Some people like to discover their own new plants. They choose them from seed company catalogs or websites providing seeds nationwide. They read the general growing tips, choose a plant and see what happens when they grow it locally. Some people use the recommendations of regional nursery personnel who have tried many new plants.
Some people enjoy trying new plants selected by other local gardeners that grew well last season. Three of the interns that live in the Yankton area and completed South Dakota Master Gardener training last summer had standout plants from last season.
Vonnie Carda likes Lantana camara, also called Shrub Verbena because rabbits don’t prefer it, flowers have a “tutti-frutti” aroma, and the plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to her garden. It blooms from mid-summer through late fall and is heat and humidity tolerant. Flowers are available in red, pink, white and orange. She noticed that they even change color after pollination.
As she said, Lantana grows well in full sun and summer heat. With the removal of spent blooms and stems, the plant maintains its shape during the long blooming season.
Mary Mueller likes the Burpee ‘Big Mamma’ red paste tomato as a local standout plant. She grew it from seed and found that it grew well without disease in last season’s rain episodes. She used a trellis for the tall indeterminant Roma tomato. She had lots of fruit that were five inches long and three inches across with mild flavor, ease of skin removal after parboiling and a small number of seeds. The courtesy photo comes from the Burpee Home Gardens website.
Linda Stephenson enjoys a variety of Coleus as her standout plants of last season. She likes red and green foliage and the array of leaf colors. A single plant can grow large in the season and makes a good porch plant in pots or can be grown in-ground. She likes zinnias for some of the same reasons. Courtesy photo comes from All America-Selections website.
You’re invited to share about your standout plant and why you like it in the comment section below.