April is upon us, my gardening friends! No more staring out the window snuggled up in a blanket. It’s time to get your hands dirty and do some serious gardening! Find something new for your garden this year, and check out these new or seldom-used plants!
Spring may be an excellent time for planting, but it’s also the best time to get your hands on the new and seldom used plants that you just can’t find the rest of the year. Plants that are in limited supply except for early in the season. Plants that every hardcore gardener must have!
Save June and July for planting the great standby plants – Lilac, Spirea, Boxwood. April and May? Those are the months to find the really cool plants.
Check out these new and seldom used plants that would make great additions to your garden!
Invincibelle Wee White ® Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle ‘Wee White®’
As a new introduction from Proven Winners this year, Wee White® is the first true dwarf ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea. Topping out at a whopping 2.5 feet (let me repeat – 2.5 feet!!), this is huge!
Or tiny…ahem, you get my drift.
These pure white blooms are held atop sturdy, velvety green foliage even after a storm. Say bye, bye to the typical floppy arborescens.
AND you get consistent blooming from spring to frost regardless of whether or not your husband or maintenance crew mistakenly whack it back. You can’t say that about many hydrangeas!
To create sturdy stems and to keep the hot St. Louis sun from scorching those beautiful green leaves, allow Wee White® at least 6 hours of sun in the morning and shade to filtered light in the afternoon.
Because this hydrangea is new to garden centers this year, it will likely be in limited supply. Shop early for this little pearl.
Electric Lights™ Red Exbury Azalea
Rhododendron ‘Electric Lights™’
I have never been much of an Azalea fan. While the colors help to brighten the spring landscape, they tend to be on the pastel side of the color spectrum.
Instead, I want an explosion of warm color that wakes me from my winter doldrums. I want something to push away the cold. I want something that shows off so briefly and so spectacularly that I spend the rest of the year anticipating the upcoming floral explosion!
Enter Electric Lights™ Red Exbury Azalea.
Exbury azaleas are unique in 2 ways: They are deciduous, meaning they lose their foliage every winter. And they are also available in more than just pastel shades. Think red, orange, and gold!
Deciduous azaleas aren’t new. But, despite the first crosses made back in 1957, they still haven’t become big players on the plant market in St. Louis.
Electric Lights™ Red is a genuine garden performer whose flower buds are hardy to -30°. The upright form only reaches 4-5 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide, so it’s perfect for the back of a perennial or landscape border.
The fire engine red flowers will have your neighbors thinking you’ve figured out how to grow tropical plants in our not-so-tropical locale. Obviously, you’re some super garden guru!
Shop in April for this gorgeous plant – once they are done flowering, they can be hard to find.
Oso Easy Hot Paprika® Rose
Rosa Oso Easy ‘Hot Paprika®’
So, why would I choose a rose brand that is not as commonly known over the highly marketed Knock Out® Rose?
I am excited about the new Knock Out® rose release this spring — there are 3 of them being released this year if you are not already in the know. I am actually very excited to see the Coral Knock Out. (Which I will have in the garden center this spring).
I think it’s more so that I am a bit tired of the same-old, same-old. I want something different, something with intense color and a bit of spice. I want a rose that boldly screams, heck yeah, you’re gonna like me. And I think I found it in Hot Paprika®.
According to the Proven Winners website, Oso Easy Hot Paprika® Rose is finally available in garden centers in spring 2018. This newly introduced pop of orange is a classic, easy to grow landscape rose, with outstanding hardiness and disease resistance.
Like all shrub roses, Hot Paprika® blooms from summer through fall and performs best in full sun. This rose can be cut back to one-half its size, but with it topping out at 2 feet (much smaller than Knock Out), you’ll probably never have to.
Because it’s new to garden centers this season, I’m not sure what the availability will be like. But I do have some pre-booked for spring, so get them early!
Quercus macrocarpa x robur
Umm, an Oak, you say? Why, yes, I do!
I love oak trees and completely fell in love with Heritage® last summer. Like, late summer. You know, that point when your oak is tattered and mildewy and is potentially covered with galls? Not this tree.
Heritage® is clean. The foliage is a nearly pristine, dark, glossy green, and the acorns are absolutely gorgeous.
As with all oaks, you need a large space for it to grow. Heritage® is a relatively vigorous grower and will reach around 60 – 80 feet high and 40 – 50 feet wide. It tends to be broadly pyramidal in its youth but will eventually become rounded to oval as it matures.
I feel like I have so much in common with this oak…
The biggest drawback for most people is the acorns it produces. Yes, it has acorns — potential baby trees and a tremendous food source for wildlife. Embrace the acorns. Love the acorns.
Hello Yellow Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’
Last year, Americans fell in love with our native orange Butterfly Weed. They were everywhere, even HERE, and rightfully so! But, what if I told you, non-orange-loving gardeners, that there is another option to this native beauty?
With its golden flowers blooming non-stop from July to August, ‘Hello Yellow’ offers a reprieve to those of you who just can’t do orange.
‘Hello Yellow’ was hybridized from the native Asclepias tuberosa. It is a host plant to a multitude of butterfly species but is the only host plant for the Monarch. This golden Butterfly Weed loves the sun, good drainage, and is deer resistant. At 18″ – 24″ in size, it works well in mass plantings.
Don’t think that this plant is all golden, though. In the fall, decorative, large pods explode with cottony seeds that float on the breeze creating an opportunity for swaths of color the following season.
Butterfly Weed is slow to appear in the spring, so don’t expect this one too early at the nursery. Start checking in May for this yellow phenomenon.