It’s fun trying out new plants in the garden. Here are 10 picks for spring 2016.
This coleus is on fire with eye-catching orange foliage that will set your garden ablaze with color. A low maintenance annual, it adds the “thrill” to containers. Stays vibrant in sun to shade, grows up to 36 inches tall and wide.
Want More? If orange is your color, try Campfire Fireburst bidens, a vigorous and heat tolerant summer annual with petals half yellow and half red-orange.
Encore Azalea Autumn Fire
The newest addition in the Encore reblooming collection, Autumn Fire is a true red azalea with velvety semi-double blooms and glossy, dark green foliage that deepens to a deep purple bronze in winter. Its compact size of 2½ feet wide by 3 feet tall means little pruning is required.
Want More? Azalea Double Shot Grape has repeat blooms of large, single fuchsia-colored flowers. Or try the Evermore collection of azaleas in orange, light pink and hot pink.
Fuchsia Glow Hydrangea
Huge, hot-pink mophead blossoms top this reblooming H. macrophylla from summer to fall. It’s a vigorous grower reaching up to 4-6 feet tall and wide. Great as an accent shrub or in mass plantings.
Want More? Invincibelle Spirit II is the second generation in this Hydrangea arborescens line, and features stronger stems, larger flowers and richer colors. One dollar of every sale goes to breast cancer research.
Hedgehog Japanese Plum Yew
A low growing spreading form of Cephalotaxus, Hedgehog has long, deep green, glossy needles. It can easily be pruned as an alternative to boxwood for use in low edging and borders. Plus, it’s deer resistant. The plant prefers partial shade. Grows 3-4 feet wide.
Want More? Evergreen lovers will enjoy Baby Jade boxwood, a compact grower that resembles a little green muffin.
Jazz Hands Variegated Loropetalum
The first ever variegated Loropetalum is perfect for southern climates; with beautiful pink flowers and new growth splashed with pink and white variegation followed by a rich purple color as it matures. No wonder it won a Retailer’s Choice award as a best new plant. Grows 4-6 feet tall in full sun to part shade.
Want More? The Purple Daydream Loropetalum arrives on the market in summer. It’s a compact grower (2-3 feet tall) with dark maroon foliage and is drought tolerant.
A first of its kind, Jolt is the most heat tolerant interspecific dianthus on the market: a great alternative to petunias and phlox. It comes in two stunning colors—the All-American Selections National Winner pink and a beautiful cherry. Grows in full sun.
Want More? Try the Fruit Punch series of dianthus with great heat and humidity tolerance.
Old Fashioned Smokebush
We love a plant that does double duty. This Cotinus can be a garden specimen shrub or trained as a small tree. A three-season stunner with purple flushed foliage in spring, blue-gray leaves in summer and pink, orange and red hues in fall. It’s deer resistant, too. Grows 6 feet tall by 5 feet wide in full sun.
Want More? The Pearl Glam beautyberry (Callicarpa) by NC State’s Tom Ranney has purple tinted leaves and lovely lavender berries.
The Poet’s Wife Rose
This David Austin intro for North America is a rich yellow English rose, its first yellow rose since Charles Darwin in 2003. It’s a tough and reliable garden performer with excellent disease resistance and a repeat-bloom. The fruity fragrance with hints of lemon is so divine it’s been added to Austin’s “Most Fragrant English Roses” list. Grows 4 feet by 3½ feet.
Want More? A white Drift groundcover rose joins the popular line this year. Its double blooms of bright white flowers cover the compact plant. The Smokin’ Hot hybrid tea, the Miss Congeniality grandiflora and the Pretty Lady old-fashioned rose are also new this year.
Loaded with flowers, this weigela is the strongest grower in its class. And to prove it, the plant was a Silver Medal winner at Plantarium (like the Oscars for plants.) The contrast of white flowers is striking against the dark foliage. Maroon Swoon has red blooms and green foliage. Grows 4-5 feet tall by 3-4 feet wide in full sun to part sun.
Want More? Like lovely spring flowers? Check out the Enchanted Forest collection of Pieris japonica.
Veronica Moody Blues
The compact, mounding nature of this Veronica series makes it perfect for containers or in mass plantings mixed in with other perennials. Known for its dependable repeat flowering on tall flower spikes, it comes in six colors—dark blue, light blue, sky blue, mauve, pink, and white.
Want More? The Veronica Magic Show series has a pure white ‘White Wands’ speedwell that is the same prolific bloomer as the original.
Eat Your Veggies
Fill up on edible options in your garden: the Little Miss Figgy dwarf fig at 4-6 feet tall can grow in a container; the Meatball eggplant has a density and texture suitable for a meat substitute; and Kale Storm is a kale salad mix that comes in easy-sowing seed pellets with three different varieties: purple, green and blue. Basil Dolce Fresca is an All America Vegetable Winner that has ornamental value, too.