Chris Beytes, Bill Calkins & Jennifer Zurko
Rex Begonia Love (Green Fuse)
New for 2024 is a subseries within their Shadow King series called Love, made up of new begonias that are a cross between rex begonias and B. bowerae, which are subtropical begonias known for their interesting foliage patterns. Plants are compact and foliage is small. There are five interesting colors: Burgundy Love, Lemon Love, Vintage Love, Lime Love and the unusually named Turtle Love. They make excellent indoor plants, but also do well outdoors in the shade.
Alstroemeria Inticancha Sunstar (HilverdaFlorist)
The Inticancha series is ideal for patio pots with its sturdy stems and large flowers. Sunstar has bright pink flowers. And it has “sun” in the name, which means it has some heat tolerance.
Hydrangea Table Tensia (Ball Ingenuity)
Hydrangea Table Tensia is a compact (8- to 10-in. tall by 12- to 14-in. wide) hydrangea selected for tabletop centerpiece use. It loves an 8- to 10-in. bulb pan. Table Tensia comes in Pink and Blue (the blue requires the usual aluminum treatment to ensure a good strong color). It’s a hearty bloomer, with one plant generating 10 or 12 flowers or more. The flowers age to pretty antique shades, giving long life in the home. By the way, why Table “Tensia” (besides the obvious play on table tennis)? It’s short for hortensia, long a common name for hydrangea.
Primula Sibel, Bonneli, Elodie, Fruelo (Benary)
Benary’s four new series of primula were pretty uniform across all offerings. Sibel is a P. polyantha, with flowers held above the foliage on umbels. It gets seven colors and a mix. Bonneli is a bread-and-butter series of P. vulgaris (a.k.a. P. acaulis) with an impressive 19 colors. We were particularly drawn to Bonneli Sailing (pictured), which features pale blue flowers with gold centers etched with deep purple veins. Elodie is another vulgaris that blooms a bit later. And Fruelo, another vulgaris, is the latest of all.
Kalanchoe Calor (Dümmen Orange)
Calor is a landscape/outdoor kalanchoe from the breeder of Calandiva. Big, vigorous plants would do fine in large patio pots or in the ground (in the right climate, of course). The series gets five colors.
In Calandiva, there’s a new color in the Decorative subseries called Franklin, which features flowers that range from peach to pink.
Cyclamen from Morel
Morel, a century-old French cylamen breeder that sells exclusively through Ball Seed in North America, always has cool intros. This year, they’re showing new colors in their large-sized Halios Select series (pictured): Red Satisfaction, Curly Indian Rose and Curly Salmon.
New in their midi-sized Indiaka assortment with its airbrushed-look blooms is Light Rose. The Tianis midi-sized series (pictured) adds Light Pink Purple Eye, Neon Rose, Rose with Eye, Rose Flame and Improved Pure White. Lastly, they added some new minis, including Smartiz Pure White and Magenta Tuxedo.
Tradescantia Green White, Zebrina Bordeaux, Tricolor Power (Jaldety)
These four tradescantias for indoor or outdoor use aren’t unique or exclusive, but Jaldety has re-released them after many years to take advantage of the indoor foliage trend. Tradescantia (a.k.a. setcreasea) were popular 40 or 50 years ago or more, but they fell to the allure of more exotic species. Now they’re back, because the market has circled back around to them.
Tecoma Kalama (Ball Ingenuity)
Tecoma Kalama is a trumpet vine without the vining habit. Kalama offers three colors—Blood Orange, Papaya and Pomegranate—on compact plants that grow to 18- to 24-in. tall and 16- to 18-in. wide.
Hydrangea HI Moon, Ice, Horizon Pink, Meadow (Syngenta)
This year, Syngenta added some blues and pinks to their HI collection of potted florist hydrangeas. But most noteworthy was the pure white HI Ice, and the very unusual HI Moon of white flowers with tints of green and a sharp edge of deep red.
Primula Lighthouse White (Sakata)
Sakata added all-important White to its Primula polyantha Lighthouse series, known for multiflora flower power. You can grow the Lighthouse series without PGRs and count on disease-resistance due to breeding work to increase flower stem length.
Two new coprosma that start small, but really size up into shrubs in a few years, are Pacific Night, which has glossy green and burgundy foliage, and Eclipse, which matures to show vivid green-and-pink tones.
Cyclamen Fusion Neon Pink (Schoneveld)
Fusion is this Dutch breeder’s newest series; according to them, it is the first large-flowered bicolor on the market (all others are mid-sized). Fusion starts with Neon Pink.
Helianthus Smiley Gold (Takii)
Takii has a new helianthus (sunflower) in their Smiley series called Gold, which is an appropriate name. Smileys are potted types that finish quickly. And they send up multiple flower heads, giving great value to the end consumer. GP