Late Summer Rush

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Dark purple plumes of Celosia ‘Intenz’ liven up late summer containers

Late summer can be far from boring. We have plenty of freshly grown plants to help landscapes transition with the change in seasons. Remember to bump up your inventory for back-to-school sales, too—customers will be tidying up the yard before schedules go back to hectic. We have that covered as well. Here are some timely selections from our greenhouses:


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: fall is about more than just Mums. Be sure to stock a diverse selection of colorful flowering plants of various shapes and sizes. Remember: warm yellows and reds help transition displays from summer to fall, such as ‘Sunfinity’ Sunflowers and the mix of shades in Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’.

Of course, it’s always fun to jazz things up with a dash of the unexpected. Celosia ‘Intenz’ fits the part—it’s a heat lover that keeps delivering color right on into autumn, blooming up until a killing frost. It’s a fuzzy purple surprise among traditional autumn shades of yellow and gold.

  • Angelonia ‘Angelface Blue’ [4.5-inch]
  • Celosia ‘Intenz’ [6-inch]
  • Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ [6-inch]
  • Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ [8-inch]
  • Sunflowers: ‘Ballad’ and ‘Sunfinity’ [8-inch]
  • Zinnia: Profusion (‘Double Golden’, ‘Double Fire’, and ‘Red’) [4.5-inch]

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Dramatic ‘Supertunia Black Cherry’ has a vigorous, mounded habit


Don’t forget containers for autumn. We offer a selection of spillers, fillers, and thrillers to cover all the component bases. Be sure to keep some of each on hand, including flowering and foliage plants of various heights, for well-rounded arrangements. Remember that texture is important as well as color.

Petunias grow quickly in the fall and they grow well, whether you need to freshen up a display or create a brand new seasonal design. ‘Supertunia Black Cherry’ has dramatic dark red flowers and a vigorous, mounded habit—we use it as both a filler and spiller in containers. It’s also an excellent variety for landscaping, best suited for a spot near the front of a bed. Flowers are medium to large sized.

  • Calibrachoa: Superbells in five colors (Yellow, Tangerine Punch, Red, Dreamsicle, and Blue) and ‘Cabaret Diva Orange’ [4.5-inch]
  • Petunias: ‘Headliner Blue’, ‘Famous Purple’, ‘Supertunia Bordeaux’, ‘Supertunia Black Cherry’, and ‘Sweetunia Black Satin’ [4.5-inch]
  • Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ [4.5-inch]

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‘Chilly Chili’—mild multi-colored peppers are ready for takeoff


Ornamentals see strong sales as we head into autumn so get an early start on them. We have Osaka Cabbages shipping now, and an assortment of Kale including the dark, dramatic ‘Scarlet Bor’. Millet helps with the transition from summer to fall—‘Jester’ offers a little bit of everything with chartreuse foliage that changes to red and bronze before arriving at deep, rich burgundy-purple. It grows about 3–4 feet high.

To add character to displays for autumn we like to use Ornamental Peppers, and ‘Chilly Chili’ is our best seller. It’s mild in flavor so it’s child-friendly and provides a season-long show of brilliant color, with fruits morphing from pale green-yellow to bright yellow, to orange, and then to dark red. At any given moment all these shades can be present on the plant, and the peppers stand straight up, pointing at the heavens. In a nod to this year’s 50th anniversary of the moon landing, they look like they’re about to blast off into space.

  • Cabbage: Osaka (White, Red, and Pink) [4.5, 6, and 8-inch]
  • Kale: ‘Scarlet Bor’, ‘Peacock Red’, ‘Nero di Toscana’, and Nagoya (White, Red, and Rose) [4.5, 6, and 8-inch]
  • Peppers: ‘Chilly Chili’, ‘Calico’, ‘Black Pearl’, and ‘Sangria’ [8-inch]
  • Millet: ‘Purple Baron’, ‘Jester’, and ‘Jade Princess’ [8-inch]

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Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ forms a Carpet of Snow


For a low, dense carpet of color we like Alyssum. It’s sometimes referred to as Carpet of Snow because white is the most popular color. Compared to Alyssum, Lobularia is like an athlete on steroids—the florets are larger but it has the same strap-like leaf. Lobularia can grow 6–12 inches high as opposed to Alyssum’s 3–6 inches, so it has a more substantial presence in the garden.

Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ gives us the nice, dense carpet of white that makes a neutral base for brighter autumn landscape elements. Blooms are also larger and more fragrant than typical Alyssum varieties. We like Alyssum for fall because it’s very cold tolerant—it withstands a hard frost and still keeps its flowers, so this is a good plant to put in the ground even when a chance of snow or frost is in the forecast.

If you want to go a little higher and more colorful we recommend Lantana ‘Luscious Citrus Blend’, a mix of red, orange, and yellow flower clusters that comes in at 18–24 inches.

  • Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ [4.5-inch]
  • Lobularia: ‘Frosty White’, ‘Snow Princess’ [4.5-inch]
  • Lantana ‘‘Luscious Citrus Blend’ [4.5-inch]

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Quirky ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Celosia bumps up the fun quotient for autumn décor


Autumn is a festive time of year—a time to get creative with décor and have a little fun. Adding a quirky element here and there bumps up the fun factor, whether it’s an unusual color, strange shape, or uncommon texture. Sometimes we get all three in one package.

‘Dragon’s Breath’ is an intriguing Celosia with blazing, deep red plume-like flowers and striking red-green foliage. It blooms and blooms in the intense heat and humidity of summer, and keeps blazing away in the autumn landscape with long lasting funky, feathery flowers. This is a good midborder variety—it also adds a hot dash of color to patio containers and makes a great cut flower.

While we’re talking about fun Celosia we can’t forget ‘Dracula’. That one, single, deep red ruffled bloom atop burgundy foliage is just far out!

  • Celosia ‘Dracula’ [6-inch]
  • Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ [6-inch]

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