The Colossus series has 3 1?2- to 4-inch, upward-facing blooms. Its tight, dense plant habit with shorter internodes and small leaves results in less stretch, even in warm production conditions. In packs, it reaches 3 inches high and 4-5 inches in the garden. Colossus takes 80-85 days to first flower, and blooms a full week earlier in the summer, winter and low-light conditions compared to other extra-large flowered varieties. Colors in the series include Purple with Blotch (deep purple flowers with dark purple blotch), Deep Blue with Blotch (deep violet-blue flowers with dark purple blotch), Red with Blotch (consistent deep red with dark purple blotch), Rose with Blotch (carmine rose with dark purple blotch) and Yellow with Blotch (bright yellow with dark purple blotch). S&G Flowers. (800) 454-8159.
The MiniFamous calibrachoa series is early flowering and has a semi-mounding habit, excellent outdoor performance and uniformity. It works best in full sun to partial shade in a well-drained media with a pH of 5.8-6.0. Pinch after planting when new roots start to develop or purchase pre-pinched liners. For good plant development, maintain night temperatures of 62-64° F and day temperatures of 67-72° F. If needed, apply B-Nine at 2,500 ppm or Sumagic at 25 ppm as a spray. Once new roots form, start with a liquid feed program using a well-balanced fertilizer at 200 ppm nitrogen and use acid-based fertilizers to maintain a pH of around 6.0. Finish time from a rooted (not pinched) liner is approximately 8-10 weeks. MiniFamous is available in 20 distinctive colors (Cherry Pink shown) and works well in pots, baskets and mixed containers. Selecta First Class, Inc. (800) 955-5644.
‘Carpet Rose Star’ is a heat tolerant and free-flowering F1 hybrid with rose and white star-patterned flowers. It has a very compact habit and reaches 10-15 inches high in the garden. Rose Star does best when grown at 62-65° F in 4-inch packs and takes 8-9 weeks to flower. PanAmerican Seed Co. (630) 231-1400.
‘Crown Jewels’ hibiscus is very compact and reaches more than 2 feet high. In spring, it produces dark burgundy, maple-shaped leaves, and in midsummer it shoots large, 8-inch white flowers with red centers that bloom through September. Crown Jewels is hardy and works well in containers. Seeds of Life Nursery. (402) 489-8315.
‘Passion Mix’ has a multi-branched, compact habit and does not require pinching. It blooms heavily in the spring with daisy-like, bright-colored flowers and reaches 10-16 inches high and 8-12 inches wide. For best results, finish in 5- or 6-inch pots and 1-gal. containers, and use a well-drained soil mix with a pH of 5.8-6.4. Maintain day temperatures at 60-70° F and night temperatures at 45-55° F. American Takii. (831) 443-3976.
Veronica gentianoides ‘Blue Streak’, commonly known as speedwell, produces spikes of lavender blue flowers, evenly striped with mauve on strong upright spikes. It reaches about 18 inches high, works well in containers and flowers May through July when sown June through July the previous year. Thompson & Morgan. (800) 274-7333.