Photo courtesy of Young's Plant Farm

What makes a well-performing plant? Is it the perseverance to not only maintain extensive, healthy roots in the soil, but to also keep sprawling foliage and floriferous blooms above ground, when rainclouds refuse to come out for weeks at a time? Or perhaps it’s the magnetic effect that draws in pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Fortunately for the horticulture industry and end consumers, growers, breeders, universities and botanical gardens employ trial garden managers who monitor the progress of numerous varieties in their gardens, and welcome visitors to gauge those plants’ attributes for themselves. Some of these attributes include drought tolerance, heat tolerance, pollinator friendliness and overall performance.

In our 2018 trial garden results, managers from respected institutions across the United States look at these criteria for annuals and perennials, and select their best-performing plants of the year. See which of these plants you might want to consider growing in your greenhouse next year.