Whether you’re a green thumb with a big garden or you just want a cheery pop of color on your front porch or deck, it’s fun to see what new plant cultivars have come to market in 2022. Here’s a rundown of some new offerings.
Remember that locally owned greenhouses offer valuable guidance, unlike most chain garden centers.
Annual plants perish each fall and need to be repurchased in spring, but offer unbeatable color spring through fall.
Lantana: These old-fashioned favorites first appeared in local gardens in the 1800s. Cousins of verbena, they offer saturated colors in round clusters of blooms, spring to fall, in solid or multi-color hues of yellow, red, orange, pink and white. They’re heat tolerant and attract pollinators. A variety new in 2022 from Proven Winners is Luscious Citron.
Dwarf Morning Glory: Old-fashioned morning glories are easy to grow from seed. The new Blue My Mind dwarf variety brings that rare, true-blue color. It grows just 4 to 8 inches tall but spreads out 20 inches and blooms continuously spring through fall. It thrives in full sun, is heat tolerant, moderately vigorous and has a mounding or trailing habit that spills from containers. Water it well the first several weeks as roots establish and be aware that it’s sensitive to frost.
Calibrachoa: This is a plant you may not remember from childhood. It burst onto the U.S. market in the late 1980s and new versions just keep rolling out. It often takes center stage in containers and hanging baskets because of its attractive trailing habit and staggering array of colors and special features. A happily situated calibrachoa can produce thousands of bell-shaped blooms over the course of a season and needs no deadheading.
There are 38 varieties of calibrachoa offered by Proven Winners. They include the 2022 introduction of Superbells Double Twilight, a lavender double-petal beauty with a purple center.
Cyperus Papyrus: This fun sedge plant emerged in local greenhouses a few years ago but dates back to ancient Egypt. It sprouts feathery, umbrella-shaped grass plumes that flutter atop tall, green stems to make a dramatic “thriller” (tall element) in large containers and at the edge of ponds. Local gardeners have had great success with 6-foot King Tut and 2-foot Baby Tut. This year we meet Prince Tut, 18 to 30 inches tall. Like all of its family, it likes part-sun and plenty of moisture.
Perennial plants spring back to life each year after winter dormancy, offering dependable color and texture. Most have a shorter bloom time than annuals.
Hosta: This beloved staple of shady Midwestern backyards boasts 70 species and more than 3,000 registered varieties, from tiny fairy garden cultivars to plants with six-foot wingspans.
Hostas bloom with tall spikes of white or lavender flowers but are primarily loved for their lushmounds of foliage. A new variety is Shadlowland ‘Hope Springs Eternal.’ Its heart-shaped blue-green leaves are ruffled with creamy white edges and it grows nearly 2 feet tall and spreads out 4 feet wide.
Astilbe: Also called False Goat’s Beard, this popular perennial brings shades of red, pink and white color to shady areas mid-summer. It prefers light to moderate shade and will scorch in full sun. New this year is Astilbe August Light, which flowers in plumes of red.
Sedum: Believe it or not, this genus of succulents includes more than 400 species with endless colors, forms and habits. New this year is Rock ‘N Grow Back in Black, a fall-blooming sedum with nearly black leaves.
Tickseed: This is a great cutting flower that likes full sun. New this year is Li’l Bang Starlight, a coreopsis hybrid with bright white flowers accented with magenta centers. Deer don’t like it, but pollinators do. It grows just 6 to 10 inches tall, is easy to grow and moderately drought tolerant.
You don’t have to be an expert to grow beautiful plants this season. Just make a good match between plants and their location, and enjoy! ❚