Best Performers and Favorites From Cornell University’s 2019 Plant Trials

The inaugural year of plant trials at the Cornell Botanic Gardens was a great success, according to trial organizers. Located just outside the Nevin Welcome Center, this year’s trials were viewed by thousands of visitors, hundreds of whom took the opportunity to vote on their favorites of the approximately 150 cultivars trialed in in-ground beds.

Spring weather conditions were excellent for planting trial cultivars in early June, and most plants got off to a good start. The area had below-average temperatures and above average precipitation in June and August, while July was warmer than usual with about average rainfall. A heat wave in July, followed by frequent heavy rains and cooler weather in August, created issues with Rhizoctonia in some cultivars (most notably Callistephus) and with powdery mildew in many cultivars. That said, organizers say they had a stellar showing by many varieties, which delighted the public throughout the growing season.


Check out the slideshow above for a closer look at some of top-rated varieties from this year’s trials.


Top Ten Performers

Salvia ‘Unplugged So Blue’ (Proven Winners)

Helianthus ‘Suncredible Yellow’ (Proven Winners)

Petunia ‘Supertunia Mini Vista Indigo Improved’ (Proven Winners)

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Tabletop Blue’ (Proven Winners)

Verbena ‘Superbena Sparkling Amethyst Improved’ (Proven Winners)

Petunia ‘ColorRush Pink’ (Ball FloraPlant)

Begonia ‘BK Collection BEEL 3632’ (Beekenkamp)

Zinnia ‘Zesty Scarlet’ (Ball Ingenuity)

Celosia ‘Kelos Fire Purple’ (Beekenkamp)

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Honeyberry’ (Proven Winners)


Field Day Favorites:

Zinnia ‘Zesty Purple’ (Ball Ingenuity)

Salvia ‘Unplugged So Blue’ (Proven Winners)

Helianthus ‘Suncredible Yellow’ (Proven Winners)

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Blackcurrant Punch’ (Proven Winners)

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Double Amber’ (Proven Winners)

Celosia ‘Kelos Fire Purple’ (Beekenkamp)

Salvia ‘Purple & Bloom’ (Ball FloraPlant)

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Dreamsicle Improved’ (Proven Winners)

Solenostemon ‘ColorBlaze Wicked Witch’ (Proven Winners)

Verbena ‘Superbena Sparkling Rosé’ (Proven Winners)


Consumer Favorites:

Dahlia ‘Venti Red+White’ (Selecta)

Salvia ‘Unplugged So Blue’ (Proven Winners)

Dahlia ‘Venti Passion Fruit’ (Selecta)

Dahlia ‘Maggiore Rose Bicolor’ (Beekenkamp)

Coleus ‘Heartbreaker’ (Ball FloraPlant)

Salvia ‘Purple & Bloom ‘(Ball FloraPlant)

Celosia ‘Kelos Fire Purple’ (Beekenkamp)

Osteospermum ‘Sunny Harry’ (Beekenkamp)

Dahlia Maggiore ‘Yellow Improved’ (Beekenkamp)

Helianthus ‘Suncredible Yellow’ (Proven Winners) 

Click here for a look back at last year’s Cornell field trial results.

Click here for more information on trials from other regions in 2019.