2022 flower trials top ten performing annuals

2022 flower trials top ten performing annuals

University of Minnesota - Plant breeding companies from around the world send their annual flower seeds, vegetative cuttings, and unrooted cuttings to the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), to be part of its prestigious annual flower trial. Seeds begin to arrive in January, while unrooted cuttings and vegetative plugs start to arrive in March, all with the goal of having healthy transplants by the end of May in time for Minnesota’s growing season.

Annuals are grown in hanging baskets, containers, or planted into landscaped beds within the Horticulture Display Garden, which spans over 4 acres. All annual flowers are on display for public viewing from early June into September. Visitors can take note of their favorite cultivars and to see how plants respond to regional weather conditions.

The 2022 growing season for west central Minnesota was drier and warmer than usual. The average temperatures for June and July were several degrees higher than historically average, and precipitation was several inches less. By late July, the region was in a moderate drought. Despite regular irrigation, plants exhibited stress by having longer establishment times after planting, slower growth rates, and less flowering while these conditions persisted.

Even with the challenge of weather, the number of annuals in the trial expanded, which made for an impressive display of color, texture, and foliage, especially in time for the annual Horticulture Night near the end of July. A record number of visitors came to the event for hands-on garden demonstrations, horticultural presentations, and to take in the beauty of the Garden.

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Courtesy of Greenhouse Grower

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