PPA names 2024 Perennial Plant of the Year
The Perennial Plant Association has announced the 2024 Perennial Plant of the Year is phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’. ‘Jeana’ is an exceptional garden phlox reaching five feet tall and four feet wide, although size will geographically vary.
It is known for its impressive flowers, held on tall and sturdy stems from midsummer to early fall. Hummingbirds, butterflies – especially Eastern Tiger Swallowtails – and other pollinators are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers. It was discovered by Jeana Prewitt along the Harpeth River near Nashville, Tennessee.
Recent breeding in phlox paniculata focused on a shorter, retail-friendly series in a range of colors. This makes ‘Jeana’ a standout and as Paul Westervelt, annual and perennial production manager and head grower at Saunders Brothers has said, “If I want undistinguished moundy-poundy phlox paniculata meatballs in my landscape, I have lots of options. If I want a classy standout with squeaky clean foliage that attracts 10x the butterflies, I choose ‘Jeana’.”
PPA members voted phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ as the 2024 PPOY and find it makes an excellent bridging plant between early and later flowering perennials. It is also highly resistant to powdery mildew.