Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2023 New Flower Variety Survey! We received over 750 submissions on the 10 featured plants this year! Along with your likes and dislikes, we gathered lots of great questions about these varieties and I wanted to take a moment to answer some of them.
First, here’s a look at this year’s top 3 flowers:
Why native plants are not included in our new variety survey:
The plants in the survey are new introductions. A native plant is one that lives or grows naturally in a particular region without direct or indirect human intervention (USDA and US National Arboretum). Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, and therefore offer the most sustainable habitat. A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction. (The National Wildlife Federation).
Cultivated varieties, those in the survey, are bred to meet desirable characteristics that can include:
- Better growth habit
- Disease resistance
- Better yield
- Bloom size
Coleus Stained Glassworks Pineapple
Is coleus deer resistant?
Sadly, no. But deer repellents do work. Mark & I like the ones that contain egg solids.
Cuphea Sugar Bells
Is cuphea a perennial?
No, not here. Cuphea is a native of Mexico and Central America where it can enjoy warm temperatures year-round.
Lantana Luscious Royale Lemon Tart
What’s the difference between Lantana Luscious and Bandana? The main difference is the light lemon scent of Lantana Luscious Lemon Tart. Both lantanas are sterile, meaning the plants won’t set seed, so you’ll enjoy the beautiful blooms longer. I think that Bandana will mature at a taller height and spread, according to the dimensions given by suppliers.
If you’ve overwintered lantana in your house, by all means, plant it outside after the danger of frost.
Nemesia Aromance Mulberry
Will Adams carry these this year? Look for nemesia at Adams Fairacre Farms on April 7th when we’ll be featuring this new Proven Winner in that week’s flyer.
Is it a perennial? No. This native of South Africa won’t over winter here.
Petchoa Supercal Royal Red
How is the flower staying power, does it need deadheading? I have grown petchoas in containers and didn’t see the need for deadheading. Since I haven’t tried Royal Red, I checked with expert Mike Mitchell whose company is responsible for petchoa breeding. He said, “They don’t fade nor require deadheading. They spring back as fast as calibrachoa after a rain storm.”
A note about petunias, petchoas and million bells – If the plants become “straggly,” treat them to a “salon day.” Cut back – don’t be hesitant, as pruning encourages new growth. Your plant’s “conditioner” will be fertilizer, or plant food. Worth the short wait for a lush and gorgeous plant.
Sedum Little Missy
Will this work in our area’s hardiness zone? Most areas in Dutchess County are zones 5b to 6a. Tender perennials may thrive in a protected area in your yard. You can protect plants that are not hardy to your zone by mulching in November and removing the mulch when the forsythias bloom. Little Missy, with its variegated leaves, will add texture and interest to a container where it will trail over the side of the pot.
Tradescantia Zebra Rainbow
Is it time to retire its common name? I agree not to use the common name, but I was curious as to its origin, so looked it up; you can, too. Someone suggested “wandering dude,” and that’s a fun nickname. But I have a feeling the industry will prefer to just use the botanical name.
What’s the difference between Nanouk and Zebra? I had trouble with this one so I asked experts Mike Mitchell from Syngenta Flowers and Charlie Cole from Dummen Orange. “Nanouk is almost a succulent, whereas Zebra is more like the traditional wandering dude.”, said Mike. Charlie noted, “Both have similar foliage “feel” but the leaf stripes are much different. Nanouk might be slightly thicker, almost succulent-like, as Mike stated.”
Are these invasive?
Using wire vines in containers and baskets shouldn’t be a problem because we live in an area that has freezing temperatures. Wire vine can be invasive in warm climates with zones of 8a to 10b. According to a SAFage article from June 14, 2021, the Australian National Botanic Garden warned that the vine can become invasive under the right circumstances.