia ‘Electro Pink’
Plant Haven

This stunning new dark-leafed dahlia boasts 4-inch, hot pink blooms that contrast beautifully against the mahogany-black foliage. Blooms face outwards, adding a bit of impulse appeal at retail. Stems are strong, so no staking is required.

Gerbera ‘Garvinea Majestic Purple’

The Majestic series was introduced last year boasting large, elegant, double flowers. Majestic Purple is the newest color addition and is quick to bloom, produces an abundance of flowers and has strong disease resistance.

Lantana Shamrock
Ball FloraPlant

A new basket lantana series, Shamrock features medium vigor and a nice, mounded habit. It has a lower seed set, and is uniform across all colors. Plus, it is a pollinator magnet.

Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol Sunbeam’
Suntory Flowers

The Sun Parasol Original assortment now has seven colors available. Sunbeam blooms like crazy and boasts a beautiful deep yellow bloom. Plants have a nice bushy habit perfect for both hanging baskets and containers.

Petunia ‘Blanket Silver Surprise’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Silver Surprise is a super novel addition to the Blanket series of milliflora type petunias. One plant presents white, silver, lavender, purple and pink — even half and half on the same flower. The entire series has incredible landscape power and heat tolerance.

Petunia ‘Crazytunia Mayan Sunset’

The Crazytunia line is known for its novel colors and patterns, and it continues
to expand with new introductions each year. Mayan Sunset has been getting a lot of attention at trials for its tropical color and garden performance.

Petunia E3 Easy Wave
PanAmerican Seed

E3 Easy Wave is the Early and Efficient Evolution of the Easy Wave program. This new series has the ability to fulfill sales earlier in the season. All colors have a similar, uniform habit and long bloom time.

Petunia ‘Fun House Potpourri’
Syngenta Flowers

This unique flower color and pattern presents deep pinkish-red blooms with a bright yellow center. It has a great habit for a fun addition to hanging baskets — sure to be a social media favorite.

Portulaca 24/7
Green Fuse Botanicals

The new 24/7 series acquired its name from its ability to remain open — even at night — allowing consumers to see the colors when purchasing in morning or evening hours. The series is daylength neutral, and the grandiflora flowers 19 measure 2 to 3 inches.

Ptilotus ‘Joey Improved’

This improved variety has strength and flower power. Plants stand tall, love the heat and keep pushing out blooms all season. Plumes start small, but just keep growing on well-branched plants.

Salvia ‘Red Hill’
Hem Genetics

Reaching 2 feet tall, this eyecatching salvia stands up at retail. The red blooms contrast well against the foliage. Ideal in a 10-inch or gallon container, ‘Red Hill’ makes an excellent patio plant.


Torenia Hi-Lite
Syngenta Flowers

Bred under extreme conditions, Hi-Lite is a new torenia series that resists stretch and does not fade. They are perfect for borders as well as combinations. Six colors and a mix are available; ‘Hi-Lite Magenta’ is pictured.

Zinnia Belize
American Takii

Belize is a new series that has been a success in Europe and is now making its debut in the U.S. The collection features five single and five double varieties that offer a compact habit and eye-catching colors. They keep their tight shape; no PGRs required.

Zinnia ‘Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor’

This All-America Selections Gold Medal winner boasts distinct yellow and red blooms that transition to softer apricot and pink tones as it ages. A rock star in any climate, blooms are long lasting, and plants are heat and disease resistant.


Buddleia Chrysalis
Darwin Perennials

Chrysalis is a new series of compact buddleia that provides continuous blooming from spring through late fall. It has an abundance of flowers and attracts butterflies. Because of its smaller size, it would be great in borders or containers. Four colors are available, but Cranberry was a definite standout.

Delphinium ‘Delgenius Glitzy’
Pacific Plug & Liner

Hardy to Zones 3 through 9, this incredible delphinium is sturdy and can withstand the heat. A single liner easily fills a 10-inch planter in a matter of weeks. It is genetically compact and doesn’t require growth regulation.

Dianthus ‘Constant Beauty Crush Wine’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Green Fuse Botanicals continues to expand its line of Zone 4 hardy dianthus. Like all Constant Beauty dianthus, this variety excels in the landscape, and we love this new bicolor of white and deep wine red. It can be programmed to finish any time of year without the need for vernalization.


Dianthus ‘Hello Yellow’
Plant Haven

‘Hello Yellow’ is bred to be the first hardy yellow dianthus. It features repeat blooming, a tight clumping habit and blue-silver foliage. It is an outstanding variety for premium quarts and gallons.

Dianthus ‘Rose Quartz’

A FastraX perennial, ‘Rose Quartz’ is first-year flowering and does not require vernalization. It has a sweet scent and makes a perfect show in pots, rock
gardens, and border plantings. With a long flowering period, it has lasting summer appeal.

Echibeckia ‘Summerina Sunbeat’
Pacific Plug & Liner

The Summerina line continues to expand with the addition of this big beauty, which presents a bright yellow flower with a deep red eye. The yellow on this variety stays brighter than some of the older selections. Sunbeat is hardy to Zones 7 through 9.

Gaillardia ‘Spintop Mariachi Copper Sun’
Dümmen Orange

With spoon-like flowers and intense coloration, this gaillardia provides early color that continues into the season. Mariachi Copper Sun has a compact habit, is tolerant to hot and humid conditions, and is hardy to Zone 3.

Iberis ‘Mermaid Lavender’
Syngenta Flowers

Part of the Think Plants collection, ‘Mermaid Lavender’ is the first lavender flowering iberis to extend the season as it blooms in summer. It is first-year flowering, fills out nicely and maintains its gorgeous color. It is hardy to Zones 5 through 9.

Lavender ‘La Diva Eternal Elegance’
Dümmen Orange

A gamechanger in angustifolia types, this new lavender is first-year flowering
without the need for vernalization. It boasts a profusion of blooms from
early spring into the summer months. Eternal Elegance is a very compact
selection and works best in smaller container sizes.

Lobelia ‘Starship Rose’
Kieft Seed

The newest addition to the early-flowering Starship series, Rose presents a bright rose color that matches Scarlet for timing and uniformity. This pollinator magnet displays vibrant blooms on dark stems, and is perfect for beds and borders.

Rudbeckia ‘Rodeo Double Red’
Green Fuse Botanicals

This long-day rudbeckia is produced from cuttings. It has fully double, red flowers that transition to a deep burgundy. It is excellent for summer and fall promotions.

Mark Your Calendars: CAST is returning to spring! The 2022 California Spring Trials are scheduled to take place March 30 to April 3.

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

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