If you haven’t tried growing foliage in your garden, you might want to consider some of these new varieties that are available this year.  If you have grown succulents or houseplants, our new selections are a must.  These plants will give your garden a big boom without the bloom. 

We are going to start out with some new Coleus varieties:

Coleus Dragon Heart – This Coleus has bright colorful foliage with a unique pattern making it a real standout in your garden. It is a great plant for larger landscapes and large containers. It tolerates both sun and shade. The plant grows 14 – 28 inches tall and wide and is a low-maintenance plant. 

Coleus Flame Thrower™ - There are two new varieties of this plant.  One is Sriracha, which has dark red leaves with a pop of lime green on the edge.  The other is named Cajun Spice, which has vibrant orange leaves with contrasting green edging.  These pants will thrive in full sun and shade.  Coleus Flame Thrower is low maintenance and works well in a large container or if used as landscaping.

Coleus Main Street Beale Street – Beale Street is the first Coleus to win the All-American Selections Award.  This plant has deep red foliage that is able to keep its color well in the garden.  The rich color does not fade, bleach, or get spotty throughout the season.  Another feature is that it grows well in full sun and full shade, making it an ideal plant that can work anywhere in your garden.  Here is a short video on this plant.

Coleus Terra Nova® ‘Monkey Puzzle’ – Now for something a little different. This fun plant has pretty peach and purple tones with lace-like leaves.  It is short but grows quite broad making it perfect for containers and hanging baskets.   Plant this coleus in well-drained soil in full shade or partial shade. Hardiness zones 10-11.

Here are some new Ipomoea plants to consider:

Spotlight™ Red Heart Ipomoea – This new variety has heart-shaped leaves and is able to keep its color in extreme heat.  It has less fading in the south compared to other Ipomoea plants.  The Spotlight series was bred for the south to remain compact making it great for small and mixed combination containers.  The color red is new to the series this year, but it is also available in black and lime. 

Purple Splash Sweet Georgia® Ipomoea – This new series has a compact growing habit and is excellent for small containers.  They work well in mixed containers because they do not overtake other plants.  Purple Splash is a variegated selection.  These plants can grow 4” to 6”.

Celosia is usually a flower but this new variety is a foliage plant:

Celosia Sol ™ 'Lizzard Leaf' - This Celosia provides you with a sun-loving foliage accent plant.  The bicolor green and burgundy foliage is quick-growing.  It is a low, shrub-like plant that will look great at the front of a border.  This plant will give your garden a different look and texture.  It will produce flowers very late in the season.  If kept indoors the foliage tends to be green and will turn burgundy when the plant is left outdoors.

Here are some other foliage plants that we thought were really unique:

Centaurea 'Mercury' – Silver plants continued to be featured.  Centaurea Mercury is a charming foliage accent plant with rosettes of silver-white leaves.  The plant is excellent for using in combo planters as it is sure to accent flowers as well as other foliage and succulents.  Try it in a rock garden, group planting, or large containers.  It is not fussy about watering as many other sliver leaved plants, making it adaptable for different growing conditions.

Dryopteris 'Jurassic Gold' – This plant is a unique modern fern.  The young shoots of the plant emerge golden orange, and the fronds will then fade to a golden yellow, and with age will turn green.  Once the plant is established it is drought tolerant.  You can cut back the dead fronds in the winter.  Testing has shown the plant is pest and disease-free.  Hardiness zones 5-9.

Hedera Canariensis ‘Tropical Blizzard’ – This plant is a striking large-leaved, Algerian Ivy.  It has unique variegated leaves with gold to pure white marbling and flecking with shades of green in between.   The stems are bright pink-red, which adds an additional pop of color to the plant.  It makes an excellent houseplant or you can use it in a hanging or seasonal container.  It can also be grown as a groundcover in warmer climates.  This evergreen climber is happy in sun to full shade in any soil that is not waterlogged.

Let us know if you try any of these out.

Photos courtesy of Ball Seed, Dummen Orange, Green-Fuse Botanicals, PlantHaven International, Terranova Nurseries, and Wayside Gardens.

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