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8 new plants to get excited about


It is always fun to check out new plants coming on the market. It’s not that new plants are necessarily better than old plants (although those bred to address downfalls certainly can be), but it’s just fun to see what is new and different. 

Here are some new plants I’m most excited to see this year.

Mandevilla Sun Parasol Giant White
National Garden Bureau photo

I am a fan of Mandevilla. I think it’s a great way to get a tropical plant look in my very non-tropical garden, but until now most of what we’ve seen as far as colors go has been pink or red (although last year, an apricot version was released). This one has large white flowers with white throats rather than the yellow throats seen on other colors. I think this would be stunning in a monochromatic container.

Ornamental Oregano Kirigami
Park Seed photo

Ornamental oreganos are such charming plants and surely ‘Kent Beauty’ is a favorite of mine, but it is not hardy in my area. Kirigami is very similar, but a touch more hardy. It should look fabulous in containers but I also love tucking ornamental oreganos in the front of the border. Park Seed has this available now

Invincibella Limetta hydrangea
Proven Winners photo

As an admitted Hydrangea fanatic, barely a year goes by that I don’t add a new hydrangea to my garden. It’s one of those plants that I will find a place for, no matter what. The holy grail, for me, is a blue hydrangea that will stay that way in my alkaline soil without intervention (which hasn’t been created yet), but after that my next favorite are lime green flowers. Limetta has that beautiful lime green that you find in Limelight and even the early flowers of Annabelle, and will change to white as it ages. It’s a dwarf size, which can be handy, and strong stems to hold those mophead flowers up. This is the hydrangea I’m most looking forward to seeing this year. 

Queeny Lime Orange zinnia
All-American Selections photo

Zinnias are hot, and clearly plant breeders think so too because so many great ones have been brought to market recently. I’d describe this one as gaudy in the best possible way. These colors have no business being together in the same flower but there they are and they aren’t apologizing to anyone. I plan to grow it and I hope it’s as pretty in person as it is in the photos. Available online from several sources.

Supertunia Hot Pink Charm
Proven Winners photo

Thank goodness for new petunias. Look how far this plant has come over the years. They come in almost every color and they are agreeable in both containers and the landscape. I’m particularly fond of Proven Winners’ Charm series, which have all the good characteristics of their full-sized Supertunias, but have smaller flowers that resemble Calibrachoa (known in the Proven Winners world as Superbells). Calibrachoas can be a touch temperamental and generally don’t do well in the landscape, so the charm series offers a bit more flexibility. Hot pink goes with everything in the garden. Trust me, it just does. 

Wabi-Sabi double file virburnum
Proven Winners photo

Viburnums haven’t always had my heart, but once I discovered them, I invited them without hesitation. And I particularly like Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum (aka doublefile). ‘Mariesii’, which I grow, is the big daddy of the these, but how many people have room for a shrub that can exceed 10 feet in height and width? Wabi-Sabi not only gets points from me for a fabulous name, but also because it’s small enough to tuck in just about anywhere in the garden, at just 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Mark my words, this one is coming to my garden. 

'Bathsheba' climbing rose
David Austin Roses photo

I’m a new convert to David Austin roses when it comes to growing, but I’ve been an admirer far longer. The rose company is only releasing three new roses in the U.S. market this year and my favorite of them is a multicolor climber called ‘Bathsheba’. The description says it comes off as apricot, but up close I expect it to be much more complicated. And of course, it is said to have wonderful fragrance. I think it’s safer to wait out new roses a bit unless you live in a perfect growing area for them because some seem to be more well suited to particular climates than others, even if they are hardy to zone 5 or lower. Let other gardeners do the testing and wait for the reports.


Senecio 'Angel Wings'

I wish I could find more information on this stunning plant that will up your foliage game like nothing else. If the photos are to be believed, its leaves are a true silver. Think of it as dusty miller on steroids. I can’t find a lot about drainage so I don’t know what the container combination options might be, but dusty miller is not difficult to please so perhaps that holds true for this plant as well. Grows about 10 inches tall and wide. I’d love to play around with this plant

What new plants are you hoping to add to your garden this year?


16 Responses

  1. I’m going to pick up some Kirigami seeds this year. I’m wondering how full do they get? How many plants would you say is in that photo of the hanging basket?

  2. I saw the Angel Wings plant at the Chicago Botanical Garden in July. I took a picture of the plant and the plant label. Possibly you could find information if you spoke to someone at the garden. I would love to have a plant for my garden

    1. The good news is that Angel Wings Senecio kind of took the plant world by storm a couple years ago and these days its pretty easy to find at most garden centers in spring. I grew several of them two summers ago and they did will in many places but were not happy being too crowded. Airflow seemed to be key.

  3. Fabulous group of plants. I’m head over heels with the Senecio but seems like it’s only offered across the pond. Thanks for sharing.

  4. SAVING THIS! Really excited for the new Limetta Hydrangea! The angel wings and climbing rose looks awesome too. Thanks for sharing, we’re almost there!

  5. Thank you for the inspiring new plants! I really emphasized with Kathy M. since I too have been subbing more flowering shrubs into my gardens and keeping only a few favorite perennials. Every year, it gets harder to get down to the ground to care for those and worse yet, harder to get up again! I’ve lived in many cold climates…….MN, CO, SD, and northern NY……… I know what you’re up against. Now I live in Portland, OR where I’m in plant heaven. Although I’m right in the city, I have a very large backyard. I too, have a gigantic mariesii that is a showstopper in Spring. But my true loves are clematis, hydrangeas and the smaller trees, most of which are scented. I’ve been following your blog, Erin, for quite awhile now and love the way you push the envelope of cold hardiness and are so willing to try new ideas. Your place looks sensational! Susie G

    1. I’m “head over heels” just viewing the gorgeous Senecio…what a stunner! Thanks for your great ideas, information and expertise! Love your site!
      Char Butler

  6. Definitely will be looking at the new Hydrangeas and Viburnums. I have found as I get older I find myself adding more shrubs to my properry This helps cut down on work, provides structure in the gardens and in many cases gives me flowers to cut for bouquets. This spring I would also like to add a few evergreens for winter interest. Yesterday was very springlike here and spent the day pruning,raking,and removing dead perennial growth left from last year. I must say my old bones feel it this morning!

    1. I agree about adding more shrubs! I’m hoping to develop and entire shrub border over the next couple years. With so many new varieties coming on the market in every size it should be fun to work on. I wish there were some new evergreen offerings to talk about. That first day in the garden does remind you the next day that’s it’s been awhile, doesn’t it? Glad you had a chance to get out there though!

  7. I am going to be buying some carex for my garden. I have a strip of a bed that I am going to put into zinnias, tithonia etc etc for some smashing color. I feel color starved right now. I might try this silver plant you have shown. It is very unusual. I like to have a plant or two of unusual.

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