Monrovia’s New and Exclusive Plant Varieties for Spring 2013

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Garden tip from Monrovia


Monrovia, founded by Harry E. Rosedale in 1926, grows more than 2,300 varieties and 22 million plants annually, with each plant nurtured by hand. Monrovia is committed to enhancing the beauty and value of the North American landscape — one garden at a time.


Monrovia’s New and Exclusive Plant Varieties for Spring 2013

AZUSA, Calif. – (August 29, 2012) – Monrovia has announced eight exclusive and three semi-exclusive new plant varieties for 2013. Says Nicholas Staddon, director of new plants, “We work with the best breeders around the world to identify plants that will look better and grow better in your garden. We have had the pleasure of working with plant explorer Dan Hinkley the past few years, and he’s brought us some fabulous plants we are delighted to bring to market.” 

Below are three of the varieties that work well in San Diego:


‘Red Darling’ Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (shown)

USDA Zone 10–-11 

‘Red Darling’ blooms profusely, nearly year round in warmer regions, with flowers that are a tantalizing blend of velvety red and coral. The base of each petal is deep cherry, and emerging from the center is a large red pistil sporting bright-gold pollen, inviting hummingbirds and butterflies. Exceptionally vigorous upright growth supports glossy, deep-green foliage in stunning contrast with the flowers. Moderate growth rate to 6 to 8 feet high, 3 to 4 feet wide. Bred by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kuwabara. E.

“This is absolutely the best red hibiscus we’ve ever seen. The color is so red the flowers look almost velvet,” says Staddon. “And, there are large pistils upon which a family of hummingbirds could perch!” He suggests placing it next to patios, entries and in courtyards, where it will be a brilliant focal point.


‘Peach Sorbet’ Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum 

USDA Zone 5-10

A four-season showstopper, this compact blueberry is stunning with leaves ranging from peach to pink to orange to emerald green. Spring’s white, bell-shaped flowers will give way to an abundant summer crop of healthy, sweet blueberries mid-summer. In most climates, ‘Peach Sorbet’ keeps her leaves through the winter when the foliage transitions to a rich eggplant purple. Water, a little spring fertilizer and an annual winter pruning is all she needs to perform, providing beauty and plentiful fruit. This variety is very suitable for warmer regions. Winner of an Outstanding Plant Award at the 2012 FarWest, one of the nursery industry’s leading trade shows.


‘Plum Passion’ Hydrangea
Hydrangea aspera 

USDA Zone 7-10

A Dan Hinkley Plant Collection selection, this shrub was discovered in China — the first-ever purple-leaved hydrangea. Foliage is dark purple on the upper side of the leaf and rosy purple on the underside. Wispy, mid-sized lacecap flowers are somewhat insignificant in contrast with the striking foliage. This moderate growing, deciduous shrub will reach 5 to 6 feet tall spreading somewhat wider. Full to partial shade.

“This is one of the most unusual hydrangeas we’ve ever seen … almost to the point you wouldn’t think it’s a hydrangea,” Staddon says. “A true conversation piece, it would look stunning next to yellow plants like the ‘Golden Spirit’ Smoke Tree or any blue-leafed hosta.”

Categories: Gardening