"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues."—Hal Borland
While seed catalogs largely have given way to internet websites, reviewing the new bedding plants introduced each year still is both therapeutic and motivational. The year 2020 was ushered in by the release of 55 new annual herbaceous ornamentals. While new is not always better, gardeners may wish to trial new varieties and make that determination for themselves. Following is a description of a number of the new bedding plants for 2020 that, in most cases, should perform well in Missouri.
Begonia Bossa Nova™ Night Fever Papaya (Begonia boliviensis). This begonia has bright oblong blooms set against a backdrop of dark bronze foliage creating a stunning contrast. It has a great trailing habit making it perfect for hanging baskets or containers. Bossa Nova™ Night Fever Papaya is very easy to grow and excels beautifully in a variety of weather conditions including heat and sun or shade. (Syngenta Seeds).
Begonia Dreams Beauvilia Hot Pink (Begonia boliviensis). On the patio in a hanging basket or elsewhere in the garden, Beauvilia Hot Pink is easy to care for. It is very floriferous and has a long flowering period. Beauvilia Hot Pink is but one in a wide array of colors in the Beauvilia series. All perfect to brighten up any garden space. (Beekampen Plants).
Begonia Move 2 Joy Pink (Begonia hiemalis). Move 2 Joy Pink will give gardeners beautiful clusters of pink blooms all summer. Its pink flowers stand out against its shiny, dark green foliage. This versatile plant can be added to any type of container in the garden as well as planted in landscape beds and borders. (Dummen Orange).
Calibrachoa Aloha Nani Calibash (Calibrachoa hybrida). Calibash is the newest variety in the compact Aloha Nani series of calibrachoa. Its warm orange tones compliment Aloha Nani Tropicana (another member of the series). It has a similar semi-upright growth habit. Its compact form makes it ideal for containers or hanging baskets. (Dummen Orange).
Calibrachoa Cabaret® Good Night Kiss (Calibrachoa hybrida). An abundance of bright blooms cover the full, trailing plants of this new introduction. Cabaret callies are self-cleaning, so they stay neat and tidy all season in containers and hanging baskets. Good Night Kiss has a novel pattern in each bloom with a contrasting color and center star. (Ball FloraPlant).
Coleus Main Street Beale Street (Solenostemon scutellarioides). Main Street Beale Street is first coleus ever to be named an AAS Winner. An outstanding variety, it exhibits deep red foliage that holds its color extremely well in the garden. Its rich color doesn't fade, bleach or get spotty as the season moves into late summer. It can be successfully grown from full sun to full shade exposures, making it an ideal foliage item for anywhere in the garden. (Dummen Orange).
Dahlia Impression Fantastico (Dahlia x hybrida). This new dahlia bears Collarette –type flowers which are becoming increasingly popular among gardeners. Impression Fantastico has cranberry-red petals and a collar of white petaloids. Like other single dahlias, the pollen-rich centers are bee magnets. The plants grow 30" tall and are ideal for flower beds and borders or in a container. (Longfield Gardens).
Dahlia Maxime (Dahlia x hybrida). This award-winning dahlia will make a beautiful addition to any summer garden. The blossoms have a look that's totally unique, having muted, red-orange petals with a pale yellow reverse that wraps around to outline each petal. Maxime's 5" flowers are a stunning addition to a border garden and look good in mixed bouquets. (Longfield Gardens).
Dahlia Seniors Hope (Dahlia x hybrida). With dusky rose petals having a raspberry-wine reverse side, this new two-tone dahlia is strikingly beautiful. The flower's burgundy center adds contrast and drama. This dahlia's unusual color and unique form will be a lovely addition to summer arrangements of flowers cut from the garden. (Longfield Gardens).
Dahlia Sincerity™ (Dahlia x hybrida). Boasting striking 3-4 inch bi-color blooms, this eye-catching new dahlia will make a wonderful addition to both the garden and floral bouquets. Its compact, well-branched growth habit makes a nice backdrop for its pink and white blooms. A touch of yellow at the center of the bloom adds to its showy display. (Syngenta Flowers).
Dahlia Venti™ (Dahlia pinnata). Venti is a vigorous series of double-flowered dahlias that comes in a broad range of solid colors and exciting bicolors. Having a more controlled habit of growth, it is a tidy plant for the smaller garden or in containers. All members of the Venti series put on an outstanding flower display. (Pan American Plants).
Fuchsia Aretes Upright Arroyo Grande (Fuchsia hybrida). Fuschsia Arroyo Grande providesu loads of resilient colorful flowers that will retain their color throughout the growing season. The unique flower structure makes it a magnet for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden . Its strong branching and heat tolerance makes a second flush of blooms possible in mid-late summer. (Dummen Orange).
Fuchsia Bella Fuchsia® Mariska (Fuchsia hybrida). The flowers of Bella Fuchsia Mariska are similar to the fuchsia variety Lambada. However, Bella Fuchsia Mariska displays better growth and flowering characteristics. Its leaves are fuller and it branches better. Additionally, its flowers face outward and upward, resulting in fewer hidden blooms. (Beekenkamp Plants).
Geranium Survivor Idols Pink Charme (Pelargonium interspecific). With loads of hot pink clusters of blooms, Survivor Idols Pink Charme will attract hummingbirds to the to your garden in the heat of summer. This new variety is tolerant of hot and humid conditions and has beautiful, ruffled foliage in addition to its prolific blooms. (Dummen Orange).
Impatiens Beacon® Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). A breakthrough 10 years in the making, Beacon impatiens have high resistance to impatiens downy mildew, a devastating disease that has made it a challenge to garden with impatiens. No need for fungicides or special treatment; gardeners can rely on Beacon impatiens to thrive with color all season. (PanAmerican Seed).
Impatiens Imara™ XDR Rose (Impatiens walleriana). Impatiens for the shade are back. This is the first Impatiens walleriana with a high degree of downy mildew resistance. They have proven landscape performance with reliable flowering all season long giving gardeners a bright rose color that stands out in the shade. (Syngenta Flowers).
Lantana Hot Blooded™ Red (Lantana camarea). This new lantana bears beautiful red, medium sized flowers that give the plants amazing coverage. This sterile flowers focus their energy on beautiful blooms which perform ideally in containers, mass plantings and borders while maintaining a compact, mounding habit. (Syngenta Flowers).
Mandevilla Madinia™Maximo (Diplendia hybrida). Incredibly showy and easy to grow, this climbing vine bears large, deep-red flowers which are a huge draw for butterflies and other pollinators. Extremely heat-tolerant, it a great container plant with a trellis or can be planted in the ground if given something to climb on. (Syngenta Flowers).
Marguerite Daisy Grandaisy® Dark Pink (Argyranthemum frutescens inter-generic hybrid). Grandaisy Dark Pink instantly turns any garden into a bright and cheerful display of big, energetic flowers with truly striking colors. Grandaisy Dark Pink can be used as a patio plant, a bedding plant or in charming balcony boxes or big decorative containers. (Suntory Flowers).
New Guinea Impatiens Magnum Rollercoaster Hot Pink (Impatiens hawkeri). Inject a dose of tropical pizzazz into the garden with Rollercoaster Hot Pink. This New Guinea variety bears large flowers that are not only fully double, but also have a unique ruffled margin, giving each a three-dimensional texture. Its vivid iridescent pink color will glow in shade gardens and containers throughout the growing season. (Dummer Orange).
Pentas Graffiti 2020 Flirty Pink (Pentas lanceolata). This new introduction bears large, dense clusters of star-shaped flowers that will brighten the garden until frost. Graffiti 2020 Flirty Pink has beautiful bi-color pink blooms that won't fade even in the hottest climates. The Graffiti series includes nine colors. All perform well in flower beds, patio pots or as a colorful focal point in mixed containers. (Ernst Benary of America).
Petunia AMORE King of Hearts (Petunia x hybrida). Traits that make this new petunia a stand out include early flowering, uniform growth habit, stable bloom pattern and good "shelf life". AMORE King of Hearts is a high impulse item for gardeners and a welcome addition to the ever-expanding line of petunias. (Dansinger Flower Farm).
Petunia ColorRush White (Petunia x hybrida). Notable for its vigor and big garden performance, the ColorRush series of petunia is ideal for landscapes, large containers and balconies. It bears mounds of color that holds up in heat and rain, and looks fantastic right until frost. New ColorRush white is crisp, clear and a great choice for beds, borders, hanging baskets and containers. (PanAmerican Seed).
Petunia Durabloom Royal Pink (Petunia x hybrida). DuraBloom Royal Pink is a vigorous variety which is heat and humidity tolerant for season-long performance. This early flowering plant can be used in containers, hanging baskets and in the landscape. Both colorful and resilient it bounces back quickly after a rain. Plus, it is attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. (Dummen Orange).
Petunia Easy Wave® Lavender Sky Blue (Petunia x hybrida). Easy Wave petunias are fast-growing, spreading and bloom freely all season long. Available in a wide array of colors, they are suitable for containers or in the landscape, and tolerate heat very well. Easy Wave plants grow more mounded than the original Wave petunias, making for tidier plants with loads of color. Lavender Sky Blue is eye-catching in any sunny garden location. (PanAmerican Seed).
Petunia Petunia Tea Light Violet (Solanaceae hybrid). Whatever your taste, with the Tea series petunia you can easily create a beautiful garden. The variety of flavors (colors) mix well with each other. Plant Tea Light Violet in the ground, in a tall pot, or hang them in a basket from a balcony, fence or pergola. You be surprised the waterfall of flowers produced. This summer-time gem provides color until frost. (Beekenkamp Plants).
Petunia SuperCal® (Petunia x hybrida). When it comes to garden performance, SuperCal and new SuperCal Premium are uniquely superior to all other petunias. Part petunia and part calibrachoa, they are all-weather performers that can stand up to both cold and heat. Plus, they withstand heavy rains and bounce right back with little damage. Available in many colors, they are sure to brighten any garden. (Sakata Seed America).
Petunia Surfinia® Purple Starshine (Petunia x hybrida). This bicolor novelty has hot purple blooms with a stable star pattern in each flower. It has a compact, mounded growth habit that works well in hanging baskets, planters and landscapes. Surfinia petunias are celebrating their 30th birthday this year; the party is getting started with Purple Starshine. (Suntory Flowers).
Sunflower Suncredible (Helianthus hybrid). This continuous-blooming sunflower is perfect for the back of a border, as an annual screen or planted along a fence. It also is a candidate for use in large containers. Suncredible bears 3"-4" colorful blooms that make excellent cut flowers which last up to three weeks. This sunflower will produce new flowers several weeks longer than similar varieties, due to its semi-indeterminate to determinate growth habit. Loved by bees and butterflies, deer do not bother it. (Proven Winners of North America).
Vinca Cora®XDR Hotgenta (Catharanthus roseus). Vibrant, large flowers pack this mounding plant which bears lush, green leaves. This rewarding vinca is disease resistant, easy to grow and blooms continuously all summer long. The leaves stay healthy and green until the first frost of autumn. (Syngenta Flowers).
Zinnia Holi Pink (Zinnia elegans). AAS judges in the Southeast really liked this variety because of its vibrant pink color that doesn't fade. The size and number of its blooms, as well as its disease resistance, were superior to comparative varieties. The Holi series was bred to keep producing fresh, colorful blooms all season long, even through heat, humidity, and drought. Holi Pink is perfect for home gardeners and landscapers alike. (AmeriSeed).
Zinnia Preciosa Light Yellow, Pink, Red, Rose, White, Yellow & Tropical Blend (Zinnia elegans). The Preciosa series of zinna adds a colorful punch to the garden. Members of this series are more compact and branching than their predacessors and bear more than double the number of flowers. The abundant color produced by each plant adds vibrance to containers and landscapes. Plus, they are an attractive way to lure pollinators to the garden. (American Takii).
Zinnia Queeny Lime Red (Zinnia elegans). Coming from an award-winning family, its sister variety, Queeny Lime Orange, was a recent AAS winner. Queeny Lime Red displays many of the same desirable growth traits along with beautiful double blooms in antique colored hues that include mauve, red, and lime. (Garden Trends).
Zinnia Zesty™ (Zinnia elegans). The Zesty series of zinnia has extraordinary garden appeal. The plants display huge, vibrant-colored, fully-double flowers and have good garden vigor. They create impressive patio containers, work well in mixed combinations, and are excellent as border plants. Additionally, pollinators love zinnias. The Zesty series comes in fuchsia, pink, scarlet, white and purple-- a new color to the double-flowered class of zinnia. (PanAmerican Seed).
Credit: National Garden Bureau
(Pictures of pictures of the above introductions can be found at https://ngb.org/plant-results/)
REVISED: February 7, 2020