Best of the Trial Plants at McCrory Gardens for 2016 Back »

Petunia hybrid Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum (Hybrid Petunia)


About the 2016 Trials

We have been trialing ornamental plants at McCrory Gardens for many years. I have been working primarily with the annual trials, including plants from the National Plant Trials Database, and All-American Selections trials programs. This year we had 105 different kinds of plants in the annuals trials but some were grown in different conditions for a total of 122 trials.

Methodology

Plants were planted directly into the soil (The Ground), in a Container or a 15.5” Basket and exposed to Full Sun, Partial Sun or Shade. Seed and/or plugs were provided by eight different companies or divisions. I rated nearly all the plants three times, on June 20, approximately four weeks after planting, on July 26 and again on September 9. A few plants were not included in the first date and some additional evaluation was made on September 26.

I took a picture of most of the plants each time I evaluated them. They were given a subjective rating of 0 to 5 at each evaluation based on vigor, number of flowers, color of foliage, uniformity, habit, freedom from disease or pests and other factors that seemed appropriate for a particular species. I also recorded comments on the plants at each rating time: Comments 1; Comments 2; and Comments 3. I averaged the rating from the July 26 and September 9 evaluations and have provided the results of for the top-rated cultivars in each of the major species that I evaluated below.

Additional Notes

A few additional notes regarding the plants described in this article. First of all, many of these may not be available to the general public yet next spring, and in particular at local suppliers. If you do not see them available, be sure to ask your local supplier to consider stocking them in the future. When they do become available, their names may have been changed, especially for those names that sound like a simple, trial plant identifier. Secondly, take note under which conditions these plants performed well. In many cases, when growing Calibrachoa, for example, they will generally grow and flower much better in a container or basket then they will when planted directly into the ground. So, keep these things in mind as you are deciding what you will plant in your gardens next year.

Complete 2016 Trials Report

If you would like a complete report, contact David Graper.


Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
(Calico Plant, Joseph’s Coat)

Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’ (calico plant, Joseph’s coat) produced by PanAmerican Seed was grown in Partial Sun in the Ground. During the 2016 trials, its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4. Comments 2: Very well branched, deep burgundy-green color. Finely textured, fairly uniform growth habit. Comments 3: Great, dark burgundy, nearly black foliage on compact, well-branched plants. Fairly uniform.

Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® Perfectly Pink
(Summer Snapdragon)

Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® Perfectly Pink (summer snapdragon) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 3.75. Comments 1: Plants are vigorous, upright, well-branched. Loaded with large pink flowers with a small yellow eye. Comments 2: Plants are floriferous, uniform in height, very vigorous. Comments 3: Plants look great but flowering is just occurring at the tips of the stems with only a few flowers per spike.

Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® Super White
(Summer Snapdragon)

Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® Super White (summer snapdragon) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 3.75. Comments 1: Plants are quite vigorous and upright, moderate branching and flowering. Flowers are semi-double, white. Comments 2: Plants are becoming quite vigorous, with good flowers developing. Quite uneven in growth. Comments 3: Plants are vigorous and still flowering very well. Each flower spike has many flowers.

Angelonia hybrida Archangel™ Blue Bicolor
(Summer Snapdragon)

Angelonia hybrida Archangel™ Blue Bicolor (summer snapdragon) produced by Ball FloraPlant was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 3.75. Comments 1: Plants are beginning to branch well and flower. Flowers are a lavender-blue with a white eye. Comments 2: Plants are well-branched and floriferous. Foliage is a dark green. Flowers are a lavender-purple with a yellow lip. Comments 3: Plants look great but flowering is just occurring at the tips of the stems with only a few flowers per spike.

Argyranthemum frutescens White Butterfly®
(Marguerite Daisy)

Argyranthemum frutescens White Butterfly® (Marguerite daisy) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4. Comments 1: Plants are vigorous, well-branched, and floriferous. Pure white flowers with orange centers. Comments 2: Outstanding flowering with new flowers hiding the faded flowers. Quite uniform in growth with clean foliage. Comments 3: Plants are still looking pretty healthy but producing few new flowers, a lot of old faded flower heads dominate the appearance of the plant.

Artemisia Quicksilver®
(Dusty Miller)

Artemisia Quicksilver® produced by Proven Winners® (dusty miller) was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.25. Comments 1: Well-established, beginning to produce a number of basal shoots; foliage is a nice, silvery color. Comments 2: Plants have formed a dense mat of silvery-gray-green foliage. Foliage is finely textured because of its dissected leaves. Comments 3: Plants look great, despite the wet weather we have had over the last two weeks. Bright silvery color and nice and full. However, plants would likely benefit from pinching or cutting back to encourage better branching.

Begonia x interspecific Megawatt Rose Green Leaf
(Interspecific Hybrid Wax Begonia)

Begonia x interspecific Megawatt Rose Green Leaf (interspecific hybrid wax begonia) produced by PanAmerican Seed was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are recovering from transplant, but were quite overgrown prior to being cut back at planting. Plants are just beginning to flower. Foliage is medium green. Plants have suffered moderate storm damage. Comments 2: Plants are quite floriferous and well-branched. Foliage is healthy, green and has a reddish tinge to the underside. Comments 3: Very uniform, well-branched plants, floriferous, large flowers.

Begonia Whopper® Experimental 1630-5T2
(hybrid begonia)

Begonia Whopper® Experimental 1630-5T2 (hybrid begonia) produced by Ball Ingenuity was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are recovering from transplant, but were quite overgrown prior to being cut back at planting. Plants are just beginning to flower. Foliage is burgundy-red. Plants have suffered moderate storm damage. Comments 2: Plants are quite floriferous with developing branches. More of an upright habit compared to other lines. Comments 3: Very uniform, well-branched plants, floriferous, large flowers.

Begonia x benariensis Whopper® Red Bronze Foliage
(Hybrid Begonia)

Begonia x benariensis Whopper® Red Bronze Foliage (hybrid begonia) produced by Ball Ingenuity was grown in Partial Shade in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are just beginning to put on new growth, beginning to flower. Moderate storm damage. Comments 2: Plants are vigorous and floriferous with fairly good branching. Foliage is healthy, bronze-green in color. Loads of bright red flowers. Comments 3: Very uniform, well-branched plants, floriferous, large flowers.

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Lemmon Yellow
(Million Bells)

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Lemmon Yellow (million bells) produced by Ball FloraPlant was grown in Full Sun in a Container. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Well-branched with good flowering, nearly filling the container. Flowers are lemon yellow, with a darker yellow throat. Comments 2: Plants are well-branched, floriferous. Cascading over container sides. Comments 3: Plants are very full and still very floriferous.

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Lemmon Yellow
(Million Bells)

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Lemmon Yellow (million bells) produced by Ball FloraPlant was grown in Partial Sun in a Basket. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are branching well and beginning to produce lots of flowers. Foliage is a nice green. Flowers are a clear, yellow color. Comments 2: Quite vigorous plant, with excellent floriferousness. Quite uniform, but with a few gaps. Comments 3: Plants are vigorous and freely flowering.

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Pink Star
(Million Bells)

Calibrachoa hybrida Cabaret® Pink Star (million bells) produced by Ball FloraPlant was grown in Partial Sun in a Basket. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are very well branched, covered with flowers. Nice green foliage, flowers are an attractive pink with creamy yellow star and yellow throat. Comments 2: Plants are extremely well-branched and floriferous. Flowers nearly cover the foliage. Plants are beginning to cascade over the side of the basket. Comments 3: Plants are vigorous, and floriferous.

Calibrachoa cultivars MiniFamous® Double Pink 17
(Million Bells)

Calibrachoa cultivars MiniFamous® Double Pink 17 (million bells) produced by Selecta was grown in Partial Sun in a Basket. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Very attractive, semi-double dark pink flowers. Well-branched compact plant. Very floriferous. Comments 2: Plants are nicely vigorous with good flowering. Attractive double pink flowers. Comments 3: Plants are vigorous and freely flowering.

Canna Toucan® Yellow
(Canna)

Canna Toucan® Yellow (canna) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants beginning to flower, developed basal shoots. Foliage is medium green. Flowers are a yellow color with peach spots. This looks like another great, seed-grown canna. Comments 2: Plants are medium-green, very floriferous with large yellow flowers. Speckled in peach. Plants are producing numerous shoots, and are uniform in height. Comments 3: Plants look great and are still flowering well.

Capsicum annuum ‘Sedona Sun’
(Ornamental Pepper)

Capsicum annuum ‘Sedona Sun’ (ornamental pepper) produced by PanAmerican Seed was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants have good branching, flowering, and early fruit development. Comments 2: Plants are very well branched and spreading, numerous fruit and flowers present. Fruit is pale yellow, with some fruit beginning to turn orange. Comments 3: Fantastic display of uniform orange to yellow, slightly pointed fruit on extremely compact plants.

Colocasia esculenta Royal Hawaiian® Black Coral
(Elephant Ear)

Colocasia esculenta Royal Hawaiian® Black Coral (elephant ear) produced by Pleasant View Gardens was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. During the 2016 trials, its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 5. Comments 1: Plants are growing well, foliage is a nice burgundy color, although has suffered some storm damage. Comments 2: Deep burgundy-green foliage, nearly black in color. Plants are uniform, producing some side-shoots. Plants are quite striking. Comments 3: Awesome display of large dark burgundy, nearly black leaves and petioles. Moderate height and majestic.

Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Mesa Yellow’
(Blanket Flower)

Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Mesa Yellow’ (blanket flower) produced by PAS/ Kieft Seed was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 3.5. Comments 1: Plants are flowering well, but quite uneven. Some new branches developing. Comments 2: Plants are extremely well-branched, floriferous. Dozens of flowers on each plant, at various stages of development. Fairly uniformly sized plants. Comments 3: Plants still look pretty good but some foliar disease. Still some new flowers though. Note: This plant should actually be perennial in our Zone.

Impatiens hybrida Big Bounce™ Pink
(Hybrid Impatiens)

Impatiens hybrida Big Bounce™ Pink (hybrid impatiens) produced by Selecta was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 5. Comments 1: Plants are showing good signs of branching, flowering is beginning. Some foliar burn is present. Comments 2: Plants are very compact with medium-sized flowers, very vigorous and floriferous. Flowers nearly cover the foliage. Comments 3: Amazing floral display on large, very uniform, mounded plants. Foliage is barely visible beneath the flowers. Note: This is one of the many types of coleus that are now bred to perform best when grown in full sun.

Impatiens hybrida Bounce™ Bright Coral
(hybrid impatiens)

Impatiens hybrida Bounce™ Bright Coral (hybrid impatiens) produced by Selecta was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are moderately well branched, beginning to flower, but with significant foliage burn. Comments 2: Plants are moderately vigorous, but could be more uniform in height and spread. Flowers are relatively large, plants are quite floriferous. Comments 3: Amazing floral display on large, very uniform, mounded plants. Foliage is barely visible beneath the flowers. Note: This is one of the many types of coleus that are now bred to perform best when grown in full sun.

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline after Midnight
(Sweet Potato Vine)

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline after Midnight (sweet potato vine) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in a Container. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Very attractive dark burgundy foliage, with new foliage emerging green. Plants suffered some storm damage. Comments 2: Plants are well-branched, quite vigorous, beginning to cascade over container sides. Comments 3: Plants are full, well-branched and generally have great color but some leaves have faded.

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline Green with Envy
(Sweet Potato Vine)

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline Green with Envy (sweet potato vine) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in a Container. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Very vigorous, lime green foliage. Suffered some storm damage. Comments 2: Plants are well-branched, beginning to cascade over container sides. Slight chlorosis in a few spots on leaves. Comments 3: Plants are full, drooping well over the container, well-branched and have great color.

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline Raven
(sweet potato vine)

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Caroline Raven (sweet potato vine) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in a Container. During the 2016 trials, its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Comments 2: Plants are well-branched, cascading over container sides. Some necrotic spotting on foliage. Comments 3: Plants are full, well-branched and have great color.

Petunia hybrid Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum
(Hybrid Petunia)

Petunia hybrid Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum (hybrid petunia) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 5. Comments 2: Doesn't need to be evaluated any more. This plant rocks! It has been one of our best performing annuals for several years now. Comments 3: This cultivar continues to look fabulous late into the summer!

Petunia hybrid Supertunia® Picasso in Purple
(Hybrid Petunia)

Petunia hybrid Supertunia® Picasso in Purple (hybrid petunia) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Appear to be very vigorous and floriferous. Well-branched, flowers are purple, edged in green. Comments 2: Plants are extremely floriferous. Foliage is medium-green, pretty well branched. Some plants are rather uneven. Comments 3: Plants continue to grow very well, still spreading and covering the ground with an abundance of flowers.

Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘French Quarter’
(Coleus)

Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘French Quarter’ (coleus) produced by Ball FloraPlant was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4.5. Comments 1: Plants are just beginning to really grow and branch. Foliage is light green with a pink-purple center. Comments 2: Plants are vigorous and well branched. Foliage is lime green with a central burgundy blotch. Plants could be a little more even in height. Comments 3: Plants look fabulous, very full, well-branched, large size with just a few scattered flower heads developing. Note: This is one of the many types of coleus that are now bred to perform best when grown in full sun.

Tagetes erecta ‘Fireball’
(Marigold)

Tagetes erecta ‘Fireball’ (marigold) produced by PanAmerican Seed was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4. Comments 1: Beginning to show signs of good branch development. Flowering is limited to one/plant, yellow-orange to orange flowers. Comments 2: Plants are compact, well-branched, and floriferous. Moderately uniform. Comments 3: The majority of the plants look great, still loaded with flowers but about 10% have died. Good flower color in range of orange to red.

Tagetes patula ‘Strawberry Blonde’
(Dwarf Marigold)

Tagetes patula ‘Strawberry Blonde’ (dwarf marigold) produced by PanAmerican Seed was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 4. Comments 1: Blooming quite well, despite small size. Nice branching development. Flowers are yellow with a hint of rose. Comments 2: Plants are moderately uniform in flowering, not uniform in height. Flowers range in color from yellow to bronze-orange. Comments 3: plants look great and are very floriferous. Interesting flower color on some flowers with the red mixed with yellow-orange.

Verbena hybrid Superbena® Royale Whitecap
(Garden Verbena)

Verbena hybrid Superbena® Royale Whitecap (garden verbena) produced by Proven Winners® was grown in Full Sun in the Ground. Its performance from mid to late summer averaged a score of 3.5. Comments 1: Minimal leaf cover; few flowers; beginning to branch. Comments 2: Plants are compact and well-branched but with no flowers except along edge where they overlap the sidewalk. Foliage looks good in general. Flowers are bright white. Comments 3: Most plants look good but not that many flowers except on scattered plants.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sign Up For Email!