Readers’ Choice

Vote for your favorite among this year’s new perennial introductions.

Voting is now open for Greenhouse Grower’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Award!

It’s time for you, our readers, to decide which variety is chosen as the best new introduction in 2018. Breeders have entered their best new varieties for you to decide which one is worthy of the Readers’ Choice award. This year voting consists of two categories: Annuals and Perennials & Shrubs. Two finalists will be chosen from each category. The four finalists will then face off to win the Readers’ Choice Award. Voting for the finalists starts June 22. The Readers’ Choice winner will be announced July 16 at Greenhouse Grower’s prestigious  Medal of Excellence reception during Cultivate’18 in Columbus, OH.

The voting schedule is as follows:

Annuals – Starts 6/8 – Ends 6/14 – CLOSED
Perennials & Shrubs – Starts 6/15 – Ends 6/21
Finals – Starts 6/22  – Ends 6/30

Voting Rules and Conditions

A special thank you to our 2018 Medal of Excellence title sponsor Multi Packaging Solutions  – WestRock, and our sponsor partners Landmark Plastic, Nufarm, and AmericanHort.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to view photos and descriptions of all the contenders in the Perennials category. There are six entries this year. One vote per person, please.
Please note: You will find the voting form at the end of the entries, near the bottom of the page.

Brindabella Rose (Suntory Flowers)Brindabella Roses (Suntory Flowers)
Colors: Red, Purple, Pink, White, Peach, Blush
Uses: Landscapes and very large containers
Plant Habit: Bushy, vigorous
Crop Time: 14 to 20 weeks for gallon pots; 26 to 30 weeks for 3-gallon pots
Category: Perennials & shrubs

New from Suntory Flowers, Brindabella Roses are a collection of tough shrub roses selected for superior garden performance, show-stopping flowers, and fragrance. Resistant to black spot and powdery mildew, the foliage is among the cleanest to be found in any shrub rose. Plants are densely foliaged with a bushy growth habit, reaching 4 feet tall and wide in two years’ time. Well-suited to home gardens and commercial landscapes, the fragrance will stop passersby in their tracks. Seven gorgeous colors include Purple Prince, Red Empress, First Lady, Dawn, Glow, White Powder, and Touch of Pink.

Hydrangea-Endless-Summer-Summer-Crush-Bailey-Nurseries

Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer Summer Crush’ (Bailey Nurseries)
Colors: Rich raspberry-red or blue-purple, determined by soil pH
Uses: Garden shrub or container shrub, foundation planting, lining a pathway, focal point
Plant Habit: Compact, 1½ to 3 feet tall and wide
Category: Perennials & Shrubs

It’s not just about blue or pink anymore. The intense, deep coloration found in Summer Crush is a true differentiator in the hydrangea marketplace. With a profusion of big raspberry-red or blue-purple blooms, Summer Crush is a color breakthrough in reblooming garden hydrangeas. Bred by Bailey Innovations, this new addition is the result of focused breeding and years of production and field testing. Proven to be Zone 4 cold hardy and the most wilt resistant Endless Summer yet, this compact hydrangea with dark-green, glossy leaves fits smaller spaces in the garden and is the perfect size for patio containers.

Lemon and Gin Cabana Canna (J. Berry Nursery)Lemon & Gin Cabana Canna Series (J. Berry Nursery)
Colors: Cheerful yellow blooms atop compact, vibrant, green foliage
Uses: Annual or perennial landscapes (Zone dependent), containers (as a single or in a combo)
Plant Habit: Exceptionally compact and florific
Crop Time: 80 days
Category: Perennials & Shrubs

Lemon & Gin is a refreshing addition to the contemporary Cabana Canna series. An exceptionally compact habit, combined with abundant blooms from spring to first frost, set a new standard of canna for our industry. Lemon & Gin is virus free and provides a timely and consistent crop in production.

Lavandula-Madrid-Lavish-Pink-Green-Fuse-BotanicalsLavandula ‘Madrid Lavish’ (Green Fuse Botanicals)
Colors: Pink, Purple, and White
Uses: Landscapes in Western States, containers. and potted-plant sales nationwide
Plant Habit: Full and mounded
Crop Time: 16 weeks from unrooted cutting
Category: Perennials & Shrubs

Lavender stoechas ‘Madrid Lavish’ as the world’s first multi-bract (multi-cymeous) lavender is ground-breaking breeding. The flowers are three times larger than typical lavenders, and they are early and long-lived. Plants have a naturally sweet fragrance that is so familiar and is easily transmitted by its oils that collect in its leaves. Available in three colors of Pink, Purple, and White.

Salvia 'Blue By You' (Darwin Perennials)Salvia hyb. ‘Blue by You’ (Darwin Perennials)
Colors: Blue
Uses: Landscape, perennial garden, large containers
Plant Habit: Mounded
Crop Time: For 1 quart/1 ppp – unrooted: 13 to 15 weeks, rooted: 8 to 10 weeks; For 1 gallon/1 ppp: unrooted: 15 to 17 weeks, rooted: 10 to 12 weeks
Category: Perennials & Shrubs

This beautiful salvia features excellent winter hardiness and heat tolerance. Amongst the earliest to flower of this type of salvia, ‘Blue by You’ will repeat-bloom several times during the growing season when spent flowers have been removed. It is a hybrid between Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis for the best of both species. Plants are sterile for longer shelf life and more flowers in the perennial garden. Long, bright-blue flower spikes attract bees and other pollinators, while resisting deer. It is hardy in Zones 4b to 9a. Gardeners will love this salvia’s long-time blooming, multi-season interest, and low-maintenance attitude. Growers will love easy production and sell-through.

Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus (J. Berry Nursery)Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus Series (J. Berry Nursery)
Colors: Never before seen bloom colors: Blues, Purples, Rich Reds, White, and Deep Pink
Uses: Perennial landscape, container garden
Plant Habit: Naturally compact growth habits
Crop Time: 10 Weeks for a one-gallon pot and 12 weeks for a 2-gallon pot
Category: Perennials & ShrubsThey say variety is the spice of life, and the Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus brings a deliciously fresh, low-maintenance twist to the landscape. J. Berry is thrilled to bring the Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus Collection to market. A unique range of colors, luncheon-plate-sized flowers, and tremendous bud and bloom count, all on a naturally compact form, makes the Summer Spice Series a breakthrough in hardy hibiscus breeding. The initial menu in this five-star collection will whet customers’ appetites and leave them craving future flavors.

In Greenhouse Grower’s Medal Of Excellence Awards tradition, three awards are presented for breeding:

The Readers’ Choice Award is voted on online by our readers. Breeders submit their top plants for consideration for this award.

The Industry’s Choice Award is selected by a panel of industry members who attend Spring Trials and see introductions in person.

The Editor’s Choice Award is chosen by Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff. See Greenhouse Grower’s Medal Of Excellence Industry’s Choice And Editor’s Choice Winners for 2017.

Winners of all of these awards, along with awards for Medal of Excellence in Industry Achievement Gamechanger of the Year, Technology of the Year, Head Grower of the Year, and Operation of the Year, will be announced July 16 at the Medal Of Excellence reception at Cultivate’18 in Columbus, OH. Please plan to join us!