Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Annuals: Losers & Winners

Early in the summer this verbena was beautiful

Yikes- this plant desperately needs deadheading but who has time for that?

Yes I get a lot of free plants. No, I don't like them all. Sometimes a promising plant early in the season like Lanai Twister Pink Verbena can win your heart and praise and then dash your dreams. From late May until late June this plant was a winner- full of blooms and praise from all who saw it (see top photo). In a straw poll, everyone from 8-90 loved this plant. That was then. This is now. In August, after I had been away for weeks I got back to my west coast garden and saw how ugly this duckling had become. In garden speak we say this plant is not self-cleaning. It keeps all its old dead flower buds so unless you are an attentive garden always willing to deadhead, it looks bedraggled mid-summer.

Just the opposite is true of the new Proven Winner's selection 'Superbells Double Ruby'. This new introduction has transformed from button to balloon size in a few months and is very self cleaning. I have been away and when I got back it was bigger and better than ever. The dark cherry double flowers are an amazing filler plant in a pot.  All I can say is "WOW" and tough luck for my American neighbour's who can't get this selection yet. Or maybe ever....

Superbells Double Ruby (at bottom) is only available in Canada! 

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