Plant Development Services Has a Slate of New Releases that are Ready to Shine at CAST 2024!

(Carpinteria, California) – With an impressive slate of award-winning and new-to-market plants, Plant Development Services, Inc. (PDSI) is shining the spotlight on innovation at the California Spring Trials (CAST) on March 19 – 22, 2024.

As consumers pursue creative details, new and never-before-seen color variations, and small space-friendly selections, PDSI’s new releases bring these trending traits to trusted landscape staples. The resulting new introductions have been heralded with international industry acclaim, including the following releases on display at CAST 2024:

Available through Southern Living® Plant Collection and Sunset® Plant Collection: 

Ilex Nelliet™Holly offers superior branching, denser foliage, and requires minimal pruning. It features a classic pyramidal shape, dark green leaves, and glistening red berries. Ideal for Zones 6 – 9 in full sun to part shade areas. Size at maturity is 15 – 25’ tall by 10 – 15’ wide. 

Nice & Easy™ Yucca displays eye-catching creamy white-edged leaves with hints of pink in cool weather. Its soft texture and upright growth make it ideal for containers or as a vertical accent in the landscape. Ideal for Zones 8 – 11 in full sun to part shade areas. Size at maturity is 4 – 6′ high x 3 – 5′ wide.

Yucca Mellow Yellow radiates with a golden hue in the sun and lends a unique structure to the landscape with arching leaves an attractive and upright growth habit. This high-performing and water-wise yucca boasts superior heat, drought, and humidity tolerance. Ideal for Zones 6 –10 in full sun. Size at maturity is 4 – 5’ tall by 3’ wide. 

Colocasia Redemption™ features stunning jet-black leaves with a vibrant hot pink center and veins that intensify in heat. The winner of the Retailer’s Choice Award at Cultivate 2023, Redemption’s shiny, rippled leaves make it a dramatic addition to containers, pool sides, and accent plantings. Ideal for Zones 7 – 11 in part sun. Size at maturity is 3.3’ tall by 3 – 4’ wide.

Blackjack™ Agapanthus flaunts striking near-black purple blooms on elegantly tall stems, a unique color variation that netted it the RHS 2023 Plant of the Year Award and the National Garden Bureau’s 2024 Green Thumb Award. This compact variety offers a long flowering season, exceptional drought tolerance, and outperforms traditional agapanthus. Ideal for Zones 8 – 11 in full sun to part shade areas. Size at maturity is 14 – 20” high by 14 – 16” wide. 

Available through Better Boxwood®: 

Buxus Skylight™ is a standout new release from the Better Boxwood® series, the first collection of boxwood bred explicitly for its ability to resist blight. Hailed as a 2024 Green Thumb Award winner by the National Garden Bureau, Skylight shines with lush, medium green foliage, responds well to pruning and reaches a convenient 6 – 8’ tall by 3 – 4’ wide when mature. Hardy in Zones 5-9. 

Available through Butterfly Candy™ Buddleia and Sunset® Plant Collection: 

Lil’ Grape™ Butterfly Candy™Buddleia collection generates both pollinator and industry “buzz.” A KVBC silver award winner, this dazzling shrub with copious blooms in its namesake purple color is perfect for small spaces, offering a unique and tidy compact size. Ideal for Zones 5 – 10 in full sun to part shade areas. Size at maturity is 2 – 3’ tall and wide. 

These varieties will be available to consumers through Southern Living® Plant Collection, Sunset® PlantCollection, Better Boxwood®, and Butterfly Candy™ Buddleia at select garden centers and retailers nationwide. Preview these showstopping and award-winning plants at CAST 2024, and contact Janet Sluis for day-of information at 1-949-230-4138.

Stop information:

March 19th – 22th, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Santa Barbara Polo Club
3300 Via Real, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Four Feature Show Days

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 — 8am–4pm
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 — 8am–4pm
Thursday, March 21, 2024 — 8am–4pm
Friday, March 22, 2024 – 8am-4pm


About Plant Development Services Inc.

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®, Better Boxwood®, and Butterfly Candy®.To learn more about Plant Development Services Inc., visit