2012 Field Trials Reports: Ball FloraPlant

Tecoma 'Bells of Fire'

Trial Manager: Susan Schmitz, sschmitz@ballhort.com

Trial Location: West Chicago, Ill.

Planting Dates: last week of May, first week of June

Number and Types of Varieties: About 4,000 varieties were grown out for the trials this year: annuals, annual combinations, perennials and vegetables.

Weather: record-breaking heat (four days over 100°F) and drought in June and July. It was hot in August, but there was some rain. Weather was more typical in September.

Top Performers June to September 2012

(In alphabetical order)

Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’: outstanding foliage all summer long. Many comments by guests on great color.

Angelonia Serenita series: non-stop color all season. ‘Serenita Raspberry’ is an especially nice color.

Begonia Whopper series: excellent landscape begonia — up to my waist in one bed right now, super heat tolerance.

Begonia ‘Baby Wing White With Bronze Foliage’:  a great year for begonias. This was another one with terrific landscape performance.

Celosia ‘Tornado Red’: one of the more unique new varieties — in color all summer long, great as a cut flower.

Plectranthus ‘Vino’ (coleus): very heat-tolerant, bold landscape color and late flowering.

Petunia ‘Sophistica Blackberry’: great landscape bed performance in a unique black-burgundy color.

Petunia ‘Soleil’: excellent heat tolerance — two display beds in bloom all summer long.

Catharanthus ‘Jams ‘N Jellies Blackberry’ (vinca): heat and drought-tolerant; this was an ideal summer for vinca. Loads of unique blackberry-colored flowers.

Zinnia Uptown series: mounds of flowers all summer, no powdery mildew. ‘Orange Blossom’ and ‘Sunstreak’ were especially nice.

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