How Do I Choose the Right Plant?

Here’s a handy post from the Garden In A City blog about the Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Program. Since Southern Ontario shares the same ecoregion as the Chicago area, you’re safe to assume that the information works well for us, too. Now finding the top performing plants for your garden is just a click away. Enjoy the read!


Let’s say you’ve decided you want to plant Bee Balm (Monarda didyma). You go to an online catalog, and there could be dozens of varieties to choose from. How do you know which is best? You can go by the description in the catalog, which may be more or less accurate. This may purport to tell you the size or color of a variety, but won’t tell you much about how a specific variety performs in your region.

'Raspberry Wine' bee balm ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm

That’s where the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Evaluation Program comes in. CBG tests the garden performance of large numbers of varieties and species for selected genera. So far they have produced 37 reports, all of which can be downloaded for free from their website. To visit their website, click here.

Many more are in the pipeline. Before evaluations are completed, however, perennials are tested for four…

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2 thoughts on “How Do I Choose the Right Plant?

  1. Garden gold! My sister in law is in Chicago. I’ll have to send this to her! But I’m particularly interested in Monarda with powdery mildew resistance. I also have (geum seed from a seed train) that I have yet to grow. Very interesting. Thanks!


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