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Plant Development Services to Present Landmark Slate of Award-Winning Plants at MANTS 2024



(Loxley, AL – December 2023) Plant Development Services, Inc. (PDSI) is thrilled to announce its highly anticipated winning showcase at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) on Jan 10-12. PDSI’s 2024 slate of consumer release plants features a record number of award-winning plants, both nationally and internationally, including those honored by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, All-American Selections, National Garden Bureau, and more.

“PDSI’s banner year can be attributed to a two-pronged development strategy, honed over twenty years, building strategic global partnerships with top growers and breeders, and maintaining a strong presence of brands in stores,” says Kip McConnell, Business Development Director. “We choose and champion plants that exhibit unique coloration and thrive in the face of landscape challenges. We ensure their market success through strategic positioning, naming, and tactical promotion.”

Heather Rollins from Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center adds, “From a retailer’s perspective, the familiarity and performance of brands such as Southern Living® Plant Collection and Encore® Azalea are a consistent draw for our customers, but the attention for an individual plant that comes from recognition by an organization like RHS Chelsea Flower Show or the National Garden Bureau creates an additional layer of demand.”

This year’s “all-star” consumer releases include:

A plant with white and green leaves in a pot.

‘Tokyo Skies’ Aspidistra – Hailed as a Garden Center Group Cultivate ‘23 Retailer’s Choice Award winner, this dynamic reinterpretation of the classic cast-iron plant features expansive variegated leaves with irregular cream and white highlights. It offers stellar adaptability, requires minimal water once established, and provides visual interest in shaded areas. Tokyo Skies flourishes in Zones 8-10, reaching 2 – 3 feet tall and 1 – 2 feet wide at maturity. Available through Southern Living® Plant Collection and Sunset® Plant Collection.

A large plant with colorful leaves in front of a window.

Royal Hawaiian® ‘Waikiki’ Colocasia – A 2023 National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award and 2023 All-America Selections Ornamental Winner, this innovative Colocasia presents glossy green leaves with white and flamingo pink veining atop strong petioles. Ideal for Zones 8a – 11b, ‘Waikiki’ reaches 3 feet tall and wide at maturity. This release will be available in expanded distribution in 2024 through Southern Living® Plant Collection and Sunset® Plant Collection.

A bush of white flowers with green leaves.

Encore® Azalea Autumn Moonstruck™ – Hailed among Garden Gate Magazine’s Best New Plants of 2024, the newest addition to the Encore Azalea collection of reblooming azaleas offers three seasons of ethereal white semi-double blooms. Eye-catching chartreuse and emerald variegated foliage casts an enchanting spell year-round in this vibrantly hued selection. Autumn Moonstruck reaches 5’ high by 4’ wide when mature, and thrives in USDA Zones 7a-10b. Available in 2024 through Encore® Azalea.

A field of green plants in a field.

Better Boxwood® Skylight™ – A National Garden Bureau 2024 Green Thumb Award winner, the new Better Boxwood® Collection represents a significant advancement in plant breeding, scientifically bred to resist boxwood blight. With its speedy growth and dense green foliage, the debut Skylight™ variety stands as the perfect option for gardeners seeking an attractive, resilient accent, ball, or hedge for Zone 5 to 9 gardens. Size at maturity is 6 – 8 feet tall by 3 – 4 feet wide. Available through Better Boxwood®.

A garden with pink flowers in a pot on a patio.

Butterfly Candy™ Lil’ Raspberry™ – Lauded as a KVBC Award winner, Lil Raspberryis an exceptionally compact and heat-tolerant butterfly bush that attracts abundant pollinators with ruby-hued blooms that rebloom from spring through fall. Ideal as an accent, container, mass planting, or perennial border in Zones 5 – 10, Lil’ Raspberry matures to a convenient 2 – 3 feet tall and wide. Available in 2024 through Butterfly CandyBuddleia.

Purple flowers in a pot.

Blackjack™ Agapanthus – Named 2023 Plant of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and 2024 National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award winner, Blackjack represents a unique color innovation with its jet-black buds that mature to saturated dark purple flowers. This variety is resilient to drought, blooms early, and thrives in Zones 8B – 11. Offering a semi-dwarf form, Blackjack reaches 14 – 20 inches tall by 14 – 16 inches wide when mature. Available through Southern Living® Plant Collection and Sunset® Plant Collection.

These all-star varieties can be found at PDSI’s MANTS Booths #33-36. For more information, contact Corrina Murray at [email protected]

Plant Development Services Inc. was founded in 1996 by Greg Smith of the third-generation, family-owned Flowerwood Nursery, Inc. Plant Development Services owns and/or licenses more than 300 patented plant properties and boasts these top-ranking plant brands: Encore® Azalea, the Southern Living® Plant Collection, the Sunset Plant Collection®, Butterfly Candy™, and Better Boxwood®. To learn more about Plant Development Services Inc., visit plantdevelopment.com.