Greenhouse Canada

Sawaya Gardens Trials 2022: Part 2

We look at another 40 key examples of varieties from the 2022 trials

December 26, 2022  By Melhem Sawaya

Petunia (63) Supertunia Mini Vista Yellow have loads of medium-sized flowers on vigorous plants that could be in pots for landscape or hanging baskets and combinations.

In the previous issue of Greenhouse Canada, we looked at success factors for cultivars and the first 42 varieties from the 22nd consecutive year of the trials. In this second part of the Sawaya Garden Trials 2022 report, we look at another 40 key examples of varieties from those trials: 

Lantana (43) Landmark Gold is a vigorous lantana that has an excellent performance in our trials, with a continuous flower power. Landmark should be grown in large containers or planted in large landscapes that will cover 4 sq. ft. Minimal deadheading needed.

Lantana (44) Lucky Yellow is a more compact lantana compared to Landmark lantana. Lucky is great to sell in smaller containers for landscapes where it will not overpower the rest of the cultivars in a bed. All lantanas get better with high light and temperature and that is why lantanas, in general, are a must for summer landscape. In addition to their flower power and beauty, they are a hummingbird favourite.


Lavandula(45) Javelin Forte Deep Rose have large blooms on strong stems with well branched habits, and continuous flowers from May until frost. It is Zones 7-9.

Lavandula angustifolia (46) LaDiva Vintage Violet is a very floriferous plant that is programable to flower the first year, with a strong upright habit and hardy to Zone 4. 

We did not see any powdery mildew on any of the lavender varieties that we had this year without any chemical treatment.

Lobelia – Hot + White(47) and Lobelia erinus (48) Techno Lilac, in addition to more lobelia varieties, flowered the whole summer long most probably because of the cooler summer compared to other years – or the breeders are working on heat-tolerant varieties. Next trial year, if the lobelias are to perform good in hot weather, then lobelia will increase in production double and triple fold.

Lobularia (49) Lavender Stream is one colour of the stream varieties that is gaining popularity with gardeners due to its impressive performance in the gardens in full sun and tolerating shade locations. At Sawaya Gardens, we are going to encourage the use of Lobularias not just for their looks and performance but for their excellent host for orius; a predatory mite that controls thrips, mites, and lepidopteran eggs in soybeans. Lobularias are used in large scale in strawberry fields as biocontrol’s orius host to avoid chemical sprays.

Mandevilla (50) Tourmaline Fuchsias is one variety of the many Mandevilla on the market that proved over and over their resilient performance and flowering power through the whole season. Mandevilla improves in performance September on, while many of the other genera are slowing down. Mandevilla works very well in combinations as well as alone.

Muehlenbeckia (51) Proven Accents – Big Leaf. 

Muehlenbeckia (52) Muehlenbeckia Big Leaf is the larger leaf of the Muehlenbeckias on the market. Both Muehlenbeckias are excellent fillers that enhances flowering or non-flowering combinations without taking over.

Nemesia(53) Nesia Tropical also performed very well compared to other years trials for the same reasons as Lobelia, a cooler summer, improved genetics, or both. We will keep close eye next year on their performance taking into consideration the average temperatures.

Passionflower – Betty Miles Young (54) and Passionflower – Betty Miles Young (Purple) Flower (55) and plant are the standards for excellent growth, growth and very beautiful flowers.

Petunias are the lion’s share of the annuals, and that is because they come in so many different sizes, shapes, flower sizes and amazing flower designs that they will be great in small pots or gallons and large hanging baskets or combinations. Here some outstanding examples:

Petunia (56) Bee’s Knees, which is the favourite yellow petunia for the past few years.

Petunia (57) ColorRush Merlot Star Improved, the name describes it very well with massive amounts of star-like, medium-sized flowers.

Petunia (58) Crazytunia Mayan Sunset flowers change colours with age to think you planted more than one variety.

Petunia (59) Itsy Bitsy Pink, the one colour of the Itsy’s series. Itsy have loads of small flowers on a very tight foliage plant that never need dead heading and rain seems to enhance it.

Petunia (60) Red Carpet RIMarkable. Each flower is a piece of art that are in a large collage. It takes the rain well without any diseases.

Petunia (61) Supercal Light Yellow is a strong petunia that is hardy to cool temperatures with loads of medium-sized flowers. The Supercal light yellow is one variety of a whole series.

Petunia (62) Supertunia Mini Vista Hot Pink and Petunia (63) Supertunia Mini Vista Yellow have loads of medium-sized flowers on vigorous plants that could be in pots for landscape or hanging baskets and combinations.

Petunia Hybrida (64) Dekko Lavender Eye is one colour of the Dekko series that have medium-sized flowers that are very resistant to diseases. Dekkos recover very fast after rain without any negative effect. Great in hanging baskets and combinations.

Rudbeckia (65) Goldsturm is the work horse of perennials that is hardy to zone four. loads of flowers slow to wake up in the spring. Gold strum flower beds you see from far away and put on a pleasant show year after year.

Rudbeckia (66) Minibeckia Flame is barely hardy to Zone 5, but it has super flowers the whole summer. It flowered more than 12 weeks.

Rudbeckia (67) Sunbeckia Maya and Rudbeckia (68) Sunbeckia Sarah are a series hardy to Zone 7 with extremely beautiful large flowers. In our area they can be used as an annual. Plant in large containers or landscape to enjoy the whole summer.

Salvia (69) Hummingbird Falls is a very vigorous trailing salvia. If not controlled, the vegetative part will overshadow the flowering part. Hummingbird Falls is great for hanging in baskets or landscape.

Salvia (70) Midnight Candle is a freely branching salvia that will lead to loads of blue flowers that last a long time without deadheading.

Salvia (71) Unplugged So Blue, like other salvias, attract pollinators and hummingbirds. It is great in landscape and containers.

Scaevola (72) Scala Pink vigorous and Scaevola (73) Surdiva Pink Fashion compact are only two varieties of many Scaveola varieties where all of them have excellent garden performance. No deadheading and blooms the whole summer long. Rain does not negatively affect scaveolas, and loves the heat.

Sedum (74) Double Martini have a contrasting maroon stem and olive-green foliage. Hardy to Zone 4 and drought tolerant.

Sedum (75) Peach Pearls another sedum all the characteristics of the double martini with a twist in its bloom different shades of star shaped rose-gold flowers.

Normally I do not appreciate verbena, since they need lot of care deadheading and have powdery mildew susceptibility. This summer I was surprised and impressed by verbena, in general, because with minimal deadheading and no sign of powdery mildew, the plants looked great most of the time. That is why we insist on trialing some of the old varieties, so we learn their habit in the long run, here are some examples:

Verbena (76) Lascar Black Velvet, Verbena (77) Lascar Mango Orange, and Verbena (78) Superbena Sparkling Amethyst. These are a few of the over 50 varieties of verbena we had in the trials.

Vinca is the new impatiens. They have excellent bloom colours, are disease resistant, self-branching, love the heat and are tolerant to cool temperatures better than impatiens. So yes, vinca is for the north climate, and more and more vincas are grown in many landscapes.

Vinca F1 (79) Titan Lavender Halo, and Vinca F1 (80) Valiant Lilac are only two that represent their series, plus more F1 varieties are available.

Viola (81) Admire Lemon Purple Wing and all the series flowered the whole summer and got better towards the fall. If a plant takes the cold that does not mean it cannot tolerate the heat, and the new breeding of viola is an example that. Viola takes the cold extremely well and thrives in the heat.

Zinnia marylandica (82) Zydeco Deep Yellow is a colour of the Zydeco new series that put on a great show the whole summer and visitors complemented on its performance. It is on the vigorous side, which makes it great for large containers and cover a large area of landscape. 

This is the second part of the two-part series covering the trials. Just remember what we always say, promising new varieties are for you to try, not to make big programs with. Then if all goes well, the next season plan on larger programs. Also, it will be the time to cancel the unprofitable or duplicate programs.

We do trials for the growers and consumers, so any suggestions that serve the whole or part of the horticulture gardening community are welcomed. Just drop a line or a phone call.

Next year’s Sawaya Gardens Trials open house date is July 19, 2023. 

See you at the gardens! 

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