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New 2019 plant picks to look out for at garden centres

A modern rose, a showstopping annual, a strawberry plant with red flowers and more.

A modern rose, a showstopping annual, a strawberry plant with red flowers and more

(Credit: Vineland Research and Innovation Centre)

All across the country, green thumbs wait for the perfect weekend to plant, but Mother Nature seems to like to throw curveballs in the spring, keeping gardeners on their toes. Still, garden centres and nurseries are bursting with racks of blooms, veggies and foliage, just waiting to be planted when you, and the weather, are ready. Those in lower growing zones might wait a bit longer, but the reward is still filling big and small spaces with trusted favourites and new varieties.

Look for annuals that will survive heat spells and perennials that will thrive in your growing zone. Many companies, like Vineland's 49th Parallel Collection of roses, are offering plants that will thrive down to zone 3, offering a new breadth of selection to those who live in colder climates. You may also get away with bringing some annuals, like coleus, indoors for the winter.

When it comes to growing food, plant common grocery list items, saving space for a couple of impulse picks, like a very spicy hot pepper, or a watermelon. Read plant tags carefully to ensure you're providing the right care and growing conditions.

From pots to plots, here are some interesting new picks you'll see at garden centres this spring.

Senecio Angel Wings

This velvety-looking, silvery-white plant provides the perfect backdrop in front of which you can display colourful annual flowers — though its texture and ethereal appearance might steal the show! The plant is both drought- and salt-tolerant, likes full sun and well-drained soil. It might also grow to be about 30 centimetres tall, so be sure to give it some space and plant it behind shorter blooms.

Petunia Spellbound

If you think all petunias looked the same, except for the endless colour variations, then check out the Spellbound series from Burpee, because they look different than any petunia you've seen. Ruffled edges lead in to intricately veined centres. This is a showstopper plant that needs to be the star in a garden or container. Put them in a full-sun spot to shine.

Sedum Lemon Coral

Proven Winners' Annual of the Year is Sedum Lemon Coral, a delightfully lush, lime green plant that would be a standout in both containers, where it will spill over the sides, and in a garden bed. It is deer resistant and drought tolerant, and while it looks a bit spiky (it is described as "tough as nails filler"), it's actually quite soft.

Zinnia Holi Scarlet F1

Zinnias are great additions to a cut flower garden. A wonderful bonus is that pollinators, from bees and butterflies to hummingbirds, love them, so plant extra if you know some will end up in vases. This variety is drought-, heat- and humidity-tolerant, blooms from summer through fall's first frost, and can grow to be about 38 centimetres tall.

Calibrachoa MiniFamous Uno Double Pinktastic

Calibrachoas are perfect for hanging baskets because they are self-cleaning (no deadheading required), love the sun, and are both mounding and trailing, meaning they'll be lush and full in the container with blooms spilling over the sides. This one in particular is special because of its double flowers, making it a standout annual for the garden.

Rose Chinook Sunrise

The newest release for 2019 from Vineland's 49th Parallel Collection is winter hardy down to zone 3, has black spot resistance and is on-trend with Pantone's colour of the year with its coral/peachy hue! If you find roses fussy, try a new modern variety, like Chinook Sunrise.

Going the fruit route in the garden

It's common to grow edibles, like tomatoes, herbs and peppers in the garden, but what about fruit? Try these sweet treats for summer and they're bound to stay on your yearly must-grow list.

Watermelon Cal Sweet Bush

If you thought certain vining vegetables, like squash, cucumbers and watermelons were out of your small garden's league, consider looking for compact varieties. For example, Watermelon Cal Sweet Bush have compact, bushy vines. They will produce at least one fruit per vine when grown in a container. It's also tolerant to powdery mildew.

Strawberry Berried Treasure Red

Not only is the plant itself ornamental, especially when it's flowering, this everbearing strawberry plant with the clever name Berried Treasure Red will keep producing fruit throughout the summer. Grow it in a hanging basket so the berries cascade over the side of the pot.


Tara Nolan is a freelance writer who covers gardening, decor, travel, and cycling, mountain biking and other outdoor adventures for a variety of publications. She is also one third of the popular gardening website Savvy Gardening.

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