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Southern trials take the heat

June 20, 2012 -  By

Landscapers who want to know how annuals will hold up to the heat should look into the trial sites below. If annuals can make it in the southern heat, they’re more likely to perform well this summer in your clients’ landscapes.

The Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia rates and cultivars, then posts those graphs online.

To make it easy to discover the best performers, the trial gardens name “The Best of the Bunch” for annuals, as well as the best cultivars for each color in each type of annuals. These are listed as “Best of the Best.”

The Lonestar State sets itself apart in many ways, not the least of which is by its weather. Summer droughts and extreme temperatures are the norm, which makes it tough to grow plants in Texas.

The Dallas Arboretum Trial Gardens collect weekly data each year on more than 3,000 entries. It then makes that data available via an Excel spreadsheet for download at

The Texas Superstar marketing program includes top-performing bedding plants that are well-suited to the state’s conditions. The North Texas Winners Circle awards showcase the trials’ top performers each year.

The University of Florida (UF) Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center Trial Garden site works to provide unbiased evaluations of bedding plant cultivar performance in South Florida via monthly evaluations.

Louisiana puts caladiums and other sun garden varieties to the test at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Ag Centerin Hammond, LA.

The Mississippi Nursery & Landscape Association names plants to its Mississippi Medallion Program each year.

For more information, read the full story in the July issue of Landscape Management magazine

LM Staff

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