Welcome to the Plant Geek Choice Awards 2023, where you can have YOUR say on what you think should be the ‘people’s plant of the year’.
About the Plant Geek Choice Awards
The Plant Geek Choice Awards were set up to give you (the public) a view into the exclusive, industry-only Flower Trials. The Flower Trials take place each year across three regions in the Netherlands and Germany, and is a great opportunity to see the latest plants that growers are introducing to the market, as well as to spot trends!
As the Flower Trials aren’t open to the public, I wanted to find a way to help growers and suppliers gauge public opinion. This is where the Plant Geek Choice Awards come in!
You can influence the direction of the market with your input in the awards – I’ll then feed back this information to industry professionals. Imagine seeing your chosen plants pop up on shelves in garden centres across the UK. Your votes could help make that happen!
Each of the plants in this year’s awards are up-and-coming plants that have extra special features. The categories are:
- The next top patio plant
- The next top indoor plant
- The next top edible
- The next top bedding plant
- The next top basket plant
- The next top eco plant
- The next top perennial shrub
Voting is now open, and will be open until 9th June 2023, at which point I will determine the winner from each category.
The next top patio plant
Summerstar New Red
“Mandevilla Breeders Association (MBA) introduces Mandevilla Summerstar New Red. This new variety has intense red flowers. Summerstar New Red shows very early flower initiation and the color of the flowers doesn’t fade. Summerstar New Red is a compact grower in harsh climate and the plants are very suitable for trellis.
Summerstar New Red is an extension of the Summerstar® series.”
“The new Downtown series with its bicolor foliage adds a bold new look to the Coleus range. The series consists of five upright varieties with special small, two-tone leaf types. The short cultivation period of 6-8 weeks from rooted cutting (RC) to finished plant and its very strong branching habit make Downtown an easy and reliable product to grow. The series is ideal for production in 10-13 cm pots and in larger containers with three cuttings. In short: a perfect Coleus series with an excellent shelf life for different market segments and a long sales period – both as a container or bedding plant for outdoors and as a pot plant for indoors.”
ALONIA™ Big Grape | Angelonia
“A beautiful dark purple addition to the series. This is an early flowering Angelonia with an average finishing time of 8-9 weeks. Angelonia are naturally heat tolerant with a relatively high drought tolerance. They can be grown in small pots but continue to gain size in the garden.”
Canna x generalis `CANNOVA Red Golden Flame F1’
“This is a fascinating flaming bicolour Canna x generails with complementary green leaves. It creates a vivid effect in the garden. Truly eye catching!”
The next top indoor plant
Antlers on the wall can be alive too!!
Our new Epi-Cerium concept makes it possible to admire the fascinatingly growing staghorn fern as a living picture on the wall at home. The platycerium grows epiphytically on a piece of cork and is connected to a water reservoir with a cord. The fern only takes as much water as it really needs, so you absolutely can’t go wrong! The new Easy Care concept from Hassinger!
METIS® White CHANTILLY
“A wide selection of standard and fancy varieties for all sizes and all seasons: Smartiz ®, Metis®, Tianis ®, Midi+®, Latinia ®, Halios ®, as well as SUCCESS ® and HD. Our breeding criteria since 1919: to serve the horticultural trade with reliable and performing varieties.”
“Rimini® is a genetically compact variety in our NANO collection what produces beautiful dark yellow flowers. In coming years, the NANO collection will include more of these similarly compact pot varieties in a range of colours. Rimini® is characterised by its short plant with dark green leaves and a high amount of side stems. The cultivation period from planting to flowering is 9-10 weeks.”
Siam Curcuma series
“In 1990 Jan van der Knaap (1925-2010) discovered the beauty of the Curcuma in Thailand. This was the start of unraveling the cultivation of a completely new product for the Western world. Which today has led to a uniform Siam range of high quality. Easy to grow in different pot sizes and even different color shades.”
The next top edible
“Strawberry F1 ‘Montana’ is our bestseller within the large flower series. With its extra-large, snow-white flowers and sweet flavoured big fruits, this strawberry variety is a winner for each balcony or patio.
‘Montana’ develops a medium compact plant with some runners and flowers abundantly. These characteristics make Montana well suitable for combined culture with our FleuroStar winning strawberry F1 Toscana.”
“Purplelicious is a purple long-stem type broccoli meaning that its main characteristic is its super tender and sweet stems. It has attractive purple/green stems, foliage and florets packed with antioxidants due to the purple colour.
Multi-stem purple broccoli is decorative as a garden plant and great for cooking. The unique feature of Purplelicious F1 is that the colour stays purplish when its cooked.
It is a compact and fast-growing plant which is ready for harvest in August and September with continious harvest until frost. Colour contrast is high when the nights are cold.”
Helianthus annuus F1 Sunsation® Compact
“It is time for the next generation of Sunsation® potted sunflowers. Helianthus Sunsation® Compact answers to the worldwide demands for products with true genetic compactness. The series can be grown without the use of growth regulators in propagation phase and finishing. With Sunsation® Compact you can grow stress free: no more PGR, dry cycles and high EC levels to keep plants compact. Sunsation® is the rich flowering potted plant series for home and garden, flowering from spring to early autumn. By pinching the Sunsation® varieties, you get a well-branching plant structure and several large flowers that bloom simultaneously, for even more sunshine. Sunsation® Compact is available for pre-commercial trials in Yellow and Lemon.”
Salvia officinalis ‘Snow Flake’ⱽᴿ
“Hishtil is proud to introduce a new and exclusive Salvia officinalis ‘Snow Flake’ⱽᴿ.
Salvia plants are traditionally known for their antioxidant effects and ability to enhance ‘head and brain’ function. Salvia officinalis ‘Snowflake’ⱽᴿ has silvery velvety leaves, an extraordinary aroma and is less sensitive to Powdery mildew than other species. Salvia officinalis ‘Snowflake’ⱽᴿ Can be used as a beautiful decorative herb or to add herbaceousness to sauces, pastries, and bread.”
The next top bedding plant
Erysimum linifolium Erysistble
“Erysistible is back! It has more compact flowering stems that stretch less. Erysistible is available in the spectacular colours Yellow, Magenta, Sunset and Tricolor. This plant can be grown as a spring perennial as well as a summer perennial with a flowering period from March until the first frost. Compared to traditional Erysimums, the Erysistble needs fewer growth regulators which makes it easier to grow.”
Antirrhinum F1 DoubleShot Orange Bicolor
“DoubleShot™ is a new series of tall garden F1 snapdragons with beautiful open-faced double flowers on strong, heavily branched plants. They produce flower stems in succession all through the growing season. DoubleShot snapdragons were specifically bred to maintain strong, tall stems in short-day production in warmer areas, making them also ideal for use in winter production for sub-tropical areas . Growing to a height of 45-50 cm (18-20”), DoubleShot™ is ideal as tall garden accents in flower beds or in container. Orange Bicolor is a dual AAS Winner for both garden and container performance!”
Atriplex “Silver Holly”
Atriplex “Silver Holly” is a new, compact and well-branched variety with too many uses! Its leaves are shaped similar to holly but they are soft and in silvery-grayish color! Thanks to its silver tones and massive foliage, it creates the perfect contrast for any flower bed!
Silver Holly is drought, flood, heat and frost tolerant and totally not picky in soil types! It can grow even when temperature reaches +45oC and in dry soils it survives -10oC as well! You will probably find it in sunny positions but it can grow in shady locations too.
Combinations with bedding plants are unlimited but when it comes to Christmas decorations it is certainly one of the MUST HAVE items next to Poinsettia.
Bidens ‘Taka Tuka®’
“Compact growing Bidens with a flat spherical habit. This plant features attractive bright bicolor flowers over dark green foliage. It has a low growth inhibitor requirement, and good blooming properties – plus, it’s insect-friendly.”
The next top basket plant
Calibrachoa Fancy Francy
“The charming, eye-catching variety delights with an interesting play of colours of a special kind: from a yellow flower centre, the multi-coloured flower edges change colours from intense pink to light pink and white as temperatures rise. It is well-branched, resistant to powdery mildew and requires little growth regulator. Fancy Francy conveys a carefree feeling of summer – wild, colourful and fancy!”
Tropic Lantana Ibis
“Our Tropic Lantana are synonymous with early flowering, bushy and compact Lantans. Tropic Lantana Ibis is a real eye-catcher with its bushy growth and many bright orange colored flowers. No wonder she was among the nominees for the FleuroStar Award last year.”
“The Tea Petunia can be combined endlessly. Single in a pot or with other varieties in the mix. Tea Petunia consists of a trailing, semi-trailing and upright series. From pastel to vein colours, there is something for everyone in this series.
During Flower Trials 2023 we present the Tea Petunia in a retail and grower presentation and our latest additon to the series: Tea Petunia Flamingo receives special attention.”
Petunia Bee’s Knees
“Bee’s Knees is the new standard yellow. Offering intense yellow flowers with outstanding long rain tolerance and garden performance. Easy to grow and maintain.”
The next top eco plant
Tradescantia JS Brainstorm
“The Tradescantia JS Brainstorm stands out by it’s attractive dark purple flower buds and the unique, appealing plant shape. Besdies, this plants flowers non-stop for 6 months, longer than any other Tradescantia so far. JS Braintstorm is winterhardy and very easy to maintain.”
“Señoritas® is a new series of Osteospermum with excellent growth and blooming characteristics. Osteospermum (Cape marguerites or cape daisy) are colourful summer bloomers with brightly coloured blossom heads.”
“Q-dula® is a Bee and Butterfly friendly – Mosquito repellent series within Lavender, and is the latest product that have inspired us and our breeding work. Both our Angustifolia and Stoechas are characteristic by the following:
- Uniformity and plant health
- Continuously flowering / re-blooming
- Consumer / garden value
- Transport capability
- Strong up-right growth
- Suitable for pot 9cm and up
- Suitable for Patio Combinations”
Portulaca Stella is a breeding created by Sentier in order to be suitable for the Mediterranean climate. It is characterised by big flowers and bright colours.
Portulaca Comet can be distinguished from the Stella series for its brightly coloured and starry flowers.
The next top perennial shrub
Queen® Kiwi Hebe™
“A very well-branched and compact plant habit, dark green foliage and beautiful flowers! Our insect-friendly Kiwi Hebe™ assortment is perfect for the summer and autumn season.
At Queen®, we are actively breeding new Kiwi Hebe™ varieties to growers worldwide. When we started breeding Hebe years ago, it was a response to seeing many growers suffering from diseases in their Hebe production. Through years of breeding and strict selection work, we have managed to develop new healthy varieties with high resistance to the most common Hebe diseases. Our stunning Hebe come in blue, soft rose, light pink and dark purple.”
“2023 is the year of the Salvia! The Salvia Salgoon® varieties by HilverdaFlorist are fast flowering vigorous Salvia plants with many side shoots and with many side shoots and colourful flowers.
In each variety the stems, foliage and flowers have a beautiful contrasting dark colour. This series grows uniformly and has a heavy bloom set.
The Salvia is a bee friendly plant, which contributes to an environmentally friendly garden. Salvia Salgoon® is a great garden performer, but suits a big planter as well.
New for 2024 are Lake Blueberry, Lake Como, Lake Onega Improved & Lake Flamingo.”
Rudbeckia Littlebeckia™ Ballerina
Amazing new addition to our Littlebeckia range. Well branched, upright habit reaching 30 cm high. Abundance of flowers. Semi double flowers with great warm golden colour is underline with brown base of the single petals. Great for 2l pots, grown well without plant growth regulators and without pinching. From plug to finish in 10 weeks.
Hydrangea Surfing Safari
“Not looking for an ordinary hydrangea? Then check out the Surfing Safari! In 2023, we introduce these hydrangeas with fantastically wavy petals, beautiful colours, rich flowering and good branching.
Surfing Safari is unique, a pioneer, the first of its kind. The wavy shapes of its leaves push and pull the flower into motion like the tide of the sea. Unlike any other hydrangea.
With six unique colours, there is something for everyone. On the balcony or in your garden. Surfing Safari invites you on a journey to your own outdoor space.”
Thanks so much for voting – keep an eye out for the winner on the front page of mrplantgeek.com after 9th June 2023!
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.