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Innovative new varieties for 2019

Kevin Hurd Josh Miller

Better performance, more disease resistance, bigger flowers, stronger branching and compact habits ideal for urban environments lead the new varieties debuting next spring.

“We do things in specific ways at Proven Winners®,” says Josh Miller, New Product Development Manager at Four Star Greenhouse.  “This means we do a lot of trialing and select plants based on crucial aspects, so that it is the best variety on the market for that characteristic.  We let the plants’ performance tell the story.”

Proven Winners’ new varieties for 2019 have a lot of great stories to tell, according to Miller and to Kevin Hurd, Director of New Products for Proven Winners.  Here’s their take on some of next season’s “must-have” varieties.






Angelface® Cascade White Angelonia — “This plant is going to make a big impact because it is the perfect summer basket flower,” says Miller. “It responds well to the heat and has really large flowers with a cascading habit.”  Hurd adds, “Cascade White is the most vigorous trailing Angelonia and can keep up with Supertunia®, Superbells® and Superbena®.” Lady Godiva™ Yellow Calendula — “Lady Godiva Yellow is a follow-up from the Orange we introduced last year,” notes Hurd.  “It is a tough interspecific plant that flowers all season long, is well branched and has great color coverage.  It is ideal for fall, winter and spring sales in the south and is also a very cold-hardy plant that is ever-flowering with great heat tolerance.”


Diamond Mountain
Superbells® Doublette Love Swept™ Calibrachoa —“This plant had the best response of any I’ve shown in advance showings,” says Miller. “It has almost perfect rosettes with a wonderful fuchsia color and a flawless white margin.  It almost resembles a Dianthus.  It would be terrific on a south-facing balcony and because it is vigorous but compact, it is ideal for urban dwellers.” Diamond Mountain™ Euphorbia — “Because it is two to three times larger than Diamond Frost® and is very vigorous, it is perfect in a big landscape or municipal planter,” says Hurd.  “It fills in as an excellent ground cover and is tough, durable, and heat resistant.  If you want fun landscape drama, mix it with Supertunia Vista®!”
Truffula™ Pink Gomphrena — “Need a solution plant for an unsightly landscape blight?” asks Miller.  “Try Truffula.  It is a bushy but reined-in plant that will screen the view, is durable and very heat resistant, and is a free-flowering annual.  It is very grower friendly, great for winter programs in the South yet good in the north too.  The flowers, which make great cut flowers, are really interesting!” Sweet Caroline Kiwi Ipomoea — “Kiwi is great for borders because it doesn’t trail as much as Sweet Caroline Light Green — it is more compact,” notes Hurd.  Miller comments on the color: “This has an almost enhanced dramatic color — a little more amped-up in brightness than Sweet Caroline Light Green, but it is less aggressive in plantings and hanging baskets.”


Supertunia® Blue Skies Petunia — “We’ve been waiting a long time to introduce such a beautiful blue Petunia,” says Hurd. “This was a big hit at CAST because it combines that sky blue color with amazing garden performance.”  Miller adds that it matches Supertunia® White and ‘Lavender Skies’ in vigor, habit, color characteristics and heat tolerance to make beautiful combinations.  “It is one of the more heat-tolerant Supertunia — a tough plant for a pastel to include in your summer assortment,” he says. Supertunia Vista® Paradise Petunia — “‘Tropical hot watermelon pink’ is how I would describe this new Vista’s color,” says Hurd. “I think it is unbelievably amazing in the landscape — it’s bulletproof!  Miller agrees about the color:  “It is more hot, an electric, almost iridescent color.”




Rockin’™ Fuchsia Salvia — “This is a true industry breakthrough — the first pink Guaranitica hybrid for Salvia,” says Miller. Besides the showy plumes of tubular fuchsia flowers, it has bracts that are clean looking, plus a balanced, stout chassis, he notes. “This may be a best-seller,” he predicts.  Hurd likes its contrasting appearance and other features. “This pollinator-magnet has dark green, well-branched foliage with black bracts that contrast with the beautiful deep pink color of the flowers.” ColorBlaze® Chocolate Drop Solenostemon (Coleus) — “Four Star originally introduced this plant as a Proven Selections®, and now it has been promoted to Proven Winners,” Miller explains. “Because shade combinations are so much in demand, this is a wonderful plant with contrasting foliage that will fill out in hanging baskets and has a cascading habit.”





ColorBlaze® Royale Cherry Brandy Solenostemon (Coleus)— “This compact, tightly branched plant has rich, velvety ruby red foliage that will stand out as both a grower’s and consumer’s dream plant,” predicts Hurd.  Miller agrees:  “We grouped the Royales together because they need no PGRs, no pinching and are compact and stable.  They show great Downy Mildew resistance and will be great for consumers.” Superbena® Whiteout Verbena — “This is a real solution plant — a big flowering white Verbena with Powdery Mildew resistance and terrific landscape performance,” says Miller.  “It’s the best variety on the market.”  Hurd adds, “As a descendant from the popular Superbena® Violet Ice and Stormburst, it will look beautiful in combinations and offer better performance than other options.”


Don’t Miss These Debuts

Other new improvements caught the eyes of Hurd and Miller:  Angelface® Blue Improved Angelonia, Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Improved Lantana, Machu™ Morado Ruellia, and Superbena® Raspberry, Red and Scarlet Star Verbena.






Angelface® Blue Improved Angelonia — “Angelface Blue is a popular bestseller that has been improved to have new stem strength, better branching and more flowers,” Hurd says. “This type of Angelonia has flowers on 360° of the flower stem,” says Miller, which probably explains much of this variety’s popularity. Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Improved Lantana — “Growers will love that Proven Winners has improved Citrus Blend to have more compact branching, which means it will look great in a Grande™ container,” notes Miller. “It doesn’t set seed and gives a premier visual representation of Lantana. It’s the best one we could find to meet our criteria.”
Machu™ Morado Ruellia — Miller is excited about the debut of this Mexican Petunia, he says. “This is a new Proven Selections variety available from Four Star that will shine in the south because it loves the heat, doesn’t invade, stays contained and has great branching for better flower coverage.”  
Red Scarlet
Superbena® Raspberry, Red and Scarlet Star Verbena — Growers and consumers have sought large, showy Verbena with better resistance to Powdery Mildew.  Now they are available as Superbena Raspberry, Red and Scarlet Star. “These are the most Powdery Mildew resistant Verbenas in the trials,” says Hurd.  “They will be replacing the Tukana® series in 2019.”


Learn more about these and other new Proven Winners and Proven Selections varieties in the new Four Star 2019 Plants & Programs Guide, available here. For more information, contact us at 734-654-6420 or