Monrovia Unveils Notable New Plant Varieties for 2015

AZUSA, Calif. – (October 2, 2014) – Monrovia, the leading grower of premium garden plants, has announced some of its new and improved plants for 2015. Known for working with top breeders and plant explorers to discover and grow improved varieties, Monrovia seeks out plants that are more pest and disease resistant, drought resistant, or that have a different color, flower or fruit. “The habit is another characteristic we seek to improve,” explained Nicholas Staddon, new plant specialist and Monrovia spokesperson. “Many people are seeking dwarf and compact varities of their favorite plants, so they can grow them in a smaller garden or container. Low-maintenance is in big demand, so those plants that don’t require much pruning or dead-heading are hugely popular.” Below are some of Monrovia’s stars for 2015 (more to be announced soon):

 

Moonlight Chinese Fairy Bells

Disporum cantoniense ‘Moonlight’ P.P. #24,556

USDA Zones 7 – 9

A dazzling discovery from the Netherlands, Moonligh has fascinating foliage on graceful, arching stems. The wavy leaves are bright green with a unique pearl-white center, and some develop interesting striping. The dramatic foliage color emerges in spring, followed by clusters of small yellow flowers lasting through summer. Then, as temperatures cool in the fall, the variegation turns purple-pink. Adds an illuminating effect to any shade garden and will turn heads when planted in a tall, colorful, glazed container. A compact form, Moonlight will reach 18 to 24 inches and requires only occasional pruning.

Bonsai Blue Jacaranda

Jacaranda ‘Bonsai Blue’ P.P.A.F.

USDA Zones 9-11

A true dwarf Jacaranda, this fast grower will make a stunning small specimen tree or in a small patio container. It has bright green, soft, fern-like foliage and explodes with deep purple tubular blooms in lat spring. Prefers full sun and once established it is remarkably tolerant of heat and drought. While Jacaranda can grow 40 to 50 feet tall, this petite discovery from Israel will be about six feet high by five feet wide – delighting the space-challenged gardener. A Monrovia exclusive through Ball Ornamentals.

Little Ragu™ Sweet Bay

Laurus nobilis ‘MonRik’ P.P.A.F.

USDA Zones 8-11

Native to the Mediterranean, this is a true compact Sweet Bay. Its bright, golden-green wavy leaves have a more seductive fragrance than other Bays. The narrow foliage becomes a rich, sage green. This little gem will top out at five to eight feet high and wide in 10 years. Its small size makes it ideal for planting closer to the house or in a container near the kitchen – handy for cooking. The dried leaves add a very distinctive flavor to stews and sauces. This evergreen shrub works well as a houseplant in colder climates, adding fragrance to the home all year. Prefers full sun to part shade. Little Ragu™ is a selection of Emerald Wave®.

Red Rhapsody® Chinese Hydrangea Vine

Schizophragma elliptifolium ‘LaBaHe Blush’

USDA Zones 6-9

This extremely rare selection from the Dan Hinkley Plant Collection® makes a dramatic statement by virtue of its foliage alone. Its varnished-red new growth is stunning in spring, while its heads of flowers surrounded by large cream-colored bracts are beautiful in contrast. Six years ago Dan was driving though a remote area of southwest Sichuan Province when he noticed some seed heads on a plant. The foliage was gone, and with only the dried flower head, he wasn’t sure if he had anything special. When the seeds were two years old, he realized he had a very rare species that, to his knowledge, has never been successfully grown in Western cultivation. Red Rhapsody will self adhere, reaching 10 to 15 feet, and is best grown on the trunks of sizable trees, fences or arbors in shade to part shade and evenly moist soils.

Tiny Tower® Arborvitae

Thuja x ‘MonRig’ P.P.A.F.

USDA Zones 5-9

A sport of the well known Green Giant, it’s parent plant, Tiny Tower is a noted improvement. It has an upright, more compact habit and is a slower grower. Its lively green foliage is finer to the touch and maintains a tighter shape. It will reach 10 to 20 feet tall by four to five feet wide in 10 years. Use this handsome, easy-care shrub to create an evergreen screen, define the back of a border, or feature as an accent specimen in the landscape or a container. Full sun.

Ember Waves™ Western Arborvitae

Thuja plicata x stansihii ‘MonPin’ P.P.AF.

USDA Zones 5-8

A superb new conifer with bright yellow-gold new foliage that matures to chartreuse, creating a striking color contrast. The real drama arrives in winter when foliage turns deep gold with brilliant orange-red tips. It is vigorous, virtually disease-free and deer resistant. Responds well to shearing. Slightly more compact than its parent ‘Green Giant’, superb as an accent or screen. Evergreen. Moderate growth to 25 fee tall and eight feet wide. Full sun.

Crimson Kisses™ Weigela

Weigela ‘Slingco 1’ P.P. #23,654

USDA Zone 5-9

A compact reblooming Weigela, Crimson Kisses has a tidy, rounded shape and is covered with unique dark, lipstick-red flowers, kissed with  white eye, backed by bright green foliage. The flowers bloom from mid spring throughout the summer. Early trials have exhibited hardiness in Zone 4. It will reach three feet high and wide, making it perfect as a backdrop for flower borders or in the foreground of shrub beds. Lovely in a container, too.

 

Sneek Peek:

Enchanted Forest Collection™ of Lily of the Valley Shrubs

From noted breeder Sven Svenson is a collection of compact, late-blooming Lily of the Valley Shrubs, bred for their dazzling colors, improved disease resistance and better, superior growing habit. They love dappled shade and will reach five feet high and wide. Ideal for woodland gardens, they will develop buds in the fall that hold throughout the winter, providing a flame of color all season. Monrovia is delighted to bring four of these jewels to market. Impish Elf™ is the first in the collection. Details on the other varieties to come soon.

Impish Elf™ Lily of the Valley Shrub

Pieris japonica ‘Shy’

USDA Zone 6-8

Deep red stems and buds on panicles provide great winter interest, and then burst into bloom with hot pink, bell-shaped flowers in early spring. Glossy, brick-red new foliage follows. Impish Elf makes a stunning foundation plant, and is ideal for massing in the landscape.

 

for more information, visit www.monrovia.com

 

Background on Monrovia:

Founded in 1926, Monrovia is the leading grower of premium ornamental and edible plants, with moer than 3,600 varieties, including more than 214 exclusives. Monrovia works with the world’s best breeders to bring improved plants to the gardens of America and Canada. It’s Distinctively Better® plants are nurtured by hand to produce healthy plants that flourish in the landscape. Monrovia’s five environmentally responsible nurseries are located in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., Cairo, Ga., and Granby, Conn. Monrovia plants can be purchased in store or online with delivery to independent garden centers , and through  re-wholesalers nationwide. The company remains a family owned entity.