2018 "Best of" Annuals

A later bloomer that is worth the wait was impressive with large flower spikes that are showy in the garden as well as making a good cut flower. Plants had dark green foliage, strong upright growth habit, excellent branching and very uniform overall. A strong favorite with bees as well as humans.

This fine textured foliage plant makes a great complement to many other plants in a classic border. The beautiful silver foliage is dense on vigorous and very compact and uniform plants. It would look great in both a container as well as ground. It makes a good filler plant as well adding a strong textural element to any garden.

Huge flowers covered this plant all season creating impressive flower power. Besides the prolific flowering, the intense coloring of the flowers make this a definite “55 MPH plant”. It is impossible not to be impressed even from a brief glance at a great distance.

    Flowers were abundant all season but stood out also for the intense unique raspberry color. The upright plants maintained excellent uniformity and made a nice complement to the flowers above the glossy green foliage below.

    Large, crisp white, flowers covered the canopy that were very eye-catching. Plants were self-cleaning and were popular in regard to having low maintenance but high visual impact. The blooms were long lasting while the plants also had great uniformity.

    Large pink flowers with double petals had good tolerance to sun and heat all season and still looked fresh into September. Flowers were abundant and very showy. Plants were very uniform and would look good in either a landscape or container setting.

    Vibrant orange flowers appeared even brighter against the very dark bronze foliage. The serrated edges and sheen to the leaves created an attractive leaf shape. Flowers were large and made a dramatic statement in a container.

    Large amounts of long lasting red flowers were packed on a smaller, compact plant with a very tidy growth habit. Blooms also had very intense color to create a lot of flower power for a small plant. Bees love this flower.

    The vigorous plants were characterized by their large leaves, strong stems and large flowers. The bright pink flowers were very floriferous and had excellent contrast with the dark foliage. Blooms were self-cleaning so the plants always looked fresh.

    Clean white flowers covered the canopy and made a dazzling display in full sun. Plants were very uniform with a nice mounding growth habit. The prolific flowers were also everlasting and excellent for dried bouquets.

    Unique color and a larger bloom made this standout from other calibrachoas. The bicolor flowers had a nice bright color and strong blooming. Growth habit was very uniform and looked good overall.

    The attractive dark foliage was impressive all by itself but the abundant petite flowers were bright and made a great contrast with the foliage. Plants are vigorous and have good garden performance.

    Plants created a ball of flowers in a container that had a very high “Wow!” factor. Colors were vibrant and made an excellent mix. It was noted that very few combos work with different genera but this is the exception as the bidens, petunia and lobelia were equally represented and none dominated the other.

    The attractive dark red foliage had a bright green edge that created a lot of contrast and a bold look. Leaf shape was also unique and added interest. Plants did not flower and kept a very uniform appearance all season.

    The intense dark foliage makes the color of the clear orange flowers really pop out. The contrast was especially good in full sun and flower color doesn’t fade. Dark foliage also hides dead heads and requires less maintenance. Growth habit was very uniform.

    Plants were unique with foliage that has a very large zonation with a rich chocolate color. The dark foliage makes for high contrast with the bright rose colored flowers. The tight double flowers have a bit of a multiflora look to them. Overall the plants were very uniform.

    Impressive vigor and flowering were the obvious characteristics of this winning plant. Prolific flowering and vibrant color made for exceptional flower power. This is definitely a great choice for a landscape plant.

    Extra-large, heart shaped leaves were dark and created a bold appearance. Plants had good vigor but maintained a compact and uniform growth habit that “plays well with the neighbors”.

    This is a dependable performer and is a winner from multiple years in the past as well as 2018. The bright flowers had a mesmerizing mix of colors often found in a sunrise. Plants were very uniform and flowering was very abundant all through the season.

    Flowering was so prolific that no foliage was visible. Plants created a mass of intense purple and white bicolor flowers that looked great all by themselves or would look good combined with others. The growth habit was very compact and uniform

    Dark green foliage combined well to show off the intense orange flowers. Plants had a nice mounding growth habit that looked good without any deadheading through early September. The cheerful looking flowers would look great in any border.

    Plants were both vigorous and very floriferous and made a very colorful container. The large flowers held up to the sun and had added interest due to the light lavender striping in the petals. Growth habit was very uniform.

    Abundant clear yellow flowers were unusually large and had a deep yellow eye for added interest. Blooms were consistent all season long and very showy with uniform plants with clean foliage.

    Rich red flowers made a great contrast with the dark green foliage. Flowers were abundant and very showy. Plants were vigorous with a tight and compact growth habit.

    Flowers had a unique appearance with speckles and blotches on blooms but were also very floriferous. The densely flowered plants were noted for a good uniform growth habit that held its shape late into the season.

    Abundant flowers covered this plant and had superior performance in the ground. Flowers were mostly white with a silky sheen and a hint of lavender primarily near the eye. The overall growth habit was very uniform.

    This is a multi-year winner from many past trials and is considered to be possibly the best petunia in the last 10 years. It always has a dependable show of prolific pink flowers with exceptional vigor.

    Plants were vigorous and very uniform. Double flowers were very showy and had the added benefit of staying open longer than the single petaled varieties. Plants stood out for the unique magenta flower color and spreading growth habit.

    Another past winner, it stood out again in 2018 for the abundant dark purple flowers and vigorous, upright plants. Foliage was clean and glossy. This was another bee friendly plant that was often buzzing with excitement.

    Plants were vigorous and covered with abundant white flowers. The dense round growth habit was very uniform and superior to many other varieties. The multiflora blooms were a favorite with many pollinators in the garden.

    Abundant flowering covered the canopy almost all season with attractive shades of soft lavender that was attractive even as the blooms faded. Plants had a long lasting flower display and seemed to “bury its dead” blooms under new ones. Uniform growth habit and lack of any sign of mildew also made this plant a winner.

    Very unique flower color and abundant blooms were very impressive. Flowers had a very unusual and beautiful “inky” blush pattern that helped earn the first part of the name, “Tattoo”. Plants had an upright growth habit and can grow well in full sun or part shade.

      Another novelty plant that is popular in Australia but just starting to make an impression in the United States. Foliage almost looks succulent or tropical while the flowers almost look like red fuzzy pods for a very unique overall appearance. Blooms were very abundant and emerged bright red and matured to a dark maroon color over a long period of time.

      Plants had great vigor that just kept getting bigger and better as the season progressed until a hard frost. Produces abundant, large pink blooms that are outstanding. Plants had a very uniform growth habit.

      This was a non-stop bloomer which still looked great late in the season. Bright yellow flowers also had a splash of dark red on the petal for excellent contrast. Plants were vigorous but considered an annual for Zone 5.

      Abundant and long lasting pink flowers covered this plant all season. Well branched, mounding plants were very uniform and considered “well behaved” even with the vigorous growth. This low maintenance plant does not require deadheading and can tolerate some dry conditions.

      Bright white flowers covered the plant all summer without any shattering. Plants had a very compact and mounded growth habit that were covered with white blooms. Flowers give a similar flower effect as the perennial type. They bloom all summer but unfortunately are only considered an annual for Zone 5.