As the old adage says, “April showers bring May flowers!” Is your May garden filled with flowers, or do you need to add a little pizzazz that will take you through the growing season? Every year, the nursery industry introduces exciting new plant selections that will refresh and add sparkle to your garden. Proven Winners has released its list of new annuals, perennials and shrubs for 2018. Any or all of these will make great additions to your garden.
As its name implies, an annual is a plant that grows profusely for just one growing season. Annuals work well in containers or anywhere where you need a punch of color.
Luscious® Royale Cosmo (Lantana camara) is a flowering annual that adores the heat, needs little water, produces continual blooms for weeks and does not have to be deadheaded! What’s not to like!? This lantana features clusters of vivid magenta flowers with touches of orange and yellow, and dark green rough foliage that deer avoid but butterflies, birds and hummingbirds will flock to, so plant it in full sun where you can enjoy the show! It grows to about two feet in height and spreads about two feet in width. It is perfect to plant in a container on your sunny deck. When we have a mild winter, this lantana can “come back” next year, so you may get to enjoy it more than one season.
SUPERTUNIA® Lovie Dovie (Petunia hybrid) is a decadent, patterned petunia that adds surprise to your garden bed or hanging baskets. Ruffled white flowers are splashed with showy pink magenta stars. Like previous Supertunia petunias, this new selection is easy to grow and vigorous. It can take part sun but blooms best in full sun.
Perennials come back each year, so they give you a lot of bang for your buck. They don’t often bloom as profusely as annuals but offer much to the garden scene.
I love coneflowers, and Lakota™ Santa Fe Coneflower (Echinacea hybrid) is a stunning new addition to fragrant flowers that are a mixed-strain of red, reddish orange and pinkish red. Another plant that deters deer but attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, this native coneflower is drought-tolerant and will bloom continuously from summer through fall. It is a smaller variety of coneflower, so it will work well in containers or in a small garden bed and is prized for its cut flowers. Plant in a sunny spot and enjoy flowers through the first frost.
Decadence® Deluxe ‘Pink Lemonade’ False Indigo (Baptisia hybrid) is an easy-to-grow, tall perennial that features yellow flowers that change to a raspberry color as they age. The color combination of soft yellow and purple is stunning! This false indigo does not have to be deadheaded, is drought tolerant and attracts butterflies but not deer. It blooms in early summer and makes a great “thriller” plant in a container.
The backbone of the garden, shrubs are woody plants that are smaller than trees and provide structure and interest. Adding dependable shrubs to the garden will ensure years of interest.
It’s always exciting to have a new rose introduced to the market. Oso Easy Hot Paprika® Landscape rose (Rosa x), is “oh so easy” to grow and flowers from early summer through the first frost. The vibrant, bold orange blooms are sure to take center stage, so plant in a sunny spot where it can be enjoyed. This mounded shrub rose is small, hardy, disease-resistant, does not need to be deadheaded and is attractive to bees! Add a touch of spice to the garden with the Oso Easy Hot Paprika rose!
Infiniti Watermelon® crape myrtle. (Lagerstroemia indica) is the perfect crape myrtle for a small space – a dwarf shrub that spreads as wide as it is tall. In mid-summer, when you need a new punch of color, the shrub will be covered with brilliant watermelon-pink flowers. There is added interest in the fall when the foliage turns a blend of red, yellow and orange and then when the leaves are gone, the peeling bark is revealed for further winter interest. This tough crape myrtle is deer resistant and needs little pruning.
Check with your local plant nurseries for these new selections that are sure to have your garden bursting with color!