The RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) helps gardeners choose the best plants for their garden
Plants that perform
You may well have seen the AGM logo (right). A cup symbol on a plant’s label shows that it has earned the AGM – it's our seal of approval that the plant performs reliably in the garden.
Awards are usually given after a trial period, often at Wisley, and are judged by our expert forums. RHS awards can also be given by 'roundtable assessment'. This is given when a forum of horticultural experts meet to debate the characteristics and garden performance of plants that the Society is unable to trial.
Roundtable discussions are used when the plant group in question is impractical or impossible to trial or isn't in the trials plan for the next five years, and has the following attributes: current lack of AGMs, relevant to today’s gardener and outside expertise has been identified.
What is the AGM?
With more than 75,000 plants available in RHS Plant Finder alone, how can you tell which plants are best for all-round garden value? The AGM is intended to help gardeners make that choice, and is only awarded to plants that are:
- excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions*
- of good constitution
- essentially stable in form and colour
- reasonably resistant to pests and diseases
Awarding the AGM
Awards are only made after assessment by an RHS forum of experts appointed by the Society to assess that particular trial. Each forum has its own area of expertise, and draws upon the experience of a wide range of experts, including nurserymen, specialist growers and well-known horticulturists. This assessment must then be ratified by the relevant Plant Committee. The trial and assessments usually take place at one of the RHS Gardens but can also take place at one of our partner gardens, National Trust gardens or commercial nurseries.
What kind of plant is awarded the AGM?
Plants of all kinds can be considered for the AGM, including fruit and vegetables. The list currently includes more than 7,500 plants, but new awards are made each year to keep the award list as up to date as possible.
See the AGM Lists
The AGM review
Unlike other RHS plant awards, the AGM is subject to regular review, to make sure that every plant still merits its place on the list. The first review took place in 2002: more than 1,300 plants that no longer met the AGM criteria lost the award, while 900 plants were added to the list. In the second review, in 2012, some 1,900 plants were removed from the list, and 1,600 were added. Since 2013, reviews have been conducted by each plant committee on a rolling review.
The AGM logo
The AGM logo is used throughout the horticultural trade, by nurseries, garden centres and online plant and seed suppliers, as well as in catalogues, books and magazines.
Buying plants with the AGM
It's easy to find and buy AGM plants:
- Look out for the AGM logo next time you are in the garden centre or nursery
- Download the AGM lists to see which plants have the AGM
- Search for AGM plants with Find a plant
* see RHS hardiness ratings