Ask Burton: This week, a question of color. Q: I want to plant some fresh color, but I don’t want to plant something that will burn up as soon as summer arrives. I’m still worried about cool weather, though – I’ve had begonias and impatiens hurt when I planted them a little too early. What should I use?

A: This is always one of the tougher choices for folks, because plants that bloom well when temperatures are in the fifties rarely do so when it’s hot, and heat-loving color doesn’t necessarily have to freeze to show their displeasure on chilly nights. There are many excellent choices once the weather’s warmed up, but here are a few choices that are blooming now that fit this bill.

Snow Princess and similar Alyssum: These larger, summer-loving alyssums are newer introductions over the past decade. Excellent in containers and on the edges of beds, these alyssum types will spill over and spread over a wide area. Not all varieties of alyssum are this heat tolerant. Look for ‘Snow Princess’ or ‘White Water’ alyssum, available in quart and 6-inch containers.

Supertunias: These petunias are vigorous, wide-growing plants that hold up in heat, unlike most common petunia varieties. Supertunias are denser (less stringy) than Wave petunias and show great color into the summer. Supertunias will be available in quart, 6-inch, and gallon nursery container sizes.

Geraniums: A reliable spring bloomer, geraniums can still show good color into the summer! For the best look, grow geraniums in containers, and move those containers into afternoon shade as temperatures reach their peak. Geraniums will be in quart, 6-inch, gallon, and 10-inch containers.

Snow Princess Alyssum


Royal Megenta Supertunia