Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
A number of different succulents were recognized as award winners during the last year or so. These are very good choices for the garden because you know they’ll be top performers.
There were several groups of these plants that received lots of acclaim. Among these were a number of moss rose varieties and annual euphorbias.
There was one newer series of the moss roses or portulacas that did particularly well in the plant trials. These were the Pazazz series. At the University of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, the Pink Glow Pazazz was considered one of the best performers. It did consistently well all summer into early fall. At the University of Georgia trials the visitors were invited to vote for their favorite varieties on trial. It should come as no surprise that some of the moss rose varieties did very well. Visitors singled out the Duet Rose and Yellow Stripe and Pazazz Ultra Pink.
At the Penn State University trial garden at the Southeast Agriculture Research and Extension’s Center in Manheim, the Pazazz series were top performers with the Jumbo White being singled out as one of the best.
At the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Texas, the White Manaus euphorbia was named a top performer.
All of these three trials were located in areas of the country that experienced consistently high temperatures and dry weather for much of the growing season. So you know that if these plants were top performers that they are as tough as nails and adapted to adverse growing conditions.
At the Michigan State University trial gardens two of the annual euphorbias were named “best of the best.” These included an all-time Proven Winner favorite that has been around for about five years, the Diamond Frost, as well as a new variety called Breathless Blush. Both varieties were top performers throughout the season and brought much-needed color under challenging conditions. Diamond Frost continues to be one of the top sellers for a number of nurseries and garden centers around the country.
With the 2010 summer being one of the hottest on record, it is also fitting that the moss rose was one of the top selling plants at many nurseries and garden centers here in North Carolina. We experienced a very long and hot summer that started early and didn’t want to quit.
A study at Ohio State University put the spotlight on several succulents. These included echeveria and White Manaus euphorbia. Gardeners were asked to rate the plants on a scale of 1 to 5 with the five being a top rating. A mix of different echeverias received an almost perfect rating of 4.6.