National Garden Bureau, the marketing arm of the horticultural industry, celebrates plants all year-round. And each year, they shine a spotlight on plant categories from flowers to vegetables.
Following the plants of the year program is a great way to learn more about tried and true favorites, and to find out more about some overlooked beauties. For me, this year, it’s angelonia, a stalwart annual that I will now know as the “snapdragon of summer.”
The 2024 Plants of the Year:
Houseplant: African Violet
It’s easy to understand why people collect African violets –these sweet blooms are irresistible. Learn more about the history of African violets and how to select and care for these beautiful plants.
Lilies can be enjoyed in the garden from spring to late summer. Learn more about the different kinds of lilies and how to grow them.
Angelonia is the snapdragon of summer. Learn more about these gently colored annuals.
Hostas are one of the most popular perennials, and likely the most popular shade plant. You can’t miss with this abundant foliage and countless varieties. The downside: deer love them about as much humans do. Learn how to manage deer in your space and become a hosta collector.
Shrub: Buddleia (Butterfly bush)
Plant buddleia for pretty spikes of butterfly-attracting flowers. These nectar-filled favorites are often the centerpiece of pollinator gardens.
Ranging from tender summer squash like zucchini to winter squash like butternut and the ever-popular pumpkin, there are plenty of squash options for your garden. Learn more about growing squash on the NGB site.
NGB Plants of the Year
The 2024 Plants of the Year continues the tradition from the National Garden Bureau. Check out prior years’ crops to inspire your next garden project.
2023 Plants of the Year:
2022 Plants of the Year:
Vegetable: Salad Greens
2021 Plants of the Year:
Perennial: Monarda (bee balm)
Shrub: Hardy hibiscus
Vegetable: Green bean
2020 Plants of the Year:
Read More Gardening Stories on A Cook and Her Books
NGB’s Bulb of the Year is the Lily, one of my very favorite plant categories. Read more about How to Grow Lilies in Your Southern Garden.
Plant buddleia and build a pollinator garden around it. Learn more in Plan to Plant for Pollinators.
My gardening year begins when my Soil3 arrives. This cubic yard of humus compost is the best start for plants.
I plant containers each year and love to try out new designs. Here’s an update on my summer flower pots.
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