Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 2: What’s on My Plant List This Year

April 26, 2017

Our experts reveal their must-have plants for this season.

From new plants to staples we should’ve planted years ago, this episode will take a look at plants that are on our nursery shopping list this season. There’s a baptisia that has tricolor blooms, a purple potato that looks like it’s speckled, and more than a few must-have evergreens. And, if those don’t float your boat, there are plenty of other suggestions to tempt you—and help empty your wallet at the garden center this year.

Expert: Ritchie Steffen, curator at the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, Washington

Baptisias deserve more love! These stalwarts of the perennial garden are deer and drought resistant and the new cultivar ‘Pink Lemonade’ (Baptisia 'Pink Lemonade') sports a unique yellow-purple-blue hue to boot.

It’s an ominous name for a gorgeous new plant. ‘Storm Shelter’ daylily (Hemerocallis 'Storm Shelter') proves that not all daylilies are a boring yellow. 

Although she’s not a fan of the hockey team that inspired this grass’s name, Danielle will be looking for ‘Blackhawks’ big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks') at nurseries this year.

Steve wishes he had planted this golden dwarf hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa  ‘Nana Lutea’) years ago so he had something to look at in winter.

Featured Plants:

  • ‘Pink Lemonade’ baptisia (Baptisia ‘Pink Lemonade’)
  • ‘Brownie Points’ baptisia (Baptisia ‘Brownie Points’)
  • Trillium
  • Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)
  • Stachys ‘Hummelo’
  • ‘Harvest Moon’ potato
  • ‘Slowmound’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Slowmound’)
  • ‘Sea Urchin’ white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Sea Urchin’)
  • ‘Papoose’ dwarf Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis ‘Papoose’)
  • ‘Fat Albert’ blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’)
  • ‘Ken Janeck’ rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Ken Janeck’)
  • ‘Sky Pencil’ holly (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)
  • Azaleas
  • ‘Gibraltar’ azalea (Rhododendron ‘Gibraltar’)
  • ‘Morning Light’ miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’)
  • ‘Blackhawks’ big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks’)
  • Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  • ‘Standing Ovation’ little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’)
  • Panicum
  • Hosta ‘Waterslide’
  • Hosta ‘Curly Fries’
  • Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’
  • Amsonia ‘Stormcloud’
  • Amsonia cilliata ‘Georgia Pancake’
  • ‘Storm Shelter’ daylily  (Hemerocallis ‘Storm Shelter’)
  • Carex spp. and cvs.
  • Camas (Camassia spp. and cvs. )
  • ‘Orion’ camas
  • Triteleia
  • Triteleia ‘Corrina’
  • Agapanthus
  • ‘Starlight’ triteleia (Triteleia ixioides ‘Starlight’)
  • Erythronium
  • Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’
  • Magnolia ‘Mark Jury’
  • Venus® dogwood (Cornus ‘Kn308’)



View Comments


  1. jessireiss 05/19/2017

    I have wanted Sky Pencil holly for years, hard to find I also might prefer the foliage of Blue Arrow juniper instead. Like Steve I have plans to start a dwarf (really dwarf) conifer area of my garden. Search for 'Dansgrden conifer garden'gardenweb conifer forums. It's AH-mazing. I have saved all his photos, true inspiration. Ebb Tide rose is on my list. I'm crazy about foliage. I really wanted a actaea simplex but I found one - Hillside black beauty. Beautiful almost black lace-cut foliage. Great contrast to Japanese forest grass.

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