AAS Winners are Great Flowers to Grow in Your Garden

All-America Selections (AAS) 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 the All-America Selections 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.

If only we had known how warm it was going to be this February, we could have all grown our own cut flowers for loved ones and sweethearts! It may be too late to grow your own arrangements for this year, but AAS Winners have a lot to love! 

Zinnia elegans ‘Magellan Coral’: This zinnia has a lot going for it, not least that you could almost have it ready by Valentine’s Day with sowing to bloom at around 7 or 8 weeks. The compact growth habit of this plant (approximately 18” wide by 15” tall) means you can grow it easily in a container for a quick-cut option or a long-lasting bouquet in a patio pot! There’s a lot to love about zinnias and they’re perfect for all your loves, young and old!

Echinacea hybrida ‘Cheyenne Spirit’: If you have your eye on a new crush (pollinators), ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ coneflower will be your Cupid’s arrow. This coneflower is a first-year bloomer (for for-sure flowers this year, look for plants and start those seeds in January NEXT year) that comes in a wide variety of colors that will woo almost anything with wings! ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ will return as a perennial and also does a bit of reseeding.

Beta vulgaris ‘Avalanche’: Ok, so this may not be a cut flower option, but I’d argue that beets are even more passionate than blooms! ‘Avalanche’ is a white beet that won’t stain your fingers as you prepare the first course for your sweetheart and its mild flavor will win over almost any reluctant romantic. Plus, beets are heart-healthy; what’s sweeter than antioxidants? 50 days from sowing to harvest, ‘Avalanche’ is perfect for a fling, or plant in succession for a long-term love. 

Zinnia elegans ‘Magellan Coral.' Photo by All-America Selections.
Echinacea hybrida ‘Cheyenne Spirit.' Photo by All-America Selections.
Beta vulgaris ‘Avalanche.' Photo by All-America Selections.

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