GardenDrumUSA Southern Nursery Association Retailers’ Choice Awards™

What are the hot new plants for southern USA’s warm climate zones? The Southern Nursery Association’s recent Retailers’ Choice Awards™ selected some spectacular plants, including the beautiful tri-color Loropetalum ‘Jazz Hands® Variegated’ shown above, exhibited by Hackney Nursery.

Loropetalum ‘Jazz Hands® Variegated’ is the first variegated Loropetalum, with splashes of both pink and cream on the new growth, plus the expected hot pink flowers in spring. Marketed in the USA by Proven Winners and available in 2016.

No less enticing is Hibiscus ‘Starry Starry Night’ PPAF, exclusive to Walters Gardens Inc. With dark, nearly black foliage and large, pale pink flowers with darker pink speckles and veining, ‘Starry Starry Night’ quickly grows into a neat mound 3-4 ft high and wide, and carries loads of flowers.

Hibiscus 'Starry Starry Night' PPAF from Walters Gardens Inc

Hibiscus ‘Starry Starry Night’ PPAF from Walters Gardens Inc

Mandevilla ‘Summer Romance Double Pink’ is the first double mandevilla (syn dipladenia) I’ve seen. And isn’t it gorgeous! A vigorous climber,  it flowers right through the warmer months with candy-pink flowers showing a central rosette. Bred by Lannes and Mitchell Green and distributed through Ball Ornamentals.

Mandevilla 'Summer Romance Double Pink'

Mandevilla ‘Summer Romance Double Pink’

Vitex Blue Puffball™ is a dwarf Vitex (chaste tree) that grows into a neat, ball shape about 3 ft high and wide, and sports spires of deep purple-blue flowers through the summer. Zones 6-9. Distributed by First Editions and available in 2016.

Vitex Blue Puffball

Vitex Blue Puffball™ from First Editions

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