Top 5 New Varieties For The South

'Superbells Lemon Slice' from Proven Winners

For those of us fortunate enough to make the annual horticultural Mecca-like journey to the California Spring Trials, this year was as energizing and rewarding as ever. Undoubtedly, every participant walks away from the week with a slightly different take-home message, each tailoring the value of the new introductions toward their respective market and climate.

Residing in Texas, my personal take on the event was viewed through the constant lens of heat tolerance. Narrowing the list of exciting new items to my top 5 was no easy task, and the choices came down to a few factors like ease of production, garden performance and appeal to the consumer. So without further ado, start the drumroll for my top five new introductions for the South.

No. 5

Do I lose credibility if my top five includes a calibrachoa? I’m still in disbelief that the genus made my list, but the unique flower color of ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’ from Proven Winners is sure to be a hit with retail customers. The bright and cheerful white- and yellow-striped blooms will fly off the retail benches next spring to the point that Lemon Slice is a serious contender for the top spot on this list. But alas, it is still a calibrachoa, so I will have to keep an eye on how it performs in the summer heat of the South.

No. 4

In 2009, Syngenta Flowers introduced one of the best geraniums for southern climates when it unveiled interspecific ‘Calliope Dark Red.’  Now, Syngenta has added to the Calliope color selection with Burgundy, Hot Pink and Lavender Rose. I liked Burgundy best among the new intros, but with new interspecific pelargonium breeding also being released by Paul Ecke Ranch, Fides Oro, and Dümmen USA, the competition for the best growth habit and heat tolerance is about to take the main stage.

No. 3

Evolvulus has earned a reputation among southern gardeners for its reliable heat tolerance and sky blue flowers. Until now, not much has changed in the Blue Daze genetics, and although the plant was reliable in the landscape, it was never destined to be the star of the show. That has changed with evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’ from Proven Winners.

With a more compact growth habit, increased flower count and unparalleled intense blue blooms, ‘Blue My Mind’ will be tough to beat in the South and will thrill in the landscape and containers.

No. 2

How exciting can a new pansy introduction be?  There is never a shortage of new introductions, and this year was no exception. So let’s forget about heat tolerance for a minute and meet one that is sure to be a hit with consumers, if for no other reason than that the name it’s been given.

Riding the tide of Wave Petunias, PanAmerican Seed is introducing Cool Wave Pansies this fall.  The color selection and trailing habit will increase hanging basket and 6-inch sales for those who add Cool Wave this year. The upcoming marketing campaign will have your customers asking for it.

No. 1

After euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ was introduced by Proven Winners, it felt like every breeder in the world came out with a cultivar that was touted as superior in some way yet ultimately lacked significantly recognizable differences. This was especially true for retail customers. For a new euphorbia to have earned the number one spot on my list, you can bet the difference is measurable.

Dümmen USA’s euphorbia ‘Star Dust White Splash’ has roughly twice the flower (bracts, actually) count of the previous varieties with the same great heat tolerance and perhaps the best growth habits among the group.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
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
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Latest Stories
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
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More
Syngenta Obsession Cascade

February 15, 2017

Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017

‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.

Read More
Euphorbia 'Gold Rush'

February 8, 2017

5 Ways to Tie Poinsettias to Lifestyle Trends for Incre…

With poinsettia planning upon us, here are a few ideas to incorporate them into upcoming lifestyle and home décor trends to help increase sales.

Read More
Table setting with begonias for decoration

February 7, 2017

Seasonal Plant Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Aligning your plant sales with popular lifestyle and home décor movements will engage your customers and multiply your profits.

Read More

February 7, 2017

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Presents a First Look at Ne…

The annual event brings breeders, growers, and retailers together to compare new plant varieties and evaluate their performance. Here's a look at some of the new varieties featured in the trial gardens.

Read More
Grateful Heart Rose feature

February 5, 2017

Flower Breeders Making Donations for Heart Disease and …

Companies such as Jackson & Perkins and Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs are donating portions of their sales to groups such as the American Heart Association and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

February 1, 2017

Allan Armitage California Spring Trials Scholarship Win…

Beasley, a junior at Oregon State University’s Ecampus who also manages a local community college greenhouse, will join Armitage and a team of Greenhouse Grower editors in attending and reporting on the 2017 California Spring Trials.

Read More
IPM Essen Plant Innovations Winners

January 31, 2017

Top New Plants Recognized at IPM Essen in Germany

Winners were announced in several categories in the Innovations Showcase, from flowering houseplants to cut flowers.

Read More
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
Hibiscus Hollywood Gossip Queen

January 24, 2017

29 New Flowering and Foliage Plants from TPIE 2017

The Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was the place to be Jan. 18-20 to catch a peek at some of the new plant introductions making their first appearance on the market.

Read More
Quick Plug

January 24, 2017

Dümmen Orange Acquires Quick Plug, a Cutting Compost Su…

Quick Plug technology is designed to open up opportunities for automation and robotization of several product groups and add quality to rooted products.

Read More
EPCOT Suntory Princettia Euphorbia

January 23, 2017

Princettia Euphorbias Charm Vacationers at Disney Resor…

Suntory’s Princettia euphorbias have brought a new color palette to the holiday landscapes at Walt Disney World’s resorts and theme parks in central Florida.

Read More
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials…

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More