2024 Perennial Plant of the Year Announced

Photo courtesy of Saunders Brothers, Inc.

Raleigh, NC – The Perennial Plant Association is pleased to announce the 2024 Perennial Plant of the Year®, Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is an exceptional garden phlox reaching five feet tall and four feet wide, although size will geographically vary.  It is known for its impressive flowers, held on tall and sturdy stems from midsummer to early fall. 

Hummingbirds, butterflies – especially Eastern Tiger Swallowtails – and other pollinators are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers.  Itwas discovered by Jeana Prewitt along the Harpeth River near Nashville, Tennessee.

Recent breeding in Phlox paniculata focused on a shorter, retail-friendly series in a range of colors.  This makes ‘Jeana’ a standout and as Paul Westervelt, Annual and Perennial Production Manager and Head Grower at Saunders Brothers, Inc. has said, “If I want undistinguished moundy-poundy Phlox paniculata meatballs in my landscape, I have lots of options.  If I want a classy standout with squeaky clean foliage that attracts 10x the butterflies, I choose ‘Jeana’”.    

PPA members voted Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ as the 2024 PPOY and find it makes an excellent bridging plant between early and later flowering perennials.  It is also highly resistant to powdery mildew which makes it look great, even without flowers.

Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ performs best when regularly deadheaded as it promotes blooming.  Deadheading also prevents self-seeding, avoiding inferior seedling production.   George Coombs, Director of Horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center echoed Paul Westervelt’s comments and stated, “Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ was hands-down the top performer in Mt. Cuba Center’s trial and continues to be a powerhouse in our gardens.  Not only does it remain sturdy and disease-free all season long, but the beautiful floral display attracts more butterflies than any other phlox we have ever grown.” Peg Castorani, owner of Gateway Garden Center, reiterated the presence that Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ has in the garden, stating, “To be a true garden celebrity, a plant must be reliable, beautiful, easy to grow and inspire a sense of happiness to just gaze upon it.  Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ belongs in the Garden Hall of Fame for her outstanding performance!”

The Perennial Plant of the Year® program began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors!  Perennials chosen for this honor are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. The Perennial Plant Association Board of Directors reviews the nominated perennials and selects three or four perennials to be placed on a voting ballot.  Perennial Plant Association members vote for the Perennial Plant of the Year® and nominate additional plants for the following year’s ballot.  In addition, Perennial Plant Association members have access to marketing materials to assist with promoting the Perennial Plant of the Year®.

Learn more about the 2024 Perennial Plant of the Year® at https://perennialplant.org/page/2024PPOY

The Perennial Plant Association is a trade association composed of growers, retailers, landscape designers and contractors, educators, and others that are professionally involved in the herbaceous perennial industry. With a mission to connect professionals, provide education and promote perennial plants, the association has served the horticultural industry since 1984.  

For more information visit www.perennialplant.org.