New annuals will get you excited about 2019
Every year promises new annuals for gardens and containers, and there are several this year that are making my green thumbs itch while I wait impatiently for spring.
Calibrachoa Superbells Doublette Love Swept
My containers wouldn't be complete without million bells spilling over their edges. Their mini petunia-like flowers -- in just about any color imaginable -- blanket trailing stems without a break in blooming from spring to fall. Want more? They don't need deadheading!
This year, I can't wait to fall in love with Calibrachoa Superbells Doublette Love Swept. Lots of hot pink petals -- each one tipped in white -- swirl out from the center of each flower. Plants grow up to 10 inches tall and 18 inches wide.
Grow million bells in part to full sun in well-drained soil. Damp soil is not tolerated and often results in root rot. Trimming plants slightly when planting will encourage branching so plants will produce even more flowers. Fertilize regularly with a balanced fertilizer.
Coleus Colorblaze Golden Dreams
I am a sucker for coleus. Their lush foliage adds texture to containers and is easily coordinated with neighboring blooms. They are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Colorblaze Golden Dreams shows off bright golden leaves with burgundy red veins. I can imagine it planted with a wine red-foliaged selection like Coleus Redhead, a red-flowering canna and bright yellow marigolds.
Colorblaze Golden Dreams grows quickly up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide in both sun and shade, although most vivid coloring will occur in brighter light. It has also been bred for delayed bloom, so there won't be as many flowers to pinch.
Euphorbia Diamond Mountain
It seems a lot of folks are craving all that is small -- dwarf shrubs, more compact perennials, and shorter than short annuals. I adore a new mini hydrangea as much as the next gardener, but I also embrace a "go big or go home" philosophy when it comes to plants. Euphorbia Diamond Mountain is a larger version of the popular Diamond Frost. It grows up to 3 feet tall, boasting clouds of tiny white flowers all summer and into fall.
I plan to plant it with dahlias and zinnias in the garden where all their blooms can mingle together into living, season-long floral arrangements. Euphorbia Diamond Mountain is tough and adaptable, growing in sun to part shade and handling both heat and drought.
Impatiens Imara XDR Series
If these new impatiens live up to their promise, our shade gardens will be back in full color again. Several years ago, when downy mildew wiped out the carpets of color (created by plantings of Impatiens wallerianna), we looked for alternatives, but nothing could quite measure up. The Imara XDR series has been trialed in North America and Europe and is showing remarkable resistance to downy mildew.
They are available in seven colors -- red, rose, violet, white, orange, orange star and a mix of colors -- each growing 12 inches tall. I will be searching for Imara XDR Violet to trial in my own garden.
Nasturtium Baby Rose
I like Nasturtium Baby Rose for several reasons. First, its compact, mounding form will fit in between vegetable plants growing in containers on my deck, adding color to utilitarian plantings. (And their flowers and foliage are edible, too.) Next, I love the rosy color of its sweet and sassy flowers, not often found in nasturtiums. Finally, like all nasturtiums, they are easy to grow from seed, making it a very economical choice for filling the garden and containers.
Apparently, I am not the only one who likes this one. Nasturtium Baby Rose was named a 2019 AAS Flower Winner.
I am thankful for plant breeders that produce new plants for gardeners to think about on cold winter days. These are just five of the new annuals I will be searching seed catalogs or garden center benches for this spring.
• Diana Stoll is a horticulturist, garden writer and speaker. She blogs at gardenwithdiana.com.