Hot New Annuals

Hot New Annual

Every year the nursery trade comes up with new and better varieties of some of your old favorites. Sometimes the plants are more disease resistant or drought tolerant. Sometimes the colors are brand new and eye catching. These are our hot new annuals.

You can see these plants in our 15 display beds along the entry way drive (between the Entry Garden walkway and the barn).

Hot New Annuals for 2015– Vinca

Bed 1 - Titan Summer Breeze Mix

1 - Titan Summer Breeze Mix
height of 14-16” and has a mounded, upright form
This mix provides numerous colors of bloom.

Bed 2 - Mediterranean XP Mix

2 - Mediterranean XP Mix
height of only 4-6” but can spread 20-30”
has a mounded, spreading, and trailing form
The Mediterranean series offers a true red and a pure white.

This year the display beds feature vinca, a popular annual that stands up well to Tulsa’s hot, dry summers. Our beds are numbered 1-15 with 1 being the bed closest to the start of the Entry Walkway and 15 being closest to the barn.

Annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) is an upright, flowering plant known for its adaptability and low maintenance. It thrives in sunny areas.

Depending on the variety, vinca flower colors include pink, deep rose, red, blush, scarlet, white, white with a red eye, lavender and many other shades. It flowers continually from late spring to fall and has a dark, shiny green foliage.

Vinca works well in beds and containers, and some varieties will trail.

Bed 3 - Valiant Lilac

3 - Valiant Lilac
height of 14-20" with an upright form
superior vigor allows it to better survive environmental stresses
such as sun, heat, drought, and cool/damp conditions

Bed 4 - Nirvana Rose, Nirvana Pink Blush, and Nirvana Cascade Pink Splash

4 - Nirvana: Rose, Pink Blush, and Cascade Pink Splash
Nirvana have been bred to be resistant to Aerial Phytophthora,
a disease to which vinca can be susceptible.

Bed 5 - Mediterranean Red

5 - Mediterranean Red
height of only 4-6” with a spreading and trailing growing habit
makes a good border plant

Bed 6 - Sunstorm Red Halo

6 - Sunstorm Red Halo
height of 10" and a width of 12"
a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard

Bed 7 - Pacifica XP Mix

7 - Pacifica XP Mix
height of 10-14" and a width of 6-8"
Pacifica XP varieties come in 18 different shades of blooms.

Bed 8 - Nirvana Cascade Pink Splash

8 - Nirvana Cascade Pink Splash
a large deep rosy pink center with petal edges a light pink
a semi-trailing habit makes it a good choice for hanging baskets
or as a filler in mixed containers

Bed 9 - Titan Dark Red

9 - Titan Dark Red
height of 14-16" and a width of 10-12"
very stress-tolerantwith a mounded, upright form

Bed 10 - Jams ‘N Jellies Blueberry

10 - Jams ‘N Jellies Blueberry
height of 10-14" and a width of 10-12"
compact but well-branched and bushy

Bed 11 - Pacifica Red

11 - Pacifica Red
height of 10-14" and a width of 6-10"
has a solid red bloom

Bed 12 - Titan Mix

12 - Titan Mix
height of 14-16" and a width of 10-12"
excellent drought tolerance
outstanding performance in full sun to partial shade

Bed 13 - Cora Cascade Polka Dot

13 - Cora Cascade Polka Dot
height of 6 to 8" and a spread of 32-36"
a white bloom with a red eye and many flowers

Bed 14 - Cora Mix

14 - Cora Mix
height of 14-16" and a width of around 24"
stands up to heat, humidity, and rain beautifully
blooms heavily all summer

Bed 15 - Cora Red

15 - Cora Red
height of 14-16" and a spread of 22-25"
large, striking flowers
overlapping petals over glossy green foliage

2014 Test Annuals - Lantana

Bed 1 - Lantana Lucky Yellow

Lucky Yellow

Bed 2 - Lantana Little Lucky Red

Little Lucky Red

Bed 3 - Lantana Lucky Pure Gold

Lucky Pure Gold

In 2014 we tested Lantana. They did great. Look at all the beautiful colors. This is how they looked in August, two months after planting.

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. In our Tulsa zone they are usually considered annuals because of our colder weather in the winter. If we have a mild winter this plant can come back in the spring.

Lantana's aromatic flower clusters (called umbels) are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. Other colors exist as new varieties are being selected. The flowers typically change color as they mature, resulting in inflorescences that are two- or three-colored. If you have a hot, baked spot, lantana is your answer. This hardworking plant not only thrives with little moisture and in full, unyielding sun, it does so with ease.

In fact, lantana is a flower that seems to have it all: it produces an abundance of brightly colored flowers all summer and fall; it's a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds; it's easy to grow and a great choice for containers.

The main difference in these varieties is the height. From smallest to largest: Bandito, Lucky, Landmark, then Luscious (the tallest).

Bed 4 - Lantana Little Lucky Lemon Cream

Little Lucky Lemon Cream

Bed 5 - Lantana Lucky Sunrise Rose

Lucky Sunrise Rose

Bed 6 - Lantana Bandito Rose

Bandito Rose

Bed 9 - Lantana Bandito Red

Bandito Red

Bed 10  Lantana Landmark Yellow

Landmark Yellow

Bed 11 - Lantana Landmark Sunrise Rose

Landmark Sunrise Rose

Bed 13 - Lantan Landmark Rose Glow

Landmark Rose Glow

Bed 14 - Lantana Landmark White

Landmark White

Bed 15 - Lantana Luscious Banarama

Luscious Banarama

Exceptional Performers from Past Years

We highly recommend the following plants from our previous years' Hot New Annuals test beds.

Lucky Pot of Gold Lantana,Supertunias, and Goldilocks Rocks were outstanding. They stood up to the heat of summer providing great shows of blossoms. They looked fabulous up until the first freeze. These plants should be available for purchase at Southwood and other local nurseries.

Lucky Pot of Gold Lantana

Lucky Pot of Gold Lantana

Like its vigorous lantana companions, Lucky Pot of Gold Lantana stands up well to heat, humidity and other stressful conditions. The dark green-leafed plants stay upright and mounded with a controlled habit all season, making them ideal for small-space gardens and mixed containers.

Culture Information : Allow plants to dry regularly between waterings. Pinch as needed to shape. Feeding at recommended levels will promote vigorous plants that will continue to actively grow and flower.

Lavendar Skies Supertunia

Lavendar Skies Supertunia

Petunia Supertunias - Lavender Skies Petunia features beautiful lavender-blue flowers that almost shimmer in the sunlight. Supertunias are a vigorously trailing species of an ever-blooming, long living petunia from Australia. They will provide long term color in full sun areas throughout the season, and can grow nearly an inch a day. They are ideal for baskets, beds, balconies, and combination plantings. Supertunias are very heat and drought tolerant once established in the ground or pot. They do not need to have their dead flower heads removed to continue flowering and they are not leggy. Supertunias grow fast and therefore need ample moisture and fertilizer.


Supertunias form cascading masses of flowers that bloom all summer.

Other Petunia Supertunias have also been winners in the Linneaus Garden test plots.

Raspberry Blast

Supertunia Raspberry Blast

Bidens Ferulifolia 'Goldilocks Rocks'

Bidens Ferulifolia 'Goldilocks Rocks'

Bidens Ferulifolia 'Goldilocks Rocks' is a vigorous, heat and drought tolerant plant with bright gold flowers from spring to fall.

Use it in hanging baskets, window baskets, and landscaping. This plant is low maintenance as no deadheading is necessary.

Other Greats - Evolvulus Hybrid 'Blue My Mind'

Evolvulus Hybrid 'Blue My Mind'

Evolvulus Hybrid 'Blue My Mind'

Remarkably true blue flowers cover this entire plant from spring until the first frost, especially thriving in the heat of the summer. Blue My Mind loves hot weather, in fact, the hotter the better. It will perform best in full sun and needs to be protected from even light frost. It is drought tolerant, once it is established. Plants do need to be watered well for several weeks during root establishment.

While the plants can withstand drought conditions, growth and flowering are better with consistent moisture. Deadheading is unnecessary. A good dose of compost or slow release fertilizer will improve performance.

Mercadonia hybrid GoldDust

Mercadonia hybrid GoldDust

Mercadonia hybrid GoldDust

Another favorite of the Proven Winners trials is GoldDust, a lovely low-growing mercadonia.

Its mat habit makes it a durable, walk-all-over-it landscape item that loves the heat. Small green leaves are covered with yellow nemesia-like flowers. With 10 years of breeding behind it, it's bound to have some good characteristics. It can also be used in a container as a spiller (trails over the side of a container) plant.

We have had it in our Linnaeus garden more than once, and everyone coming through the garden remarks about the brillant color which is displayed May thru October.

It is marketed as an annual but we have found that it is a really hardy annual and will return the following year if we do not have a hard winter.

by Sandi Rebman,
Photos by Marc Schreiber