Every year since the mid-1980s, American Nurseryman has devoted at least part of a December issue to new plant introductions. Way back then, we published two issues per month, and the December 15 issue was given over to all sorts of exciting new varieties. There were years when there were so many submissions that we had to fill an entire issue, then feature the rest in June. Every year, it’s been an embarrassment of riches.

This coming December, as we have done for decades, we’ll be handing over the issue to new plant introductions for 2018. Because there have been so many questions over the years, we thought it might be a good idea to walk you through the process. It’s not difficult – really. And it shouldn’t take a lot of time. But we want to make it as easy as possible to submit your information, so that we can help promote those fabulous new plants.

Baptisia ‘Sunny Morning’ Chicagoland Grows

Woody plants. Perennials. Vines. Groundcovers. Bulbs. Grasses. We need to draw the line somewhere, though, so we don’t cover annuals and bedding plants. Okay, do you have ornamental edibles? Send ’em in.

Quick, look to your right: It’s our handy submission form. We’ve simplified it a bit, but in a moment, we’ll explain just exactly what kind of information we need.

Geum × ‘Solid Gold Dancer’ Intrinsic Perennial Gardens Inc.

First, however, you need to take a good look at the plants you’ll be introducing for 2018. We understand that the intro “season” no longer exists, so if you’ve introduced a plant this year and it missed the December 2016 issue, please let us know.

The most important consideration is this: The plant must be yours to introduce, and it must be new to the U.S. commercial horticulture market. If it’s a real winner and you’ve just added it to your program – but it’s someone else’s introduction – we can’t allow that. That said, take a good look. Did you breed it? Discover it? Select it? Patent it? Then let’s rock.

Now, the form. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but let’s review:

Plant name: We’ll need both the binomial Latin name and the most common common name.

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Rocketman’ Walters Gardens Inc.

Trademark name/patent number: If there’s no patent, it’s not a problem. If there’s no trademark, it’s not a problem. Just leave these blank – but again, be sure the plant is yours to introduce.

Introduced by: Simply identify your company. Or yourself, if you’re a plant maverick.

USDA hardiness zone: We’re counting on you to have trialed your plant sufficiently to know its hardiness. Be honest.

Ornamental features: Describe the plant, but please do so briefly. We have a lot of plants to feature. Select the trait that makes it stand out among the competition, or simply what differentiates it from its brethren. What makes your plant awesome?

Mature height and width: This is easy, sort of. How tall does it grow and how wide does it spread?

Culture: What does the plant need to thrive? Sun or shade? What kind of soil? How much supplemental water?

Pest/disease problems – or resistance: Most plants are bugged (ha!) by a few things, but if these are insignificant, just tell us. On the other hand, is it resistant to drought, deer and other critter browsing, mildew – and so on? Good selling points.

Quercus macrocarpa ‘JFS-KW3’, Urban Pinnacle® oak J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Availability: How will you be selling and shipping the plant? In liners, bare root, B&B? If in containers, what size are they?

Last, but not least, give us your email address – or the email address of the person who’ll be fielding all those questions from eager readers who spotted your plant in this issue.

Wait! That wasn’t really the last thing.

Don’t forget to send us a high-res image (300 dpi or greater) in jpg format. Yes, we’ll be showing your plant online, too, but high resolution imagery is best for print. You want to show your introduction in the best light, and we want to help you do it.

And please, don’t forget the deadline for submissions: October 24.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve got!