All-America Selections (AAS) announces four national flower award winners this year. National awards are given to plants with consistently great performance across the United States. To see pictures of these and other great plants visit the All-America Selection website.
Coleus ‘Coral Candy’ is a new release from PanAmerican Seed’s Premium Sun coleus series and the first seed-propagated coleus to become an AAS winner. The leaves are narrow and serrated, displaying multicolors of pink, burgundy and green.
Plants have a mounded growth habit, reaching 10-16 inches in height. Their compact size makes ‘Coral Candy’ a good choice for hanging baskets, containers and in the front of garden bed. It can be grown in full sun or full shade. Plants tolerate heat, rain and wind, holding up well throughout the summer still attractive in fall.
One AAS judge states “Leaves are vibrant on a very tight, densely leaved plant.” Others noted “Very nice habit, excellent color, very full, robust and rounded” and “Phenomenal compact growth habit with appealing foliage color.”
Unfortunately, AAS does not currently list any sources for ‘Coral Candy’, which means it may be another year or two before they will be available at your local garden center. But keep them in mind for 2024.
Colocasia ‘Royal Hawaiian Waikiki’ is another first – the first elephant ears or taro plant to be an AAS winner! This tropical plant is grown from a large bulb, but grows quickly to form a 36-inch tall clump of brightly colored foliage featuring large glossy dark green leaves with creamy white centers and vivid pink veins.
Judges commented “A fantastic elephant ear that will add drama to the garden” and “Tricolor foliage is stunning, red petioles stand out.”
Works great in containers or ground beds. Grows best in full to partial sun; plants are heath tolerant, but require consistent soil moisture.
‘Waikiki’ is available from Plant Delights Nursery, plantdelights.com. May, in the future, be available from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, brentandbeckysbulbs.com, but is currently out of stock.
Salvia ‘Blue by You’ blooms up to two weeks earlier than other salvias on the market. Brightly colored flowers are eye-catching in the garden and a favorite of pollinators. One judge commented “Intensely beautiful flower color dark purple with dark burgundy [bud covers].”
Locate plants in a sunny garden with room to grow. Deadhead flowers as they fade to encourage additional flower development. Plants begin blooming in late spring on 20 to 22-inch tall plants.
Plants have excellent winter hardiness and are heat, rain and wind resistant. ‘Blue by You’ will be a great addition to the perennial, cutting, pollinator or container garden. Salvias are usually left alone by rabbits and deer, and ‘Blue to You’ is highly resistant to powdery mildew. Winter hardy to Zone 4b. Look for plants at your local garden center this spring.
Snapdragon ‘DoubleShot Orange Bicolor’ is the newest in the intermediate-height DoubleShot snapdragon series, featuring open-faced double flowers in warm shades of orange and orange-red. AAS judges were impressed by its’ strong stems and greater branching resulting in more flowers. Plants are also wind resistant, suffering less branch breakage in strong winds.
‘Orange Bicolor’ grows best in full to partial sun. The upright plants reach 18 to 20-inches in height, with each flower 1 to 2-inches across. They have excellent frost and light freeze resistance, making ‘Orange Bicolor’ a good season extender along with pansies or viola. Makes a great addition to a pollinator or cutting garden.
Judges commented “Blooms all summer long, even through high temperatures.” and “Truly stunning color, I just can’t stop admiring the subtle gradient throughout. Soft, dusky, romantic, yum!”
Unfortunately, AAS does not currently list any sources for ‘Orange Bicolor’, which means it may be another year or two before they will be available at your local garden center. But keep them in mind for 2024.
Images from All-America Selections. Feature image – Coleus ‘Coral Candy’.
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