New plant varieties for 2011

New varieties of perennials, shrubs, trees and hybrids to take note of in 2011.

Credit: Tried & True


Double Blueberry Shake’ bacopa

Tried & True introduces the delicious ‘Double Blueberry Shake’ bacopa (Sutera). This tender perennial (usually grown as an annual) blooms early and is an excellent choice for hanging baskets, mixed plantings or flowerbeds – and it’s a trouper when faced with extreme heat. 

Special Features: 
• Delicate-looking double flowers, trailing habit
• Plant type: Tender perennial
• Flower colour: Light blue
• Growth rate: Fast
• Length: 25 cm (10 in.) or more
• Bloom time: All summer until first frost
• Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
• Maintenance: Keep soil moist to avoid causing the flowers to drop, and fertilize regularly with a high-nitrogen plant food.

Photo Credit: Veseys

Firestorm Hardy ‘Firecracker’ Mum

Veseys charms this year with bold-coloured Firestorm Hardy ‘Firecracker’ Mum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium), which blooms late in the season. Large blooms and fluted petals are characteristic to mums, but it’s the abundance of deep colour that ensures these blooms dazzle from afar.

Special features:

• Late bloomers
• Plant type: Perennial
• Flower colour: Crimson red with glowing yellow centres
• Growth rate: Medium
• Height: 45-75 cm (18 to 30 in.)
• Bloom time: September through fall
• Zone: 3
• Exposure: Full sun is preferred but will do well in mild shade
• Maintenance: Allow soil to dry between waterings and fertilize every two weeks.

Photo Credit: Ball Horticultural Company

Petunia ‘Phantom’

Ball Horticultural Company captures the allure of black with the dramatic Petunia ‘Phantom’ (Petunia × hybrida). A touch of darkness offsets a lovely yellow star pattern that melts into a deep purple before turning into a black base. This is the perfect flower to add sophisticated yet unanticipated elegance to patio containers and mixed plantings.

Special features:

Dramatic flowers from late spring until frost
• Plant type: Annual
• Flower colour: Black base with a yellow star pattern
• Growth rate: Fast
• Height: 20-30 cm (8 to 12 in.)
• Bloom time: Spring through fall
• Exposure: Sun
• Maintenance: Best if fertilized regularly or with a slow-release granular fertilizer. Allow soil to dry between waterings. Remove faded flowers to keep plants tidy. 

Photo Credit: Clearview Horticulture

Clematis ‘Fragrant Star’

Clearview Horticulture presents the latest in its Vancouver Series. Clematis ‘Fragrant Star’ is a cross between C. ‘Capitane Thuilleaux’ and C. ‘Blue Ravine’, a soft-violet-coloured introduction from the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden’s Plant Introduction Scheme. Unique to a large-flowered clematis is this climber’s subtle vanilla fragrance, which emanates from its white flowers.

Special features:
• Fragrant violet flowers
• Plant type: Climber
• Flower colour: White star-shaped flowers with striking red-tipped stamens
• Height: 1.8-2.4 m (6-8 ft.)
• Bloom time: Late spring on previous year’s wood and again in early autumn on the current season’s growth
• Zone: 4
• Exposure: Sun, part shade, shade container • Maintenance: Pruning group B1.

Photo Credit: Proven Winners

‘Blackberry Punch’ Calibrachoa hybrid

Calibrachoa hybrids have been immensely popular over the past decade. Related to petunias, they have smaller flowers that cover the plant. superbells® ‘Blackberry Punch’ Calibrachoa hybrid from Proven Winners expands the colour range of this sun-loving trailer to two-tone purple. Calibrachoa hybrids are easy to grow and don’t need to be deadheaded like their larger cousins. Hummingbirds like them too!

Special features:
• Gorgeous purple flowers, tolerant of sun and poor soil
• Plant type: Annual
• Flower colour: Dark-purple edged with vibrant magenta
• Growth rate: Medium • Height: Spreads 30-45 cm (12 to 18 in.)
• Bloom time: Spring until first light frost
• Exposure: Full sun a must
• Maintenance: Avoid overwatering and fertilize once a month.

Photo Credit: Bailey Nurseries

Tickled pink hydrangea

Paniculata hydrangeas are noted for their large, dome-shaped flower clusters. They are hardy, easy-to-grow shrubs that thrive in full sun. Bailey Nurseries introduces tickled pink™ [first editions®] Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘hypmad ii’), which is related to popular “peegee” hydrangeas. It is a compact grower with panicles that open white and fade to pink. Many of the petals recurve, giving the inflorescence a lacy appearance. 

Special features:
• Full blooms with petals that curve
• Plant type: Hardy deciduous shrub
• Flower colour: Soft-white blossoms that gradually turn rosy pink
• Growth rate: Moderate
• Height: 1-1.5 m (4 to 5 ft.)
• Bloom time: Late summer
• Zone: 4
• Exposure: Full sun
• Maintenance: Easy to grow; drought tolerant once established.

Photo Credit: Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd.

‘Magic Star’ Double Oriental Lily

Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd. introduces the surprisingly fragrant and pollen-free ‘Magic Star’ Double Oriental Lily (Lilium hybrid).

Special features:
• Pollen-free and fragrant
• Plant type: Perennial
• Flower colour: Light-pink leaves with red stripes
• Growth rate: Bulbs may take 2 to 3 years to show their full bloom size and height
• Height: 90 cm (36 in.)
• Bloom time: Late summer
• Zone: 3
• Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
• Maintenance: Disbud the blooms after the petals have dropped. Hold off on trimming the stalks to ground level until the fall. 

Photo Credit: Nordic Nurseries

Dianthus hybrida

The unique “bearded” flowers of Dianthus hybrida from Nordic Nurseries are sure to liven up mixed containers. 

Special features:
• Very free flowering
• Plant type: Perennial
• Flower colour: Pink, white and mauve
• Growth rate: Relatively fast
• Height: 30-35 cm (12-14 in.)
• Bloom time: May until mid-October
• Zone: Hardy to 0°C (32°F)
• Exposure: Full or partial sun • Maintenance: Best grown when cool, with normal fertility and water requirements. Deadhead occasionally.

Photo Credit: Dominion Seed House

Blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’

Blueberries are all the rage and breeders are coming up with some unusual cultivars. Like all blueberries, Blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’ (Vaccinium corymbosum) is a handsome ornamental and it produces delicious fruit. But this cultivar at Dominion Seed House stands out in a crowd! It has pink (rather than white) flowers and its blueberries are also pink – does that make it a “pinkberry”? Give ‘Pink Lemonade’ moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, and by its third growing season it will be bearing plenty of fruit. 

Special features:
• Pink flowers, edible fruit, fall colour, reddish-brown winter twigs.
• Plant type: Hardy deciduous shrub
• Flower colour: Pinkish flowers in the spring and bright-pink fruits
• Growth rate: Moderate
• Height: 150-160 cm (59-36 in.)
• Bloom time: Spring
• Zone: 4
• Exposure: Sun
• Maintenance: Self-pollinated shrub. Plant two different varieties for better pollination and fruit set. Provide soil rich in organic matter, rhododendron fertilizer and plenty of water in summer. 

Photo Credit: West Coast Seeds

Nira Organic Garlic Chives

Certified organic, Nira Organic Garlic Chives (A. tuberosum) are a new introduction at West Coast Seeds. Known in Chinese as “gow choi”, this flat-leaf variety of chives has a unique twist of garlic flavour. An excellent addition to salads, vegetables, baked potatoes and stir-fry recipes. 

Special features:

• Dual flavour
• Plant type: Perennial
• Flower colour: White
• Growth rate: Fast
• Height: Can be cut down to 4 cm (1.5 in.) from the ground with scissors
• Bloom time: Cool season
• Zone: 3
• Exposure: Sun to part shade
• Maintenance: Seeds require heat to sprout, so wait until the soil is warm and sow small slumps of seeds where they are to grow. Or planting the seed inside will help germination. Using the chives as an edging, set transplants 15 cm (6 in.) apart in the garden. 

Photo Credit: Monrovia Nursery

‘Angel Red’ Pomegranate

For those of you who like to try something new, check out this new cultivar of pomegranate that is said to bear fruit even in zone-7 gardens. ‘Angel Red’ Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a new cultivar from Monrovia nursery that produces soft-seeded, large, bright-red fruit in early September. Give it a protected location for winter and plenty of heat in summer. Even if the fruit doesn’t ripen (fall temperatures must be 13-15°C (55 to 60°F), the flowers are charming! 

Special features:

• Edible, showy fruit
• Plant type: Deciduous tree
• Flower colour: Red
• Growth rate: Moderate
• Height: 2 m (10 ft.) tall and wide
• Bloom time: Late summer
• Zone: 7
• Exposure: Full sun
• Maintenance: Requires regular (minimum weekly) watering; prune annually to shape.

Photo Credit: Adamson’s Heritage Nursery

Jaimie’ Rosa rugosa hybrid

Rugosa roses combine handsome, deeply veined leaves and pretty, fragrant flowers. Best of all they are easy to care for, revelling (once established) in sandy soil and intense sun. The ‘Jaimie’ Rosa rugosa hybrid – available through Adamson’s Heritage Nursery – has deep-pink buds that open to medium-purple-pink flowers. Notable on this attractive shrub is foliage that is tinged red. Its growth habit is upright and bushy. 

Special features:
• Double flowers, easy to grow, handsome foliage, drought tolerant.
• Plant type: Hardy deciduous shrub
• Flower colour: Medium purple-pink
• Growth rate: Moderate
• Height: 1-1.5 m (4 to 5 ft)
• Bloom time: Repeat blooms through flowering season
• Zone: 4
• Exposure: Full to partial shade
• Maintenance: Cut out the old wood in early spring.