Plant Trials - 2013 winners for your garden

University and public gardens around the U.S. participate in plant trials, growing new varieties and testing their strengths and qualities in the local weather and soil.

The winners are the plants to look for in catalogs and garden centers in the spring - they have been through it all and come out on top.

The results lists are terrific resources for bringing new plants into an existing garden or building an entire garden from scratch.

The national database, Plant Trials lists many participating gardens, but all trial gardens and results are not there, only the ones that agree to share their information..

Oklahoma State University has trial gardens but their data is not on the national site. Their crop trials page is at

OSU's ornamental field trial winners were reported by Greenhouse Growers
The 2013 top performers were
Angelonia ‘Serenita Raspberry’, Celosia ‘Fresh Look Orange’, Crossandra ‘Orange Marmalade’, Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, Gazania ‘LoGro Bronze’, Plectranthus ‘Sedona Color Blaze’ (coleus), Tagetes erecta ‘Mum Lemon’ (marigold)
Zinnia ‘Lilac Rose’, Zinnia ‘UpTown Grape’

The University of TN in Knoxville reported these as their most successful trial plantsAngelonia ‘AngelMist Spreading Dark Purple’Begonia ‘Fire Balls’Capsicum ‘NuMex Twilight’Dahlia ‘XXL Hidalgo’Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’Euphorbia ‘Star Dust Super Flash’
Ipomoea ‘Bright Ideas Rusty Red’
Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’
Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ (Graceful Grasses)

Petunia ‘Shock Wave Denim’

Dallas Arboretum plant trials has its own website at
Their 2013 winners were
Ageratum ‘Artist Blue’
Aloe humilis ‘Hedgehog’
Begonia ‘Ikon Bronze’
Chrysocephalum ‘Silver Leaf Yellow’
Lantana Santana Series
Lobularia ‘White Knight’
Lobularia ‘White Stream’
Nicotiana ‘Only The Lonely’
Portulaca Cupcake Series (purslane)
Scaevola ‘Blue Fan’
Scaevola ‘Romeo’

Kansas State University calls their trials program Prairie Star and they have links to annual and perennial winners. You can look through their lists by genus or by common name.

Ohio State University's Best of the Best 2013 are shown at and include

Begonia 'Surefire Red' (Proven Winners)
Begonia 'Surefire Rose' (Proven Winners)
Caladium 'Royal Flush' (Bates Sons & Daughters)
Caladium 'Tapestry' (Bates Sons & Daughters)

Catharanthus 'Titan Blush' (PanAmerican Seed)
Pelargonium 'Sarita Dark Red' (Dummen)
Pennisetum 'Graceful Grasses Fireworks' (Proven Winners)
Petunia 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum' (Proven Winners)
Solenostemon 'Kong Jr. Scarlet' (Ball Ingenuity)

Begonia boliviensis ‘Bossa Nova Orange’ (Floranova)
Begonia boliviensis ‘Bossa Nova Red’ (Floranova)
Begonia boliviensis ‘Breezy Pink’ (Ball Ingenuity)
Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ (Proven Winners)
Catharanthus (vinca) ‘Cora® Apricot Improved’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Coreopsis ‘Baby Bang Daybreak’ (Skagit Gardens)
Dahlia ‘XXL Hidalgo’ (Dummen)
Euphorbia ‘Star Dust Super Flash’ (Dummen)
Gomphrena ‘Forest Pink’ (Proven Winners)
Impatiens, New Guinea ‘Sun Harmony Violet’ (Danziger Flower Farm)
Impatiens, New Guinea ‘SuperSonic® Hot Pink’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Ipomoea ‘Black Margarete and Purple Heart NC’ (Dummen)
Lantana ‘Chapel Hill Pink Huff’ (Dummen)
Lantana ‘Little Lucky Pot of Gold’ (Ball FloraPlant)
Lantana ‘Prisma White Lime’ (Danziger Flower Farm)
Mandevilla ‘Rio Pink’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Multi-species Kwik Kombos™ Mix ‘Night in Pompeii™’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Multi-species Kwik Kombos™ Mix ‘Sanguna® Salute’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Pelargonium ‘Boldly® Hot Pink’ (Proven Winners)
Pelargonium ‘Salsarita Hot Pink 60’ (Dummen)
Pentas ‘Starcluster™ Lavender’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Pentas ‘Starcluster™ Red’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Petunia ‘Potunia Plus Yellow’ (Dummen)
Petunia ‘Queen Bee’ (Dummen)
Petunia ‘Supertunia White Improved’ (Proven Winners)
Petunia ‘Surfinia® Baby Deep Purple’ (Suntory)
Petunia ‘Surprise Marine’ (Dummen)
Petunia ‘Tidal Wave® Silver’ (PanAmerican Seed)
Scaecola ‘Bombay® White’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Solenostemon (coleus) ‘Mighty Mosaic’ (PanAmerican Seed)
Solenostemon (coleus) ‘Redhead’ (Ball FloraPlant)
Verbena ‘Veralena Pure Lavender’ (Danziger Flower Farm)
Zinnia ‘Zahara Fire’ (PanAmerican Seed)

If your weather doesn't resemble that of the states above, it is easy to find trial garden results from your area, just using your favorite search engine.

Inside time over the winter gives us a chance to dream about how these winners would make our gardens look fabulous.





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