New Bedding Plants for 2015
Colorful herbaceous ornamental plants continue to be the “jewel in the crown” of most landscapes. This, in part, explains why each year dozens of new annuals and perennials are introduced to the gardening public. This year, a total of 55 new bedding plants are available for your consideration. While new is not always better, most of these introductions represent improvements in plant performance for the species in question. Listed below are a number of new cultivars that should do well under Missouri conditions.
Agastache Arizona™ Sandstone, Arizona™ Sun and Arizona™ Sunset (Agastache x hybrida). Agastache (giant hyssop) is a perennial known for its upright growth and aromatic foliage. The Arizona™ series produces an abundance of flower spikes, each loaded with tubular flowers. Plants require little care once established and are great at attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators. From American Takii.
Angelonia Serenita™ Pink (Angelonia angustifolia). Angelonia is gaining popularity in the gardening world each year due to its heat-tolerant nature. Vigorous, compact plants flower continuously spring through frost, providing an outstanding show of color. The Serenita™ series is one of the few angelonia available from seed. 2014 AAS winner. From Harris Seeds.
Calibrachoa Hula Soft Pink (Calibrachoa hybrid). 'Hula Soft Pink' is a good choice for massive mounds of color. Soft pink flowers are highlighted by a vibrant magenta 'hula hoop' of color. A reliable performer, it does equally well in baskets and containers. From the Dummen Group.
Canna Cannova Yellow (Canna x generalis). The Cannova series of seed canna is an excellent choice for backgrounds in the landscape, or any place a taller plant is needed. Its tropical appearance enhance the design of any garden. Place it in containers for a "thriller" element. The Cannova series includes ‘Yellow’, ‘Bronze Scarlet’, ‘Red Shades’, and ‘Rose’. From Ball Seed.
Coleus Marquee Blonde Bombshell (Solenostemon scutellarioides). From shadowy patios to sun-drenched gardens, the Marquee coleus collection takes a starring role thanks to amazing colors, easy-care attitude, and the ability to serve as the “filler” in pots and mixed combination planters. It has excellent garden performance. Its elongated leaves make for a wonderful textural component. Available in three colors: ‘Blonde Bombshell’, ‘Red Carpet’, and ‘Box Office Bronze’. From Ball Seed.
Corn, Ornamental Japonica Striped Maize (Zea mays). This unique ornamental corn comes from Japan. Growing 5-6 ft. tall, it has variegated leaves striped with green, white, yellow and pink. It bears dark purple tassels and the mature kernels are purple in color. Provide this introduction with plenty of sun and adequate space for best color. From Seeds by Design.
Dahlia XXL Sunset (Dahlia grandiflora). The huge blooms on 'XXL Sunset' are sure to be the talk of visitors to a garden. The XXL series of dahlias are strong and proven garden performers - consistently receiving top marks at trial gardens across the country. From the Dummen Group.
Dianthus Diana Crimson Picotee Improved (Dianthus chinensis). Not known for its ability to tolerate heat, dianthus is a good choice for early or late-season color. Its ability to tolerate light freezes helps to extend the gardening season. The Diana series is known for its upright mounded plants that provide bright color to the landscape or container gardens. From HemGenetics.
Dianthus Interspecific Jolt™ Pink (Dianthus barbatus interspecific). Jolt™ is an interspecific dianthus with brightly colored and large, showy flowers on strong stems that perform well all summer long. It is the most heat tolerant dianthus on the market, sporting very showy, bright pink fringed flowers. Low maintenance and trouble-free, the Jolt™ series represents an advancement in heat tolerance for this cool-loving garden plant. Recipient of the AAS award. From Pan American Seed.
Digitalis Foxlight (Digitalis hybrid). The Foxlight series of hybrid digitalis makes a great focal point in gardens and containers with its bold colors. The blooms face outward on tall spikes for outstanding flower display. Good for attracting hummingbirds, it is available in three colors: ‘Ruby Glow’, ‘Plum Gold’, and ‘Rose Ivory’. From Ball Seed (Darwin Perennials).
Euphorbia Glitz (Euphorbia graminea). ‘Glitz’ is the first baby’s breath Euphorbia from seed. Prolific flowering, its delicate, airy habit and tiny white flowers mix well with other annuals. It is an ideal choice for baskets, mixed containers, or grown on its own.It offers drought tolerance and has long lasting displays of flowers. From Harris Seeds.
Geranium Big EZEE Red (Pelargonium x hortorum). ‘Big EZEE Red’ is not an average geranium. Bred for the heat, this reliable performer and is a vigorous grower loaded with flowers. It's perfect for completing mixed plantings, and also stands well on its own. From the Dummen Group.
Geranium Nano™ Violet (Pelargonium x hortorum). ‘Nano™ Violet’ is a new beautiful vibrant color addition to this compact series of zonal geranium. Extremely floriferous, ‘Nano™ Violet’ continually produces clusters of flowers in abundance all season long. Its dark green foliage provides the perfect backdrop for its striking flower color. The compact habit of the Nano™ series make them ideal choices for container use and window boxes, as well as in landscape beds in the ground for bright color accents. From HemGenetics.
Impatiens Bounce™ Violet and Bounce™ Pink Flame (Impatiens x hybrida). ‘Bounce™ Violet’ is a strong-performing impatiens for both sun and shade gardens. It is highly resistant to impatiens downy mildew and has an appealing habit and good flower count. As the names imply, it “bounces” back after wilt. Available in several colors it is a great alternative to Impatiens walleriana. The Bounce™ series is shorter and compact, while Big Bounce is more vigorous and taller. ‘Bounce™ Pink Flame’ is a 2015 AAS winner. From Selecta Seeds.
Impatiens Divine Mix (Impatiens hawkerii). Its well-branched plant habit produces masses of large, luscious blooms. Impatiens ‘New Guinea Divine’ is a great alternative to garden impatiens (Impatients walleriana)where downy mildew is a problem. From Harris Seeds.
Impatiens SunPatiens® Compact Pink and Compact Royal Magenta (Impatiens x hybrida).
Compact SunPatiens® produce dense, bushy plants that are well-branched and covered with flowers. They grow 24” to 36" tall and equally wide in the garden, but slightly shorter in containers and baskets. In the garden, the Compact series is early to flower and well behaved with an upright, ‘stocky’ growth habit. Compact SunPatiens are good choices for exceptional patio pots and hanging baskets as well as for the garden. From Sakata Seeds.
Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink (Impatiens x hybrida). The truly unique genetic background of SunPatiens® Shell Pink delivers unsurpassed garden performance with season-long, soft pink flowers that never slow down. This impatiens thrives under heat, rain and humidity. The vigorous spreading plants keep their shape all summer; plus, they do just as well in full sun as in shade. These low-maintenance plants are perfect for gardeners looking for impatiens that are resistant to downy mildew. 2015 AAs winner. From Sakata Seeds.
Lobelia Starship Scarlet (Lobelia x speciosa). Starship Scarlet is a showy, mid-height plant covered with masses of flowers. Ideal for containers or for the center of the border. The sturdy, bushy plants are low maintenance. From Ball Seed.
Lobularia YOLO White (Lobularia maritima). ‘YOLO White’ sweet alyssum shows great heat tolerance, making this a wise choice to transition from early spring until frost. The clear white, fragrant flowers are sure to make this a favorite in mixed plantings or in a bed or border. From the Dummen Group.
Marigold Garland Orange (Tagetes erecta). The very tall (28-60"), bushy plant habit of this selection lends itself well to the background of gardens. Deep orange blooms on long stems make excellent cut flowers for indoor enjoyment. Like most marigolds, it is easy to grow and adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. From Harris Seeds.
Ornamental Pepper Conga™ (Capsicum annuum). Ornamental Pepper ‘Conga’ has dark purple leaves, with peppers that start out purple and mature to a bright red. A fabulous alternative to flowers, ‘Conga’ does well in combination planters. From American Takii.
Ornamental Pepper Mambo™ Purple Orange and Mambo™ Yellow (Capsicum annuum).
Ornamental Pepper ‘Mambo'™ Purple Orange’ and ‘Mambo™ Yellow’ are ideal for fall plantings and great for Halloween decorating. Fruit emerge dark purple and mature to brilliant orange; plants will have both purple peppers and bright orange peppers. From American Takii.
Petunia Easy Wave Velour Red (Petunia x hybrida). ‘Easy Wave Velour’ petunias have deep, dark texture and fashion-forward color. Plant habit is more compact than regular Wave petunias. Plant this fabulous petunia anywhere you'd like to add summer-long color. It is perfect for a patio display on your patio, or trailing from hanging baskets overhead. Give it sun and feed it regularly for lush, vigorous blooms through the summer. From Ball Seed.
Petunia Opera Supreme™ Red (Petunia x hybrida). Petunia ‘Opera Supreme™ Red’ is more vigorous than other red trailing petunias, easily spreading 3 to 4 feet in width. It is covered with flowers from the center of the plants all the way to the very tips of each stem. Short internodes allow the production of flowers close together so plants are so loaded with blooms; virtually no foliage is visible. From American Takii.
Petunia SuperCal® Grape and SuperCal® Salmon Glow (Petchoa hybrid). This new petunia exhibits exceptional garden performance under all kinds of weather, even during the heat of summer. SuperCal® series combines the best characteristics of petunias and calibrachoas in one exceptional series. The series offers vibrant colors, large blooms and high pH tolerance. From Sakata Seeds.
Petunia Surfinia Sumo (Petunia x hybrida). The world’s leading vegetative petunias just got bigger with the introduction of the Surfinia Sumo series. As the name implies, ‘Surfinia Sumo’ is big and bold. Plants produce mega mounds of color and are full of big flowers. This vigorous series is perfect for large containers, baskets and landscape beds. Colors include ‘Sumo Pink’, ‘Sumo Plum’ and ‘Sumo Bold Lilac’. From the Suntory Collection.
Petunia Tidal Wave® Red Velour (Petunia x hybrida). Expect fabulous and stunning color on this vigorous Wave petunia. The first Tidal Wave® to win an AAS award was ‘Silver’ in 2002. Now there is ‘Velour Red’ with gorgeous deep red velvety blooms that don’t fade even in the heat of summer. Large flowers literally cover the vigorously spreading plants that rarely need deadheading because new blooms continuously pop up and cover the old, spent blooms. Tidal Wave® petunias are the tallest of the Wave family and bloom over and over all season long and recover quickly, even after hard rains. Tidal Wave® is an excellent landscape performer, covering a large area quickly and beautifully. 2015 AAS winner. From Pan American Seed.
Petunia Trilogy Red (Petunia x hybrida). The Trilogy petunia series has a new color with this stunningly rich, vibrant red version. Trilogy petunias are known for their compact dome-shaped habit sporting large, non-fading blooms throughout the season. The plants cover and recover themselves in blooms providing a constant mass of color in flower beds, baskets, and containers. Gardeners in high heat areas will appreciate the heat-tolerance of this variety and all gardeners will like how quickly it bounces back after a rain. 2015 AAS winner. From American Takii.
Salvia Blue Marvel (Salvia nemorosa). Salvia ‘Blue Marvel’ has the largest flowers of all Salvia nemorosa cultivars. It re-blooms reliably in the perennial garden and attracts pollinators to its upright, colorful spikes all season long. From Ball Seed (Darwin Perennials).
Salvia Summer Jewel White (Salvia coccinea). A third color in the popular Summer Jewel series, ‘White’ brings a much-needed color to compact salvias. Its dwarf-sized, compact plants have a prolific bloom count throughout the summer. As a bonus, the blooms appear almost two weeks earlier than other white salvias used as comparisons. Also, it is attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, making it perfect for a pollinator garden. Because of the compactness and number of flowers, ‘Summer Jewel White’ is great for large landscaped areas, as well as containers and small beds. 2015 AAS winner. From American Takii.
Scaevola Surdiva Variegated Blue (Scaevola aemula). ‘Surdiva Variegated Blue’ is the first scaevola with variegated foliage, creating new interest and dimensions in this heat-tolerant plant with blue, fan-shaped flowers. Native to Australia, most scaevolas are naturally wild-looking and rangy. Surdivas have short internodes and compact habit, creating a tidy appearance and exceptional flower coverage. As one of the most heat tolerant bedding plants, Surdivas offer continuous color through summer’s harshest conditions. From the Suntory Collection.
Verbena EnduraScape Hot Pink (Verbena hybrid). EnduraScape verbena is tougher than other verbenas. Seven exciting colors fill this series of vigorous landscape verbena that won’t cycle out of flower in the heat and is hardy in frost conditions. It's the first verbena that's hardy into the low teens and reblooms in spring. Great for use as a ground cover, it also has excellent powdery mildew resistance. Available in several appealing colors. From Ball Seed.
Verbena Wicked Cool Blue (Verbena hybrid). The flowers of 'Wicked Cool Blue' verbena feature a striking contrast between bright white and vivid blue. They are perfect for adding interest to mixed plantings. This verbena will mix well with others and bloom non-stop all summer. From the Dummen Group.
Viola ColorMax (Viola hybrida). ‘ColorMax’ is a giant-flowered viola that is heat tolerant and fills pots easily, even under heat stress where standard violas suffer. ColorMax is a superb autumn performer and a great choice to start the season. This alternative to pansies comes in a number of eye-catching and unique colors that are extremely versatile, performing equally well in pots, baskets and mixed containers. Available in 10 colors. From Sakata Seeds.
Viola Corina Black (Viola cornuta). ‘Corina Black’ represents a novel black-flowered addition to the Corina series. Compact spreading habit (height 6-8" spread 10-12") matches the other 15 colors available in the series. Violas are very frost tolerant so ideal for early season plantings as well as bloom well into late fall. It isn't unusual for violas to flower occasionally during the warm periods in winter when snow melts. Since violas are more heat tolerant than their pansy cousins, they tend to last longer into the warmer times of the year. From HemGenetics.
Viola Gem™ Lilac Antique (Viola cornuta).Viola Gem™ Lilac Antique represents a unique color in a sea of viola colors. Gem does well in cold conditions and will also withstand those sudden bursts of heat which can occur in spring. ‘Gem™ Lilac Antique’ blooms prolifically providing welcome color in late fall and early spring. It is great in containers, baskets and in the garden. From American Takii.
Zinnia Crouching Tiger (Zinnia elegans). Winner of a 2015 Fleuroselect novelty award for its improved double flowers and versatile habit ‘Crouching Tiger’ is compact, bushy, free-flowering, and so easy-to-grow. Its giant 3-inch blooms open single, with a daisy form, then mature to fully double, petal-packed pompons. Long-lasting on the plant or in the vase, they crowd among fresh green foliage on vigorous, well-branched plants. It is perfect for containers as well as the annual bed. From Park Seed Co.
Zinnia Salsiando (Zinnia elegans). ‘Salsiando’ is a superb mixture of two zainnia varieties: ‘Macarenia’ and ‘Mazurkia’. ‘Macarenia’ has showy double-scarlet flowers with golden tips on each petal. ‘Mazurkia’ has double and semi-double scarlet flowers tipped with cream. Mixed together they give an exceptional display of bicolored zinnias. ‘Salsiando’ should performer well in any garden, from a small urban garden plot to large landscapes; it also is excellent for pick-your-own bouquets. From Van Hemert & Co.
Zinnia Zinderella Peach (Zinnia elegans). ‘Zinderella Peach’ blends shades of salmon, peach, pink and cream around its dark eyed center. This striking flower hasscabiosa-shaped blooms with many doubled petals creating full mounded tops surrounded by a single row of larger petal on many. Excellent as a cut flower, it is very easy-to-grow and disease resistant. A Fleuroselect approved novelty. From Select Seeds.
Credit: Adapted from an article by the National Garden Bureau.
REVISED: September 29, 2015