He told RHS judges at the new plant awards: "Novelty Petunia ‘NightSky’ is incredibly different from any other Petunia brought to the UK market. With its deep violet-blue flowers and white spots Petunia ‘NightSky’ is aptly named for its striking resemblance to a constellation of stars, taking plant breeding to a whole new galaxy."
The colour break was bred by Antonella Capo of Selecta One in Germany following years of crossing and selection work.
This new Petunia has achieved the 2016 Fleurostar Award and 2016 sees its global introduction to the home gardener with over 400,000 plants rolling out into UK garden centres this Spring.
The plant appeared on ITV's This Morning this week, presented by T&M's Michael Perry.Another presentation at the event of a hotly-tipped plant made by Lowen was for Coleus ‘Campfire’ (Solenostemon scutellarioides).
Lowen said: "The highly decorative foliage of Coleus ‘Campfire’ brings a vibrancy to patio containers that we have not seen previously. The bright, eye-catching orange foliage excels in a sunny patio position. Its colour just intensifies in full sun rather than fades. What’s more, 'Campfire' provides months of colour without a single flower because it is bred to be late flowering, which means the foliage looks as sharp and clean at the end of the Summer as it does at the start."
Coleus ‘Campfire’ was first trialled as a seedling in 2012 in a collaborative effort between Ball Horticultural Company and the University of Florida. It was selected for its orange/red foliage colour and long-season performance under the most demanding garden conditions. It was released in late 2014 and licensed to Ball in early 2015 for full commercial release in 2016.
In public trials across North America it was the visitor’s favourite plant in the 2015 Ball Colegrave Summer Trials out of over 2,000 plant varieties.
Coleus ‘Campfire’ is available in UK garden centres for the first time this spring.
- See Horticulture Week's Gallery of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show new plant awards top 20 finalists.