MORRIS, Minn. — We’re in garden-planning mode, so this seems a great time for this year’s list of top 10 annuals from the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, in no particular order:
Angelonia Angelissa™ Rose, also known as summer snapdragon, was bright green and pink all summer long, despite the harsh weather.
Two begonias made the list, Begonia x benariensis BIG® White Green Leaf and BK Collection Vermillion Red were great performers in containers.
Another fan favorite, petunias! Two of those also made the list. Petunia Itsy™ Magenta and Petunia Surfinia® Purple Heart.
Another purple option is Salvia farinacea Sallyfun™ Sky Blue.
For warm colors, try Calibrachoa Bloomtastic Yellow, Celosia Kelos® Fire Orange or Sunflower Suncredible® Saturn™, all who made the list.
And the always popular coleus for great foliage, Coleus Colorblaze® Torchlight™ is a great bet.
More than 500 annuals were trialed for this year's list if a hot and dry summer that was challenging for bloomers.
From the researchers, "As part of the annual flower trial, plants are evaluated up to five times during the growing season in order to assess each variety’s performance. We use a 1-to-5 scale for providing a horticultural rating (1=poor, 2=below average, 3=average, 4=above average, 5=excellent). Plants are rated on performance, color, vigor, uniformity of habit and flowering, flowering numbers relative to others, insect and disease resistance, and uniqueness. The data is taken by the same individual every time to reduce variability in scoring. Evaluations began three weeks following planting. Only the highest rating cultivars earn the distinction of a Top 10 Performing Annual recommendations for Minnesota."
See the full results here.