New plants are beginning to arrive in local garden centers and gardeners are itching to see what’s new. Every year brings an exciting selection of new flowers and new variations on old favorites. Commercial growers are constantly working to produce plants that will provide maximum beauty with minimum care. Plants available this year promise longer-lasting floral displays, greater color variety and more robust foliage. In this year’s plant selections, gardeners will also be pleased to discover a wider variety of plants bred to be exceptionally heat- and drought-tolerant and disease- and pest-resistant, decreasing the need for watering, fertilizing and pesticide application. Less work for gardeners; kinder to the Earth.
When you start shopping for garden plants at your neighborhood garden center, you’ll want to keep an eye out for this summer’s most exciting new plants:
- The Blue Autumn Aster is a welcome addition to the hardy, fall-blooming aster family. A vivid violet-blue, the Blue Autumn aster will provide an electric counterpoint to the yellows, oranges and burgundies of fall chrysanthemums. Asters bloom from late summer to mid-fall and do best in full sun. Growing to a height of 20 to 24 inches, asters attract butterflies to the fall garden.
- The Stainless Steel Heuchera is a fascinating addition to the wonderfully-varied Coral Bells palette. The thick celery-green leaves of this low-growing foliage plant have an exotic silver sheen, providing a rich contrast to their regal eggplant purple undersides. Long stems tipped with creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers rise from the foliage in early May. For stunning contrast, pair Stainless Steel heuchera with dark maroon varieties.
- A new Agastache hybrid, commonly known as Giant Hyssop, features long spikes covered with sweet-smelling, rosy-pink flowers. Blooming from midsummer into fall, giant hyssops are shrub-like, growing to a height of 48 inches with a 24-inch width. Sun lovers, hyssops attract butterflies.