Cultivate’22: New plant highlights
Matt McClellan

Cultivate’22: New plant highlights

There were tons of amazing new introductions on display at the Columbus, Ohio, trade show.

July 29, 2022

There were plenty of amazing new introductions at Cultivate’22, which took place from July 16-19. Here are a few of the standouts from the Columbus, Ohio trade show. 

At the Ball Ingenuity booth, the Jurassic Megalo series of Rex begonia were stopping people in their tracks. The exciting colors and textures on these varieties were attention-grabbers. And the bold patterns are definitely reminiscent of reptilian creatures.  

New to the Endless Summer family is 'Pop Star,' a beautiful lacecap hydrangea that's one of the earliest to bloom with a compact habit loaded with flowers. 'Pop Star' is easy to grow and well-suited for both landscapes and containers. 

Emerald Coast Growers showed off a new infertile Miscanthus sinensis, High Frequency, bred from NC State via Darwin Perennials. High Frequency impressed with gold cross-banding on its arching blades. 

Star Roses and Plants aims to bring the fragrance back to roses with its Scentables line, an offshoot program of the Bloomables brand. The inaugural 14 varieties offer notes of wild honey, crisp fruit, warm spice, and sweet perfume. With names like Top Cream and Raspberry Cupcake, they still have disease resistance without losing the scents that consumers want from a rose. Liners are available for 2023 booking. 

Monrovia’s impressive display was segmented by plant type. From houseplants to conifers, it offered something for everyone. Glacier Bay, one of the newest additions to the Seaside Serenade series of hydrangeas, was notable for its distinctive cup-like floret shapes. The Evolution series of coneflowers also popped with multiple colors of blooms off the same plant. 


It was hard to miss the superhero-themed display of BetterBoxwood, the latest brand from Plant Development Services, Inc. The series is the result of over two decades of breeding and trials led by Belgium grower and boxwood expert, Didier Hermans, and the Flemish Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research. He spent years and countless trials working with a dedicated team of researchers to breed a collection of boxwood that are genetically resistant to boxwood blight. The collection includes four unique varieties, filling a wide range of landscape needs. 

At Spring Meadow’s booth, visitors were awed by the incredibly sturdy blooms of brand new Hydrangea macrophylla Let's Dance Big Band. It’s new for consumers in 2023. It partners well with fellow Proven Winners ColorChoice shrub Quick Fire Fab, the latest evolution of the Quick Fire Hydrangea paniculata. The dense mophead bloom of and cruciform florets of Quick Fire Fab differs from the original Quick Fire, which is a lacecap.


Suntory Flowers celebrated its 20th year in style with its deluxe Airstream trailer as the centerpiece of its booth. The breeding company came about as an offshoot of the biotech boom at its parent company, primarily known for spirits like Suntory’s famous Japanese whiskey. In 1992, Suntory Flowers’ genetics began making their mark on the industry with varieties like Surfinia petunia and Million Bells calibrachoa. The Surfinia series is still a strong seller today, and its newest varieties were centered in front of the Airstream. 


At the Syngenta Flowers booth, Mantra was making a splash. This new geranium series, shown in bright red and dark green foliage, has a similar habit to the Mojo series but with 40% less vigor. It grows to 16-20" high and wide and is a good match for 2.5 quart and larger pots.