It might seem too early, but this flower color will be the Color of the Year for 2023
Viva Magenta is the hot new color for 2023 according to Pantone the gurus of all things color. Specifically, it is Pantone 18-1750. In the garden world, flowers will never be able to be bred so specific as to reach a Pantone number. We as gardeners, horticulturists, landscape and container designers however want to participate, we love this time of the year, thus Viva Magenta becomes somewhat subjective.
That being said I first nominate Superbena Royale Plum Wine verbena.
Before I decided to go out on this limb so to speak, I asked Google, is Plum a color of magenta? It said absolutely that it was considered the darkest shade of Magenta. Bob Villa has a post on Viva Magenta too. He shows paint chip cards showing the various shades. There at the bottom of both, were colors that matched Superbena Royale Plum Wine to perfection. Of course, Bob doesn’t say that, he just shows that on the card.
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Superbena Royale Plum Wine verbena is an award winner and one that has been out for a number of years. With so many flowers available in the industry there is a chance you have never seen it. Last year was a banner year for color in my backyard. Orange, red, blue, yellow and purple colors were in abundance.
Oh my gosh, the Superbena Royale Plum Wine stood out like a rare jewel, a color of royalty.
Butterflies were going to it first in March and last in October. I asked myself how I could have missed this verbena for so many years. Of course, the answer is if every company has 15 or more verbenas, then the independent garden center simply can’t have enough shelf space. There are even more petunias.
Superbena Royale Plum Wine will reach about 12-inches tall with a two foot spread hence the royale designation. In contrast the Superbena Whiteout and Superbena Stormburst will spread 30 to 36 inches in the south. Superbena Royale Plum Wine winner the Leader of the Pack Summer in the North Carolina State JC Raulston Arboretum trials says everything you need to know.
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Superbenas like the Royale Plum Wine need a lot of sun with a soil that drains freely. This is one of the reasons that they are so easy in containers. Good lightweight potting mixes by their nature drain well. Once you have prepared your planting beds as such, you will have one of the best blooming ground covers you can buy.
Superbenas need to be in an active state of growth to get the most riotous blooming performance. This requires you to get to know them, feed them occasionally and cut them back to generate new growth. Leaving woody, tired stems sprawling in the garden or hanging over the rim of your containers will rarely yield the performance you desire.
If Superbenas could speak they would tell you they were created to grow and bloom. Cutting out tired stems, and giving a light fertilization will reward you with lush green growth and weeks of blooms and usually a perennial performance at The Garden Guy’s zone 8a house. Time will tell if the recent Arctic blast followed by several inches of rain did them in.
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I tucked my containers, chock full of verbenas, in the garage for about 5 days and they all are putting on good growth and even starting to bloom. Those in the ground aren’t showing me anything yet. But even if I have to buy every year you simply can’t beat the verbena for their performance and their ability to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
To me Superbena Royale Plum Wine could be the poster plant for Viva Magenta. Put a large Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on it and you’ve got nature’s version of harmony in color. I’m planning on working with you more on this year’s Viva Magenta color of the year so stay tuned.
Norman Winter is a horticulturist. He is a former director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Follow him on Facebook at Norman Winter “The Garden Guy.” See more columns by Norman at SavannahNow.com/lifestyle/home-garden/.
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Flower of the Year 2023: Superbena Royale Plum Wine verbena