I’ve always considered lantana to be a gaudy, cartoonish flower that has no place in my yard or pots. This plant often exhibits unappealing color combinations, such as white/yellow, orange/yellow, or weird, faded shades of legitimate colors. If you do a lantana image search on Google, you’ll see what I mean. So in spite of the fact that lantana is supposed to be a stellar performer, I’ve never given it a try—until this year.
In May, Proven Winners sent me some new plants to try out, including Luscious Royale Cosmo lantana. This variety has been a game changer for me. I discovered that the blooms, which start out as yellow, coral and pink, mature into a rich magenta set against deep green leaves. And talk about performance—on my south-facing front walk, this plant blooms consistently with no sunburn. This outstanding variety will be available in garden centers in 2018.
I’m thinking that perhaps growers photograph lantana blooms in their early stages to show all of their colors, rather than showing them at a later stage, when one or two dominant colors may be richer and more appealing. So unfortunately, the early photos may not do the plants justice. And of course, when we visit garden centers, we usually see plants that haven’t yet matured.
Other standouts in Proven Winners’ lineup of annuals include:
- Superbells Double Ruby calibrachoa hybrid. This calibrachoa boasts double blooms that resemble tiny carnations. Mine has grown 4 inches high and 2 feet wide since early June. It’s delightful.
- Superbells Blue Moon Punch calibrachoa. Another solid performer, this cheerful charmer pumps out purple and white blooms with a brilliant yellow throat. Mine cascades down the pot about 16 inches.
- Prince Tut dwarf Egyptian papyrus. This fast-growing, no-maintenance stunner has reached two feet since I planted it in a pot in early June. It reportedly will reach 30 to 48 inches at maturity.
In Spring 2018, Proven Winners will introduce a new rose of Sharon, Pollypetite, in garden centers. An endearing shrub that grows 3 to 4 feet high and wide, Pollypetite features delicate pink, iridescent blooms. Because of its smaller size, this plant will fit nicely in gardens that don’t have room for typical roses of Sharon, some of which can grow 10 feet high and wide.