If the prospect of growing something new interests you, then 2018 should be quite a gardening treat. Seed companies have introduced a multitude of new varieties of annuals and perennials. Following is a description of a number of the new bedding plants for 2018 that, in most cases, should fare well in Missouri.
Alternanthera Purple Prince (Alternanthera brasiliana). Purple Prince has beautiful burgundy-purple leaves with ruby-rose undersides. It stands tough in heat and humidity with low water needs. This attractive spreading plant is less agressive than other Alternanthera, and makes a great companion plant "filler" in mixed containers. The dark foliage pairs well with many colors, and offers an ideal low-border groundcover in flower beds to set off their blooms.
Baby's Breath Gypsy White Improved (Gypsophila muralis). Semi-double blossoms on this new, improved variety of gypsophila will make your garden sparkle. Not only are the flowers semi-double, but are also a bit larger in size and produce more flowers per plant, resulting in a fluffy white mound of beauty. AAS winner.
Begonia I'Conia™ Miss Montreal (Begonia x hybrida). With masses of elegant, vibrant flowers that persist throughout the season, the I'Conia® line of begonias from Dúmmen Orange are an exciting gardening choice for the 2018 season. Featuring dark, clean foliage and strong branching, these new begonias present a tight, compact growth habit and irresistible curb appeal. I'Conia® hybrid garden begonias represent the future of begonia breeding with shade to part-sun tolerance, excellent flower-power, and unbeatable consumer performance.
Begonia Megawatt (Begonia interspecific). Megawatt is a bigger-than-life begonia that powers through humidity and heat, and tolerates drier periods between watering. It's outstanding for landscapes or large-size containers and flowers continuously from spring through the fall. A great low-maintenance plant, it bears flowers that sit above the broad-leaf foliage for superior show. Available in bronze- and green-leaf varieties in red, rose and pink.
Begonia Nonstop Joy™ Mocca White (Begonia x tuberhybrida). Nonstop Joy™ Mocca White has clean white flowers and chocolate foliage. The flexible branches resist breaking in the wind. Nonstop Joy™ Mocca White- the perfect choice for hanging baskets.
Begonia Strawberries and Cream (Begonia x tuberhybrida). Begonia Strawberries and Cream produces fully double, giant light-yellow blooms with a hint of pink that are striking in beds, borders and containers. Blooms 3 weeks before other begonia varieties.
Bidens Beedance Yellow (Bidens hybrid). Yellow is a sunny addition to the Beedance bidens series from Suntory Flowers, bringing a nice solid color to the existing two bicolored varieties. Plants are more compact and retain a nice mound through the season. Beedance varieties offer a high flower count and continuous bloom spring through fall. Perfect for combination plantings. Beedance bidens sales have supported honeybee health research through the Pollinator Partnership program.
Calibrachoa Bloomtastic™ Rose Quartz (Calibrachoa x hybrida). The Bloomtastic™ series has been tested since 2015 in numerous garden trials across the South, Southeast and Southwest in extreme heat and humidity conditions. The performance of this series has surpassed expectations in the garden under tough conditions. They have the flower-power that carries them through spring into summer even in areas where calibrachoa has not previously been considered an option for spring to summer containers. The habit is vigorous and the large flowers shimmer in the sun.
Calibrachoa Can-Can Bumble Bee Pink (Calibrachoa x hybrida). This calibrachoa's one-of-a-kind pattern has a wider star, which resembles a tiny yellow bumble bee in the throat of each blossom. The flowers are also tricolor with soft shades of pink - an attractive color for today's shopper. The Can-Can series is strong and full of vigor for full-bodied mixed containers or large baskets. Stands up to high heat, and flowers stay open in low light conditions.
Canna South Pacific Orange F1 (Canna generalis). This canna is compact in habit and well suited for both landscape and container use. It offers an outstanding bloom color in an attractive, vivid bright orange that contrasts nicely with the bright green foliage. Pollinator gardens will love this addition of an attractive canna that sports uniformly colored flowers over a long blooming period. As a bonus, this canna is grown from seed resulting in less chance of succumbing to diseases than vegetatively propagated cannas. AAS winner.
Clematis Hakuba (Clematis x jackmanii). This striking clematis produces ethereal, lavender-blue flowers. Hakuba grows just 6 feet tall, yet covers itself with blossoms from top to bottom. A great choice for containers and perennial borders where a large plant is not wanted. Blooms in late spring and again in late summer. First year vines produce single flowers; mature plants produce a mix of singles and doubles.
Coleus Great Falls Angel (Solenostemon x hybrida). For a well-behaved trailing coleus, look no further than Great Falls. Developed by Dúmmen Orange for a controlled trailing habit, this coleus is remarkably versatile in application and well-suited for hanging baskets, patio planters, or in the landscape. A great item to brighten shade gardens, this innovative new coleus work well as a stand-alone item, or intermingled with other plants for a truly spectacular combination.
Coneflower Sombrero® Granada Gold (Echinacea x hybrida). Echinacea Sombrero® Granada Gold is a new color addition to the highly floriferous, compact, and vibrantly colored coneflower Sombrero® series. Granada Gold features a rich, golden-yellow color that doesn't fade with sturdy upright stems. Long lasting, Granada Gold will flower all summer long.
Coneflower Sombrero® Adobe Orange (Echinacea x hybrida). This high performance coneflower has blooms so brilliant they're beacons in the flowers border. Compact, well-branched plants produce an abundance of rich orange bloom from June well into August.
Cushion Bush Bed Head (Calocephalus brownii). An unusual plant grown from seed, Calocephalus Bed Head™ looks like barbed-wire, but is soft, flexible and invitingly touchable. Its silvery foliage makes eye-catching mixed containers, beds or borders.
Dahlia Break Out (Dahlia x hybrida). The color and size of this beautiful dahlia are similar to the cultivar Café au Lait, but the petals are more pink than cream, and the center of the flower has a pale yellow glow. Break Out's blossoms are also looser and more informal, with a mix of different petal sizes.
Dahlia Midalio™ Yellow (Dahlia x hybrida). One of the most grower-friendly dahlias available, the compact and controlled habit of this new dahlia makes it ideal for small containers. Its vibrant yellow flowers also makes it a great choice for masses in color in beds or borders.
Dahlia Penhill Dark Monarch (Dahlia x hybrida). This amazing dahlia is reminiscent of the cultivar Labyrinth, but its flowers are larger, shaggier and slightly deeper in color. Its long, shapely petals twist and turn to reveal warm, sunset hues of peach and rose. Penhill Dark Monarch flowers relatively late in the season, but the huge, 10" blossoms are well worth the wait.
Dahlia Rip City (Dahlia x hybrida). Rip City is a strong grower with 5 to 6" blossoms that have a mix of standard and quilled petals. Its velvety flowers are almost black in the center, softening to maroon and wine-red at the outer edges. It makes a breathtaking cut flower.
Dahlia Tartan (Dahlia x hybrida). Tartan's enormous two-tone flowers will be the talk of your garden this summer. The blossoms are an artful blend of deep burgundy and snowy white, with some petals solid and others striped. It takes just a few stems to make a stunning arrangement.
Geranium Caliente Magenta (Pelargonium interspecific). This new interspecific hybrid is a standout landscape performer with continuous color through the most extreme summer heat and drought. Its semi-mounding habit is great for landscape fill or use in hanging baskets. E Caliente Magenta exhibits exceptional edema tolerance
Geranium Calliope® Medium Deep Rose (Pelargonium interspecific). Intense Color That Lasts™ is the promo phrase for the Calliope® series. They exhibit a controlled growth habit with superior performance over traditional zonal geraniums. Look for large semi-double flowers with intense color in this new introduction.
Gerbera Majorette Pink Halo (Gerbera jamesonii). Arguably, Majorette is most uniform gerbera series ever. Majorette is perfect for quarts and larger containers with multiple plants. Its bright pink, daisy-like blooms with dark eyes, stand high and proud above lush green foliage. Its color and flower power makes this gerbera one you've simply got to grow.
Impatiens SunPatiens® Compact Purple (Impatiens x hybrida). SunPatiens® offer unrivaled flower power and increasing consumer brand preference. These remarkable plants represent a breeding breakthrough: robust, sun-loving, heat-loving impatiens that thrive in full sun or part shade and deliver continuous color from spring through hard frost. SunPatiens® are an excellent alternative to seed impatiens, offering non-stop color and impressive 3-to-1 coverage in the garden. The Compact series has shorter internodes and look great in smaller containers.
Japanese Silver Grass Bandwidth (Miscanthus sinensis). Bandwidth is a Japanese Silver Grass that is short in stature but big on performance. This beautiful, tough ornamental grass is an eye-catcher in the landscape but also fills large containers with appealing texture. Each blade has attractive striping that is rust resistant. Its upright habit stays manageable at less than 3 feet high and wide. Certified as infertile, it represents a non-invasive option for landscape designers. Bandwidth is a low-maintenance dream: It is drought tolerant, and deer and rabbit resistant for many years of enjoyment in your perennial garden.
Lantana Havana™ Gold (Lantana camara). The Havana™ series is a brand new introduction from Dümmen Orange starring heat tolerant, compact Lantanas in five colors. The series features advanced genetics with moderate vigor and extra-large umbels. Versatile in full-sun containers and beds, the low seed set of this series leads to quicker flower cycles, dramatically increasing the total number of blooms throughout the growing season. Such a striking increase in flower-power not only benefits the beauty of your garden, but the numerous pollinators that rely on the nectar of lantana as well.
Lavander Torch Blue (Lavandula multifidi). Beautiful new Lavandula Blue Torch is a fast-growing lavander. It has finely cut silvery-grey fern-like, oregano scented foliage and stems growing up to 16-23 in., topped by attractive 2.5 in. blue flower spikes. Hardy only to zone 7, it does very well in the landscape as a feature plant or as a thriller component in mixed containers.
Mandevilla Sun Parasol® Giant White (Mandevilla hybrid). Looking for classic elegance? Sun Parasol® Giant Pure White features elegant pure white flowers with throats that are white instead of yellow. Pure White joins the Sun Parasol® Giant Group. Flowers span 3-5 inches. Plants are natural climbers and thrive in heat. Try mixing with other Sun Parasol® Giant colors to create trellised planters and hanging baskets.
Marigold Super Hero™ Spry (Tagetes patula). Super Hero™ Spry is a lovely compact (10-12 inches) French marigold with dark maroon lower petals and golden yellow upper petals perched on top of the dark green foliage. The list attributes includes a more uniform and stable color pattern, earlier to bloom and no deadheading required. As is the case with all marigolds, it is heat tolerant and deer resistant. AAS winner.
Mexican Heather FloriGlory® Diana (Cuphea hybrid). Cuphea, commonly known as Mexican heather, is an ideal plant for borders, mass plantings and containers. FloriGlory® Diana was highly praised for its larger flowers, impressive number of flowers and the darker, more intensely colored magenta flowers. The dark green foliage complement the flowers and really makes a statement. AAS winner.
Ornamental Oregano Kirigami (Origanum x hybrida). Kirigami is a highly attractive ornamental oregano featuring light-green leaves with purple-green highlights. Its small rose flowers are a magnet for butterflies and bees. It can be used as a drought-and-heat tolerant, low-maintenance "filler" in mixed containers, or enjoy it on its own in hanging baskets or smaller centerpiece containers. While not intended for culinary use, on warm evenings with a gentle breeze, you can enjoy its wonderful fragrance.
Ornamental Pepper Onyx Red (Capsicum annuum). Onyx Red is one of those stunning double-take plants that steal the show. Much breeding work has resulted in an unprecedented compact, well-branched ornamental pepper with eye-catching dark black foliage. The contrast between the diminutive black foliage and tons of shiny red fruits is striking and makes a bold statement in the garden. Plants are vigorous but retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful plant for beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings. AAS winner.
Pansy Grandio Blue with Blotch (Viola wittrockiana). This new introduction's uniform habit between its clear and blotched colors eliminates the need for special growing conditions. Reliable for fall, winter and spring production, Grandio is compact with less plant stretch in high heat, has shorter flower stems under long warm days and keeps flowering under short days.
Pentas Lucky Star® (Pentas lanceolata). Lucky Star® has the fastest follow-up blooming of any pentas on the market. It has vibrantly colored blooms on lush, full-looking plants that are perfect in combinations, containers or landscapes. Reblooms fast so you enjoy a consistent color show all season. Pentas is an easy-care plant with high durability. Attracts bees and butterflies, too. The Lucky Star® series includes Violet, Dark Red, Pink, Deep Pink, White and Lavender.
Petunia Evening Scentsation™ F1 (Petunia x atkinsiana). Evening Scentsation™ is the first petunia to receive an AAS award for its lovely fragrance and stunning color. It displays outstanding blue flower color along with a nice mounding and spreading habit. Evening Scentsation's fragrance has notes of hyacinth, sweet honey and rose. As its name implies, the scent is stronger in the evening hours, though it can be experienced throughout the day as well. Evening Scentsation™ is a medium-sized multiflora type, reaching a height of 5-8 inches, and a width of 30-35 inches and works well in containers, hanging baskets and in mass. AAS winner.
Petunia F1 Limbo GP™ Red Picotee (Petunia x hybrida). A grandiflora type, Limbo GP™ Red Picotee bears profuse quantities of flowers for garden color all season long. Perfect for hanging baskets, containers and landscapes. The 'GP' in its name stands for garden performance.
Petunia Headliner™ Pink Sky (Petunia x hybrida). Headliner™ Pink Sky and its sister variety Night Sky have the most distinctive blooms you've ever seen on a petunia. Its pink/rose color is almost fluorescent, with eye-catching splashes of white/cream. It's a dramatic choice for hanging baskets and its large blooms pair well with other sun-loving annuals in mixed containers.
Petunia Potunia® Starfish (Petunia x hybrida). Bold, Bright and uniquely "bubbly", the Potunia® series of petunia brings a pop of carefree color to patios, porches, beds, & more. Potunias® will flower all season long withstanding most growing conditions beautifully.
Petunia Success! ® Yellow Chiffon (Petunia x hybrida). Refreshing as a cool drink of lemonade, this petunia forms a mound of flowers in your flower bed or hanging baskets. Easy to care for, it will brighten your garden until frost. Early to flower, the Success!® series is available in 14 different colors.
Petunia Surfinia® Trailing Red (Petunia x hybrida). Rev up your reds with the new 'Surfinia® Â Trailing Red' petunia from Suntory Flowers. Compared to popular 'Surfinia® Deep Red,' plants are fuller and more vigorous as a premium trailer well-suited to hanging baskets. Flowers are larger with a brighter color. This essential red will be perfect in patriotic combinations. Surfinia® petunias are known worldwide for outstanding garden performance.
Purslane Nano™ Fuchsia (Portulaca oleracea). Nano™ is a new compact portulaca series. Nano™ Fuchsia is one of the 4 colors available - Yellow, Hot Pink, Orange and Fuchsia. Nano™ portulaca produce a compact mounded plant with large beautiful flowers and vibrant color.
Salvia Sage Rose Marvel (Salvia nemorosa). Salvia Rose Marvel offers the largest flowers of any rose-colored meadow sage on the market. Enjoy its stunning display of color in spring and summer without cutting back blooms in the garden.
Scabiosa Black Knight (Scabiosa atropurpurea). This almost-black beauty is equally at home in formal and cottage gardens. Scabiosa blooms for an exceptionally long time, and is very attractive to bees and butterflies. Long stems are great for fresh cut flowers. Dried seed heads also add interest to flower arrangements. Treated as an annual in the Midwest, it is hardy only through zone 10.
Sunflower Golden Eye F1 (Helianthus annuus). Golden Eye produces bright yellow petal sunflowers on plants that reach 48 inches. The flower center starts as a pale green and matures to a light brown. Golden Eye is a 100% pollen-less. The petals are a tight corolla and does not drop easily. The centers are attractive even after the petals fall.
Sunflower Pro Cut White Nite F1 (Helianthus annuus). This is the color you've been waiting for in a sunflower; gorgeous clean, white petals that surround a dark brown disk. This spectacular tall sunflower produces a single bloom that is great for any garden display. This pollen-free variety will have no pollen dropping from the blooms, for stain-free tablecloths and extended vase life.
Sunflower Sunfinity™ Yellow Dark Center (Helianthus hybrida). Sunfinity™ represents the next generation of sunflower. It offers nonstop blooming on plants having multiple branches. The result is a spectacular display of flowers all season long.
Thrift Dreameria™ Sweet Dreams (Armeria maritima). New Dreameria™ Sweet Dreams features attractive lavender-mauve flowers on plants with a tidy habit. It is stunning in patio containers as well as garden beds. This hybrid Armeria features broader foliage, larger flowers, and much greater heat tolerance than other Armeria varieties. Sweet Dreams continuously blooms from March to October.
Verbena Obsession™ Cascade Scarlet & Twister Red (Verbena x hybrida). A cascade of color, the Obsession™ series of verbena have a spreading and mounded habit that make them perfect for hanging baskets and containers. Seed propagated and quite hearty, the Obsession™ series is available in six different colors including Scarlet and Twister Red, with its unique red and white color pattern.
Wheat Utrecht Blue (Triticum sp.). The ornamental wheat produces bright blue seed heads that keep their color even after drying. The result is stunning in flower arrangements and crafts. Its beautiful seed heads gracefully bow when they are ready for harvest. Its durability, long stems, and beautiful color are a weaver's dream. It has many uses from flower arrangements, to baskets, and all kinds of crafts.
Zinnia Queeny Lime Orange (Zinnia elegans). A "wow" color in an easy-to-grow zinnia is what Queeny Lime Orange brings to the garden. Sporting lovely, large, dahlia-like blooms on a sturdy, compact plant, this variety provides cut flower gardeners with a wonderful hue for today's floral trends. The unique color evolves from dark coral/peach/orange to a light peach with a dark center as the flowers age. AAS winner.
Zinnia Red Beauty (Zinnia elegans). Red Beauty produces beautiful deep red double flowers with golden tips in the center. Flowers grows to be 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Plants are 36 inches tall. Heat and drought tolerant, it is great for cut flowers since its stems are long and have extended vase life.
Credit: National Garden Bureau
(Go to https://ngb.org/flower-results/ for pictures of the above)
REVISED: February 21, 2017