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Exciting New Annuals for 2018

Josh Miller

In a multi-year trialing process, Proven Winners® starts thousands of potential new introductions into testing. The outstanding new varieties and improvements for 2018 have been chosen because they offer home gardeners the exceptional beauty and reliability they expect from Proven Winners plants.

We recently talked with Josh Miller, Four Star New Product Development Manager, about some of his favorite new varieties. He also offers some grower tips for success.


Exciting genera new to Proven Winners®

Lady Godiva™ Orange Calendula — “This has longevity through the season and great heat tolerance,” Miller says, “so it will do well in containers, combinations and landscapes.  Remember that it needs high light levels and good air circulation in production.” Fairy Dust™ Pink Cuphea– “This is a different hybrid than Vermillionaire® Cuphea,” he notes.  “This plant has been described as a kind of ‘pink Diamond Frost®.’ It’s delicate when it starts out, but is tough once established — and very heat tolerant.”
Hippo™ Red & Hippo™ Rose Hypoestes – “These shade lovers are both durable and colorfast, and are ideal for combinations with their ‘splashy’ look,” Miller explains.  “Treat them like Hosta or Begonia in the landscape. They can handle more sun exposure than their predecessors.”
A-Peel® Thunbergia (Lemon, Orange and Tangerine Slice) – “Consumers love these plants, which started as Proven Selections® and are now Proven Winners. The new Tangerine Slice has a stunning dark eye on a mango-colored petal, with an apricot-colored margin.  And to make them retail-friendly, we recommend a trellis for the Royale™ container.”


New and Improved Varieties



Golden Butterfly™ -- “This replaces Butterfly and offers more heat tolerance and uniform flowering, along with a richer ‘butter’ color home gardeners will love.” Vanilla Butterfly® Improved– “The improved version has the same spirit of Vanilla Butterfly, but with a more distinct color and better flower coverage,” Miller says.





Campfire® Fireburst Improved– “Shorter flower stems, better long-season performance and a more controlled growth habit really improve this variety.  You’ll need to use fewer PGRs, too.” Toucan™ Coral – “Finish this in Royale™ or 1-Gallon containers for retail and promote it as a showy but easy Canna to grow. It’s great as a thriller or in the landscape.  Its warm, soft coral color is super-stable,” he adds.



Superbells® Blue Moon Punch™ -- “It stands out because it has a great blue-purple contrast with a dark eye.” Superbells® Double Ruby – “This is a bulletproof, full-season plant with stable color that combines well in container recipes with light or dark varieties,” Miller says.
Superbells® Plum Improved– “Improvements include better flower coverage, earlier to flower and branching.  It maintains the large flowers that are the hallmark of this variety.” Superbells® White Improved – “White has improved branching and a better controlled habit. It matches with Superbells® Yellow in habit and vigor.”



Dahlightful® Crushed Crimson™ – “The color speaks for itself – stunning!” Dahlightful® Tupelo Honey™ -- “Consistently in bloom, this Dahlia has an original and unique color that mixes yellow and orange.  It loves the heat!”





Karalee® Petite Pink Improved – “Get more flowers and better color with this improved variety, along with a better controlled habit.  It’s” more vigorous for a faster finish.” Bright Lights™ Double Moonglow – “The flowers are a soft vanilla cream color with interior petals that are buttery yellow, and they stay open in low-light conditions. The color coverage sets it apart from others.  I’d say it was one of the top five performers in our summer trial,” Miller notes.



Supertunia® Hot Pink Charm – “The robust architecture and color coverage of this variety makes it ideal in the landscape.  It’s one of my first choices as a border plant and is a perfect match to Supertunia® Pink Star Charm.” Supertunia® Lovie Dovie – “Another near bulletproof plant, Lovie Dovie has constant color coverage and it is easy to plug into normal growing programs.  It is so strong and doesn’t fold when it rains.  I predict it will be a banner plant in the future.”
Supertunia® Mulberry Charm – Miller says, “This plant is among our earliest to flower and looks like a mini-Bordeaux™.  It’s tough and works so well to anchor a border in a landscape.” Supertunia® Royal Magenta™ Improved– “This is a very strong improvement for this popular variety, giving it more compact growth, better branching and habit, and greater color coverage.  Plus, it has better garden performance, thanks to improved heat tolerance.”



Rockin’™ Deep Purple – “This is a Black & Blue type, but is more compact with better branching.  It will make a great thriller or landscape plant, is a magnet for pollinators with a long bloom time, and has a sexy color.” Rockin’™ Playin’ The Blues® Improved– “Improved branching and color coverage give this variety constant garden presence.  The calyx is deep blue, so even after the flower falls, it still looks like it’s flowering!”



Superbena® Stormburst – “This is a perfect habit and vigor match with Superbena® Violet Ice, with large flowers that play well in pastel schemes.  Use high light in production,” Miller recommends.  


See more information about these and all the other great new 2018 introductions here.  Want to know more? Contact us at 734-654-6420 or email or