Feb 19, 2018
Bring on the HeatBy Jasmina Dolce

While winter is still in full effect in many parts of the country, spring is thankfully only 28 days away! Now is an opportune time to prep your business for the busiest time of the year.

You probably have a pretty good idea of which products you’ll be offering your customers but, as you plan out your plant offering, one trend to keep in mind is landscape performance. From residential to commercial applications, consumers want plants that will survive and even thrive in the hottest and most humid conditions.

Industry consultant Vaughn Fletcher has been reporting on various plant trials in sister publication GPN magazine, and one of his recent articles focused on the Dallas Arboretum trial garden. The arboretum is a world-class facility consisting of 70 acres of assorted plant collections in baskets, containers, perennials and annual trial beds. The temperatures in the Dallas area are extreme, with excessive humidity and average highs of 95° F and lows of 74° F during June, July and August.

The plants Fletcher selected to highlight were successful in the arboretum’s landscape beds last summer. His selection criteria included foliage quality, floriferousness, heat and drought tolerance, architecture and — most importantly — eye-catching color.

So as your customers begin selecting plants for their landscape beds, here are some top performers to consider. Click here to read the full article.

Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’

This variety has been on the market for many years and remains a top performer in landscape beds and containers. It produces rich shades of burgundy and purple foliage on a compact habit.

Celosia ‘Fresh Look Red’

This 2004 All-America Selections winner has stood the test of time and continues to impress with a strong upright habit, large inflorescence, and heat and drought tolerance. The rose-red plumes provide a “wow” factor necessary in landscape plantings.

Coleus ‘Campfire’
Ball FloraPlant

This coleus variety was stunning in full sun and is an excellent plant for high impact, low maintenance and vivid color. The reddish orange color is nonfading, and the plant is bold and later to flower.

Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’
Proven Winners

This large flowering, true blue evolvulus is one of the most heat-tolerant plants in the Proven Winners collection. It has proven success in the South with vibrant blue flowers, cleanliness and prolific flowering.

Gomphrena ‘Pinball Purple’

The Pinball series is available in three colors; Purple was used in many containers and mixed beds. It was mixed with zinnia ‘Profusion Yellow’ in beds, and the contrast was stunning. Pinball matures at 12 to 18 inches and presents a nice mounded habit with vibrant globe-shaped flowers.

Portulaca ‘Cupcake Yellow Chrome’
Dümmen Orange

The Cupcake series is available in five colors, but this vibrant yellow portulaca demands attention. The Dallas Arboretum used this variety in large sweeping beds, and the color was striking. It features excellent branching and is incredibly floriferous.

Are any of these plants in your spring/summer lineup this year? What are some of your top-selling summer survivors? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know.

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]


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