New plants are big business and nurseries are always on the hunt. This year’s trend is low-maintenance varieties that require little attention, typically compact specimens with slow, steady growth habits for containers and small urban gardens.
An emphasis on tropical plants that can be grown in pots for decks and patios is another trend that will be visible at your local nursery this year. This way garden centers, whether they're big box stores or smaller local nurseries, can offer gardeners all over the country bright tropicals that are already blooming, from spring through fall.
Here, the Bougainvillea Garden Party Patio tree, from Hines Growers, is a perfect example of the trend. These are grafted topiary trees with a round head of foliage, standing about 18 inches tall. Growing well in zones 9b to 11, the "trees" flower as long as its warm, with blooms in shades of red, pink, orange, purple, and white.