Old-Favorite Flowers With a New Twist to Grow for 2018

Dress up your garden with familiar flowers in fun, new colors and forms.

Photo By: National Garden Bureau/Floragem

Photo By: Park Seed

Photo By: ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Park Seed

Photo By: National Garden Bureau/DutchGrown

Photo By: Jelitio

Photo By: National Garden Bureau/Selecta NA

Photo By: ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Johnny's Selected Seeds/www.johnnyseeds.com

Zinnia 'Queen Lime with Blotch'

New colors in zinnias are few and far between, even though the plants have been growing in American gardens since the 1860s. 'Queen Lime with Blotch’ is an exciting twist on this old-fashioned favorite. A packet of seeds yields double and semi-double flowers, along with a few singles. You may find this zinnia sold as 'Queen Lime with Blush'.

Phlox 'Popstars Red'

'Popstars Red' phlox is a garden rock star. This new variety is very different from the Drummond's phlox most gardeners know. Developed in England and popular across Europe, it's now available in the U.S. In most climates, the jagged, cerise-red and white flowers open from early to late summer. 'Popstars Red' has a dwarf growth habit, so it's ideal for containers or mixed beds.

Quince Double Take Peach

Flowering quince opens blossoms in very early spring, often before leaves appear on branches. It’s a classic for forcing and is usually ready to go by mid-February in most zones that receive snow in winter. Flowering quince is traditionally a thorny plant, but Double Take types offer stems without thorns and a carefree, low-maintenance personality. This is a drought and heat-tolerant shrub. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Cosmos 'Cupcakes' Mix

Think of the fluted liners for cupcake pans, and you'll understand how 'Cupcakes' cosmos got their name. A packet of mixed seeds produces creamy white, lavender and pink doubled flowers. These pretty plants open their blooms, which have fused petals, until frost. Pollinators like bees and butterflies often visit them.

Tulip 'Rainbow Parrot'

Tulips are grouped into divisions, including single, double, fringed types and more. 'Rainbow Parrot’ is a spectacular addition to the parrot division, a group with ruffled, curled, fringed or feathered petals. These novel flowers open in rare, rainbow-like shades of purple, red, yellow, green, orange and blue. Order the bulbs early and plant in fall; quantities are limited.

Echinacea purpurea 'Green Twister'

True to its name, 'Green Twister' is a lime-green coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) with a purple-magenta center. This variation on a garden favorite doesn't just have unique colors; it also has an unusual form. While most coneflower petals curve backward, these petals stand out almost straight or curve slightly forward. The flowers are magnets for butterflies.

Petunia Headliner 'Pink Sky'

Put a little drama in your garden beds or containers with Headliner 'Pink Sky'. This petunia's rose-pink petals are splashed with white, like its fluorescent-purple cousin, Headliner 'Night Sky'. Give your petunias plenty of sun; this variety flowers early and reblooms into autumn.

Baptista 'Pink Lemonade'

Also called false or wild indigo, Baptistas are perennials. The pretty plants resist deer, and, once they’re established, they can tolerate heat, drought and humidity. Decadence Deluxe 'Pink Lemonade’ is an easy-care variety with flowers that start out soft yellow and age to dusty raspberry-pink and purple. Butterflies adore it.

Thunbergia 'Tangerine Slice A-Peel'

You may know Thunbergias as black-eyed Susans. These vines, which are hardy in USDA zones 10-11, will climb a trellis or trail from a hanging basket and bloom until frost. 'Tangerine Slice A-Peel' is a bi-colored beauty with slices, or pinwheels, of red and orange on the petals. It’s lovely when combined with blues and purples, like blue salvias or purplish butterfly bushes.

Sunflower 'Sun-Fill Green'

Have you ever looked at the back of a sunflower? An American breeder's new variety, 'Sun-Fill Green', mimics the attractive reverse of some sunflower heads. Along with 'Sun-Fill Purple', these varieties have ornamental sepals (the plant parts that usually protect the bud and stay attached after it opens). Grow them for their exotic looks in garden beds or for bouquets.

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