Jan 9, 2023
National Garden Bureau Chooses Green Thumb Award Winners for 2023

National Garden Bureau announced six live goods and two hard goods as winners of the 2023 Green Thumb Award.

Winners were chosen based on these four criteria: uniqueness, technological innovation, ability to solve a gardening problem or provide a gardening opportunity, and appeal to gardeners. Winners were selected by a panel of National Garden Bureau members.

The Green Thumb Awards program was created in 1998 to recognize the most innovative new plants and gardening products available each year.

Flowering Shrub: Rose ‘Eau De Parfum Bubbly’

This rose delivers big fragrant blooms with a high petal count with the benefit of disease resistance. Bubbly features champagne-colored blooms that form a lovely bud, then slowly unfurl to its full glory. The lush foliage makes these excellent shrubs in the garden. Blooms repeatedly from early spring until the first frost. This rose series is hardy to USDA zone 5, grows to 3 to 4 feet tall and is from Monrovia Nursery.

Perennial: Astilbe ‘Dark Side of the Moon’

Dark Side of the Moon astilbe is the only dark leafed astilbe with purple flowers currently on the market. Rich, deep chocolate burgundy leaves form an attractive 18 to 24-inch mound of foliage. Emerging leaves are yellow with a dark margin and a glossy sheen that becomes completely dark as they age. Dark stems hold raspberry buds that open with rosy, purple flowers. This astilbe is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9 and is from Walters Gardens.

Annual: Colocasia esculenta ‘Royal Hawaiian Waikiki’

Veteran plant pros and new gardeners alike are talking about the exciting new colors on this Colocasia. ‘Royal Hawaiian Waikiki’ offers glossy green foliage with white and flamingo pink veining and is bred to be happy in full sun. Disease resistance and a compact, clumping habit – 3 feet tall and wide – is ideal for patio containers, poolside plantings and garden beds. This Plant Haven International submission is also a 2023 All-America Selections National Winner making it a dual award winner.

Annual: Starflower ‘Paper Moon’

The novelty of this annual is what makes it a winner in the 2023 Green Thumb Award. Small, pale blue blossoms on wiry stems transform into highly decorative, bronze-colored geometric and globe-shaped seed heads. Plants are grown primarily for the papery seed pods, which are useful for both fresh and dried bouquets. This variety is from Sahin/Takii EU. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and attract beneficial insects.

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Edible: Tomato ‘Sun Dipper’

Sun Dipper’s unique elongated fruit can be held between your fingers for easy use with dips and sauces. The orange flesh fruit looks great on a vegetable platter and tastes delicious. Plants are indeterminate and have great resistance to in-ground diseases, so you’ll harvest trusses of Sun Dipper tomatoes until the frost. This variety was developed by PanAmerican Seed.

Houseplant: Tradescantia ‘Pistachio White’

A breeding breakthrough from Green Fuse Botanicals allows this all-new tradescantia to maintain heavy white variegation while still supporting vigorous growth. An excellent selection for small pots as well as hanging baskets. ‘Pistachio White’ also makes an eye-popping item for combination plantings. Bring it indoors for fantastic performance as a house plant in winter months. ‘Pistachio White’ grows to only 12-inches tall but can get up to 18 to 24 inches wide. For warmer climates, this plant is hardy to zone 8a when left outdoors.

Garden Products (a tie resulted in two winners): TruDrop Flex

This self-watering planter from Crescent Garden provides phenomenal results, helping to make successful gardening accessible to everyone. The innovative insert can be removed from its 10-year warranty shell easily, so you can change the style, change the plants and maintain your plants. The outer shell serves as a great water reservoir that allows it to go weeks without watering, delivering phenomenal results by watering through the roots, while at the same time saving water and fertilizer usage for a truly sustainable container garden. It can be used indoors or out.

Garden Products (a tie resulted in two winners): The Dibby XL Dual-Purpose Gardening Tool

No more sowing seeds with pencils, sticks, spoons, chopsticks etc. The Dibby XL helps any gardener of any skill level consistently plant vegetable and flower seeds at the correct depth for good germination. This means more plants with less time and less effort. Also, thinning and transplanting seedlings just got easier. Other tools are hard to maneuver around tender seedlings, and none of them gently cup a seedling by its roots. The Dibby XL helps easily transplant and thin seedlings giving them more room to develop. Made in the U.S., the Dibby XL is available from Spoken Garden.