Friday, May 27, 2022
May 27, 2022

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Gardening with Allen: Begonia, petunia golden for 2022

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Begonia Viking Explorer Rose (All-America Selections)
Begonia Viking Explorer Rose (All-America Selections) Photo Gallery

Four new flowers have received All-America Selections awards for 2022.

Begonia Viking Explorer Rose is an outstanding new large-flowered trailing begonia that received a gold medal. Bright, nonfading flowers cover glossy green foliage with color. Viking Explorer Rose’s heat tolerance and disease resistance result in long season performance. It is tolerant of both wet and dry conditions, grows well in both sunny and shady locations, and is suitable for hanging baskets and all kinds of containers.

It is seldom that All-America Selections awards more than one gold medal in the same year. However, Petunia Bee’s Knees is also a gold medal winner for 2022. Breeders have been working for many years to develop deep, nonfading yellow color in petunias. The intense yellow color contrasts beautifully against the deep green leaves. Bee’s Knees grows well in both beds and containers. It brightens mixed plantings with that missing bright contrast color. Because Bee’s Knees is such a solid improvement, it is more likely to be found in local retail locations in the first year of introduction.

Sunflower Concert Bell is an excellent new variety for cut flowers. Plants grow a uniform 5 to 6 feet tall. Flowers grow in clusters of up to 10 flowers on a columnar stem. One branch can provide a bouquet. Beautiful golden yellow blooms appear earlier than the comparisons. Sunflowers are easily started from seeds. In warm indoor conditions, they germinate in less than a week and can be replanted outside in less than three weeks. Plant successions of seeds outside every three to four weeks for cut flowers all summer.

Torenia Vertigo Deep Blue is a brand-new variety ideal for both containers and the landscape. It produces more flowers than other torenias. Flower color is a deep nonfading blue, which contrasts beautifully with the sky blue and yellow centers. Torenia Vertigo has a compact habit, flowers for a very long period of time, and has glossy green foliage. Mounded plants grow about a foot high.

Plants of new All-America winners are sometimes hard to find the first year of introduction. Let local greenhouses and full-service nurseries and garden stores know of your interest in specific varieties in January so they can purchase seeds and starter plants for their own production. Seeds of Begonia Viking Explorer Rose, Sunflower Concert Bell and Torenia Vertigo Deep Blue should be available from mail and internet sources. Petunia Bee’s Knees is grown from cuttings.


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