Dirt on Gardening

One of my favorite annual flowers that I grow every year – starting from seed in my greenhouse – is petunia.

Wouldn’t you know, there’s a new hybrid petunia to try this year: Supertunia Lovie Dovie. It trails up to 30 inches and grows about 12 inches tall. This new petunia with large white flowers and magenta stripes is noted for continuous blooms from late spring to autumn.

Coleus is another annual plant I grow each summer in my garden. A new coleus – “Salsa Verde” with chartreuse leaves is an excellent accent plant. This coleus reaches about 18 inches in height. The narrow leaves grow darker in color in light shade.

“Mega Bloom Orchid Halo” is a new periwinkle that large dark pink flowers with a contrasting white center and deep green foliage. This periwinkle is a 2017 All American Selections national winner. In trials it was found to have excellent heat tolerance and disease resistance. It’s a mounding flower, reaching about 13 inches in height.

In my shaded areas, I love growing Heuchera, also known as coral bells. Huechera Primo “Wild Rose” is a new perennial to try in your shade garden. This plant is about a 10-inch mound of vibrant red-violet foliage that will pop in your shady spot. This Heuchera has pale pink flowers on burgundy stems reaching about 20 inches in height.

Yarrow is a plant that always does well in the Ozarks, the new “Ritzy Rose” at trial was found to do very well in hot climates, blooming non-stop from late spring through early fall. Yarrow is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It grows best in full sun. Ritzy Rose has deep pink flowers with a yellow eye.

Also growing well in hot and dry summers is the new “Plum Dazzled” hardy sedum. This sedum reaches about eight inches in height. The foliage is purple, providing visual interest for much of the year. Raspberry-pink flowers bloom on Plum Dazzled in mid to late summer. This plant is great for containers, groundcover or to edge the border of a garden bed.

If you enjoy growing English lavender, “Big Time Blue” was found to be extremely fragrant in trials. This lavender is compact, growing about two feet wide and tall. It may re-bloom if trimmed back after its first bloom. Like all lavenders, this one needs full sun and good drainage.

In my next column, I will provide some information about new trees and shrubs and edibles.

Questions or comments related to gardening? Contact Joleen at missourigardener@hotmail.com

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