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COLUMN: Plants of the Year provide inspiration

Rosanne Loparco
Posted 1/16/22

If you like to follow gardening trends, add the “plants of the year” to your garden. The National Garden Bureau (NGB) is a non-profit organization with a mission to “Inspire, Connect, Grow”, …

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COLUMN: Plants of the Year provide inspiration


If you like to follow gardening trends, add the “plants of the year” to your garden. The National Garden Bureau (NGB) is a non-profit organization with a mission to “Inspire, Connect, Grow”, motivating gardeners and providing inspiration and education.

The bureau has named these “Plants of the Year” for 2022:

Peperomia — The NGB has added houseplants to its annual plant list. The peperomia has been around since the 1930s. Because of their popularity and how easy they are to grow; many new varieties have come to market.

These houseplants are superstars because of their foliage, texture, and colors. They are popular as terrarium plants because they like humidity. These plants prefer a bright indoor spot; use a light potting soil with good drainage since they don’t like soggy soil.

Gladiolus — These flowers come from a bulb called a corm. They are popular, often featured as cut flowers at farmer’s markets and in flower arrangements. They are easy to grow provided you have a full sun location and good drainage. Unfortunately, these corms won’t survive our winters; they can be lifted and saved over the winter similar to how you would save dahlias. Consider planting these in succession for continuous bloom: Plant your first corms in late May after danger of frost has past and then plant more every 10 to 14 days until mid July.

Verbena — This annual flower loves the summer heat and is a must-have for a pollinator garden. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the flowers which come in a variety of colors. There are upright, bushy, and trailing varieties; the latter make great hanging basket flowers.

The verbena symbolizes healing, creativity, and happiness. Grown directly in the ground, verbena plant prefers soil that moist but not soggy and has good drainage.

Lilac — Old fashioned lilacs have been known to outlive the homes they’re planted near. Typical lilacs are large shrubs; however, there are newer varieties especially designed for smaller spaces. This shrub is fragrant, tough, and reliable; it’s also deer resistant. Lilacs prefer full sun and good drainage. They also will need consistent levels of moisture, and water during dry periods.

Phlox — This perennial takes many forms: from the spring blooming creeping form to the woodland native, and to the tall variety which is a staple in cottage gardens.

The phlox flowers symbolize compatibility, partnership, harmony, and unity .The soil is the most important consideration when growing any phlox. Phlox grow best in sandy, loamy soil that drains well. Phlox will not grow well in heavy clay soils.

Salad Greens — Salad is a dietary staple. This vegetable can be served raw, wilted, blanched, sauteed, and/or grilled. Salad greens contain many vitamins and nutrients. Lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, Swiss chard, and other greens are easy to grow. You can also grow salad greens in containers. Salad greens prefer cooler temperatures and can be planted early in the spring or in late summer for a fall crop.

If you would like to read more about these and other plants recommended by the National Garden Bureau, visit their website at:

Consider participating in the master gardener volunteer training in 2022! Come and visit the Extension’s Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens, an educational component of the Oneida County Master Gardener Volunteer program.

For more information, call us or visit: phone 315-736-3394, Ext 100.

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