Choosing new varieties to add to your production each year can be quite taxing. Which ones will sell, which ones will perform, which ones will keep your customers (and their customers) happy?
It is certainly not easy to predict which new introductions will perform, from the greenhouse to the end consumer. That is why multiple organizations take on the responsibility of trialing and evaluating new varieties each year in various regions around the world. And each year, GPN compiles a list of award winners for you.
These awarded varieties left a lasting impression on judges with their color, strength and versatility. If you’re looking for new plants to diversify your offering, consider these standouts.
Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose’
This is the first nasturtium to be awarded by All-America Selections since the 1930s! ‘Baby Rose’ is a petite-flowered, mounding variety with dark foliage. It is ideal for containers and small space gardens with its compact habit and upright blooms. The rose color is uncommon in nasturtiums and
contrasts beautifully with the foliage.
Begonia ‘Viking XL Red on Chocolate’
This brand new begonia with large, uniquely colored dark leaves impressed judges with how deep the bronze color remained sharp and intense throughout the season. Covered with vibrant red flowers, this compact plant keeps its shape all season and is perfect in both landscapes and containers.
Marigold ‘Big Duck Gold’, ‘Big Duck Orange, ‘Big Duck Yellow’
All three colors in the Big Duck series were long-lasting winners in the trial gardens. These marigolds grow vigorously creating well-branched plants with clean, deep-green foliage. Fully double 4-inch blooms pop on the 15-inch plants and continue blooming through the end of the season. Easy to grow, they are great for beds, containers, landscapes, hedges and borders.
Petunia ‘Wave Carmine Velour’
The newest addition to the popular Wave collection, Carmine Velour was one of the highest scoring plants in the 2018 trials. Judges enjoyed the unique color, describing it as nonfading, stunning and intense. This petunia features large, 2- to 2½-inch flowers on easy-care plants that rarely need deadheading.
Zinnia ‘Holi Scarlet’
This beautiful zinnia is named after the famous Holi Festival of Colors because of its vibrant color. Its bright color, size, number of blooms and disease resistance impressed judges. ‘Holi Scarlet’ will keep producing fresh blooms all season long, even through heat, humidity and drought. The uniform, mounding plants will make a stunning display in mass plantings.
Vinca ‘Mega Bloom Polka Dot’
Mega Bloom was bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Polka Dot exhibits these traits plus boasts large, 3- to 4-inch, showy flowers on vigorous plants that stay tidy and compact. Growers will appreciate the early bloom time, compactness and plant uniformity.
PERENNIAL PLANT ASSOCIATION
The 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year, stachys ‘Hummelo’ was the highest rated stachys in the Chicago Botanic Garden evaluation trials for its strong flower production, vigor, quality and winter hardiness. A colorful and compact winter, it is an excellent addition to full sun perennial borders or in combination with ornamental grasses, echinacea and aslepias.
Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose’
A double award winner, this nasturtium earned judges’ praise for its non-trailing, compact habit and innovative deep-rose color. Like other nasturtiums, ‘Baby Rose’ is an excellent home garden performer and is a great addition to the existing seed packet assortment to cover larger spaces and landscapes.
Silene ‘Sibella Carmine’
This new Silena pendula presents multifunctional color for pots, containers and bedding applications. ‘Sibella Carmine’ is self cleaning, so flowers do not scatter and deadheading is not needed. Judges were impressed with the intense purple-red color, semi-double flowers and early flowering.
This new leucanthemum from seed has been developed to compete with latest cutting-raised varieties. ‘Madonna’ is easy to care for, builds new flowers over the fading ones and flowers from summer to early fall. It is a beauty in pots and containers and also offers a lovely display in beds or landscaping.
ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALTY CUT FLOWER GROWERS
Anemone ‘Galilee White’
This anemone can be grown in the field or under cover and is tolerant of low light levels and cool temperatures. Earning the Bulb Cut Flower of the Year designation, ‘Galilee White’ brings a wow factor to spring lineups with 18- to 24-inch stems and large white flowers with black centers.
Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’
Spring Meadow Nursery
The Woody Cut of the Year, ‘Quick Fire’, is one of the earliest Hydrangea paniculatas to bloom each year, usually two weeks ahead of others — making it a perfect season extender for cut flower growers. The flowers on this lacecap bloom white and age to red. They are lightly fragrant and attract pollinators.
The delicate flowers and aromatic foliage of ‘Dara’ — the Fresh Cut Flower of the Year — add accents and interest to floral designs. Its subtle blend of colors in each bloom make it the perfect bridge between summer and autumn tones. Stem length ranges from 2 to 4 feet, and some trialers cut up to 40 stems per plant.
Eucalyptus ‘Silver Drop’
‘Silver Drop’, the Cut Foliage of the Year, has silvery green leaves that provide a unique texture and light scent in floral designs. Field-grown plants will produce usable stems from late summer until frost, and they will usually overwinter in Zone 8 and warmer. This variety can also be grown in a high tunnel, allowing it to overwinter reliably in Zone 6 or higher.
AMERICAN HOSTA GROWERS ASSOCIATION
Hosta ‘Lakeside Paisley Print’
This small hosta features wavy, heart-shaped leaves with green margins. The narrow, creamy white markings in the center of the leaves shoot out from the cream-color petioles in a feathery pattern. Pale lavender flowers bloom in midsummer. It grows 10 inches tall by 30 inches wide.