Petunias, Angelonias and Hibiscuses

It’s summer at the Trials Gardens at UGA and there are plenty of plants on which you can feast your eyes. But while we’re strolling through the gardens, let’s take a look at some of the highlights this year in petunias, verbenas and hibiscuses.

Petunias

There are probably more than 150 petunias here in Georgia. Among the top-performing petunias are:

– ‘Suncatcher Pink Lemonade’

– ‘Purple Vein Ray’

– ‘Surprise Black Jack’

– ‘Potunia Yellow’

– ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum’

– ‘Whispers Red’

I’ve always enjoyed Danziger’s ‘Sun Ray,’ but I’m also impressed with ‘Purple Vein Ray’–especially as a container combination like the one UGA planted with Floranova’s ‘Field of Dreams’ ornamental corn.

‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum’ from Proven Winners works well with other plants in containers, too. In the trial gardens, I tried ‘Vista Bubblegum’ with ‘Twisted Dart’ juncus this year and it’s performing wonderfully. Syngenta Flowers’ Whispers series has a number of fine petunias, as well. The more I walk around, the more I notice ‘Whispers Red.’ But there are many other fine selections in the series.

The black petunia phase may be nearing a close, but I’m still impressed with the newest black petunia on the market: ‘Surprise Black Jack.’ Without a doubt, Dömmen’s Black Jack has been the best black petunia this spring. We have all been most impressed with its performance in the garden so far this year.

Dömmen’s Potunias have been a hit this year, as well. Papaya and Yellow are both outstanding. Their bright flowers are perfect with other combinations in containers.

But perhaps the most spectacular petunia has been Ball FloraPlant’s ‘Suncatcher Pink Lemonade.’ It’s looking beautiful here in combination with ‘Black Pearl’ pepper. Everyone looks at it.

Angelonias

We’re trialing 20-plus angelonias this summer and they’re in full bloom. There are, however, a handful of angelonias that stand out from the pack. They are:

– ‘Alonia Blue’

– ‘Archangel Blue’ and Pink

– ‘Carita Purple’ and Raspberry

– ‘Serena Pink’

– ‘Sungelonia White’

There are at least a dozen flags from our public open house in Syngenta’s ‘Carita Purple.’ This is by far the most outstanding summer snapdragon in the trials, and it has been for weeks.

‘Alonia Blue’ from Danziger has also been outstanding and was a winner last year, as well. Another great blue is Ball’s ‘Archangel Blue,’ which is taller than the other two but flowering well and worthy of my recommendation.

For a pink, ‘Archangel Pink’ has caught my eye, although ‘Serena Pink’ is also doing well. People really enjoy the color of ‘Carita Raspberry.’ It is quite different. Plants seem to stand out, but its habit is a little lanky and, if not for the unique color, would not be on this list. ‘Sungelonia White’ from Suntory Flowers is the best white in the trials at this point.

Hibiscuses

Fifteen or more hibiscuses are in the trial gardens, but again there are several standouts. They are:

– ‘Peppermint Schnapps’

– ‘Brandy Punch’

– ‘Carafe Bordeaux’

– ‘Cranberry Punch’

– ‘Royal Gems’

I love ‘Peppermint Schnapps’ with its handsome pink flowers lined with darker pink veins. It easily grows five feet tall. ‘Brandy Punch’ also has wonderful large pink flowers. It’s not as tall as ‘Peppermint Schnapps’ but can still reach four feet. The dark centers make a lovely contrast with the petals.

Two handsome dwarf selections are ‘Carafe Bordeaux’ and ‘Cranberry Punch.’ I love them both, and neither grows taller than three feet. However, the plant that has blown everybody away with its extra-large flowers is ‘Royal Gems.’ The flowers are the largest I have ever seen–as big as a satellite dish or perhaps two dinner plates. Unbelievable!

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos And Apartments

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
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Bee on Bidens

April 25, 2016

Breeders Go The Distance To Bring New Plant Varieties To Market

Breeders are meeting the demand for new varieties that perform and sell well by extending trialing to engage the grower community, using advanced technology, and encouraging international collaboration.

Read More
Latest Stories
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
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Bee on Bidens

April 25, 2016

Breeders Go The Distance To Bring New Plant Varieties T…

Breeders are meeting the demand for new varieties that perform and sell well by extending trialing to engage the grower community, using advanced technology, and encouraging international collaboration.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

April 20, 2016

Growers And Breeders Are Always Looking For A Better To…

While edibles become more diverse, there's one goal that hard-core gardeners and urban foodscapers share.

Read More
Syngenta Pentas

April 20, 2016

Syngenta Flowers Opens Its Perennial Genetics To The Ma…

California Spring Trials 2016 visitors to Syngenta Flowers found the breeder company and its employees happy and excited for the future, in the wake of the announcement of its acquisition by ChemChina. Now Syngenta Flowers is ready to move forward with its breeding efforts in geraniums, pentas, and other crops, and it is opening its perennials offerings to the whole supply chain for a better chance to get those plants to retail.     Syngenta Wants To Revolutionize Geranium Breeding The big news in this year’s trial, says Karl Trellinger, Technical Services Representative at Syngenta, is the change in Syngenta’s breeding efforts in geraniums and pentas. The Calliope geranium series, long considered a premium line in the market, is getting a makeover. Growers have told the breeder that they love the colors available in the Calliope series, but the plants are just too vigorous for smaller containers and combinations. As […]

Read More
Petunia Vista Bubblegum (Proven Winners)

April 20, 2016

Proven Winners Funds Gardening “It Couple,” Names Plant…

Since 1992, Proven Winners has been changing the gardening game, and it’s not stopping now. With new plants, improved series, and interesting retail customers, the brand aims to make planning easier for growers, and make gardening easier and more fun for consumers. At its new 2016 California Spring Trials location at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, Proven Winners had the space and a beautiful setting to lay all of its offerings out, from new and improved varieties in annuals, perennials, and shrubs, to marketing and retail programs. Check out the slideshow below for highlights.   Proven Winners Is Flexing Its Marketing Muscle One of the ways Proven Winners is working toward better use of its products and gardening in general, is by supporting the gardening authorities that gardeners of all ages trust on social media. Director of Marketing Marshall Dirks says while searching for influential gardeners, he came across a young […]

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
CallaFornia Red

April 19, 2016

Golden State Bulb Company Shows Off New Concepts In Cal…

There’s no question that Golden State Bulb Company’s specialty is in breeding virtually any color of Calla Lily, available in about any habit — cut flower, bouquet pot, upright pot type — the list goes on. But now, the bulb specialist is focusing on making calla lilies more accessible to the masses, for use in combination planters and the landscape, with calla six-packs. Calla breeder Peter Beckman showed us the shrunken-down version of these beauties, and they’re certainly perfect for patio pots, planting along paths or at the front of the garden, or en masse for an elegant statement. This presentation makes it easy for consumers to pick up and use callas, without the intimidation they might feel from a bulb crop, says Dr. Allan Armitage.   They’re also versatile for growers to plant in early to mid-February to add to finished containers in the spring, or to sell in […]

Read More
Disney Trial Garden

April 17, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For Florida Flower Trials In May

The two-day event, which takes place in Orlando, is held in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and offers educational seminars, tours, and open houses.

Read More
Dianthus Paint the Town Fuchsia_CJW14 (2)

April 16, 2016

Proven Winners Focuses On A Better Consumer Garden Expe…

Excellent, long-lasting performance, and easy maintenance are at the core of Proven Winners’ introductions.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Pacific Plug & Liner Features Plenty Of New Varieti…

One of the best-merchandised spots on the California Spring Trials is always Pacific Plug & Liner (PP&L), where the greenhouse is stocked with beautiful plants and displays, and the people are dressed to the nines and graciously ready to help in any way.

Read More

April 15, 2016

American Takii Commemorates 180 Years Of Industry Commi…

American Takii, Hilverdakooij, and newcomer HMA Plants show off zombie-zone celosia, new dianthus, and hip succulents.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Ernst Benary of America Takes Plant Fashion Week To The…

Ernst Benary of America gave growers a taste of the fashion world during the new variety promenade held during California Spring Trials 2016.

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
Delizz Strawberry packaging

April 14, 2016

ABZ Seeds’ Delizz Strawberry Makes Mouths Water At Spee…

Speedling, Inc. hosted Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, ABZ Seeds, Plant Source International, and Vista Farms For California Spring Trials 2016. Here are some of the highlights of the trial.

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
Begonia Evi Pink and Evi Bright Pink

April 14, 2016

Westhoff, Beekenkamp, PAC-Elsner And Plug Connection Pr…

Floricultura-Pacifica in Salinas opened its doors to invite California Spring Trials visitors to experience new offerings from European breeders including Westhoff Flowers, Beekenkamp, and PAC-Elsner, as well as California native The Plug Connection. While there, it was interesting to witness the ongoing and highly automated production of orchids, as well as construction of more greenhouse space happening simultaneously. As is tradition, Westhoff Flowers invited its visitors to flag their favorite combos at the entrance, and showed off its unique assortment of annuals, as well as a few concepts. The breeder is working loosely with Florist Holland to show mixes used with Westhoff Flowers — or Westflowers — annuals and Florist gerberas in the center. The combinations are bright and cheerful, and spur a happy reaction in those who have seen them, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this concept going forward. Another new idea is putting together […]

Read More

April 14, 2016

Sakata Ornamentals’ 2016 California Spring Trials…

Sakata is celebrating 10 years of SunPatiens production, and a whopper-sized, three-layer SunPatiens cake was featured at Sakata’s display at California Spring Trials. There are four new colors in SunPatiens, three compact and one spreading, with lots more to come. The Mix it Up combos promise three seasons of color — rain or shine, sun or shade. ‘Sunpatiens Shell Pink’ is not new this year, but is still noteworthy as a recent All-American Selections winner. It was impossible not to notice the electric colors in the Majorette Gerbera line. This new series promises uniformity, a characteristic hard to achieve in gerberas. It comes in six colors, plus one orange color with a ring around the eye. Also worth mentioning is a Clear White, another breeding challenge for gerberas. There are two new mixes in the SuperCal Petchoa line. The Pink Lemonade mix received a lot of attention from trial attendees. […]

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]