Hot New Annuals For 2007

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As a lifelong Horticultural professional, Vicki Smith (http://www.LGYP.com) has news about the hot new flowering annuals for 2007 and guidance for growing these flowers in the home garden.

As a lifelong Horticultural professional, Vicki Smith (http://www.LGYP.com) has news about the hot new flowering annuals for 2007 and guidance for growing these flowers in the home garden. Most of these annuals will bloom richly all the way until frost. With so much focus on outdoor living and container gardening, utilizing these dynamic annuals will add excitement to the patio, deck, landscape, or in raised planters mixed with, shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses or even tropicals.

With so many new annuals to describe, they have been divided into well-known groups and less familiar or specialty types. Various improvements have been made for increased heat, sun or shade tolerances; new colors, more compact sizes, etc. Growing the right plant in the right place is the key to both gardening satisfaction and keeping maintenance low. Do keep in mind that plants grown in containers out of the ground dry out faster. Maintaining a watering schedule, using self-watering pots or adding moisture polymers to the potting soil at planting time will reduce time and waterings also.

Popular sun-loving plants have had new colors added: Chrysanthemum 'Point Pelee', Wax Begonia 'Nightlife', tuberous Begonia 'Mocca', Rieger Begonia 'Boundless', Geranium (Pelargonium) 'Maverick Scarlet Eye', 'Survivor Neon' and 'Pacific Lavender', Hibiscus 'Cranberry Punch' and 'Klahanie' and Pansy (Viola) 'Bolero'.

Popular shade annuals with new accent features are Impatiens 'Accent Pink Picotee' and 'Xtreme Utopia'

Popularity of new, easy to grow Petunias has exploded over the past 10 years with fantastic introductions from a number of plant breeders. 'Easy Wave', 'Suncatcher', 'Surfinia Patio Hot Pink', 'Raspberry Blast', 'Opera Supreme', 'Symphony Red Star', 'Nivola', ' Dolcissima' and 'Potunia Neon' which is very compact and rounded for containers. Known by several common names such as Trailing Petunia, Million Bells or Mini-Petunias, these Calibrachoa plants are not actually Petunias at all; 'Minifamous Double Pink', 'Minifamous Safran' with its unusual bright yellow flowers, 'Terra Viva' and 'Summer Glow'. Growing lower, cascading freely and dense covering of flowers continues to increase their recognition with gardeners year by year.

Unusual, specialty or less well-known flowers include: African or Cape Daisy (Osteospermum) 'Vanilla Spoon' and 'Summertime Sunset'; Bacopa (Sutera) 'Calypso' is good alone and as a light textured fill-in plant for mixed containers; the highly unusual and colorful Begonia 'Bonfire'; Canna work well in as bedding or container plants and along the edges of garden ponds. The dwarf 'Tropical White' is an unusual color for Cannas; ornamental Chile Pepper 'Shu' offers color and interesting texture; Cleome 'Spirit Appleblossom' has two-toned white and pink blossoms; Cosmos or Mexican Aster 'Yellow Garden' adds a new color range; Cupflower or Nierembergia 'Lara White' is dainty and good to incorporate in mixed plantings; Dianthus or Pinks 'Polar Series' is an early bloomer with cold tolerance; Egyptian Star Clusters (Pentas) 'Graffiti Series' is good in sun or partial shade and is heat tolerant, which works well for above-ground pots; Summer Snapdragon or Angelonia 'Serena', ' Angelina' or 'Wedgewood Blue' with their graceful, sturdy but delicate looking flowers.

Previously thought of only as a Mother's Day hanging basket gift plant, new Fuchsia breeding is offering new forms for diverse uses. 'Angel Earrings' has an upright habit, even better for bedding use and containers lower to the ground than the traditional hanging baskets. Lantana 'Bandana' has larger flowers; several new Phlox types display several colors at the same time, 'Astoria Lavender' and 'Intensia Star Brite' add color mass; Sunflower 'Sunny Smile' tops out at only 20" making it ideal for today's smaller spaces; Treasure Flower or Gazania now have 'Solero' with very large size flowers and 'Kiss White' which can even be used as a groundcover; Verbenas with their lacy leaf texture have brighter colors with 'Aztec', 'Empress White', 'Lanai Upright Violet' and 'Tapien Plum Frost'.

For partial shade, Buttercups (Ranunculus) deserve more use since they can also be cut and brought into the home in vases to enjoy even more up close and Lisianthus or Love Rose 'Rendezvous' is a large, double flowering selection.

With new, dramatic, easy to grow annuals that add color to the landscape and overflow pottery and urns for months on end; growing a lot or a few adds hours of enjoyment with only a few minutes needed to plant them. While needing to plant perennials only once for years of enjoyment, they still need to be divided and tend to only bloom for several weeks of the year, requiring staggered plantings of different types of perennial plants and varieties. Nothing can beat an outrageous mass of annual color that says 'welcome' like a flowerbed or baskets cascading with color.

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STEVE CISSEL

410-442-2700
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