Four plants had top 2022 performance
At the end of each year, I like to look back at what were some of the better performers in my home landscape and in my travels with Southern Gardening.
I obviously don’t have enough room here to mention all the great plants I’ve seen and grown in 2022, but I think these four were the cream of the crop.
A native plant you should consider for your landscape is butterflyweed, a selection chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012. Butterflyweed, also commonly known as milkweed, is a low-maintenance plant that attracts a lot of butterflies. In fact, milkweed is the sole forage plant for Monarch caterpillars.
Butterflyweed is a common sight along highways during the late summer months. The deep-orange flowers standing out on cut embankments are a testament to this plant’s low maintenance requirements. Known botanically as Asclepias tuberosa, butterflyweed grows up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide with an upright, clumping growth habit.
Clusters of tubular flowers are various shades of orange, but some have flowers shaded towards yellow. This past summer, I found a colony growing along the Natchez Trace that were bright red.
Suburban Nancy Gayle daylily
This particular daylily continues to be a yearly entry on my best-performing landscape plant list. Suburban Nancy Gayle daylily, an outstanding plant for all of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes, was developed at Suburban Daylilies in Hattiesburg.
This daylily has big, red flowers with yellow throats. And I mean big; they’re bigger in diameter than my hand. These rust-resistant plants have been growing in trial beds across Mississippi and are very impressive with their flowering performance. They flower from mid-May until August in my home garden almost every year.
I think the best description I’ve read about pentas is that they are the shining stars of any landscape in which they are planted. The star-like reference is repeated in their common name, Egyptian Star Cluster.
The name “penta” comes from the Latin meaning five, and blooms are produced in clusters of five-petal flowers from spring until frost in the fall. Each penta plant often has up to 20 clusters of flowers at any given time.
Besides providing great color for us to enjoy, pentas are rich sources of nectar and magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. These plants have great tolerance for the heat and humidity of our Mississippi summers. They add an almost tropical feel to the porch or patio, especially when mass planted in landscape beds or containers.
Vista Bubblegum Supertunia
I think every member of Southern Gardening Nation knows that Vista Bubblegum Supertunia is probably my all-time favorite landscape plant. It produces nonstop clear, bright-pink flowers that perform well in Mississippi gardens.
These vigorous plants have a 3-foot spread and can be up to 24 inches tall. When massed in the landscape bed, they create a pink groundcover. Vista Bubblegum is also a good choice for containers and hanging baskets, where the flowering branches and shoots can cascade over the edge.
The growth of Vista Bubblegum Supertunia is so reliable, it was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012.
You can’t go wrong planting some or all of these plants in your 2023 home landscape and garden.