New in Flowering Shrubs

It's that time of year. The Spring Meadow (wholesale) catalog is hot off the press and in the mail.  For those of you not in the nursery business, growers across the U.S. and Canada look to Spring Meadow Nursery for small starter plants (liners) which they grow on to larger sizes. 

A tray or flat of shrub liners. We sell these starter plants to growers

Spring Meadow also specializes in new and improved shrub varieties. We breed new shrubs and we work with plant breeders from around the world. The very best of these plants are introduced under the Proven Winners brand which can be found at better garden centers. 

Look for the distinctive white container

To help you get a jump on what's new, I've included a presentation of the new Proven Winners flowering shrubs that will be available to wholesale growers next spring. Because we sell small, starter plants, it will take a year or two before they get to local retail garden centers.  How soon  it takes to get there depends upon how fast a variety grows and how it is received by growers, retailers and you.    

For a plant to become a Proven Winner selection, we spend a lot of time testing and trialing to identify the very best plants. From breeder to garden center, it typically takes 8-10 years for a new plant to get to market. It's a long process and very few plants make the cut. 

These are trialing fields where we test and evaluate potential new shrubs

First and foremost, we look for plants that perform in the garden. It is important to us that gardeners have success with our plants.  In addition to garden performance, there are other other qualities we look for in a shrub. We look for plants that provide more seasons of color. You'll notice that many of these shrubs have colorful or attractive foliage, as well as pretty flowers. Others offer more color with extended or repeat blooming. You see, shrubs can be as colorful as perennials. Actually shrubs are perennials, they just happen to have woody stems.  

Gardeners want plants that are easy to care for or that require less maintenance. That's why we look for and select dwarf or compact varieties. Compact shrubs require less pruning and care, which in turn makes your life easier. More color with less work is a great combination in a plant!

This dwarf butterfly bush requires less care than the larger ones

We also feel that of all products, plants should be ecologically friendly. For example, when testing new roses we never spray them. This helps us to identify those varieties that are resistant to blackspot and other diseases. We believe that landscape roses should be healthy and happy. The days of spraying roses is long gone. 

We've also developed seedless selections of species that might otherwise be invasive. This year we'll introduce three new butterfly bush hybrids that are seedless and noninvasive.  We believe that gardening is the best way to be green. 

Lo & Behold Butterfly Bushes are Non-Invasive

Enjoy the presentation. Please feel free to give me your comments and opinions. Your feedback is real important to me and to the whole process.  If you're a gardener, let your local garden center know what you like or want.  If you are a retailer, let your grower know what you like to buy. And if you're a grower, let me know what you think. We all have opinions and social media has given us all a voice. 

Note: After starting the presentation, you can make it larger by clicking on the bottom right hand corner of the video box.



  1. Testing is so important. Just being new is not good enough. Too many times new introductions have been great disappointments. Thanks for taking the time.

  2. You are so right! Testing plants is very important. We trial the plants in Michigan at our nursery in different sized containers, in our test garden, in a separate field location and we have a testing program where we send plants to our key growers across the country. In addition we send our plants to about 400 garden writers for them to test and give feedback.

    But ultimately the market is the best test. You really get to know a plant when there are a half million or more plants on the market and you have a public website ( and Facebook page where people share their opinions and their real world problems and successes.

  3. Lots of great new varieties that I'm excited to see in the next couple of years!

    I have to disagree with this comment tho: "...which can be found at better garden centers." They can be found at every garden center, box store, corner store etc. I wouldn't put every retail location that sells PW plants on the same level as "better garden center". Those of us in the industry that work for better garden centers work hard to differentiate ourselves from box stores and not-so-better garden centers and stating Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-mart, etc are better garden centers can push the customers who don't know better to a less fulfilling shopping & gardening experience. And if they don't have success because they don't have good information or a good experience, what's going to get them to come back for more cool new plants?

  4. Good Point Nick, but it is the better garden centers that offer the best selection and the best quality so that's is why I steer people to those retailers - and consumers do know who are the better garden centers. Keep up the good work.

  5. Ya, I totally agree with "tim wood". Garden centers offer the best selection and the best quality. NIce blog!


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