Allan Armitage: Plants I Am Finally Seeing More Of (About Time!)

sporobolisThere will always be a few great plants out there that may not be in the mainstream market anymore, but haven’t quite disappeared altogether. Gardeners just need the opportunity to rediscover them. Here are four not-so-new plants I have been seeing more of lately, which I think are poised to break into the consciousness of both professional landscapers and home gardeners.

Prairie Drop Seed, Sporobolis

Native grasses have always been strong, so this old-fashioned grass should be a mainstream in most of the country. It enjoys popularity in the Midwest, but not so much in the Mid Atlantic. Growers find it easy to grow, and landscapers are always looking for native grasses they can use as a meadow plant, a groundcover, or as a simple filler. It is not as showy as some of the taller, better-known grasses are, but it is tough and functional. And if you stick your nose in the airy, fall flowers, you will come away with a hint of spice, or even a touch of popcorn. Find it. Use it.

Height: 2 to 3 feet
Exposure: Sun
Zones: 3 to 7 (not a great plant for the South, although it will grow there)
Habit: Clump forming
Fall color: Tan, golden
Deer: 1.5 out of 5 (5 being irresistable to deer)

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Allan Armitage: Plants I Am Finally Seeing More Of (About Time!)

  1. This rudbeckia might be the one I have ,, I haven’t seen it in any greenhouses I have been to ,or in any ones garden either , I found it in my compost pile few years back … Always wanted to know what one it was … It is beautiful all season , the foliage looks great all the way to end & it blooms a little later then the other rudbeckia ‘s. around here ,, the flowers open slower too ,not all at one time ..the foliage is smooth & narrower … … Thank you… that might be name of it …

  2. Thank you for the info.
    Is there a chance it would work well in the Sandhills of North Carolina?
    We really need a grass like this for a meadow!

  3. Hello,
    Stilll waiting for a response where to get Kosmic Kale seed Allan wrote about a few week
    Is ago.
    Are they available?
    Thanks,
    Elaine Kavanagh
    Cottage Gardens

More From Armitage On Plants...
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Christmas Joy Marble'

February 20, 2017

5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition

With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.

Read More
Latest Stories
Allan Armitage San Marzano tomato plant feature

January 25, 2017

Allan Armitage Describes Veggies, Shade Plants, and Cli…

Here's a look at plants that could help you with successful growing in 2017.

Read More
nepeta-purple-wave-with-roses

December 30, 2016

Allan Armitage: Plants That Can Bring Success in the Ne…

Are you wondering which plants to grow? Here are some perennials, annuals, and herbs that are gaining popularity.

Read More
allan-friend-daughter-kate-pulling-margarita-feature

November 23, 2016

Allan Armitage: Relax, There Are More Plant Enthusiasts…

When times get tough, we would do well to remember that there are people of all types still interested in plants.

Read More
tassle-fern-feature

October 27, 2016

Allan Armitage: Plants I Am Finally Seeing More Of (Abo…

Here are four plants showing up more often in the garden and landscape that are set to make a comeback.

Read More
deutzia-yuki-snowflake

September 22, 2016

Allan Armitage Suggests Plants That “Even My Neig…

When the urge to garden strikes, every homeowner needs a few plants like these for their yard.

Read More
Penn State University Trial Day

August 26, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Broaden Their Horizons

Allan Armitage says you can learn new ideas to help your business when you get out to visit plant trials and other growers.

Read More
Bellis Speedster (Benary)

August 2, 2016

How Fall Can Be About More Than Pansies

Allan Armitage suggests a few notable plants for the fall shoulder, fall sales, and spring shoulder seasons.

Read More
Nathan Lamkey Chuck Pavlich Allan Armitage talk about muckgenia

May 31, 2016

Allan Armitage: Three Trends (Good And Bad) That Caught…

We need to put the same energies we invest into California Spring Trials to get plants into consumers’ hands and encourage young people in the industry to attend.

Read More
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos A…

Allan Armitage says breeders need to do a better job of making growers, brokers, and garden centers aware of better ornamental grass cultivars for the increasingly shrinking garden space.

Read More
Scaevola 'Purple Haze' (Danziger 2016)

April 19, 2016

Allan Armitage Picks His Favorites From Proven Winners,…

From “crazy” petunias to container pentas, there was plenty that caught Allan’s eye during the final day of 2016 California Spring Trials.

Read More
Fashion Show At Benary

April 15, 2016

California Spring Trials: Dr. Allan Armitage Notes Emer…

Attractive new varieties will draw the eyes of consumers, but innovation and creativity will keep them coming back.

Read More
Crazytunia Citrus Twist

April 14, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage’s Top Picks From Floricultura And Sa…

The best new flower introductions have the power to turn a non-believer into a fan. Check out Dr. Allan Armitage’s top picks from his visit to Sakata and Floricultura, the latter of which hosted a number of breeders.

Read More
Calendula Power Daisy (Kientzler)

April 12, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage Names His Top 6 Picks From GroLink A…

Editor’s Note: Dr. Allan Armitage shares his top picks from the breeders who presented new varieties at the GroLink location in Oxnard, CA, and the Windmill Nursery location in Buellton, CA, during the 2016 California Spring Trials.   Gerbera ‘Sweet Caroline’ (Florist Holland) Every year I am so impressed with the Garvinea gerberas from Florist. They have proven their ability to stand up to the rigors of winter, are available in more than a dozen colors, and may be used alone or in combination containers. The flower color and size of ‘Sweet Caroline’ are outstanding, and this is already enjoying robust sales. Begonia ‘Revelation Maroon’ (Terra Nova) Learning more about the diversity of plants offered by some of our best-known companies is always a treat. Walking into Terra Nova, I was ready for Echinacea and Heuchera, but was instead blown away by begonia and coleus. Terra Nova has been breeding begonias […]

Read More

April 11, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage: 6 Picks From Ball Horticultural Co.…

Editor’s Note: In Day 1 of our coverage of California Spring Trials 2016, Dr. Allan Armitage, Contributing Editor for Greenhouse Grower, talks about the plants that caught his eye. See images of his six picks in the slideshow. Petunia ‘Night Sky’ (Selecta) Am I really starting off with a petunia? It is not that they are not all beautiful, there are just so many of them, Having looked at new plants for many years, it is difficult for any petunia to impress me. ‘Night Sky’ did just that. To gush about how the dozens of glittering white spots glitter on the blue petals does not do it justice. Suffice it to say it was different, it was fun, and people were talking about it. I certainly am. Begonia MegaWatt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Begonias are one of the building blocks of annual spring sales. “Full-size” wax begonias, personified by the Dragon […]

Read More
Eucomis 'Aloha Kona'

October 20, 2015

Eucomis Aloha Series: A New Bulb Crop For Containers

The Eucomis Aloha series of Pineapple lilies may be the next money making bulbs for the deck with their compact habits and shorter stems that are perfect for containers.

Read More
More and more people are employing a landscape service, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still garden

September 2, 2015

Under Siege? Not Really, Just Go For A Walk

I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset. A website called insteadofflowers.com came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea. But why pick on us? Why not use “insteadofbaloneysandwiches.com” or “insteadofgrilledcheeseandsoup.com,” “insteadofburgerdoodle.com,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? […]

Read More
llan Armitage Syngenta Starcluster

July 30, 2015

Allan Armitage: Let’s Talk About Starflowers. Why Is Pe…

It is good to talk about production techniques, performance results and then to see how our friends garden. Diversity of plant material has always been a strength in American garden centers, and we should never run out of plants to get people excited. However, perhaps people are tired of Petunias or Callas or Geraniums, but we will never run out of options to put in front of them. One plant that is often overlooked is Pentas, a fabulous summer crop for late spring sales. These are heat-tolerant plants, and growing them below 65°F in the greenhouse results in significant delay. Fertility should be at least 150ppm nitrogen, but avoid ammonia in the fertilizer. Plants are best grown at a somewhat higher pH than usual, between 6.4 to 6.8. For best presentation, pinch out the center bud. Side flowers will bloom together, and plants will walk off the shelf. Garden centers […]

Read More
window flower boxes

June 28, 2015

The Horticulturist And The Decorator

Allan Armitage tells shares a story about a horticulturist and a decorator to illustrate why gardening and decorating are not jobs; they are simply meant to bring pleasure.

Read More