AAS Winners are Great New Plants to Grow in the Home Garden

All-America Selections has been trialing edible and ornamental plants for over 90 years, presenting awards to entries that will impress home gardeners with their

performance regionally or nationally. There have been plenty of exciting new winners that merit a place in your garden that will be highlighted in this series. 

Helianthus annuus ‘Concert Bell.' Photo by All-America Selections.

AAS Winners are grown and planted at nearly 200 Display Gardens all over the US and Canada, including nine gardens in Iowa. To see these winners and more, check out their website and search under the Display Gardens tab. For a sneak peek at potential future winners, plan a visit to Reiman Gardens, an All-America Selections Trial Garden.

Last week’s tropical temperatures have me thinking about bright blooms and beautiful bouquets. Here are three amazing AAS Winning flowers that can be direct-sown in your garden, no special seed starting materials needed!

Tropaeolum minus ‘Baby Rose.' All-America Selections.


Helianthus annuus ‘Concert Bell’: This sunflower is a full bouquet on just one stalk! Direct-sow these seeds after danger of frost has passed (around Mother’s Day weekend in central Iowa) and in just over 2 months, you’ll have a glorious show. Sow a new crop every three weeks to keep the concert going all summer! 


Tropaeolum minus ‘Baby Rose’: ‘Baby Rose’ nasturtium showcases dark-green foliage and an unusual true rose-colored bloom. Plants stay a compact 12”, making this nasturtium perfect for the front of a bed or even a patio container. Did you know: both the leaves and flowers are edible?!


Zinnia elegans ‘Queeny Lime Orange.' Photo by All-America Selections.

Zinnia elegans ‘Queeny Lime Orange’: ‘Queeny Lime Orange’ is a newer addition to the Queeny series of zinnias that are equally suited for garden displays and cut flower arrangements. This zinnia showcases a range of colors that complement and contrast just about anything else in your garden or your vase! Pollinators also love it, so plant a couple extra to share.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Yard and Garden, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on April 18, 2023. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.