This summer, more than 2,500 visitors to Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) garden at Wisley voted in a poll to name their favourite New Guinea impatiens cultivars, with Sun Harmony Compact Lavender and SunPatiens Spreading Variegated Salmon coming out on top.
More than 100 cultivars, supplied by breeders from all over the world, were on display between July and October 2014. Visitors to RHS Wisley were invited to pick their favourites from container and border displays.
Compact Lavender was voted the most popular New Guinea impatiens grown in the borders and Spreading Variegated Salmon was visitors’ favourite container-grown selection.
RHS trials development manager Mark Heath said: "We had some stunning cultivars but I’m not surprised by the results.
"The green and yellow leaf-marking on Spreading Variegated Salmon is so wonderfully uniform and the colour of the flower is splendid. Plus, and you may have guessed by the name, it grows with fantastic vigour – plant one in a 40cm diameter pot and it fills up in no time.
"Compact Lavender is all about flower power – big and beautiful, an absolutely gorgeous colour."
The second most popular cultivar grown in containers was SunPatiens Compact Electric Orange and in third place was SunPatiens Spreading Variegated White. In the borders, second place was a tie between Sun Harmony Violet and SunPatiens Compact Electric Orange. In third position was Impacio Pearl.
Heath added: "Breeding of this species has increased fantastically over the past few years and a host of new selections are now on the market. However, many of these plants are being sold without a proper name and description, meaning the consumer can be baffled and confused by the number of cultivars available and purchase them without well-informed knowledge of the plant’s performance in the UK.
"It is for this reason that we held an RHS Plant Trial of New Guinea impatiens and we’re delighted to say that out of all those trialled 10 have achieved RHS Award of Garden Merit status. This means consumers purchasing these plants will be completely clued-up and the quality of the plants will be guaranteed. Having spoken to the suppliers, they are delighted and will ensure the name with the AGM logo will be used in their marketing promotions and campaigns, and the name and logo will be used on plant labels for the consumer to recognise."
The list of trial plants is here.