See the best of the new annual plants available to home gardeners. New colors, healthier plants and interesting flower forms can all be found.
Annual plants add quick color, long-lasting flowers and great accents to garden beds, borders and containers. Here are some of the best new annuals of the new year.
1. Ginger ‘Tahitian Flame’ (Hedychium ‘Tahitian Flame’)
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Zones 9-11. This Ginger plant is a TerraNova Nurseries introduction and is a tropical looking, vertical accent plant that will add warmth and interest to any garden bed or container planting. The ginger foliage is variegated with long, white stripes and the leaves are broad.
The ‘Tahitian Flame’ has apricot colored flowers that are fragrant and bloom all summer. Tolerance of slight drought conditions allows the humus-rich soil to dry slightly before watering this ginger plant. ‘Tahitian Flame’ Ginger enjoys full sun in northern areas and will tolerate shady conditions in climates with less humidity.
2. Wishbone Flower Catalina ‘White Linen’ (Torenia ‘White Linen’)
Annual except zones 10-11. Lovely annual flowers that provide season long blooms in the garden whether in a mixed border, deer resistant area, or containers.
This wishbone flower is a Proven Winners introduction and the pure white flowers with yellow-throats attract hummingbirds and tolerate part to full shade.
The weeping, trailing form of the Catalina series wishbone flowers is perfect for hanging baskets or raised beds. No dead heading is necessary since the ‘White Linen’ wishbone flowers are self-cleaning throughout the entire growing season.
3. Burgundy Spire Draecena Palm (Cordyline australis ‘Burgundy Spire’)
Zones 9-11. This large plant is really a tender perennial and best suited to growing in a large container as an accent specimen in colder climates, or planted as a fast-growing annual and replanted each year.
‘Burgundy Spire’ is a Monrovia Nurseries introduction and has the distinction of being one of the darkest C. australis plants currently available.
Deep colored foliage in a rich burgundy color will contrast nicely with other plants and flowers in the garden, while the strong, vertical growth habit of the draecena palm provides movement and interest to the landscape. The ‘Burgundy Spire’ grows quickly and will reach 8′ tall and 3′ wide at the maximum when provided full sun to part shade.
4. Pineapple Princess Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta ‘Pineapple Princess’ PPAF)
Zones 7b-10. North of zone 7, elephant ears can be grown as container plants, treated as annuals and replanted each year or lifted and overwintered in a sheltered location. This new introduction by Plant Delights Nursery is worth keeping because the ‘Pineapple Princess’ is a fairly compact and unique elephant ear.
Bred by John Cho in Hawaii, the ‘Pineapple Princess’ has grey-green leaves with purple hues on the back of the leaves that contrast with dark purple veins.
This elephant ear selection is also a strong grower in the garden but does not send out invasive runners. In temperate climates, gardeners can expect fragrant yellow flower spikes in the late summer and early fall.