Sep 22, 2022
CSU Reports Its 2022 Best Annuals

Colorado State University (CSU) has wrapped up its 2022 Annual Flower Trial Garden and the results are in.

Annual plant cultivars are evaluated under the unique Rocky Mountain environmental conditions; characterized by high altitude, intense solar radiation, drying winds, severe hailstorms, large fluctuations in day and night temperatures, and a need for season-long irrigation.

In August, select horticulture students, faculty, industry representatives, public horticulturalists and advanced master gardeners judged the entries. Then in September, the CSU advisory committee and a group of industry professionals were invited to re-evaluate the top-rated entries and decide on the ‘Best of” annuals for this year. Here are some of the big winners:

Best of Show – Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Vigorous Peach Candy’ from Sakata Seed America

Prolific peach-colored flowers blanket the attractive dark green foliage. Blooms kept a nice pattern and were a very nice bicolor with peach and white that maintained vibrant color even in the intense Colorado sun. Plants were noted for their great vigor and uniform shape.

Best Rex Begonia – Begonia ‘Jurassic Jr. Fire Spike’ from Ball Ingenuity

Plants make attractive mounds of dense and very colorful foliage. Grown mainly for foliage, it does have small pink flowers later in season that also complement the pink shades in the leaves. A great choice to bring color to shady areas while also being very low maintenance. The Jurassic Jr. series provides all the same beauty as the Jurassic series but with ~40% smaller foliage.

Best Gerbera – Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Sparkle’ from HilverdaFlorist

Blooms have great eye-catching color and were also held high on stems which work well in both the landscape as well as a cut flower bouquet. The hot red/rose color held up to the intense summer sun. Plants were very healthy with above average number of breaks that resulted in more flowers. Entire Garvina series is bred for the landscape and were excellent.

Best Rudbeckia – Rudbeckia ‘Sunbeckia Maya’ from Bull Plant Genetics

Large striking flowers were very showy with two tone yellow petals and a chocolate colored cone in the middle that reminded some of a Hershey’s Kiss. Flowers aged well and maintained their appearance for a very long period both in the ground and container. Plants were very uniform.

The full list of 2022 ‘Best Of’ annuals from the CSU Annual Trial Garden can be viewed here.