HTA New Plant Award winners 2024

Discover the outstanding new plants that scooped top prizes in the RHS-sponsored New Plant Awards at the HTA National Plant Show 2024, and a review of top entries with HTA President Alan Down

What are the HTA New Plant Awards?

The New Plant Awards are a key feature of the Horticultural Trades Association’s annual National Plant Show. The awards are given to the most innovative and exceptional plant varieties that have been introduced to the market over the last year, and aim to highlight new plants that have potential to become the next bestsellers in garden centres.

The New Plant Awards recognise the exceptional qualities of new plants within seven categories. Plants are judged for their unique features, outstanding performance and exceptional beauty. The awards are an important platform for plant breeders, growers and marketers to introduce their latest creations to the industry and the public.

© Allplant

Digitalis ‘Apple Blossom’

Best in Category: Herbaceous Perennials
Best in Show
Supplied by: The Bransford Webbs Plant Company
Bred by: Maarten van der Sar
  • Very floriferous perennial foxglove
  • Unusual orchid-like flower shape

Bidens Bee Happy Double Orange

Best in Category: Annuals, Bedding and Container & Basket plants
Supplied by: Ball
Bred by: Ball FloraPlant
  • Compact plant with great flower count
  • Unanimous vote for best in category

© Horticultural Trades Association

© Olivia Drake

Lavatera Lilia Twirl

Best in Category: Shrubs
Supplied by: Newey
Bred by: Hyfryd Plants
  • Unusual lilac flower colour
  • Compact habit ideal for pots

Prunus Crystal Falls®

Best in Category: Trees
Supplied by: Frank P Matthews
Bred by: Kenneth Tobutt & Dr Radovan Boskovic
  • Unusual weeping habit
  • Starlike white flowers in winter

© Horticultural Trades Association

© Horticultural Trades Association

Cyclamen persicum Illusia

Best in Category: Flowering Houseplants
Supplied by: Profitplant BV
Bred by: Schoneveld
  • Unique open, double flower shape
  • Rounded, compact plant with sturdy stems

Aglaonema Grand Blossom

Best in Category: Foliage Houseplants
Supplied by: Javado
Bred by: Suphachadiwong
  • Unique pattern of pink streaking to foliage
  • Easy to grow

© Horticultural Trades Association

© Horticultural Trades Association

Cotyledon hybride Elephant Trunk

Best in Category: Cacti & Succulents
Supplied by: Javado
Bred by: NovoAmi B.V.
  • Unusual and appealing leaf shape
  • A fun, easy-to-grow plant

Spiraea Walberton’s® Plum Carpet

Visitors’ Vote
Supplied by: Farplants
Bred by: David Tristram
  • Compact, bushy habit with many flowers
  • Easy to grow

© Horticultural Trades Association

President’s perspective

Horticultural Trades Association President and lifelong plantsman Alan Down shares his thoughts with us on the plants that won this year’s HTA New Plant Awards, as well as his personal favourites from among the entries

The Horticultural Trades Association National Plant Show, now in its thirteenth year, has established itself as the premier plant show for the garden retail and nursery industry. We’re delighted to have the support of the RHS in sponsoring our annual New Plant Awards at the Show.

Once again, over 100 entries were received this year, demonstrating not only the importance of the New Plant Awards to the trade, but also the depth of plant breeding that we are currently seeing.

The judging panel chose the foxglove entered by Bransford Webbs – Digitalis ‘Apple Blossom’ – as Best in Show, and that was an outstanding winner for me too. The long flowering of the sterile flowers, which apparently are still loved by bees, and extended flowering period due to its magnificently multi-stemmed flowers, suggests that this will be a great garden performer. Some have likened the split blooms, which open pale primrose and fade to pink, to those of orchids, and there is certainly a resemblance.

Although not in flower at the Show, the Prunus ‘Crystal Falls’ – a stable mate of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year for 2024, Prunus ‘Starlight’ – is a welcome addition to the late-winter flowering trees suitable for the smaller garden.

Of the two indoor houseplants that topped their categories, I can see Aglaonema Grand Blossom, with its sumptuous-looking and highly coloured leaves, being in strong demand, and the double-flowered Cyclamen Illusia, with its unusually held petals, catching the eye of consumers and houseplant enthusiasts.

For succulent enthusiasts – and there are many – the Cotyledon ‘Elephant Trunk’ is a fun and easy plant to cultivate. Each leaf looks like a grey elephant trunk raised to smell the air.

© Alan Down

Alan was struck by Hydrangea First Editions® ‘Eclipse’

I was a little surprised that the almost black-leaved Hydrangea First Editions® ‘Eclipse’ did not win the Best in Show New Plant Award, as it had the previous week at BBC Gardeners’ World Live show.

The white-centred sterile flowers bleed into rich maroon and look extremely striking against the dramatic dark foliage.

I have no doubt that this variety will be a big seller in garden centres and nurseries up and down the country.

 Alan Down, President, Horticultural Trades Association

Meet the judges

The 2024 Awards were judged by:

  • Emma Allen – RHS Head of Horticultural Relations
  • Andy Bunker – Alton Garden Centre

  • Cath Quinney – Bennybeg Plant Centre
  • Michael Perry – Mr Plant Geek
  • Josh Egan-Wyer – Pershore College

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.