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Anma Jo Ann’s 10 Favorite Greenhouse Gems

5 min read | Dec 3, 2012 | Plants 

Jo Ann’s 10 Favorite Greenhouse Gems & Why

With so many plants to keep up with and learn about, it can be downright confusing (and even frustrating) to choose the right plant for the right spot in your garden. So to help our customers make better and more informed decisions we consulted our very own Jo Ann Dewar, owner and founder of Fairview Greenhouses and Garden Center, for advice on choosing the right plants this spring. A wealth of endless knowledge, Jo Ann understands her plants better than most in the industry and has earned quite the reputation over the years. After convincing her to take a break from her propagation tables, we sat down with Jo Ann and got a little advice about some of her favorite greenhouse gems.

This beautiful, climbing annual vine (pictured right, pink) is a favorite of Jo Ann’s as she loves the fact that mandevilla blooms all summer and is virtually carefree. Mandevilla grows well on a trellis in a container or in the landscape and can even be used to grow up mailboxes. The lovely plant is offered in shades of pink, red and white.
Angel Trumpet
Nothing says tropical paradise like the weeping, trumpet-shaped blooms (pictured left) of the angel trumpet. Blooming in early spring and again in late summer, the angel trumpet offers white and peach-colored blooms that are incomparable, but that’s just scratching the surface of this plant! What makes the angel trumpet a winner in Jo Ann’s book is it’s sweet fragrance. Angel trumpet has a prolific fragrance that will help turn your landscape into the tropical paradise you always dreamed of.

Sky Blue Thunbergia

When you’ve got the “blues,” there’s nothing more therapeutic than gardening. The sky blue thunbergia vine (pictured right, blue), with it’s bold blooms and twining vine growth habit, is a favorite of Jo Ann’s. When grown on a trellis, this jaw-dropping vine adds an unrivaled vertical element to any garden. Sky blue thunbergia proves to us year after year that getting the “blues” is sometimes a great thing!


Hawaiian Snowbush
Who said a plant has to have flowers to make an impact? Jo Ann says that the Hawaiian snowbush has put that myth to sleep once and for all. Growing to a height of about three feet, the Hawaiian snowbush features unsurpassed foliage color and texture. Emerald green and deep purple foliage give way to the beautiful burgundy colors of the new growth. The icing on the cake for this plant is a dusting of white throughout the plant, thus giving it the name “snowbush.”
Princess Flower
A native of Brazil, the princess flower (pictured left, purple) has found it’s way into Jo Ann’s heart over the years. Known primarily for it’s dazzling and vivid violet blooms, the princess flower is also very durable and has a long bloom period (which is the reason why Jo Ann has continued to grow this plant year after year). Another great attribute of the princess flower is the soft, velvet-like texture of the foliage. The princess flower makes both a wonderful specimen plant in the landscape and is perfect when used as a centerpiece mixed among other plants in a container.

Shrimp Plant

This garden classic gets it’s name from the shape and color of it’s blooms. The red blooming variety features a flower that has a weeping habit and a white-colored flower tip giving it the appearance of a shrimp. Another variety, sometimes called the Lollipop plant (pictured right, yellow), exhibits vibrant upright yellow blooms. Jo Ann enjoys both of these varieties not only because of their prolific blooms, but also because they serve as wildlife attractants. Every year, Jo Ann watches as butterflies and hummingbirds zoom in and out of the greenhouse just to get a taste of this beautiful plant.
Known for it’s large flower heads that are similar to a hydrangea, plumbago (pictured left, blue) has become a plant that many gardeners have grown to love. It is available in both blue and white blooms and, because it continues to bloom through the hot summer months, it has found it’s way onto Jo Ann’s favorites list. Excellent in container plantings, plumbago is certainly one plant the Jo Ann will continue to grow for many years to come.


With so many great qualities and color varieties to choose from, there’s no surprise that lantana (pictured right, multicolor) would be among Jo Ann’s favorites. There’s no way around it, in the summer heat lantana is tough, drought tolerant and dependable. A difficult plant to beat, lantana is available in yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, whites, purples and even multi-colors. Jo Ann also likes the wildlife benefits of lantana as many different species of butterflies flutter on and around it’s blooms.
Blooming throughout the summer months, pentas finds themselves high on Jo Ann’s pedestal of favorites. Pentas (pictured left, red) are best known for their clustered heads of star-shaped flowers that are available in a wide array of colors. On top of being one of the best butterfly attractants, Jo Ann points out one of the plants key features: no deadheading required! As most of us know, the words “no deadheading required” is music to every gardener’s ears!


Sometimes called Fairy Fan Flower, the first word that comes to Jo Ann’s mind when she hears scaevola is “tough.” Blooming in shades of purple, pink and white, scaevola (pictured right, purple) can be used as a trailing plant in a container, in a hanging basket and even as a ground cover. Jo Ann says that when the summer months turn really hot, scaevola is one of the few plants thriving in the heat.

Ready to dig into the spring season, Jo Ann’s excitement has been felt by all here at Fairview. As our leading expert, she has shared her knowledge with us over the years and as a token of our appreciation we are more than excited to be able share it with you through this article. Remember….. life’s a garden, dig it!

See You in the Greenhouse!
Brian Jennings
Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center