Perennials and annuals aren’t the only game in town. Shrubs, sub-shrubs and vines are a low maintenance addition to the landscape that add color and interest year after year. In addition to great garden performance, the newest varieties on the market offer more color, extended blooming and all-season interest. Here are 12 new additions hitting the retail market in 2016.
1. Buddleia davidii Buzz Series (Cultivaris)
This consistent and uniform series of dwarf butterfly bush is excellent for fast summer color or for early summer sales. It is suitable for 6-inch to 5-gallon pots. The series responds well to large patio container culture. New additions include Hot Raspberry and Soft Pink.
2. Buxus microphylla ‘Petite Pillar’ Dwarf Boxwood (Monrovia)
‘Petite Pillar’ is an exceptional new dwarf boxwood with a natural columnar form. It is perfect for creating a hedge or accent in tight spaces and requires little to no shearing to keep its shape. Lustrous, evergreen foliage is easily clipped into formal topiary shapes. It is widely adaptable in the landscape and well-suited to containers. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
3. Caryopteris ‘Beyond Midnight’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)
This new caryopteris is dark and dreamy, with extremely dark, glossy foliage, a compact habit and rich-blue flowers.
4. Clematis ‘Happy Jack Purple’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)
Velvety, plum-purple flowers have intriguing center highlights and bright-yellow stamens. This early and long-flowering beauty blooms from mid-summer into fall and is noted for its intense purple flower color and large 3- to 5-inch blooms.
5. Clethra ‘Einstein’ (Star Roses And Plants)
‘Einstein’ features fragrant, white racemes reaching up to 12-inches long. The blooming stems are twisted and curled, reminiscent of Albert Einstein’s wild coiffeur. Native throughout the Eastern U.S., ‘Einstein’ is tolerant of a variety of growing conditions and extremely hardy.
6. Hydrangea ‘Everlasting Green Cloud’ (Plants Nouveau)
Green Cloud lives up to its name by opening with celery-green flowers, each with a white eye-zone, and turns ablaze with red and green tones as it matures. Strong stems, hard flowers and classic, antique colors are all signature attributes of the Everlasting series. Plant Green Cloud in a special container to show off its green flowers, or place it in the garden with some of the other Everlasting varieties, but don’t forget to harvest the stems.
7. Hydrangea ‘Let’s Dance Rave’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)
‘Let’s Dance Rave’ has intensely colored, mophead blooms and is a strong, reliable bloomer with an abundance of intensely colored flowers. Bloom color ranges from a rich, violet-purple on acidic soils to a saturated pink on basic soils.
8. Lagerstroemia ‘First Editions Ruffled Red Magic’ (Bailey Nurseries)
This Crape Myrtle has carnation-like, glowing-red flowers that show beautifully against the dark-green foliage. That foliage turns orange-red in fall, extending its colorful show throughout the seasons. Ruffled Red Magic has an upright habit with dense branching and re-blooms in late summer if the first flush of flowers is deadheaded.
9. Rosa Starlet Beauty Series (Ball Ornamentals)
A Starlet Beauty rose is the elegant little sister of classic, large-flowered climbing roses. It is perfectly poised to grace patios and smaller garden spaces. Fully double, English-type roses in the Starlet Beauty Series flower all the way up and rebloom until frost for continuous color and fragrance. Four colors make up the series: Mauve, Pink, Ruby and Tangerine.
10. Tsuga canadensis ‘Golden Duke’ Eastern Hemlock (Monrovia)
Improved sun tolerance makes this a perfect choice for woodland or rock gardens. A sport from ‘Golden Duchess,’ this new conifer nearly glows with golden-yellow foliage on graceful, upright, pyramidal, arching branches. Winter foliage is a bright yellow-orange, and it offers year-round interest as a container specimen. ‘Golden Duke’ is evergreen and hardy in Zones 4 to 8.
11. Viburnum ‘First Editions Spring Lace’ (Bailey Nurseries)
In May, this compact beauty is covered in pure white, lacy inflorescences. The sterile florets are nicely balanced with fertile flowers. Spring Lace’s leathery, dark-green leaves turn wine-red in early fall and are evergreen in mild winters. To date, there has been no fruit set.
12. Vitex agnus-castus ‘First Editions Blue Puffball’ (Bailey Nurseries)
A true genetic dwarf chastetree, Blue Puffball forms a perfect, ball-shaped shrub with short internodes and thick foliage. The mid-green foliage is clean into fall with minimal to no leaf spot and accents showy, deep blue, fragrant flowers that bloom from June through September. Its flowers form on new growth, so it can be used as a dieback shrub in colder climates.