2020 created millions of new gardeners, and I am here for it! I have loved plants since I was a child, and have had a long career introducing new varieties. So, here’s my exclusive guide to the ‘hot shots’ for 2021, and beyond!
Top Israeli breeding company Danziger have so many interesting plants, their full catalogue has 1000 varieties across 100 plant types. I was honoured to have a virtual tour of the breeding facilities in recent times, and I easily picked out a few favourites!
You’ll be able to find the majority of these plants in garden centres across Europe, from spring 2021 onwards! So, if you’re looking forward to some summer cheer, pull out your notepad and put these fab plants on your shopping list! There’s plenty to please yellow fans too, after all it is the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2021, alongside grey!
With no further ado, let’s unveil the Next Top Plants. They’ll will soon be strutting their stuff on garden centre benches!
1. Petunia ‘Hippy Chick’
Hippy Chick is similar to the Queen of Hearts Series, with delicately detailed blooms, which I think look rather like seashells!
An excellent basket or pot Petunia, it’s compact yet free-flowering. This will be your new favourite, and it has all the usual qualities of Petunia; all-weather flower performance, vibrant colour, and summer long blooming!
2. Calibrachoa (Mini Petunia) ‘Eyeconic Purple’
Bedding and patio plants aren’t always known for being a nectar source, and sometimes it feels like perennials get all the coverage. However, these Calibrachoa are loved by butterflies (and hummingbirds if you like somewhere more exotic than England!)
With their diminutive size, Calibrachoa are perfect for outdoor table tops. Why not have a centrepiece plant for your summer patio set! Plants are often so covered in blooms that you’ll forget they have any foliage at all!
3. Verbena ‘Vanessa Compact Bicolour Rose’
There’s something so lovely about cushioning plants! Like little fluffy clouds, these Vanessa Verbena are well-behaved for the border or pots.
These are just built for stylish summer containers, blend them with grasses and foliage. You’ll delight many of your senses too, as the blooms have a soft honey scent! Even more reason to get up close and personal!
4. Calibrachoa (Mini Petunia) ‘Ombre Pink’
I couldn’t resist including another ‘Callie’, and this time it’s Ombre Pink! Can you believe that the blooms change from yellow to PINK?!
Compared to the first Calibrachoa released back in the 90s, modern day series are easier to grow on most soils, without any pH sensitivity. In effect, it should be as easy to grow as a Petunia!
5. Craspedia ‘Golf Beauty’
One of the trendiest plants of recent years, in fact you probably recognise them from wedding bouquets and premium bunches. A fun plant for mixed containers, and those blooms each last an exceptionally long time too, even able to be dried.
It’s also YELLOW, set to be the colour of the garden in 2021, as indeed it is the Pantone Colour of the Year... quite right too, it’s uplifting and has the feel good factor! Which yellow flowered plants will you choose for 2021??
But, that’s not all..
In recent times, I’ve also been lucky enough to visit the breeding facility at Danziger in Israel, and you can read about some of my discoveries here, plus the story of micropropagation – read it here.
Plus, here’s a little SNEAK PEEK of what’s coming up for spring 2022!
Petunia ‘Cappella Hello Yellow’
This will catch your eye in the garden centre, as it’s one of the earliest blooming varieties of Petunia, plus it’s a vibrant yellow- perfect if you’re getting on board with the yellow trends, instigated by the 2021 Pantone Colour of the Year! Those of you who know your Petunias will know that yellow is rather unusual too. Be the first to grow it!
The Cappella Series is so vigorous and ahead of itself, naturally compact plants will be in bloom from an early stage. However, unlike many modern bedding plants, they still have vigour once they are planted. They truly do hit the ground running!
Trailing Busy Lizzie (Impatiens) ‘Harmony Colorfall Passion’
I LOVE new plants, and I am always excited when a plant offers a whole new dimension. New Guinea Busy Lizzies are perhaps best known as a windowsill plant, and indeed me and my Grandma used to propagate them ourselves.
However, the 2000s have really kicked the humble Busy Lizzie into shape! These New Guinea specimens are fantastic patio plants, and Colorfall grows sideways, giving a rather neat trail for hanging baskets and windowboxes! Passion is my pick of the varieties, with pearlescent pink blooms against dark foliage. They’re gonna love the shade too, a godsend for sunless gardens and balconies.
Osteospermum ‘Osticade Daybreak’
Brightly coloured flowers are cheering, but it’s not only humans that can enjoy them, wildlife also make a beeline for some of the brightest blooms. This Osteospermum variety is pretty nifty too, check out the way the orange blooms fade, giving the effect of two colours on one plant!
With its origins in South Africa, Osticade is a very forgiving plant. Hot, sunny and dry is preferable, and keep them dry over the winter and you may find them blooming in year two, too!
Salvia nemerosa ‘Dark Matter’
I was gobsmacked when I first saw this – I think it’s the darkest Salvia nemerosa I have ever seen. Now, in case you don’t know this species, it’s the one you often see in parks and gardens, so it’s very durable!
While it looks like a bedding plant, this is indeed a perennial, so will bounce back each year with minimum effort. And, are you ready for June-to-October blooming?? You better be!
Argyranthemum ‘Lollies Berry Gummy’
Abundance is the watch-word with this effervescent plant! It looks like a daisy, which is no bad thing at all. You know it’s familiar, and makes an awesome specimen plant.
You may not even need to dead-head the plants either, as the new blooms will simply put themselves to the surface!
Want to see any of these 2021/2022 plants in situ? Take a look at my trial shots gallery below:
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.