January 2018
Get Your Shelves Ready By Abby (Kleckler) McGarry

With hundreds of new or improved varieties each year, we’ve narrowed it down to 30 that might be just what you need to spice up your offerings.

1. Lupine

Lupine is known for massive, eye-catching flower spikes. Traditionally, it’s a mid-spring flower flush followed by nothing till next season. The lupine Staircase series (pictured above) responds remarkably well to this problem by being the first lupine to repeat flower. They also don’t require cool winters or specific number of day-length hours to bloom, so all areas of the country are able to enjoy this Zone 4 perennial.
Green Fuse Botanicals — www.green-fuse.com

2. Lilac

First Editions ‘Virtual Violet’ lilac boasts shiny violet new leaves, deep purple stems, raspberry-purple buds and fragrant violet flowers. Leaf petioles remain violet well into the summer. The dense, upright habit makes it a great choice for a hedge or use in foundation plantings.
Bailey Nurseries — www.firsteditionsplants.com

3. Begonia

With masses of vibrant flowers that persist season-long, the I’Conia line of begonias are an exciting retail choice for the 2018 season. Featuring dark, clean foliage and strong branching, these new begonias feature a neatly mounded, compact habit. Ideal for high-traffic showcase containers, ‘I’Conia Miss Malibu’ and ‘I’Conia Miss Montreal’ represent the future of begonia breeding with shade to part-sun tolerance, excellent flower power and unbeatable consumer performance.
Dümmen Orange — www.dummenorange.com

4. Pepper

Sweet snack pepper, ‘Candy Cane Red’, has variegated foliage and striped fruit that will stand out in the garden and on your plate. Its elongated bell-shaped fruit ripens from green and white stripes to solid red. Thin walls and crispy texture make it perfect for eating at any stage. Grows well in containers. Matures green in 40 to 45 days, and ripens to red in 60 to 65 days.
HandPicked Vegetables — www.panamseed.com

5. Portulaca

Portulaca Pazazz Nano series has a compact, mounding habit with big flowers. Bred for controlled growth, it doesn’t need plant regulators to be successful. The flowers open early in the morning, creating a beautiful ball of color well into the evening. It’s known for having great weather tolerance, vibrant flowers and proven garden performance. There are four colors in the series: Orange, Fuchsia, Hot Pink and Yellow.
Danziger — www.danziger.co.il

6. Sunflower

Unlike the current single stem sunflowers on the market that flower once and die, this sunflower, Sunfinity, provides incredible value by producing multiple flowers per plant and season-long flowering in gardens. These plants will grow to garden heights of 36 to 48 inches that stay healthy and last longer with the ability to quickly fill large garden spaces.
Syngenta Flowers — www.syngentaflowers-us.com

7. Blueberry

‘Perpetua’ produces two crops of delicious blueberries. The first fruit will appear in mid-summer and then the plant will flower and set fruit a second time in the fall. The dark green leaves turn to deep red in the winter, making it a beautiful yearlong addition to any landscape.
Bushel & Berry — www.bushelandberry.com

8. Miscanthus

‘Bandwidth’ is a Japanese Silver Grass short in stature but big on performance. This tough ornamental grass is an eye-catcher in the landscape but also fills large containers. Each blade has striping that is rust resistant. Its upright habit stays manageable at less than 3 feet high and wide. Bred by North Carolina State University, it’s also certified infertile. A low-maintenance dream, it’s drought tolerant and deer and rabbit resistant.
Darwin Perennials — www.darwinperennials.com

9. Senecio

Senecio ‘Crushed Velvet’ is the largest dusty miller ever developed with plants up to 24 to 30 inches tall with massive silver-white leaves. It’s wonderful as a thriller for pots or an interesting addition to landscape beds. Thrives in full sun.
Hort Couture — www.hortcoutureplants.com

10. Asiatic Lilies

Flamingo Holland’s four new, exclusive colors of asiatic lilies are: Watermelon Punch, Raspberry Blast (shown), Pink Blossom and Strawberry Fields. This collection has compact plant habits with lovely bicolor blossoms. Similar in habit and height to the popular Matrix line, the plants will flower in approximately 63 days. They provide an impressive display of color at the retail site.
Flamingo Holland — www.flamingoholland.com

11. Pansy

Freefall XL is the best trailing pansy performer for higher-heat Southern markets, and the abundance of flower makes it a fantastic option for cold, high rain and wind areas. It boasts short internodes and full coverage all over the plant, which makes for easy, clean production, while maintaining a tidy but full habit. The first of the expanding series are: Azure Blue, Purple Face, Bright Yellow and Redwing.
Floranova — www.floranova.com

12. Anemone

Harmony Double is the best choice for many gardeners worldwide. Tidy plants are topped with unique double flowers making for loads of color. Plus, ‘Harmony Double Blue’ provides true blue color. Outstanding in the garden or containers. Available in three pure colors — Blue, Scarlet and White — and a mix.
Sakata — www.sakata.com

13. Gerbera

‘Garvinea Sweet Love’ is not just a summer fling. This hot new item has long-lasting passion and is not high maintenance. The intense red Sweet Love flowers abundantly from early spring to frost and can handle all types of weather conditions. Due to its hardiness and resistance to pests and diseases, it is a true carefree garden performer.
Florist Holland — www.floristholland.com

14. Chrysanthemum

‘Zaza Purple’ is new from Gediflora in 2018. It’s a striking dark purple, fully decorative variety for mid-September sales. Zaza has medium size blooms arranged in a perfectly rounded ball. It has excellent color retention and shelf life making it the absolute favorite from fall flower trials this year.
Gediflora — www.gediflora.com

15. Hibiscus

Hollywood Hibiscus are famous for multi-day lasting blooms, naturally compact growth habits, bacterial leaf spot resistant foliage, and phenomenal bud/bloom counts, and ‘Gold Digger’ is no exception. An ostentatiously orange cultivar boasts flowers larger than an outstretched hand. ‘Gold Digger’ is perfect for container gardening, allowing consumers to bring a tropical vibe to their outdoor living rooms.
J. Berry Nursery — www.jberrynursery.com

16. Heucherella

Heucherella ‘Plum Cascade’, a new addition to the Cascade series, is the first purple heucherella. It boasts a beautiful trailing habit and lobed, purple-silver leaves. Small, light-pink flowers appear on short stems all summer. It offers elegant, excellent vigor. Landscape applications include mass plantings, borders, mixed beds, containers and as an accent.
Terra Nova Nurseries — www.terranovanurseries.com

17. Rose

‘At Last’ combines the romance of a fragrant, fully petaled tea rose with the no-nonsense practicality of a disease-resistance landscape rose. This one-of-a-kind variety puts on a nonstop display of large, sweetly perfumed sunset-orange blossoms from late spring through frost. Handsome, glossy foliage and a vigorous, rounded 3-foot habit. USDA Zone 5.
Spring Meadow Nursery — www.provenwinners.com

18. Cyclamen

Super Serie Petticoat is a cyclamen with a unique flower. It is reminiscent of a billowing skirt, so it certainly stands out among the familiar cyclamen. This spectacular cyclamen works very well in hanging baskets; you can easily see how beautiful the flower is. This surprising jewel is available in six colors: Dark Violet, Light with Eye, Neon Pink, Pure White, Dark Salmon Pink and Wine Red.
Schoneveld Breeding — www.cyclamen-petticoat.com

19. Pentas

The new Lucky Star series of pentas features vibrantly colored blooms on lush, full-looking plants. Perfect for combinations, containers or landscapes. Lucky Star reblooms fast, so you enjoy a consistent color show all season. This is an easy-care flower with high durability. It has a tidy compact habit that looks great with virtually no effort. It also attracts butterflies to your pollinator garden. Available in six colors in 2018.
PanAmerican Seed — www.panamseed.com

20. Geranium

Geranium ‘BloomTime’ is a stunning new hardy perennial that has a vigorous, mounding habit with beautiful foliage that is covered nonstop with large, bright lilac-pink flowers with bright eye zones from May to November. Great in perennial borders, but equally good in containers and hanging baskets. Full sun to partial shade exposure recommended; water and fertilize regularly during the growing season.
Cultivaris — www.cultivaris.com

21. Calocephalus

Virtually unknown in the U.S., calocephalus is a favorite at the Aalsmeer flower auction because it is so versatile. Calocephalus ‘Bed Head’ from seed looks like barbed-wire, but is soft, flexible and oh-so-touchable; that’s why we called it ‘Bed Head’. Its silvery foliage makes eye-catching mixed containers, beds or borders.
Benary — www.benary.com

22. Monarda

Bees love them. Growers love them. Monarda ‘Bee-You Bee-Happy’ bee balms are mildew-free, covered in flowers, the perfect size and available in colors to bring any outdoor space to life with color and pollinators. If you love deep red flowers, you will love Bee-Happy. It’s the perfect size and the perfect plant for summer borders.
Plants Nouveau — www.plantsnouveau.com

23. Begonia

The vibrant single and double flowers on begonia Chloe are eye catchers, and garden performance was outstanding in trials. Chloe is great for both indoors and outdoors, all across the world. It is a perfect edition to begonia Evi, which is always the last (wo)man standing.
Beekenkamp — www.beekenkamp.nl

24. Clematis

The award winning ‘Taiga’ clematis debuts in the U.S. in 2018. Its flowers are one of a kind; like a piece of art it has abundant bright blue-purple flowers, which change shape and color with the seasons. Use individually in the landscape, containers or in combination plantings.
Concept Plants — www.conceptplants.com

25. Pepper

Unleash your inner gourmet with ‘Dragon Roll’ shishito pepper from Burpee. Gardeners will find themselves on a culinary adventure — popular shishito peppers are on menus and in farmers’ markets across the country. ‘Dragon Roll’ tops out at about 200 Scovilles, making it milder than a jalapeño pepper, but one in 10 peppers lets you know you’ve got some heat.
Burpee — www.burpeehomegardens.com

26. Hypoestes

The Hippo series hypoestes is a group of supersized, vegetative varieties. They’re big, bushy and won’t bolt into flower soon after planting. These varieties were selected against flowering/seed set and have an upright habit, suitable for use as a thriller or filler in containers and landscapes. Use them like you would a coleus. Polka dot plants will grow in any amount of sunlight, surviving heat and humidity.
Proven Winners — www.provenwinners.com

27. Ipomoea

The first-ever self-climbing sweet potato vine, SolarTower climbs very quickly and fills a trellis in a matter of weeks. Ideally use for vertical gardens, trellis, topiary and more to create a living wall or spire. It also makes a great “thriller” in a mixed container. It’s easy to maintain and doesn’t require any trimming or training to climb. Available in Black and Lime for 2018 sales.
Ball FloraPlant — www.ballfloraplant.com

28. Dianthus

Dianthus ‘Rockin’ Red’ is an interspecific barbatus-type dianthus that offers a dynamite red color for a perennial border. It is a durable performer and has count-on-it overwintering qualities from USDA Zones 5a-8b. ‘Rockin’ Red’ features lacy, slightly scented flowers that top full- and long-lasting plants. It blooms reliably in early spring through the late-fall.
Kieft Seed — www.kieftseed.com

29. Petunia

This petunia series is an excellent choice for hanging baskets or patio containers. It has great vigor and distinctive blooms in plenty of fashionable colors, patterns, swirls and stars. The mounded habit boasts large-size flowers and easy-to-maintain garden performance. New colors for 2018 include Pink Sky (shown), Blueberry Swirl and Lipstick.
Selecta One — www.selectanorthamerica.com

30. Argyranthemum

Turn up the flower power and impulse sales with showy Grandessa intergeneric hybrid argyranthemums. Vigorous plants produce larger flowers in an outstanding color range. Perfect for premium patio pots and stunning in landscapes. Colors include Pink Halo, Yellow, Red and White. Ideal timing is Easter and Mother’s Day sales.
Suntory Flowers — www.suntorycollection.com

Abby (Kleckler) McGarry

Abby (Kleckler) McGarry is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].