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Sensational Summer Combos

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

The weather is breaking and you’re ready to plant. All the annuals look lovely at retail. As you shop for your tried and true (and something new), consider which plants will go the distance all summer. Varieties that beat the heat include Sun Parasol mandevilla and dipladenia, Surdiva scaevolas, Soiree Kawaii catharanthus (vinca), and Granvia bracteantha.

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One of our hottest introductions is Sun Parasol Original Sunbeam, a compact dipladenia style mandevilla that’s loaded with buttery yellow blooms. It pairs wonderfully with Surdiva Blue Violet and Surdiva Purple in patio pots. The scaevolas make a nice skirt of fan flowers in a contrasting color.

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We also enjoyed surrounding Sunbeam with our microblooming mini vinca, Soiree Kawaii, in Lavender and Blueberry Kiss. These plants are available in eight colors and will stay compact and colorful until frost. One of the best parts about Surdiva scaevolas and Soiree Kawaii is no need to dead head! No spent blooms.

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Soiree Kawaii White Peppermint is a top seller that pairs nicely with red mandevillas and dipladenias. Each bright white flower has a distinctive red center eye. Add lime-colored sedum for an additional pop of color and texture.

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Granvia Gold is a super strawflower that has demonstrated outstanding heat tolerance and disease resistance through summer. Just one plant will make a very bold statement in a large container or urn. As a bonus, you can cut stems for bouquets and harvest dried flowers for crafts.

All the varieties featured have been trialed rigorously in summer garden containers and landscape beds throughout the United States. In late August, they are the last ones standing, blooming continuously until frost. They are late-season annuals and widely available, May through July.

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Combo container tips:

  • Select a patio pot with a large soil volume to reduce the need to water as often.
  • Choose plants that have the same needs in terms of sun exposure and moisture.
  • Consider growth habit when placing the plants – upright thrillers in the back or center, surrounded by fillers and spillers.
  • Incorporate slow-release fertilizer to keep plants flowering for several months.

For more information about Suntory Flowers, visit and check out our YouTube channel, (2050) Suntory Flowers NA - YouTube.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses

In many areas of the country this is an excellent time to prune roses. Although rose pruning may seems daunting, it’s not hard to learn and the results are well worth the effort. For an informative article on rose pruning, click here .

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