My Top Five New Plants For 2022
I always find it exciting to google and study the new year annual and perennial plant introductions. New plant introductions do not appear overnight. They are a result of years of breeding work and trialing in gardening zones all over America and other parts of the world before they are deemed worthy to be offered on the retail market. Plant breeders and propagators such as Proven Winners, Ball Seed, Dummen Orange and others are constantly looking for plants that match their rigid criteria. For example, new annual and perennial plants must have exceptional bloom color, a long season of bloom, leaf color /texture interest and must show excellent disease resistance and hardiness. They screen plants for performance under various world climates. Annuals and perennials must perform well in cool dry areas as well as hot and humid conditions.
Once trailed in their private gardens in various parts of the world, plant breeders turn over their picks to select public gardens and universities for further testing. This of course takes time. Not all plants survive the trials and are rejected. You can be assured that the new plant introductions each year are the best of the best!
Schizachyrium scoparium ‘MinnBlueA’ A cultivar of Schizachyrium scoparium – Photo courtesy of Hoffman Nursery – Shannon Currey
The Perennial Plant of the Year for 2022 ...
....as chosen by the Perennial Plant Association is Little Blue Stem Grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) and its cultivars. A cultivar is a “plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding” (Definition by Oxford Languages).
This grass is native to most of the United States and parts of Canada. Most of the cultivars are hardy to zone 3 and a few have leaf color in summer that intensifies in fall. These plants are easy care, not fussy and love a full sun location. They do well in poor soil and have low water needs once established. A bonus is that they are relatively disease and insect free. They are excellent grasses for a xeriscape garden or a mass planting on a hot, dry hillside. The different texture of this grass contrasts well with succulents or more coarse leafed perennials in the landscape. You can even use them in containers with plants that enjoy the same growing conditions.
To follow are my Top 5 Favorite Plants for 2022.
However, I do reserve the right to change my mind or add to this list at any time!
Photo courtesy of Proven Winners
Supertunia Vista Jazzberry (Proven Winners) Annual
Jazzberry is the newest addition to the Supertunia Vista series. If you have ever grown Supertunia Vista Bubblegum, you know the flower power of this series of annuals. I am anxious to try this new one out as I always grow Bubblegum and have never been disappointed. The Vista series are large mounding and spreading plants. They really are mostly flowers as you will not be able to see the leaves once the flowering begins. The blooms will not stop until the first hard frost and do not require deadheading. These supertunias are heat and drought tolerant once established.
Jazzberry will reach a height of 12 inches with a 2-3 ft. spread. If used in a large hanging basket it can trail up to 36 inches! Use in the landscape in a mass planting or on the edges of very large mixed planters.
Incorporate a slow release all purpose fertilizer into the soil at time of planting. Fertilize once again around the beginning of July with a half-strength application of 20-20-20. In a mixed container or hanging basket they are heavy feeders. Feed with a half-strength application of 20-20-20 once a month during the growing season.
Jazzberry will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Bonus: Other Supertunia vista cultivars – Snowdrift (white), Paradise (coral), Silverberry, (Very light pink with dark pink rays out from the center) and Fuchsia.
Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
Persian Ruby Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Persian Ruby’) Proven Winners-Perennial - Zone 3-9
The intense purplish red flower color of this large daylily is certainly eye-catching. That and the size of the flowers themselves – 6-8 inches across. The Persian Ruby has a high bud count and begins to flower in mid July. The plant itself will reach a mature height of 76 cm. with an 46-61 cm. spread. Plant it in a Full Sun to Part Sun location.
Plant a few of these daylilies together as they will make more of an impact. Use in border beds, large containers, and mass plantings. Soil type is not a problem as the Persian Ruby can survive in poor soils which are slightly acidic up to neutral and slightly alkaline. They are drought tolerant once established.
Bonus: Attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Rabbit resistant.
Feed your Persian Ruby once a month during the growing season with an all- purpose perennial fertilizer. After the first hard frost in fall, trim the dead leaves back to 2 inches above the ground.
Photo courtesy of Proven Winners
Hosta Shadowland ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ Perennial Zone 3-9
I think this is one of the most beautiful hostas ever and it is hardy to our zone! As you can see, the heart-shaped horizontal leaves have a creamy white margin, and the leaf edges are ruffled right to the tips. This is a large hosta with a height of 57 cm. and a spread of 1.2 meters. The scape or flower stem height is 61 to 81 cm., and the pale lavender white flowers appear in midsummer. Fertilize in early spring with a half strength application of 20-20-20.
Excellent plant for part shade to shady locations.
Bonus: Attracts hummingbirds.
Photo courtesy of PanAmerican Seed Co.
Dianthus ‘Jolt Purple’ Dianthus x barbatus ‘Jolt Purple’ Annual Pan American Seed
The shocking purple color of the flowers can be seen for miles. Wow!! A typical dianthus in that it loves the sun and continues to flower all summer long into the fall.
This plant has an upright, well branched growth habit. Plant in rich peat-based soil with good drainage. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Extremely heat tolerant and fertilize every two weeks with an all -purpose flowering plant fertilizer in spring and summer.
Height: 41-51 cm.
Width: 30-36 cm.
Bonus: Deer resistant. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Few disease issues.
Photo courtesy of Dummen Orange
Begonia I’Conia Scentiment ‘Peachy Keen’ (Begonia x hybrida) Dummen Orange
A scented begonia is finally here from Dummen Orange! It has a noticeable, exceptional fragrance. Just the plant for a front door planter!
A beautiful yellow, cream and peach tuberous begonia with large frilly two-toned double flowers that smother the plant.
Use this begonia in patio planters, containers and hanging baskets. Place in a shady to part shade location; preferably morning sun only.
Height: 30-40 cm.
Spread: 30-40 cm.
Peachy Keen has a tight, compact mounding habit and blooms continuously from spring to fall. Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season with a half-strength application of 20-20-20 or an all-purpose flowering plant fertilizer. Deadhead as needed.
Keep the soil evenly moist, but not saturated.
Bonus: Little or no shedding of flowers.
Hosta Shadowland ‘Miss America’ - Perennial
Hosta ‘Dancing With Dragons’ - Perennial
Hosta ‘Drop-Dead Gorgeous’ - Perennial
Coleus ‘Spitfire’ - Annual
Salvia ‘Unplugged Pink’ - Annual
My plant choices may or may not reflect plant varieties offered by Floral Acres in Spring 2022.
Watch this space and I’ll let you know!
Salvia Unplugged Pink – Photo courtesy of Proven Winners