Ask Elaine: New Plants in 2019

Dear Elaine,

What new plants are on the horizon in 2019 and what might I anticipate in garden centers this spring?

Thank you.

Dear Marie,

You sound like a curious and trendy gardener. Good for you! Researchers at seed companies and commercial nurseries have developed new, different and interesting plants for 2019. Here is a brief selection of what you should find at local (even national) garden centers and mail order businesses:

The Perennial Plant of the Year is selected by the Perennial Plant Association, a group of growers and researchers interested in promoting and developing exciting herbaceous perennials for a national audience.  This year, Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo,’ a cousin to the familiar lambs-ear, is the winner. It is a mound-forming plant with crisp green foliage, not the fuzzy-leaved type that we know so well. The flower spikes are bright purple. It is insect and disease resistant, prefers full sun and is hardy to USDA zone 4 (Wayne, NJ is USDA zone 6b, warmer than zone 4).

The 2019 Annual of the Year is Sedum ‘Lemon Coral.’ It grows to produce a thick carpet of chartreuse green foliage that will spill down the sides of containers and fill the garden floor with amazing texture and color all season. Loves full sun.

The “Savvy Gardening” website announced several new plants for 2019:

  • Echinacea ‘KISMET Raspberry’, herbaceous perennial hardy in zones 4-9, likes full sun and has striking bright pink blossoms.
  • Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Panther’ ninebark is a woody shrub that grows to four and five feet. It is hardy to USDA zone 3.  It has black-tinged foliage, delicate pink blooms, love full sun and is mildew resistant.
  • Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose’ is a dark rose-colored flowering annual. Pollinators love the flowers, and the flower petals and leaves are edible (they have a slight pepper taste).  This compact plant would be great for small spaces and containers.
  • Coreopsis ‘Incredible’ is a mixed bag of colorful annual flowers in cream, yellow, shades of red and maroon. It is pollinator-friendly, deer resistant and drought tolerant.
  • Calibrachoa superbells ‘Doublette Love Swept’ should be a hanging basket favorite. These annuals promise not to get leggy, they are self-cleaning (spent blossoms drop off), heat tolerant and they will bloom right through the fall. The pink blooms are edged in white. This could be the “spiller’ in your container (remember to include the “thriller” and “filler”).
  • Dahlia ‘Belle of Barmera’ is the National Garden Bureau’s plant of the year. The blossoms are coral-colored (think “Pantone color of the year”).  The tubers should be planted in sun to partial sun.

The 2019 Hosta of the Year is Hosta ‘Lakeside Paisley Print.’ This stunning hosta has heart-shaped leaves with very wide, wavy green margins and narrow, creamy white markings in the center. Light lavender flowers are produced in midsummer. Plant height is 10 inches, with a spread of 20 inches. As usual, the plant prefers shade.

Soon enough the days will be longer and the temperatures will be warmer. Spring events abound — Mardi Gras, Saint Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring on Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 p.m!  Can’t wait.

Happy Spring to our volunteers, members and visitors.

Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director


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