AAS Winners are Great Fall Plants for Your Home Garden

AAS Winners at Reiman Gardens include Verbena ‘Vanity’, Foeniculum ‘Antares’, Tagetes ‘Big Duck Gold’, ‘Big Duck Yellow’, and ‘Big Duck Orange’, Abelmoschus ‘Candle Fire’, Celosia ‘Asian Garden’, and Helianthus ‘Concert Bell’.
Verbena bonariensis ‘Vanity.' Photo by All-America Selections

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. 


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 www.all-americaselections.org 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.

Capsicum baccatum ‘Mad Hatter.' Photo by All-America Selections

Another trial season is over; evaluations for the 2023 trial year have been submitted, and winners will be announced soon! In the meantime, there were a few winners that performed exceptionally well in our displays that deserve a mention.

 Verbena bonariensis ‘Vanity’: I’ve written about ‘Vanity’ before, but I could write about it every month and still have nice things to say. This vervain is gorgeous, easy to grow from seed, and so popular with the butterflies and bees, I hated to pull it out last week. 30” tall, great for flower arrangements or cottage garden-style plantings, ‘Vanity’ is one of my favorite winners of all time!

Capsicum baccatum ‘Mad Hatter’: This bishops crown pepper won in 2017, but we grew it this year just for fun. The shape is eye-catching and everyone wants to know more about ‘Mad Hatter’. The flavor of these peppers is very citrusy and stays mostly sweet--in hot, dry growing conditions, they can become a bit spicy, especially by the seeds. Great when harvested at any color, this is a winner you may have missed, but you will definitely want to try it in your own garden next year--add it to your list, I know you have one started!

Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry.’ Photo by All-America Selections

Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’: Trialed as an annual in 2010, ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is a first-year blooming perennial that will impress people and pollinators. This coneflower is a great mid-garden height at approximately 24 inches and will bloom reliably on mature plants in early summer. If you want your coneflower to bloom first year from seed, be sure to start no later than January 25 (another one to get ordered ASAP!).

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