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GardenSMART :: Sizzling Summer Annuals

Sizzling Summer Annuals

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

Looking for carefree color all summer? Suntory Flowers has introduced low-maintenance annuals that thrive in heat and humidity. No deadheading required!

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One of the hottest new plants is Soiree Kawaii catharanthus. Available in six colors, these plants are a reinvention of the common bedding plant vinca. Kawaii means cute in Japanese! Each plant is loaded with tiny flowers that produce tidy mounds of color. Plants retain their compact habit and put on a show when many other plants are on their last leg. They are tiny but terrific! Through many summers, horticulture and landscape professionals have seen Soiree Kawaii varieties perform and provide color that lasts through the hottest and most humid conditions until frost.

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Another heat-loving companion to Soiree Kawaii are Surdiva scaevolas. Fabulous in beds and in combination plantings, Surdiva scaevolas also provide easy, vivid color all summer. Looking for an easy hanging basket? Mix three Surdiva colors together! Pictured is the Disco Diva combination featuring Surdiva Blue Violet, Fashion Pink and White Improved. Or choose the Bluesy Diva, which swaps the Fashion Pink for Sky Blue, for a completely blue color scheme. Bred in Australia, scaevolas are commonly known as fan flowers for their fan-shaped blooms. You will be a fan of their summer performance!

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One of the best summer plants is mandevilla. The hotter it gets, the happier they are. While red, white and pink are the most popular, consider trying the new Sun Parasol Apricot! Beautiful peach blooms enhance softer color schemes. Unlike the classic vining types for a trellis, Sun Parasol Apricot makes an outstanding hanging basket. Plants are more pendulous and loaded with large blooms.

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Looking for plants that will tolerate shade? Summer Wave torenias do well in sun or partial shade. Choose from the more trailing types that are beautiful in hanging baskets or the more compact bouquet types for patio containers and window boxes. Torenia is known as the wishbone flower. Look inside its throat, and you will see the wishbone!

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