Mississippi Medallion Plants: Proven Performers
Do you want surefire performance in your landscape and vegetable garden, but don’t know what to look for when you go to the garden center?
Our horticulture experts help select several plants each year that make the cut when it comes to thriving in our Mississippi climate. The Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association developed the Mississippi Medallion Plant program in 1996 to help consumers choose high performing plants. Each year, the Mississippi Medallion Selection Committee chooses five plants from commonly available product classes: trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and annuals or perennials.
Here’s some information written by various Extension and MAFES specialists and researchers about each of the selections included in the graphic.
2019 Blue My Mind evolvulus
Blue My Mind evolvulus is a prolific bloomer, with sky-blue flowers above downy foliage. The 1-inch, funnel-shaped flowers open only for one day. In the morning, they are brilliant, but by afternoon will be looking quite spent, especially if the planting bed faces west and receives quite a high heat load each afternoon. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
2019 Begonia Whopper (Begonia x benariensis)
The leaves of Begonia Whopper are huge and provide a great background for the main color show, such as these flowers seen on the Red with Bronze Leaf. While begonias are typically thought of as shade plants, the Whopper series can handle a fair amount of sun and intense heat if adequate water is supplied. They tend to grow larger and fuller under higher light levels than those grown in the deep shade. They also need fertilizer to reach their full performance potential. (Photo by Ball Horticultural Company)
2018 Lemon Sedum (Sedum mexicanum—or S. rupestre and S. reflexum)
Lemon sedum is ideal for full-sun areas of the landscape. These plants are part of the diverse group called sedum. Lemon sedums, such as Lemon Coral, have small, chartreuse, needle-like leaves, which help brighten up landscapes. Lemon sedum is only a few inches tall, so it works very well at the front of landscape beds. And unlike many ground covers, it is noninvasive. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
2017 Conversation Piece azalea
Conversation Piece is a great alternate-season blooming azalea that displays gorgeous flowers in mid-spring and then again in the fall. The different-colored flowers appear on the same plant and typically almost 4 inches across. It grows to 3 to 5 feet high, making it suitable for small spaces. They like consistent moisture in well-drained soil. Mulch with pine straw or bark to provide the acidity azaleas like. (Image courtesy LSU AgCenter)
2011 Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Virginia sweetspire is a native shrub that does well under full sun to partial shade. The species itself could grow to 3 to 6 feet tall in the landscape, but the two most common cultivars, ‘Henry’s Garnet’ and ‘Little Henry’ are much shorter and more compact. Both cultivars have great reddish-purple foliage in late fall. Gardeners who prefer a neat growth habit can prune shrubs lightly after blooming. Amended, well-drained soil will provide optimum growth, along with twice-a-year applications of a slow-release tree and shrub fertilizer. (No credit given)
2007 Angelonia Serenita
This series of Angelonia plants are smaller and more compact, growing up to 12 inches high and 14 inches wide. They come in blues, pinks, violets, and white. They thrive in full sun and tolerate heat and drought. However, it will not tolerate poor or compacted soil. Apply fertilizer at planting and once a month. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
You can find more about these plants and other Mississippi Medallion winners by searching ‘Mississippi Medallion plants’ on our website.
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