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Potting

Kismet Coneflowers Rule

By Dan Heims, President, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

Hiya campers! We have never done a total focus on the Kismet™ series of echinacea. Well, today is your lucky day! Terra Nova’s breeders have created a series of outstanding, I mean world-class echinaceas that are consistent in size, bloom power, flower color intensity and are a pollinator buffet. Over the past decade we have added additional colors that passed our rigorous testing at home and at a group of botanical gardens and commercial trialing centers.

What about garden performance? Colorado State University did a survival, strength, and performance trial on our Kismet series and other echinacea from different breeders. It was not only a win, but it was also a shutout with 100% survival, flower performance, and vigor. We at Terra Nova want our plants to work for the grower and especially the homeowner in chilly winter and multiple soil conditions. Mt. Cuba, another great center for testing perennials also gave the Kismet series credit for producing flowers of the deepest saturation, “fading to beautiful apricot tones.”  Some competitor’s echinacea are quite nice, but fade into gross white, grey and beige flowers. Let us find out more!

All six Kismet™ Echinaceas are hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9. As for care, they prefer full sun, good drainage, and acidic soil and like to dry out between waterings. Plants are best used in containers or along borders or paths.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘Intense Orange’

This gem amazed us with its long bloom time and the sheer number of flowers. These traits and orange petals remain attractive from June to October for this plant. Great bloom size on an upright, compact habit, 18 inches high by 24 inches wide. Flowers keep coming from early summer until frost. Years of persistent echinacea breeding have certainly paid off. A winner at the Colorado State trials.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘Pink Lemonade’

Terra Nova’s newest offering! There is nothing else like this one! The famous KISMET® series has a new and exciting addition. 'Pink Lemonade' has all the best features of the multiple, award-winning Kismet™: rounded, compact habit, great vigor, long lasting, bi-color blooms in an unusual shade of pink with lemonade-colored petal tips. Plants are 18 inches high and 12 inches wide.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘Raspberry’

Remarkable in many ways. Flowers from early summer until frost. It has large raspberry flowers on a fabulous upright, compact habit. Each flower lasts for weeks with a lovely color. Eighteen inches high by 24 inches wide. Years of breeding have certainly paid off. Another winner at the Colorado State trials.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘Red’

The early blooming, intense large, red daisies rebloom all summer and make an amazing display. Upright, free flowering, with a compact habit. A great crown count makes the perfect container or border plant. Plants are 18 inches high and 24 inches wide.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘Yellow’

Sunny, butter-yellow flowers. Naturally short with exceptional crown count. Unmatched popularity and approval coast to coast! Individual flowers last for weeks with lovely color. Great bloom size on an upright, compact habit, 18 inches high by 24 inches wide. Flowers keep coming from early summer until frost.

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Echinacea KISMET® ‘White’

KISMET® 'White' matches this amazing series with its compact, upright habit. It has numerous, large, and long-lasting white flowers and a long bloom time. The plant looks great in gallons and in gardens. Flowers last for weeks with lovely color. Eighteen inches high by 24 inches wide. Flowers from early summer until frost. A winner at the Colorado State trials.

Classic City Award Winner from the Trial Gardens at UGA in 2020. Dr. John M. Ruter, Director, and Brandon Coker, Garden Manager, say, “One of the more crucial factors when selecting plants for the Southeast is that they last the whole season. Investing in plants that do not survive the summer season is not what consumers are interested in for their gardens. This medium-sized KISMET® 'White' ticks the box on long-lasting color. TERRA NOVA® has struck a chord with this coneflower, and another facet of this cultivar is that the white flowers are fading very well. It is common for white flowering plants to fade to brown very quickly and the longevity of the flowering period to be short. Still, these are trending in the other direction by keeping their color and interest longer.”

Dan Heims is an award-winning author who lectures throughout the world. He was recently honored by The American Horticultural Society with the Luther Burbank Breeding Award, as well as the Perennial Plant Association’s Award of Merit. He was also honored in receiving the Royal Horticultural Society’s Reginald Cory Cup for advancements in breeding.

You may contact Dan at [email protected]


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