Each year brings fantastic new plant varieties with it, and 2019 is no exception!
We've got new Hydrangeas, Camellias, Southern Living Plants, unusual fruit shrubs, perennials, and more. So without wasting any more time, here are some of the varieties that we’re most excited about!
Everyone loves Hydrangeas. If you don’t, that’s fine. I respect your opinion… But come on, what’s not to like?!
Endless Summer - Summer Crush Hydrangea
The Summer Crush Hydrangea is brand new for 2019 from Endless Summer Hydrangeas! Endless Summer is known for their line of reliable hydrangeas that begin blooming in late spring or early summer and continue to rebloom into fall. The Summer Crush is no exception! It features a long bloom period that will leave your landscape in blooms for most of the growing season!
Although it’s capable of different bloom colors, depending on the soil pH, it’s most noted for its characteristic raspberry-red mophead bloom clusters. These flowers really pop, and they’re perfect for bringing color to gardens of any size.
In many ways, this selection takes a page out of the Bloomstruck Hydrangea's playbook, with dark foliage, compact growth, and boldly colored bloom clusters. However, it tends to be a bit smaller than the Bloomstruck, reaching a maximum size of 18-36″ H x W. Try them in a couple containers on a lightly shaded patio. Their dwarf nature makes them incredibly manageable, year after year!
We’ve been looking forward to getting our hands on this variety as soon as it was announced, and Endless Summer didn’t disappoint. Hop on the waiting list on our Summer Crush Hydrangea product page to be among the first to get this garden stunner.
One final note, the Summer Crush is winter hardy from USDA Zones 4-9.
White Wedding Hydrangea & Moon Dance Hydrangea
The White Wedding Hydrangea and Moon Dance Hydrangea are both dynamite Hydrangea paniculata selections from the Southern Living Plant Collection! They’re remarkably similar in foliage, blooms, and care specs. However, where they differ is in their height. The White Wedding maxes out at around 4-6′ tall, while the Moon Dance Hydrangea reaches 6-8 feet tall. For this reason, the Moon Dance is well suited as a taller hedge or specimen, while the White Wedding works phenomenally well as a medium hedge or accent.
Both varieties feature prolific, fluffy panicle blooms. Although the White Wedding’s blooms are often slightly shorter and more pillowy. Unopened bloom clusters are an attractive lime green until it comes their time to open. At this point, they open from the bottom up. Once the entire bloom cluster is opened, they’re bright white and quite eye-catching. These flowers are long-lasting, and will generally take on a slightly pinkish hue towards the end of their lifespan. Expect both varieties to start blooming in late spring and continue through summer.
During the growing season, their foliage is rich and true green, with a matte sheen and lightly serrated edges. They're deciduous, meaning that they lose their leaves and go dormant yearly.
These varieties grow quickly, so feel free to trim them back heavily every year in early spring or late winter. Furthermore, they bloom on new growth, so there’s no need to fear that you’ll be cutting off future blooms.
We love the look of both of these varieties when used as an accent or specimen, they have quite a presence when in full bloom. Otherwise, they work fantastically as a mass planting.
People tend to start thinking about Camellias once fall rolls around, but I’m a firm proponent of planting Camellias in spring as well. It ensures that they’re situated in the landscape during their bloom season so that you don’t miss any flowers!
Early Wonder Camellia
We’ve got a Camellia from the Southern Living Plant Collection here that’s hot off the presses! The Early Wonder Camellia is a Camellia japonica variety. However, as its name implies, it’s one of the earliest blooming Japonica varieties around! This means that it blooms around the same time as Sasanqua Camellias in fall.
One of the best things about Japonica Camellias is their unapologetically bold, large blooms. And the Early Wonder’s blooms are pure Japonica goodness. They’re vibrant and robust with a distinctly formal, double-petal nature.
They have a gorgeous rose-pink hue and appear in huge numbers every year.
Its foliage is dark green and consistent all year long. The leaves are pointed on the end, with serrated edges and a leathery texture. This foliage is naturally quite dense and upright. Therefore, at its mature size of 6-8′ H x 4-6′, the Early Wonder is a natural choice for a privacy hedge. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic choice for a specimen plant or a taller element in a mixed garden bed.
The Early Wonder Camellia grows best in Full Sun to Partial Shade, 3-4 hours of direct sun at least or all-day lightly filtered sun. Furthermore, it's winter hardy from USDA Zones 7-9.
Christmas Carol Camellia
Sometimes you see a new plant, and you instantly know you’ve gotta get one for yourself. The Christmas Carol Camellia from the Southern Living Plant Collection was one of those plants for me. This selection is a hybrid of Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica, and it brings some of the strengths of both to the table. It’s less rigid growing than japonica varieties, and instead produces more graceful branches similar to sasanqua varieties. But it also features an extended bloom period thanks to its japonica heritage! It starts blooming in fall and continues through the Christmas season.
The Christmas Carol Camellia features some of the most picturesque blooms around. Soft red petals are edged snowy white, while golden stamens stretch from the center. These blooms are somewhat bell-shaped and appear in profuse numbers every year. As the flowers fall, they coat the ground, creating a carpet of petals.
The leaves have that same leathery texture and dark green hue that camellias are known for, coupled with serrated edges and a reliable evergreen nature.
It reaches 5-7′ H x 3-5′ W, so it has quite a presence when fully grown. However, feel free to trim it to your liking yearly. Camellias are known for their slow to moderate growth habit, so a seasonal trimming in early spring is plenty to keep it trained.
Use it as a specimen, accent, privacy hedge, mass planting, or even in a large container. One of my favorite ways to use Camellias is to line a driveway or property edge with them. You get plenty of foliage coverage, and you get a spectacular display every blooming season.
October Magic White Shi Shi Camellia
The October Magic White Shi Shi Camellia from the Southern Living Plant Collection is a long-awaited alternative to the classic Shi Shi Gashira Camellia! Both are prized for their dwarf nature. However, the October Magic White Shi Shi is on average even more compact than the Shi Shi Gashira. It maxes out at 3-4′ H x 3-4′ W, while the Shi Shi Gashira generally reaches 5′ H x 5′ W. Both varieties are easily trimmed to a desired size, though.
The White Shi Shi features phenomenal double-petaled, pearly white formal blooms. These flowers tend to appear from mid to late Fall and continue into January. Therefore, they’re great for bringing some late-season bloom interest into your landscape.
Its foliage is characteristically dark and evergreen. The leaves are leathery, pointed, and serrated on the edges. Furthermore, they provide an ideal backdrop for the bright white flowers to “pop.”
It’s disease and pest resistant, as well as heat and clay soil tolerant. So it’s perfect for Southern landscapes.
This is a very low-maintenance variety once established in your landscape. Simply plant it in a suitable location and feel free to let it grow. Try it out as a low hedge, mass planting, slope planting, container plant, foundation planting, or in a mixed garden bed.
The October Magic White Shi Shi Camellia grows in USDA Zones 7-9 and should be planted in Full Sun to Partial Shade.
There are some fantastic new Agapanthus being released this year. Chances are that they're a little different from any other varieties that you’ve ever planted!
The Neverland Agapanthus is a phenomenal new perennial from the Southern Living Plant Collection. It sports violet-blue buds that open into sky blue blossoms. These flowers start appearing in mid-spring and rebloom through summer. Moreover, expect them to be popular with hummingbirds and butterflies.
Its foliage raises the bar on what is expected of Agapanthus. Thick green foliage straps are lined with golden yellow hues, perfect for lighting up a partial shade garden. Additionally, this foliage is semi-evergreen. So warmer zones will be able to enjoy the foliage year-round, while colder USDA Zones will see it return in spring with new foliage and blooms.
This Agapanthus has a naturally clumping growth habit. For this reason, it’s a compact growing variety that won’t take over your garden.
The Neverland is more shade friendly than other varieties and grows well in partial sun.
It’s hardy down to USDA Zones 8-11, which makes it perfect for Southern gardens. Plus it has an impressive drought and heat tolerance once established and is water-wise overall.
Ever Amethyst Agapanthus
The Ever Amethyst Agapanthus is another Southern Living Plant Collection perennial just rarin’ to knock your socks off! This variety is an early season bloomer and begins sending up bloom stalks in spring. Watch and enjoy as this Agapanthus continuously sends up bloom cluster after bloom cluster through the summer.
Each cluster contains numerous petite amethyst purple blooms with six outstretched petals. The middle of every petal has a dark purple stripe that runs the length of it and fades to light purple at the edge.
Its foliage remains attractive and bright green for most of the year, with some warmer USDA Zones finding it to be an evergreen. The leaves themselves are somewhat thick, leathery straps, similar to what most have come to expect from Agapanthus.
This is a fast-growingsemi-dwarf species that reaches 2-3′ H x 1-2′ W. Furthermore, it has a naturally clumping habit. So it won’t run wild, but it does have quite a presence.
Hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy the blooms on this Agapanthus, and they have enough flower longevity to make for great cut flowers.
Once established, Ever Amethyst is a drought tolerant variety. In addition, it’s also disease and pest resistant. The Ever Amethyst grows best in Full Sun to Part Sun and is hardy down USDA Zones 8-11.
New fruiting shrubs are always exciting. Some traits you can generally expect include improved growth habits, enhanced fruit flavor, increased fruit production, and better hardiness. And sometimes you can expect all 4!
Little Miss Figgy Dwarf Fig
Figs are healthy and delicious additions to any landscape. They’re high in fiber and they contain copper, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are all good things to have in your diet.
However, figs don’t have a long shelf life. Therefore, they’re the perfect fruit to grow in your own garden, where you can pick them as you want them.
It’s more cold hardy than most figs and grows from USDA Zones 7-10.
It’s a compact growing dwarf variety that only reaches 4-6′ H x 3-4′ W.
It produces fruit in both spring and fall!
They were bred to have the most delicious fruit possible. Little Miss Figgy's fruit is larger than most fig varieties and features a delectably sweet red center, similar in flavor to a strawberry.
Plant this Dwarf Fig where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sun daily. This ensures that it produces as much fruit and dense foliage as possible.
It’s tolerant of most soil types, even clay!
Additionally, it’s heat and drought tolerant as well. So it grows quite well in the South.
Bambina Pineapple Guava
For most people I’ve spoken with, the Bambina Pineapple Guava is not just a new Southern Living Plant Collection variety to them, it’s a brand new type of fruit entirely! However, gardeners in USDA Zones 8-10 ought to give these unique fruits a shot.
They produce egg-shaped, waxy blue-green fruits in late fall. Therefore, it’s a great addition to landscapes This fruit tends to taste somewhat like a tropical mix of strawberry, guava, and pineapple. Cutting the fruit reveals a sweet fragrance along with a rich white center.
The Bambina Pineapple Guava also features edible red and white petals in spring! Picking these petals won’t affect fruit production and they have a slightly sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon. They make a great addition to salads or tropical drinks.
This is a dwarf pineapple guava, and only reaches 3-4′ H x 3-4′ W. Furthermore, it has a naturally rounded growth habit and remains dense and compact for the entire year. So it actually functions very well as a hedge. Just make sure it’s planted in Full Sun to maximize health and fruit production.
Odds & Ends
We’ve got several new additions that are a little different from everything else being released this year.
Safari Sunrise Aloe & Safari Rose Aloe
Everybody knows about Aloe. It’s an attractive little succulent, with some great practical applications. BUT get ready to fall in love with a couple of aloe plants that you may have never heard of, the Safari Sunrise Aloe and the Safari Rose Aloe! Both of these varieties are powerhouse bloomers. They start blooming in summer and repeatedly rebloom until mid-winter.
The Safari Sunrise features orange-pink and cream-white colored blooms. While the Safari Rose produces bright salmon-pink blooms that fade to cream-white at the end of the flower.
Their foliage is blueish green with soft points on the edges, similar to what you traditionally expect from aloe plants. Additionally, they have a naturally clumping habit that maxes out at about 1.5′ H x 3.5′ W.
Both are perfect for drought-prone areas or Xeriscape gardens due to their low water requirements. Not only that, but they’re heat tolerant and thrive in sandy or rocky soil.
Once established, you generally don’t need to do anything to keep these two easy-care varieties happy. In extreme drought conditions, you may have to supply them with water if the foliage is discoloring or drying up. But that’s just about it as far as maintenance goes. If you’re keeping them in pots, keep in mind that they do require more water than if they’re planted in the ground.
Like traditional aloe, these two varieties grow outdoors year-round in USDA Zones 9-11. That may be discouraging for many to hear, BUT think about how people in USDA Zones 8 and below have grown aloe for decades. Plant them in a pot and bring them inside before your first hard freeze. Place them in a sunny window and wait for spring to return before taking them back outside for the new growing season.
Light Show Bottlebrush
The Light Show Bottlebrush from the Southern Living Plant Collection is a twist on the conventional bottlebrush! The first twist is that unlike some varieties that grow to 10+ feet high, the Light Show is a natural dwarf variety. It only reaches about 3′ H x 3′ W! This opens up a whole new world of planting opportunities. Use them in a mixed garden bed, in a container, as a foundation planting, or as a low hedge. They won’t outgrow your landscape.
The second twist and the biggest reason you should consider putting the Light Show in your landscape is the fantastic blooms! It features compact spikes of red bloom styles with bright white tips. These white tips create a really interesting ‘fiber optic’ appearance. Look forward to seeing these blossoms reblooming from Spring to Summer.
The foliage ranges from bright green to dark green. The leaves themselves are thin, pointed, and plentiful, and really accent the blooms nicely.
In typical bottlebrush fashion, the Light Show is great for coastal plantings, thanks to its salt-tolerance. It thrives from USDA Zones 8a-10b.
Clematis are known for their showy blooms, but the Taiga Clematis takes it to a whole new level! This climbing vine is perfect for climbing up fences, metal trellises, or any vertical surface with thin supports for it to attach itself to.
Where the Taiga really shines is through its double-purple flowers with creamy yellow-green petal tips. These are some truly dynamic blossoms. They’re one of those flowers that 90% of the visitors to your garden will comment on. Furthermore, they have an extended bloom period that begins in Summer and reblooms through Fall.
It’s a moderate grower that reaches 8′ H x 3′ W. Once fully grown, it’s able to produce an impressive amount of blooms.
The Taiga is hardy from to USDA Zones 6-9. However, gardeners in Zones 5 and below should consider planting it in a container and bringing it in a covered porch or garage for the winter.
Thanks for Reading!
Keep your eyes peeled for these newbies as they become available through the year!
Alternatively, visit a plants product page below to add yourself to the waitlist and be among the first to know when they’re ready to ship!