NEW FLOWER WINNERS FOR 2019
Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
University of Vermont
Each year the best of the new annual flowers (those that only live for one year) are judged, and the winners given the All-America Selections (AAS) designation. This year’s annual flower winners, grown from seeds, include a wax-leaf begonia, an American marigold, a nasturtium, and a new Wave petunia.
Begonia Viking XL Red on Chocolate is a wax leaf begonia, with
large dark bronze (hence the “chocolate” name) leaves and red
flowers through the summer. Under good conditions it can form a
mound 30 inches or so high and wide, so space plants apart about
this distance. Or, it can be grown in a large container. The
main feature of this begonia is its glossy dark foliage through
the season, which is darker than similar begonias. Plants bloom
best in full to part sun.
Big Duck Gold is a new marigold—the type often called African,
American, Mexican (from where this type was originally found), or
Aztec marigold. The three-inch wide gold flowers are held on top
of the compact, 15-inch plants through the season—longer than
comparable marigolds. Leaves are a nice, deep green. Similar to
other marigolds, and most annual flowers, this one needs full sun
to grow and bloom best. Space plants 15 to 18 inches apart, and
use them as a mini hedge along walks, massed in beds, mixed in
with perennials for color all summer, or in containers.
Baby Rose is a new nasturtium—the first All-America Selections
winner of this flower since the 1930s. Some nasturtiums are
trailing and vining, but most are compact and mounding, such as
this one. Space plants about 18 inches apart, in full to part
sun. Their rose-colored flowers are a less common color for
nasturtiums. Flowers bloom all summer and, unlike many
nasturtiums, don’t hide among the dark green leaves but are seen
above them. This selection tolerates heat to cold, rain to
drought, and wind. An added bonus, similar to other nasturtiums,
are the edible leaves and flowers (great in salads). Baby Rose
would be a good choice for small spaces and containers.
Wave Carmine Velour petunia is the newest color in the popular
Wave series. The bright velvety carmine rose flowers are two
inches, or more, wide and cover the plants through the season.
Similar to many newer petunias, spent flowers don’t need removing
(“deadheading”), as old ones just fade and drop and are covered by
new flowers. Similar to other Wave petunias this one spreads,
only getting about six to eight inches tall, but spreading to
three feet wide or more. This makes it good in masses, as a
groundcover, interplanted among taller plants, or in hanging
baskets and raised containers where it can spill over the sides.
If in landscape beds, space plants about two feet apart. As with
other petunias, site this one in full to part sun. Wave petunias
are so popular that they have their own website for care tips,
combinations, and design ideas (
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