All-America Selections, the non-profit testing organization for new flowers and vegetables, has selected four new flowers for awards in 2019.
Begonia Viking XL Red on Chocolate has a unique new dark foliage color described as chocolate or bronze/brown. It is darker than typical bronze leaf begonias. It also has larger flowers on a larger plant than most fibrous root begonias. Plants grow to about 30 inches in height. Flower color is vibrant red. It is well suited to the back of flower beds or in larger containers. Begonias have continuous bloom from planting to frost with minimum maintenance. Viking XL Red has no pest or disease problems.
Marigold Big Duck Gold produces large 3 inch golden yellow double flowers on bushy 15 inch plants. It is one of the vigorous new hybrid marigolds which flower non-stop from planting to frost. Plants produce new leaves and flowers above the old ones which produces a bright clean look without deadheading. Marigold seeds can be planted directly outside in late spring. However they will bloom sooner if started inside about a month before outside planting.
Petunia Wave Carmine Velour is a brand new color in petunias. The 2 inch vibrant carmine red flowers grow on dwarf 6 to 8 inch plants which can spread up to 3 feet. Like other Wave petunias, it will quickly spread to fill in a flower bed or quickly hang over containers and hanging baskets. Petunia Wave Carmine Velour provides season-long color without dead-heading or pest problems.
Nasturtium Baby Rose has more compact, mounding 12 inch plants than other nasturtiums. It has dark green leaves. It is more suitable for containers and smaller spaces. Baby Rose blooms continuously from summer to frost with a minimum of attention. Nasturtiums seeds can be easily planted directly into the ground in early spring with good results.
Plants of new All-America Selections winners are seldom available the first year of introduction. Seeds are available from major web and mail-order seed companies. Marigolds and Nasturtium are easily grown from seed planted directly into the ground. Begonias and petunias have tiny seeds that need to be started inside at least three months before outside planting.
It is not difficult to start your own plants from seeds using starting equipment and lights available online. New LED lights are more efficient and produce brighter light for plant growth.
Greenhouses which grow their own plants can sometimes be persuaded to start plants of new varieties if they know their customers are interested. They need to be contacted by January so they will have time to order seeds and grow plants.
More information and seed sources can be found at; all-americaselections.org.