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The Greener View: More All-America Selections Flower Winners

Jeff Rugg on

Finding the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets, bedding plant tags or catalogs will help you find flowers and vegetables that will grow great in your garden. Last week, we discussed the three vegetable winners for 2024 and three of the flower winners. Today, we finish with five more flower winners.

The judges evaluate the plants all season long, not at the end of the season. The flowering plants are evaluated for desirable qualities such as novel flower forms, flower colors, flowers held above the leaves, fragrance, length of flowering season and disease or pest tolerances or resistance.

The first three species are long-time favorites. These new winners are more colorful and more disease resistant than ever before. If your garden has a lot of shade, you have probably been growing Impatiens. Solarscape XL Pink Jewel is a hybrid between species of Impatiens, so it will tolerate more sun than many in the genus and is more disease resistant to downy mildew. The plants grow about 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. It was judged to have grown well in both pots and flower beds.

If your garden has a lot of sun, then you have probably grown marigolds. Siam Gold only grows 18 inches tall, but the orange flower balls can be 4 inches across. These large flowers are held on top of the plant for the whole season. As one flower ball starts to fade, cut it off to make room for more. Marigolds are heat- and drought-tolerant, but don't abuse them. Give them enough water and they will reward you with color all summer.

Who hasn't grown petunias? They grow well for just about everyone except in full shade gardens. Sure Shot White is the ninth petunia in the Sure Shot group, which includes red, blue, pink and purple varieties. These petunias grow in a mound shape that works well in hanging baskets, flowerpots and garden beds. The plants are under a foot tall, and the 3-inch flowers don't need deadheading like many other petunias. You can mix the Sure Shot varieties in the same pot or flower bed as they are all similar in size, shape and flowering.

Verbenas are great low-growing flowers with delicate looking, ferny leaves that are tougher than they look. They grow in full sun and dry conditions, making them good for clay pots and flower beds near buildings. Sweetheart Kisses has vibrant red, pink and white flowers in small clusters covering the plant. The plants are only about a foot tall and the flower clusters only a little over an inch wide, but they make up for it by growing a lot of them.

 

Have you ever heard of a Petchoa? How about a Calibrachoa? A calibrachoa is a small, short-lived shrub native to the same South American areas as petunias. They are genetically different from petunias but close enough to allow hybrids. Some Calibrachoas are grown as flowering plants for hanging baskets. They look enough like petunias that you may have grown them without even knowing it.

Petchoas are hybrids of petunias and Calibrachoas. (See how they did that with the name?) They may be the best of both. They have the larger colorful flowers of the petunia and the nonsticky leaves of the calibrachoas. They are drought- and heat-tolerant like the Calibrachoa and cool weather-tolerant like the petunias. Flower colors range from yellow and orange to red and pink. The dead flowers don't stick to the leaves like petunias.

Enviva Pink is an excellent example of these new hybrids. It has bright pink 3-inch-wide flowers. The plants are a foot tall and 2 feet wide. They are great in hanging baskets and flowerbeds.

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Email questions to Jeff Rugg at info@greenerview.com. To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


Copyright 2024 Jeff Rugg. Distributed By Creators.

 

 

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