New Annuals For 2014
It’s official…spring has finally sprung! It sure seemed like a long time coming after this colder and snowier than normal winter.
Ahhh…but now we are into April, daylight is thankfully longer, and warmer days are becoming more common. I love to see more people out walking their dogs for greater distances, the fresh buds on the trees, children playing outside, and the birds busily building their nests. (though not in our dryer vent…thank you!)
I think most of us feel a touch of ‘cabin fever’ after the winter months. On the nice days of early spring take a walk around your yard and rediscover it. Pick up any debris you find, trim the shrubs (but not the spring-blooming ones) and begin thinking about what you’d like to plant once the soil warms up around mid-May.
The start of a growing season brings the anticipation of new flower introductions! Always something I look forward to since each year more hardy, disease resistant, and profuse bloomers arrive on the scene in a veritable kaleidoscope of colors. It seems every spring the growers come up with more descriptive, fun names for the new flowers.
Here Are Ten Exciting New Annuals For 2014:
Cha-Ching Cherry Petunia: The bright star pattern of ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ petunia makes this stunning annual a real treat for containers, window boxes, on porches, patios, and in garden beds. It’s a mounding variety that forms a tight clump of flowers so it won’t overtake any of its compadres planted in the same pot. This sun-lover is heat-resistant and blooms like crazy from spring until frost. Reaches 10-16 inches tall, 16-20 inches wide.
Catalina Grape-O-Licious Torenia: Brighten your shady spots in the landscape with a ‘Grape-O-Licious’ torenia. This pretty little charmer sports white tubular flowers with dark purple throats. Another nice feature…it’s deer and drought-resistant and blooms nonstop right up until frost. ‘Grape-O-Licious’ torenia is also an excellent alternative for impatiens in regions where downy mildew is a problem. Likes shade or partial shade. Size: 10-12 inches tall, 8-10 inches wide.
Sparks Will Fly Begonia: This is one gorgeous plant … develops standout dark bronze foliage and masses of bright tangerine flowers. It’s virtually foolproof, too. ‘Sparks Will Fly’ has almost no insect or disease problems and blooms like crazy throughout the summer. It makes a terrific container or bedding plant in any shady spot that could use a splash of color. Growing conditions: shade or partial shade. Reaches 15-18 inches tall and wide.
‘Fireworks’ Variegated Red Fountain Grass: From the Graceful Grasses collection, this versatile annual grass thrives in full sun. An upright specimen that would work great in containers, lining walkways, and in garden beds. Lovely mix of red and pink multicolored fronds will complement many different annual combinations…definitely a “thriller” to your “fillers” and “spillers”. Pink-toned flower plumes appear later in the season. Heat tolerant and requires no deadheading. Height: 24 – 30 Inches with a Spread: 18 – 24 Inches.
Superbells Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa: This prolific bloomer will wow you! ‘Pomegranate Punch’ calibrachoa from Proven Winners is a hardworking plant that develops extra large, velvety red blooms with black throats throughout the season. It does best in pots where the slightly trailing stems can spill over the edge. Calibrachoas are one of my annual favorites for container plantings. Superbells ‘Pomegranate Punch’ looks to be a great addition in an intriguing color. Loves the sun and only gets 6-10 inches tall and 12-24 inches wide.
Zahara Sunburst Zinnia: What a cheery color combo! If you enjoy making fresh-cut bouquets from your garden, be sure to grow ‘Zahara Sunburst’ zinnia. This beautiful new variety produces masses of bright yellow-and-orange blooms, each one slightly different from the next. The more you cut the flowers, the more they’ll produce. Best of all, this new zinnia is disease-resistant. Grows best in full sun and gets to 12-18 inches tall, and 12-18 inches wide.
Blue a Fuse Petunia: This Burpee knockout will simply electrify your garden with an eye-catching mixture of variegated violet, yellow, and white flowers. No two flowers are the same! Very interesting mix indeed. ‘Blue A Fuse’ is a mounding form of petunia that works well in beds, borders, or in container plantings. Likes full sun and only reaches 6-8 inches tall, and 8-12 inches wide. I’m looking forward to using this newbie in a container grouping!
White Knight Alyssum: A Lobularia hybrid with major ‘flower power’ magic. A fragrant and continuous bloomer for the garden. White Knight Alyssum exhibits fall interest and greater heat tolerance than other alyssums. Attracts bees and butterflies to your yard. Great for a bed border as it only gets 4 – 6 inches high. This beauty can trail up to 24 inches. Grow alyssum plants in full sun to partial sun and in a loamy, well-drained soil for best results.
Surdaisy Brachyscomb: You’ll be won over by the masses of happy pink flowers produced by ‘Surdaisy’ brachyscomb. These compact, mounding plants are ideal for containers and hanging baskets and bloom in pink, yellow, white and mauve. Each plant produces hundreds of self-cleaning flowers so the plants never look unkempt. Loves full sun. Grows 4-8 inches tall, 6-12 inches wide. Blooms continuously and noted for its weather resistancy.
Calliope Scarlet Fire: A revolutionary breakthrough in geranium breeding, this gorgeous plant brings the best features of ivy and zonal geraniums into one series. Extremely well-branched , vigorous mounding habit is ideal for baskets, large pots and landscape applications. Large semi-double flowers with a stunning scarlet red color. Blooms in full sun or part shade.