Colorado State University recently announced the top picks in its Annual Flower Trial Garden.
The garden of nearly three acres on the east side of the Fort Collins campus is used to test and analyze the performance of more than 1,000 varieties of annual bedding plants in Colorado’s harsh growing conditions – high altitude, intense solar radiation, drying winds, severe hailstorms, large fluctuations between day and night temperatures and a season-long need for irrigation, according to a news release.
Experts rates the plants for vigor, growth pattern, bloom and other characteristics to help home gardeners pick out plants most likely to succeed in their gardens.
The plant picked as Best of Show in the 2020 garden was Dahlia ‘Lubega® Dark Velvet’ from Benary+, with dark purple/velvet foliage and bicolor blooms, and uniform compact growth habit.
Best novelty plant was Colocasia ‘Heart of the Jungle™’ from Proven Winner, grown for its dark foliage.
Best new variety was Centaurea ‘Snowy Owl’ from Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc., with silvery foliage that combined well with other plants.
Best container plant Petunia ‘Bee’s Knee’ from Ball FloraPlant, with abundant flowers and the best yellow of any petunia in the trial, which held up very well in the high light intensity of Colorado.
The trial garden also rated which plants were the best angelonias, begonias, calibrachoa, celosia, coleus, dahlia, geraniums, impatiens, lantana, lobelia, New Guinea impatiens, pentas, petunias, portulaca, salvia, scaevola, thunbergia, verbenas, vincas, and zinnias for Colorado conditions.
Winners from the 2020 evaluation are now available at area nurseries and garden centers, according to the release.
For detailed descriptions and photographs, visit flowertrials.colostate.edu.
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