Jun 18, 2018
Spotlight on Spring TrialsBy Jasmina Dolce

Each spring, breeding companies and various industry suppliers come together in California to showcase their latest and greatest offerings for the upcoming season. There is so much to take in at the California Spring Trials, and we know it’s such a busy time for growers and retailers. So we compile notes, catalogs and thousands of photos to help you decide what to offer your customers.

While each year has its buzzwords and trends, one category that always has a major presence at the Spring Trials is landscape performance. No one wants a plant with high-maintenance requirements or a short garden life. Consumers demand plants that will bring them season-long success with minimal care.

The industry as a whole can’t afford to lose potential consumers. We can’t afford to risk a new gardener failing. So it is critical that garden centers offer varieties that will deliver visual appeal, disease resistance and strong garden performance.

So as we made our way down the coast in April, we made note of some of our favorite landscape performers. These beauties definitely deserve your consideration.

Begonia Tophat series
Syngenta Flowers

Tophat is a new interspecific begonia series that features gigantic flowers. They do well in sun or shade and are available in three colors. ‘Tophat White’ is the only white in this class.

Salvia ‘Vibe Ignition Fuchsia’
PlantHaven

Fuchsia is the latest addition to the Vibe Ignition series. It is a small-leafed variety with vibrant flowers on a compact plant for an outstanding show. As an added bonus, it is a pollinator magnet in the garden.

Coleus ‘Colorblaze Golden Dreams’
Proven Winners

This new coleus forms a robust mound of radiant yellow foliage with red veining. It is bred to bloom very late or not at all, extending garden performance into fall. Colorblaze performs well in both sun and shade.

Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Vigorous Orchid’
Sakata

Orchid is one of three new colors to the Vigorous collection of SunPatiens, which feature strong plant vigor and a robust growth habit. These fast-growing plants reach 18 to 34 inches tall and 16 to 24 inches wide.

Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Sunset’
Florist Holland

Garvinea gerbera offer sun-loving color, great weather tolerance and low maintenance. New to the series for 2018 is Sweet Sunset, which boasts stunning yellow and red bicolor flowers.

Hamelia ‘Lime Sizzler’
Plug Connection

‘Lime Sizzler’ is a heat-loving tropical shrub that presents striking color. It isn’t limited to Southern markets; in the North, it can be used as a summer annual for high-impact landscapes.

Did you attend the California Spring Trials? If so, which new introductions caught your eye? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina


Jasmina Dolce

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





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