Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on January 8, 1998. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
New Plants Bring Fresh Excitement
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Many new exciting plants are coming our way in 1998, but one new impatient really has growers chomping at the bit to start planting.
Victorian Rose isn't an antique or heirloom rose, but it is the new All-American winning impatient. Hopefully, we will find Victorian Rose is the best semi-double flowering impatient.
There have been other double flowering impatiens, but their bloom was not consistent. Victorian Rose is being touted as the first impatient with consistently semi-double flowers.
The unique, distinctive qualities of Victorian Rose are not only the semi-double blooms and the quantity of blooms. Victorian Rose flowers contain extra petals adding depth to each bloom.
More importantly, the flowering capability provides more color than other plants. Victorian Rose plants are virtually covered with blooms.
In All-American Selection testing Victorian Rose has given good season-long performance. It performs best in a shady garden and is adaptable to any type of container or basket.
Like all impatiens, Victorian Rose needs little care in the garden -- only sufficient moisture to provide color and propel it through the summer until fall arrives.
If you were unhappy with your impatiens because they got too leggy then they were probably planted too close.
Angelonia should be one of the hottest new plants. It made a small debut at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center last year, and everyone loved it. It is being promoted as the "Plant of the Year" in Florida.
Angelonia is in the same family as the snapdragon, called the scrophulariaceae. Although it is tropical and subtropical in nature, Florida nurserymen are promoting it as a perennial in Zone 8. Those I watched last year bloomed all summer until the first freeze. In my garden the plants are still viable for return in the spring, but the winter is young.
Hilo Princess is the main variety being promoted. They are about 24 to 30 inches tall with purplish flowers with a spiky texture. There are also white varieties with blue variegation and pink. Even if you have to grow Hilo Princess as an annual, it is very easy to propagate to overwinter or for added plants by cutting or division.
The American Daylily Selection Council has named two daylilies -- Lullaby Bay and Starstruck -- as All-American Picks for 1998.
A long bloomer, Lullaby Baby has ruffled 3 1/2 inch, near white flowers with a soft pink infusion and green throat. The lightly fragrant blooms appear in clusters on 18 to 24 inch tall scapes surrounded by 12 to 16 inch tall foliage. The foliage retains its color, even in very hot conditions.
Starstruck blooms later than most daylilies and often reblooms until frost. The ruffled 7 inch, bright gold flowers have a pale green throat and sit on top of 24 to 26 inch tall scapes.
The 16 to 20 inch tall foliage highlights the gold blooms. They are both hardy in Zones 4 to 10, and nearly pest free. They require only average soil conditions.
Six hours of dappled sun would be optimum for the plants, but they could survive with much less. The more sunshine you can give them the better they will do.
The American Daylily Selection Council coordinates a testing program that evaluates daylilies on 50 performance characteristics, including bloom, foliage beauty, plant vigor, disease resistance and hardiness.