Annual review

Supplement - Trees, Ornamental & Bedding Plant

New varieties can make your color installations stand out from the crowd.

February 23, 2011
Sarah Martinez

It’s a common situation: Clients want something “new” for color installations, but contractors don’t want to gamble with a plant they’re unfamiliar with. The landscape realm is in luck this year. Several new annual varieties are hitting the market, which are both new and reliable.

1. Calibrachoa
Superbells Blackberry Punch from Proven Winners has two-tone flowers with a rich, velvet-black throat on deep-grape petals. It will reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide, with a slightly looser habit than other Superbells.

2. Ipomoea (sweet potato vine)
The Sweet Georgia series from Green Fuse Botanicals is compact and well-branched with a wide range of leaf shapes and colors. Purple remains well-behaved in mixed containers. Light Green is more mounded than its predecessors and is well-branched. Bronze offers vibrant color for landscapes. The Light Green selection pictured here is among the series’ heart-shaped offerings.

3. Impatiens
SunPatiens from Sakata love the heat and provide three seasons of solid performance and color. Additions to this line are Vigorous Pink and Spreading Corona (pictured), a new reddish-orange variety with green leaves.

4. Petunia
Purple Wave Improved from PanAmerican Seed has a larger bloom size and an overall fuller look. It offers a faster garden fill, even in cooler and wetter conditions.

5. Viola
Penny Primrose Picotee from Syngenta Flowers is extremely free flowering, making it great for both fall and spring seasons. It produces large, flat flowers that form a carpet of color.

Out of the Ordinary Selections

6. Centradenia
‘Blushing Cascade’ from GroLink has shell-pink flowers that contrast with the bronze-green foliage. Its trailing habit makes it ideal for baskets or as a replacement for ipomoea and vinca in combination pots.

7. Lobelia
Nautica from Hort Couture is a heat-tolerant series. Young plants have a mounded habit. The colors are vibrant and the flowers are very large and profuse.

8. Scoparia
The Illumina series from Suntory Flowers has an unusual red-licorice fragrance. Lemon Mist Improved (pictured) produces an abundance of star-shaped yellow flowers throughout the season. Illumina is good for hanging baskets and window boxes.