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Twelve Plants That Are On Trend in 2016

This year promises to be a winning one for gardeners. Trend watchers are indicating we’ll see some exciting developments such as low-maintenance designs, bold color and, after years of focusing on hardscape, plants are back in the spotlight. Everyone is talking about the amazing varieties we have to choose from at garden centers this year: plants that produce big color with minimal care, multi-talented annuals, perennials and shrubs suited for any space including containers and vivid foliage that offers color all season long. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic year for adding beauty to our living spaces.

Here are 12 plants that I grow and love that are on trend in 2016.

Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake® Sutera

I can count on large elegant clear white blooms all season in the garden with Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake® Sutera. Stunning flowers that do well in full sun to part shade, it is one of my favorites to place in flower beds.

  • Large, pure white flowers on strongly trailing stems
  • No deadheading required for season-long bloom
  • Works great as a spiller in containers or as a groundcover in landscapes
  • Do not let plants dry out because it takes about two weeks for the flowers to reappear
  • Fertilize regularly for best performance
  • Full sun to part shade

Superbena® Royale Red Verbena

Beautiful and heat tolerant, the pure red flowers of Superbena® Royale Red Verbena grow all season whether they are in the flower beds or garden containers. Their saturated color is a stand out along borders and pathways.

  • Clusters of pure red flowers bloom spring to fall without deadheading
  • A perfect companion for Superbells® and Supertunia® in hanging baskets and containers; also great in landscapes
  • Vigorous, heat tolerant verbena that is resistant to powdery mildew
  • Tolerates drier soils with lower fertility
  • Benefits from a haircut to encourage fuller growth with more flowers
  • Full sun to part shade

‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’ Ipomoea

‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’ Ipomoea is a champ for brilliant deeply-lobed, chartreuse green foliage which serves as a canvas for different color combinations—whether in flower beds or garden containers.

  • Versatile trailing foliage plant for hanging baskets and containers
  • Heat tolerant and vigorous grower
  • Deeply lobed, chartreuse foliage
  • This sweet potato vine has minimal potato set, a bonus for planting in containers
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Protect from early and late season frosts in Northern climates

Dark Knight™ Lobularia

I prefer the fragrant deep purple flowers of Dark Knight® Lobularia on Moss Mountain because they don’t quit in the heat like some alyssums. Pretty in colorful combinations, they stand out along pathway borders.

  • Fragrant, deep purple flowers bloom all season and don’t quit in the heat like some varieties of alyssum
  • Continuous bloomer with no deadheading required
  • Plays well with others in containers, hanging baskets and landscapes
  • Requires consistent moisture to thrive in containers
  • Seriously, this is the first plant you’ll plant in the spring, and the last you will remove in late fall – we’re talking blooms from April through December.
  • Early and late snow and frosts are not an issue
  • Full sun to part shade

SUPERTUNIA® BORDEAUX™ Petunia

Always striking with light purple flowers with dramatic deep purple veining and throat, Supertunia® Bordeaux Petunias are regulars in my containers and hanging baskets. They are also beautiful among green foliage in full sun to light shade.

  • Striking light purple flowers with dramatic deep purple veining and throat, with dark green foliage
  • Blooms spring to fall without deadheading
  • A Petunia that grows anywhere from landscapes to containers and hanging baskets
  • Fertilize regularly for best performance
  • I’ve not found a petunia with a better habit for hanging baskets and container combinations – it grows well with all plants
  • Supertunias can handle light frost, so you can start them early and depend on them long into fall
  • Full sun to light shade

‘Cat’s Meow’ Nepeta

‘Cat’s Meow’ Nepeta with sky blue flowers atop silvery-green foliage adds charm reminiscent of an English garden, but also stylish enough for a contemporary look. One of my favorites for being deer and rabbit resistant while attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • Lower maintenance, naturally compact selection that won’t need trimming to stay neat looking
  • Sky blue flowers appear on the silvery-green foliage from early summer into early fall
  • Shearing plants back by half after the first round of bloom encourages strong rebloom
  • Deer and rabbit resistant; attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Full sun, lean and drier soils are best

Luscious® Berry Blend™ Lantana

With playful clusters of fuchsia, orange and yellow flowers, Luscious® Berry Blend™ Lantanas are perfect in my flower beds because they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. These sun-lovers bloom all growing season and stand up to tough conditions.

  • Tough-as-nails annual is extremely heat and drought tolerant, tolerates poor soils; protect from frost
  • Large clusters of fuchsia, orange and yellow flowers on mounded plants
  • Blooms all season without deadheading
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, not preferred by deer
  • In the South, it’s nearly a small shrub – great for large urns and patio containers
  • Full sun

GoldDust® Mecardonia

Low growing with dark green foliage dusted heavily with tiny golden yellow blossoms, Golddust® Mecardonia provides the perfect contrast of height and size in the garden—a sun-lover that thrives best in the midsummer heat.

  • Easy to grow annual for the edge of the border or garden path
  • Very low growing, dark green foliage is dusted heavily with tiny golden yellow blossoms
  • Blooms from spring through fall without deadheading – might even surprise you with more flowers the following spring after a mild winter
  • Thrives in the heat
  • Full sun

Colorblaze® Keystone Kopper® Solenostemon

No others compare to the rich orange- bronze foliage of Colorblaze® Keystone Kopper® Solenostemon (coleus) in a fall garden—making it a traditional favorite with little maintenance in large containers and the landscape.

  • Richly saturated orange-bronze foliage that won’t fade like “lesser” coleus
  • Bred to bloom very late or not at all, making the plant last into fall with little maintenance
  • Wonderful in large containers and landscapes
  • Heat tolerant and less preferred by deer
  • Full sun to shade

Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia

Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia is my small space alternative that packs a lot of blooms and always produce beautiful clusters of fragrant, soft lavender-pink flowers, which are butterfly magnets.

  • Award winning, seedless butterfly bush that won’t sow its seed around the garden
  • Soft lavender-pink flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds from midsummer to frost without deadheading
  • Dwarf, compact habit grows only 1 ½-2′ tall x 2-2 ½’ wide
  • Perfectly sized for containers and small-scale urban landscapes
  • Full sun

Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne Sky’ Panicum

My garden essential for low maintenance and drought resistance—Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne Sky’ Panicum creates movement and continuity throughout gardens with beautiful tones of blue-green and wine red.

  • Smaller scale, native ornamental grass forms a dense, vase-shaped clump up to 3′ tall
  • Blue-green foliage begins to turn wine red in early summer; turns nearly all-red by fall
  • Matching wine red flower panicles appear in late summer
  • A hardy perennial alternative to annual purple fountain grass
  • Best grown in landscapes or very large containers due to its strong root system
  • Very easy to grow in any soil and full sun

Sunny Anniversary® Abelia

Fragrant and magnificent, Sunny Anniversary® Abelia is one of my favorite deer-resistant flowering shrubs for the landscape and container combinations. Sprinkled with creamy yellow and pink blooms, it brings not only a whimsical element to the garden but also hummingbirds, butterflies and especially me.

  • Fragrant flowering shrub with light yellow flowers splashed with pink and orange
  • Large, plentiful blooms appear on arching stems from midsummer through early fall
  • Mid-sized shrub, 3-4′ tall, used for landscapes, foundation plantings and containers
  • Deer-resistant, attracts butterflies
  • Full sun to part shade