Succulents are the perfect gateway plant for beginning gardeners. They are easy to care for and add interest, color and texture to outdoor and indoor spaces. With colors ranging from blue-green and burgundy to chartreuse and variegated, and with needlelike, spiky and ruffled textures, succulents are versatile enough to fill many roles in the garden.
Miniature plants are also hot items right now for terrariums, fairy gardens and smaller garden spaces. With a variety of foliage textures and flower colors, they lend themselves well to the needs of small-scale gardening.
Here are 12 varieties new for 2016 to consider adding to your crop mix:
Agave ‘Blue Waves’ (Rancho Tissue Technologies)
Agave ‘Blue Waves’ was created for Rancho Tissue Technologies by renowned plantsman Kelly Griffin. Crossing two different agaves, he created ‘Blue Waves,’ a mid-sized blue agave with defined imprints in each leaf and edges that appear as waves. ‘Blue Waves’ is hardy in Zones 8 to 11 and grows best in full sun.
Agave ‘Green Glow’ (Rancho Tissue Technologies)
Agave ‘Green Glow’ is a selection made from Rancho Tissue Technologies’ Agave ‘Blue Glow.’ It has bright-red trim around each leaf edge and the leaves are an attractive green color. Just as hardy as ‘Blue Glow,’ ‘Green Glow’ adds to the color palette available to landscapers and homeowners. It is hardy in Zones 8 to 11 and grows best in full sun.
Campanula ‘Rapido’ (Kieft Seed)
This spring perennial is ideal in 4-inch pots or gallon containers. It is versatile, too, and suited to indoor use as a novelty pot plant. It’s the earliest C. carpatica — up to four weeks earlier than other varieties, with a great retail show. The pretty bell-shaped blooms are available in Blue and White.
Celosia Kelos Atomic Series (Beekenkamp)
Celosia in the Kelos Atomic Series are ideal for the miniature pot. They don’t need too much space to make an impact or add color to your living room or patio. Plants in this series have a long shelf-life and perform well in the garden. The colors available for 2016 are: Light Pink, Neon Pink, Purple Pink, Salmon and Violet.
Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ (North Creek Nurseries)
‘Fire Spinner’ has vibrant, bi-colored flowers with an inner band of purple-pink that transition to a glowing orange. Its spreading, mat-like carpet makes an excellent groundcover that is heat and drought tolerant. Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ is a Plant Select introduction.
Delosperma ‘Wheels of Wonder Hot Pink Wonder’ (North Creek Nurseries)
Hot pink petals with yellow and white centers light up this high-impact groundcover. Hot Pink Wonder is one of six varieties in the colorful Wheels of Wonder series from Concept Plants. It requires plenty of sun and a well-drained soil.
Lewisia longipetala hyb. ‘Little Raspberry’ (Jelitto)
Lewisia ’Little Raspberry’ is the latest in the colorful line of the popular and durable Lewisia longipetala hyb. series, which includes Little Plum, Little Peach, Little Mango and the Little Tutti Frutti mix. All are proven to adapt to withstand cold, wet winters. ‘Little Raspberry,’ like all of Jelitto’s fruit-inspired Lewisia, is a good choice for containers or rock gardens. Its colorful, raspberry-red blooms appear May through mid-June, and again in September. All flower on short, sturdy stems to 6 inches with tight rosettes of leathery, lance-shaped leaves.
Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ (Walters Gardens)
This unique succulent is a hybrid between agave and manfreda. It has the refined habit of an agave and the spotting and coloration of a manfreda. ‘Pineapple Express’ has long, slender, dark-green leaves with burgundy spots. A waxy coating gives it a minty feel.
‘Mini Mint’ Ornamental Mint (PanAmerican Seed)
A highly fragrant and attractive groundcover or container plant, ‘Mini Mint’ delivers a nice fast fill and is easy and economical to produce. Not for consumption, this Corsican mint looks great spilling over pots or in the ground. Multi-seed pellets will be available to growers May 1, and ‘Mini Mint’ will have its debut at California Spring Trials in 2016.
Sedum ‘Chocolate Cherry’ (Cultivaris)
This dark-leaved hybrid from Dutch breeder Marco Van Noort has been impressive in both field and pot trials. Strong disease resistance, an excellent well-branched habit and beautiful red blooms in summer atop the charcoal-black leaves make this the sedum to beat.
Trifolium ‘Limerick’ (Ball Ingenuity)
There are three bold patterns for new Trifolium ‘Limerick,’ offering a unique option when looking for component plants for combinations. Trifolium is a great filler with a spreading habit, but it still plays nice with other plants.
Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’ (North Creek Nurseries)
‘Silver Gem’ has dainty purple flowers that bloom from early spring into autumn and rest just above an attractive mat of silvery, heart-shaped foliage. ‘Silver Gem’ is the perfect violet for a variety of locations — from terrarium to container to woodland path.