PDSI to exhibit award-winning plants at MANTS 2024
Plant Development Services (PDSI) announced it will display several award winning varieties at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) on Jan. 10-12, 2024. The nationally and internationally award-winning plants include those honored by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, All-America Selections, National Garden Bureau, and more.
“PDSI’s banner year can be attributed to a two-pronged development strategy, honed over twenty years, building strategic global partnerships with top growers and breeders, and maintaining a strong presence of brands in stores,” said Kip McConnell, business development director. “We choose and champion plants that exhibit unique coloration and thrive in the face of landscape challenges. We ensure their market success through strategic positioning, naming, and tactical promotion.”
Heather Rollins from Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center said, “From a retailer’s perspective, the familiarity and performance of brands such as Southern Living Plant Collection and Encore azalea are a consistent draw for our customers, but the attention for an individual plant that comes from recognition by an organization like RHS Chelsea Flower Show or the National Garden Bureau creates an additional layer of demand.”
This year’s “all-star” consumer releases include:
Aspidistra ‘Tokyo Skies’
Named a Garden Center Group Cultivate‘23 Retailer’s Choice Award winner, this classic cast-iron plant features expansive variegated leaves with irregular cream and white highlights. It offers stellar adaptability, requires minimal water once established, and provides visual interest in shaded areas. Tokyo Skies flourishes in Zones 8 to 10, reaching 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide at maturity. Available through Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Plant Collection.
Royal Hawaiian Colocasia ‘Waikiki’
A 2023 National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award and 2023 All-America Selections Ornamental Winner, this colocasia presents glossy green leaves with white and flamingo pink veining atop strong petioles. Ideal for Zones 8a to 11b, ‘Waikiki’ reaches 3 feet tall and wide at maturity. This release will be available in expanded distribution in 2024 through Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Plant Collection.
Encore Azalea ‘Autumn Moonstruck’
Hailed among Garden Gate Magazine’s Best New Plants of 2024, the newest addition to the Encore Azalea collection of reblooming azaleas offers three seasons of ethereal white semi-double blooms. Eye-catching chartreuse and emerald variegated foliage casts an enchanting spell year-round in this vibrantly hued selection. Autumn Moonstruck reaches 5 feet high by 4 feet wide when mature, and thrives in USDA Zones 7a to 10b. Available in 2024 through Encore Azalea.
Better Boxwood ‘Skylight’
A National Garden Bureau 2024 Green Thumb Award winner, the new Better Boxwood Collection represents a significant advancement in plant breeding, scientifically bred to resist boxwood blight. With its speedy growth and dense green foliage, the debut Skylight™ variety stands as the perfect option for gardeners seeking an attractive, resilient accent, ball, or hedge for Zone 5 to 9 gardens. Size at maturity is 6 to 8 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Available through Better Boxwood.
Butterfly Candy ‘Lil’ Raspberry’
Lauded as a KVBC Award winner, ‘Lil Raspberry’ is an compact and heat-tolerant butterfly bush that attracts abundant pollinators with ruby-hued blooms that rebloom from spring through fall. Ideal as an accent, container, mass planting or perennial border in Zones 5 to 10, Lil’ Raspberry matures to a convenient 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Available in 2024 through Butterfly Candy Buddleia.
Named 2023 Plant of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and 2024 National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award winner, Blackjack represents a unique color innovation with its jet-black buds that mature to saturated dark purple flowers. This variety is resilient to drought, blooms early, and thrives in Zones 8B to 11. Offering a semi-dwarf form, Blackjack reaches 14 to 20 inches tall by 14 to 16 inches wide when mature. Available through Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Plant Collection.
These all-star varieties can be found at PDSI’s MANTS booths 33-36.