RHS Plant of the Year

Celebrating the exciting and diverse new plants launched in 2023

Winner of the RHS Plant of the Year 2023 | Agapanthus BLACK JACK (‘Dwaghyb02’)

The long-flowering BLACK JACK boasts up to 10 times more florets per flowerhead than other varieties

Striking in borders and containers alike, BLACK JACK has huge flowerheads crammed with deep purple-black striped blooms. This vigorous agapanthus was bred by De Wet Breeders, exhibited by Sparsholt College and is supplied by Thompson & Morgan.

Patrick Fairweather of Fairweather’s Nursery, who trialled the plant, says: “BLACK JACK sets a new benchmark for dark-flowered agapanthus. The umbels are huge, rounded and densely packed, with up to 100 florets for an extended blooming season. Requiring some frost protection, it’s perfect for terraces, balconies and small gardens, and is low maintenance and drought-tolerant.”

“It’s great to see a herbaceous plant winning Plant of the Year. This agapanthus is great for small spaces, and it’s great for containers”

- Tim Upson, RHS Director of Horticulture, Education & Communities

Second and third place

Second place |  Hydrangea serrata ‘Gotemba Nishiki’ (EUPHORIA PINK)

The first place H. serrata whose foliage is as stunning as the flowers. Fresh leaves flush pink before turning white and green. Lacecap blooms are two-tone ruby red (or violet in acid soils) with pale centres. Perfectly suited to borders and containers in sun or shade. Bred by Mr. Nagasaki T. from Japan represented by company Osco Garden BV from Aalsmeer / Netherlands, exhibited by Stonebarn Landscapes and supplied by Thompson & Morgan.

Third place |  Weigela CAMOUFLAGE (‘Tmwg15-01’)

This compact Weigela boasts unique variegated bright green and black-green foliage. Pairing this with impressive flower power, the small shrub is smothered with bright ruby red funnel-shaped flowers on arching stems in May and June, giving an overall effect that is vibrant yet harmonious. It’s great for pollinators and small gardens where space is limited. Bred by Charles Valin, exhibited by Stonebarn Landscapes and supplied by Thompson & Morgan.

Chelsea Plant of the Year was created in 2010 to celebrate the work of breeders and nurseries in producing improved new plants for UK gardeners. A shortlist of plants being launched by Great Pavilion exhibitors is presented to an audience of experts from RHS Plant Committees and Trials Forums, who decide the winner, second and third, assessing innovation, impact and likely public appeal. These take pride of place on the Plant of the Year display in the Great Pavilion, where all the finalists can be seen.

“We’re celebrating the nursery industry, and in particular, the breeders who bring forth all these wonderful new plants”

- Tim Upson

Shortlisted for 2023

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Winner of the Plant of the Year 2022

x Semponium 'Destiny'

Bred by Daniel Michael and exhibited by Surreal Succulents, x Semponium 'Destiny' is a cross between an Aeonium and Sempervivum. This selection has been bred to be hardy to -2 degrees C.

It has a rich and deep purple colour, intense in tone in summer and good in winter. It is unique in being drought tolerant. The plant exhibits vigorous growth, growing all year round, reaching maturity at 40 x 40cm in three years. The leaves have a veiny texture. A good architectural plant to add interest to the garden all year around.

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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.