The LSU AgCenter has announced two new Louisiana Super Plants for spring 2016.
Now in its sixth year, the LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plants program has named more than 30 great landscape plants as selections for home gardeners in Louisiana, says AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings.
“The goal of this program has been to identify and promote exceptional plants that perform well in Louisiana,” Owings says. “Some of these are new varieties and some are older varieties with a prior proven track record.”
The Super Plants for spring 2016 are the Evolution series salvia and Serenita Raspberry angelonia.
“This salvia is not necessarily new, but the Evolution series is less known,” Owings says. It includes Evolution White and Evolution Violet, both grown from seed.
Plants of the white-flowering variety grow 10-12 inches tall, while the violet-blooming variety will grow to 14 inches. Flowers are abundant on the tight-foliage canopy from late spring through first killing frost.
“Pollinators love these plants,” he says.
Angelonia, also called summer snapdragon, has become one of the most popular summer bedding plants, Owings says.
These are generally considered annuals and work in full sun and dry landscapes. A common problem with angelonias is over-irrigation. The Serenita series is the smaller-growing version of the Serena variety, which has previously been named a Louisiana Super Plant.
“We chose the Serenita Raspberry because of its unique flower color,” Owings says. “Raspberry-colored blooms are not available in any other seeded-type angelonia.”
Now until early May is the best time to plant angelonias.
Serenita Raspberry is a compact grower, reaching about 12-14 inches tall. Space plants 10-12 inches apart in the bed.
The LSU AgCenter, working with the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association, developed the Super Plants program to meet the need for a state-based program that uses university research to identify and promote exceptional plants, Owings says.
Each Super Plant must have at least two years of rigorous evaluations and a proven track record under north and south Louisiana growing conditions. They must prove hardy across the state and be easily produced and available for all nursery and landscape industry wholesalers and retailers to market and sell.
“The program results in home gardeners having an increased awareness of better-performing landscape plants,” Owings says.
Got a gardening question? Write to GardenNews@agcenter.lsu.edu.