The Flower Show has historically been a showcase for new plants, counting the Poinsettia and the Chrysanthemum among its most popular introductions to the public in North America. The 2019 Show will be no exception. The New Plant Gallery will showcase the latest offerings of Proven Winners®; know Star® Roses and Plants, a leading genetics company involved directly in breeding roses, perennials and woody plants, and introducing plants from other breeders around the world; American Beauties Native Plants®, LLC, a partnership between Prides Corner Farms, Lebanon, CT, and North Creek Nurseries, Landenberg, PA, dedicated to promoting native plants; and Hort Couture®, a company that combines horticulture and fashion with varieties that blur the line between amazing performance and beautiful aesthetics.
Look for the Gomphrena Truffula™ Pink among the horticultural gems on display. Trialed and introduced by Proven Winners®, this plant is one of 18 new varieties being showcased in their display in the New Plant Gallery.
“Growing one foot to 24 inches tall, this plant packs on the color,” says Kerry Meyer, Program Director at Proven Winners. “Compact in size, it works well in containers and smaller space gardens, but is still a fabulous landscape plant. Truffula Pink has beautiful branching, and with its refined, tidy size, brings all the flowers closer together to create great color coverage. It looks and feels different and people want something new and really reliable. It’s a perfect container plant to attract pollinators.”
Meyer sends out new introductions every year to four dozen universities and a handful of botanical gardens across the United States and Canada, including Longwood Gardens. In September 2017, Truffula Pink was selected to be introduced as a Proven Winners plant. Last summer, it was sent out to these trial gardens where it was planted in the ground and evaluated. “Everyone loved it. It was trialed in both landscape plantings and containers and was a standout in both planting types,” says Meyer.
The plant was very adaptable. It did just as well in Miami, Florida, as it did up north in Minnesota and New England. It’s healthy, disease-resistant, and easy to grow, and fairly drought-tolerant. This low- key annual requires nothing more than a controlled-release fertilizer when it is planted, and water. Not especially cold tolerant -- wait until after the last frost before planting, about the same time you plant petunias. It will bloom all summer, without deadheading, until a hard frost, and likes six or more hours of direct sun every day. “Other than that, let it do its thing,” says Meyer. “It’s the standout this year, and certainly at the top of my list.”
While the Gomphrena Truffula Pink will not be available to purchase at this year’s Show, you’ll be able to find it at local nurseries this spring. Keep an eye out for this exciting newcomer.