Greenhouse Canada

Get ready for Shrub Madness

February 11, 2014  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Feb. 12, 2014 — This spring plant geeks will raise one of 64 Proven Winners ColorChoice varieties to the level of victor in the first annual Shrub Madness Plant Playoffs.

From March 3 to April 4, the basketball tournament-style bracket will move through six rounds of competition at, using popular vote to determine the winner of each match. The voting public will have the opportunity to score one of five grand prizes: a collection of the last four plants standing, known as the Floral Four. Dozens of additional prizes will be awarded throughout the playoffs.

Competing plants and their tournament seed status were determined by the Plant Selection Committee, a panel of horticultural experts with several pounds of dirt embedded under their fingernails. A mix between heavy hitters like Little Lime hydrangea (first seed) and underdogs like Summer Shandy hop (14th seed) will make for a balanced competition.


“We feel that the power conferences like hydrangeas and roses are well-represented,” said Jane Beggs-Joles, head of the selection committee. “But there is plenty of room for upsets from the mid-major genera, and definitely the potential for a Cinderella to make a run deep into the tournament.”

Stacey Hirvela, Proven Winners ColorChoice social media specialist, has insight to Facebook fan behavior and agrees that the popular vote could offer surprising results. “With over 32,000 fans weighing in on the competition, this is anyone’s game,” Hirvela said.

“Time and again, our fan base has proven their love for hydrangeas, but they’re a hungry bunch, they’re a smart bunch, and they know a good plant when they see one. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a truly garden worthy, but less-than-showy plant makes it to the latter rounds. With prizes like these at stake, all I can say for sure is the action will be non-stop, the opinions will be heated, and the championship will be well-earned.”

The first round will set the pace for the tournament, eliminating 32 shrubs in a flurry of activity. The remaining plants will compete in the second round from March 13 to 18 and then the third round from March 19 to 20. The fourth round, March 21 to 26, will determine the Floral Four, which will continue on to compete in the fifth round from March 27 to 30. The sixth and final round to crown the champion will take place from March 31 to April 4.

For more information about the Shrub Madness Plant Playoffs, contact Shannon Springer at

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