Winter is the time of year we find ourselves imagining what we are going to do in our garden this spring.  We have attended a few trade shows and gone through our catalogs and come up with our favorite new plants for this garden season. Many of these are some of our more popular flowers and plants in new varieties and some are totally new introductions. Sometimes new plants can be challenging to find and if that is the case let us know and we will try to track them down for you. If you find them yourself, snatch them up as you might find they are not there the next time you go to buy them.  

Annuals

Begonias AmeriHybrid - PanAmerican Seed introduced a new tuberous begonia series in a wide selection of colors.  With this variety, you will find some interesting bicolored blooms. These begonias also are available in picotee varieties. The ‘Picotee Flamingo’ has dark leaves and huge, double white flowers with a bright rose-pink picotee. These blooms are some of the largest I have seen as the flowers measure from 4 to 8 inches. The flowers bloom from late spring to autumn.

Butterbaby Squash – is a mini butternut squash. This new introduction produces sweet, personal-size mini-butternuts.  It is well suited for growing in-ground or on a trellis to save space. Butterbaby ripens earlier than other mini butternuts and stores up to 4 months.  

Royal Hawaiian®  Maui Sunrise Colocasia - is a new Elephant Ear that has been added to the Royal Hawaiian collection.  This Colocasia has white markings and veins that are showcased against tropical glossy green foliage. Like all of the other Colocasia in this collection, they are disease resistant with great foliage and stem interest. These plants will grow to 3 feet and are hardy from zones 7b - 11.

Senetti Magic Salmon Pericallis – has large daisy-like flowers that bloom in early spring until summer. The flowers have shades of blue and salmon.  The plants thrive in cool conditions and are perfect to add to your garden in early spring. They are considered an annual but could be a tender perennial in geographies that have cool, moist summers. Senetti are known for their re-blooming ability.

Starry Sky Burgundy Petunia – This petunia is the 3rd in a series of sky petunias (Night Sky and Pink Sky). Similar to the others in this series, the pattern is unpredictable and inconsistent but still beautiful and a show stopper.  The star pattern is more pronounced in cooler weather. The flower blooms from spring through autumn. This flower looks great in containers and hanging baskets.

Tattoo Vinca – This new Vinca series gives this plant a bold new look. The flowers have dark eyes and are available in four different colors. The colors are black cherry, papaya, raspberry, and tangerine. The color contrast is more evident under warm conditions and sunlight. The flowers bloom late spring through summer.

Perennials

Chestnut Gold Rudbeckia – this pretty new black-eyed Susan has large 5” flowers. The bi-color flower petals radiate from yellow, orange, red, and brown with a brown cone center. The plant is compact and grow 1 ½ to 2 inches high.  

Golden Stardust Coreopsis – this coreopsis produces abundant star-shaped flowers throughout the growing. This plant is very easy to grow. The flowers are bronze and gold and grow profusely from March to November. Coreopsis will do best in sunny locations with well-drained soil. These flowers attract bees and butterflies and grow 12 – 14 inches tall. They are hardy for zones 5 – 9.

Red Hot Poker Kniphofia – want to add some drama to your garden add these spiky flowers. This new series is available in orange (Orange Blaze), yellow (Solar Flare (bright yellow) and Flashpoint (chartreuse yellow), reddish-orange flowers that open to peachy yellow (Backdraft), creamy peach (Rocket Red Glare) and tangerine orange to white (Hot and Cold). They grow from 30-36 inches in height and will bloom all summer long. Red Hot Poker grows best in well-drained soil, and this plant is hardy for zones 5 –9. In zones, 5 – 6, protect these plants with mulch in the winter.

Salvia Sky Blue Marvel – this new Darwin Perennials has the largest flowers of any Salvia Nemorosa. The petals are light blue and make a great thriller in your container.  The flowers are on display in spring and summer (March to September).  This beautiful Salvia has excellent winter hardiness and heat tolerant. The flowers will repeat bloom several times during the growing season when the flowers are removed. The plant grows 14 – 16 inches. The plant requires little to no maintenance in the garden.

Shrubs

At Last Rosa Rose – this new award-winning introduction from Proven Winners is a landscape, fragrant rose with sunset-orange flowers.  The rose is long blooming, with flowers starting from last spring through frost. This shrub is disease-resistant.  It is easy to care for and does not need to be sprayed. This shrub will make a great thriller in flower in containers.  

Berberis Orange Rocket – while the plant is typically a burgundy color it is now available in coral/orange. When planted in full sun this plant comes alive in color. The plant grows in a column form which allows it to be a screen in the garden or it can also be a thriller in your container.  This plant is compact, upright growing deciduous shrub that has small red leaves that will turn coral/orange in autumn. In the early summer, you will find pale yellow flowers that are followed by small, red berries. It is a low-maintenance plant with dramatic color. 

Hor Tivoli Pink Hydrangea Macrophylla – This hydrangea is a bushy, deciduous shrub that has large flower heads. The rosy pink blooms on this shrub are outlined in thick, creamy white and have dark green blooms. The blooms will show up in your garden from June to September. The Pink Tivoli Hydrangea is resistant to a light freeze and hot temperatures. Since, this is a compact plant, if you live in a colder climate, grow the plant in a pot and move it to a location to protect the shrub from the freezing temperatures. Pollinators love this plant.

Lavendula stoechas Madrid® - this variety is a breakthrough in lavender breeding. This plant available in blue, pink, and purple has huge blooms that are considerably larger than other Spanish lavender.  The shorter flower spikes are beautiful and the foliage makes the plant more stunning. The plant is drought tolerant and grows in poor, very well-drained soil. Water deeply when the soil is dry.  Prune the plant in spring. It grows to a height of 12 – 16 inches. It is a tender perennial in the north and its hardiness zones are 7 – 10. 

Southern Bluebell Blueberry - This compact, blueberry plant comes from Star Roses and Plants, the creator of Knockout Roses. The plant produces fruit in the late summer and the berries have a mild, sweet taste. It will grow 2 to 3 feet tall. The plant has bright red foliage that will turn emerald green as the plant matures.  This variety is ideal for gardens in warmer climates and is perfect for small-space gardens or patios. The plant is self-pollinating so you do not need to have another variety nearby to produce fruit. The plant is hardy for zones 6 – 10. 

Photos courtesy of Jill Mazur, Ball Seed, Proven Winners. Green-Fuse, and Plant Haven International.

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