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Some All America Selections Winners for 2006

Among the 2006 All-America Selections winners are some wonderful bedding and landscape plants.

Whether you plant it in containers or in flower borders, Black Pearl ornamental pepper is sure to attract attention. Plants with black foliage are really popular right now, and Black Pearl is a great addition to the palette. When the plant is grown in full sun, the foliage will be pure black. In partial shade, some green will show through.

Reaching about 1½ feet in height with almost an equal spread, Black Pearl has gorgeous shiny, black peppers, which are borne upright on the stems. Though this is considered an ornamental pepper, the pearl-like peppers are actually edible. Be ready. They are extremely hot.

Black Pearl is an undemanding plant, having no insect or disease problems. This was an All America Selections Flower Award winner.

Like regular peppers, Black Pearl should be started early indoors about four to six weeks before the date of the expected last frost. Keep the temperature at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit until the seeds germinate, which takes about seven to twelve days.

Zowie ! Yellow Flame zinnia has really earned its name. This flower award winner is the most unusually colored bicolor zinnia you will find. Borne on semi-tall plants that are about 2½ feet tall with almost an equal spread, Zowie features semi-double blooms that are three to four inches wide. These have vivid scarlet red centers with yellow towards the tips of the petals. Very quick flowering, these will begin blooming about two to 2½ months from the time you sow the seeds.

Suitable for container culture and flower beds of all types, Zowie needs full sun. You can direct sow these in the garden if you like. Wait until the ground is warm in late spring. Zinnias really need warm weather to grow well.

When starting Zowie indoors, this should be done about four to six weeks before your expected last frost.

For 2006, Supra Purple Dianthus received a much deserved honor as a Bedding Plant Award winner. Because this vigorous plant is so heat tolerant, it will continue blooming from spring through the hot months. Providing exceptional garden performance, this is suitable for containers as well as all kinds of flower beds and mixed borders. This blooms from May through November. Space them about a foot apart in the garden for best results.

This freely flowering plant reaches about a foot in height with about an equal spread. It has a tidy, upright growth habit. Supra Purple will do best in full sun.

It will start blooming about ten to twelve weeks from the time you sow the seeds. The gorgeous, single, purple blooms are 1½ inches wide. Their frilly edges are so highly fringed they resemble lace. I really don’t know of any other Dianthus flowers that can compare with these.

For best results, start Supra Purple indoors around four to six weeks before the date that you expect your last frost. Cover the seeds very lightly with soilless potting mix. Keep the pots or tray at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit until the seedlings begin to pop up.


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