The Young’s Plant Farm trial garden is located in Auburn, AL (UDSA Zone 8). It is 26,000 square feet of raised beds that include sun and shade trials. Each season 432 individual varieties, 40 combination landscape beds, 56 hanging baskets, and 180 combinations planters are evaluated.
This year, everything in the garden was installed on April 19, 2019. Summer temperatures ranged from 75ºF to 97ºF degrees and relative humidity was normal with a high of 90% in July. Rainfall this summer was lower than normal; the production team measured 18 inches for April through August, compared to an average amount of 21 inches.
Data and photos were collected biweekly from planting until the end of the growth season. A rating is given to each plant based on flower quantity, flower quality, vegetative vigor, uniformity, and overall plant health. Data and photos can be viewed on the trial garden website.
In the garden, varieties new to the market were trialed alongside varieties that are currently in the Young’s program for a comparison. This year, the landscape beds were used to illustrate current gardening trends that included tropical gardening, vertical gardening, and pollinator gardening with perennials.
Top varieties can be viewed in the slideshow above. Here’s a list of the top performers and consumer favorites.
- Caladium ‘Bottle Rocket’ (Classic Caladiums)
- Coleus ‘ColorBlaze Wicked Witch’ (Proven Winners)
- Lantana ‘Gem Compact Orange Fire’ (Danziger)
- Braceantha ‘Granvia Gold’ (Suntory Flowers)
- Geranium ‘Calliope Large Orange Splash’ (Syngenta Flowers)
- Petunia ‘Wave Carmine Velour’ (PanAmerican Seed)
- Lantana ‘Hot Blooded Red’ (Syngenta Flowers)
- Geranium ‘Galaxy Violet’ (Ball FloraPlant)
- Zinnia ‘Zesty Purple’ (Ball Ingenuity)
- Cuphea ‘Honeybells’ (Ball FloraPlant)
Click here for more information on other field trials from 2019.