Archived Story

Plenty of new stuff this year [UPDATED]

Published 8:12am Monday, April 16, 2012 Updated 10:14am Monday, April 16, 2012

Every year, the nurseries and seed companies come out with new annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

Not all of them are worth the time and energy it takes to take them home, Often, a new release is a dud.

Remember endless Summer? Probably better named Endless Bummer. It did fairly well in Minneapolis where Bailey Nurseries developed it, but up here, it was pretty much a flop. It was much shorter and slow to bloom.

Keep that in mind if you must have the newest out.

If it is an expensive shrub or tree, give it two or three years of normal weather to see if it really does all it is purported to do.

That being said, here are the new offers for this summer.

Begoina ‘Odorosa”. This is a trailing begonia that has a pleasant scent.

It has bronze accented green leaves and will grow in full sun or full shade. It gets about 16 inches tall.

Osteospermum 3 D silver. This cape daisy is the first double one on the market. It comes in a color the breeder describes as silver, also pink and purple.

It does best in slightly acidic, well-drained soil and in full sun. The silly thing blooms all day and all night. It grows from 12 to 16 inches tall.

A new verbenea is Royale peachy Keen. How is that for an over the top name. She’s a tough one, blooming till the first frost. The blooms turn from a rich salmon to a blush pink. She needs little maintenance and heat doesn’t stop the blooms.

She is also a trailer, only six to ten inches tall.

There are a few new perennials for our zone too.

Strawberry Swirl Hibiscus, from Monrovia is one, a tall one, 42 to 48 inches tall and three feet wide.

It wants full sun. Each blossom is a foot wide swirl of pink and white petals with a dark ruby red throat.

If you have the room, this may be the wow. You were looking for in your flower garden.

A shade plant with the same accent potential is the new Bottle Rocket ligularia.

You are thinking, I don’t like that plant because it has all those naked stems. This cultivar solves that problem with a shorter stem, so the bright yellow flowers are just above the dense leaves. No more bare, ugly stems.

Of course there must be a new hosta. Appletini is the new baby hosta only getting six inches tall and at most, nine inches wide.

It will bring a splash of sun to a shady corner as it starts out as bright yellow maturing to light green in mid-summer.

If you don’t like the pale purple flower stalk, cut it off. Although, in a mixed bouquet, it looks very exotic.

A new shrub that looks like it will be a hit on slopes, rock gardens and hanging over a wall is a compact weeping white pine.

It was crowned conifer of the year in 2009. It was found as a sport of Pendula by Mike and Ken Yeager of Hickory Hollow Nursery.

They named it Niagara Falls because of its cascading habit and bluish-green needles.

The foliage is dense and the branches weep gracefully. It may turn yellow in very alkaline soils. It gets three to four feet tall five to six feet wide and long.

Local nurseries should have most if not all of these plants this spring as they like to keep up with the brightest and newest too.

It’s never too early for gardeners to be thinking what they will be planting this summer.

Heck, obsessive gardeners have probably have a stick stuck in the snow to mark where the new plants will go in May.


Bev Johnson is a master gardener for Otter Tail County.

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