The Best New Plants of 2020: Annuals

Fine Gardening - Issue 193
Photo: courtesy of John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

A prettier version of morning glory

Name: ‘Sunrise Serenade’ morning glory (Ipomoea × imperialis ‘Sunrise Serenade’)

Zones: Annual

Size: Vining 8 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

Native Range: Hybrid

If a peony and a morning glory had a baby, this would be their glorious offspring. The ruffled, many-petaled blooms of ‘Sunrise Serenade’ start showing up in early summer and continue right up until frost. The color and shape are unique for this much-loved annual vine and will keep garden visitors guessing.

Introduced by John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

Photo: John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

Sunset hues and a delicate look make this a must-have

Name: ‘Apricot Lemonade’ cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Apricot Lemonade’)

Zones: Annual

Size: 24 to 30 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil

Native Range: Southern United States, Mexico

Some plant names make no sense, while others are spot-on. This plant’s name is in the latter group, because the color is so perfectly described in the cultivar name. A midsized cosmos, ‘Apricot Lemonade’ is a tremendous bloomer.

Introduced by John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

Photo: courtesy of Monrovia®

No kidding—it’s a sunflower with hundreds of blooms

Name: SunBelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl sunflower (Helianthus × annuus ‘TMSNBLEV01’)

Zones: Annual

Size32 inches tall and 40 inches wide

ConditionsFull sun; moist, well-drained soil

Native RangeNorth American hybrid

Annuals tend to get a little less love in the horticultural world (and the FG offices), so we were a little skeptical last season when samples of this sunflower were sent to us for testing. The sell sheet made the claim that the plants can get “1000 blooms in one year.” Turns out, that wasn’t hyperbole. Two staffers grew SunBelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl and lost count after recording multiple hundreds of blooms. Full sun and diligent watering are essential, but you will be amply rewarded.

Introduced by Monrovia®


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From Fine Gardening #193

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