Not all Louisiana gardeners have a green thumb, even though they want beautiful landscaping. To make it easier to select plants that will work well in their yards, the LSU AgCenter has developed Super Plants.
Each spring and fall the LSU AgCenter releases a list of Super Plants – ornamental plants selected for superior performance under Louisiana growing conditions. Watch this short video about Little Ruby alternantha, which is easy to care for and beautiful.These plants go through two to three years of university testing before being considered for this program. Much of the research is being conducted at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. Station coordinator Regina Bracy said it’s tough to be a Super Plant.
“It has to do well both in north and south Louisiana. It has to be hardy, and if it’s growing in the summertime, it has be able to withstand our heat,” Bracy said.
The goal of the Super Plants program is to promote outstanding plants for Louisiana that will be available at nurseries and garden centers across the state. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill is promoting Super Plants with his Get It Growing columns, radio and TV segments.
“LSU AgCenter scientists and green industry professionals got together to identify some of the very best plants we can use in our landscapes here in Louisiana,” he said.
Super Plants include the following warm-season bedding plants: Alternantha Little Ruby, Angelonia Serena series, Begonia BabyWing series, Cleome Senorita Rosalita, Lantana Bandana series and Pentas Butterfly series.The cool-season bedding plants include Columbine Swan series, Delphinium Diamonds Blue, Dianthus Amazon series, Foxglove Camelot series, Kale Redbor and Viola Sorbet series.Shrubs include Althea Aphrodite, Camellia Shishi Gashira, Azalea Conversation Piece, Gardenia Frostproof, Hydrangea Penny Mac, Rose Drift series, Rose Belinda's Dream and Vitex Shoal Creek.Trees include Evergreen sweetbay magnolia, Southern sugar mapel and Willow oak.The Super Plants program is a marketing and educational campaign designed to help the landscape industry promote plants and consumers make good choices
“It makes the consumer aware of good plants that do well in Louisiana,” Bracy said. "The ultimate purpose is to highlight some of these outstanding plants that people may not know about.”
Consumers can look for the Super Plants logo along side these plants at local nurseries. Funding for the Louisiana Super Plants program is provided through the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry with U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds.
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