All of us at Van Wilgen’s and Proven Winners know one thing for sure, a better garden starts with a better plant.
Healthy plants with strong root systems are the hallmark of a PW plant, and we know strong roots = strong plants. This week we will be showcasing Proven Winners plants in every part of the garden center. Our team members have compiled lists of their favorites that we know you should grow in your own yard. Listed below are our selections for a perfect pollinator kit, that you can enter to win!
This week May 14-20 All Van Wilgen’s locations you can enter to win one of 10 Proven Winners Butterfly Pollinator Kit ( with purchase) – all winners will be notified by phone

Buddleia ‘Pugster Blue’

Full-sized flowers on a dwarf plant!

Meet Pugster Blue – it’s a whole new look for butterfly bush. This compact plant reaches just 2’/.6 m tall and wide but has the large, full flowers normally seen on a much larger plant. It blooms non-stop from early summer through frost with true-blue flowers, each with a tiny yellow-orange eye in the center. Thanks to thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush.

Top three reasons to grow Pugster Blue butterfly bush:

1. Appealing true-blue flowers add hard-to-find color to any type of garden or landscape.

2. It produces full-sized flowers on a compact, dwarf frame.

3. Thick, sturdy stems ensure better winter hardiness in zone 5 than other dwarf butterfly bush.

Monarda ‘Pardon my Cerise’

Tuck this sweet and petite perennial into the front of your flower border where it will create a colorful edge of dark cherry pink flowers in high summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds adore it!

Salvia ‘Pink Dawn’


This colorful perennial produces cotton candy pink flower spikes atop the mounded, aromatic foliage. Lovely when planted in drifts. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and resists deer and rabbits. Easy to grow in almost any climate in full sun. Drought tolerant but blooms better with average moisture. Cut back after flowering to promote rebloom.

Cupea ‘ Vermillionaire’


Abundant yellow-orange flowers all season long; loves the heat and loved by hummingbirds. Vermillionaire, like all Cuphea is a heat lover and will do best in warm gardens with bright light. Always keep this plant in full sun for best flowering and to avoid it stretching in the shade.

Petunia ‘Bubblegum’

Don’t JUST keep up with the Joneses. LEAPFROG them.

Supertunia Vista petunias are very vigorous, with mounding habits that can reach up to 2 feet in height in the landscape and will trail over the edges of baskets and containers up to 4 feet by the end of the season. They are fantastic landscape plants and are great in large containers, where they function as both fillers and spillers. In garden beds, they will work either in the front or middle of the bed. They have medium-sized flowers.

Lantana ‘Grape’

I can go ALL summer.

Extremely heat tolerant; a brighter purple than Trailing Lavender.

If you are looking for a tough plant it’s hard to beat lantana. Lantana is heat tolerant, uses little to no supplemental water in the landscape, will tolerate less than ideal soils, and usually doesn’t need to be deadheaded. If you are looking for a plant that will thrive on neglect, lantana is the champ.

One of the most asked questions in the nursery yard in recent days is, “When will my hydrangea andbutterfly2 butterfly bush wake up? Did they overwinter okay?” The answer to that question is not as straightforward as I would like it to be.
The biggest factor this spring has been our unusually cold temperatures, especially at night. Due to the especially cold weather, plants are still clinging to their winter dormancy. Once Mother Nature warms up, you will start to see signs of life.
So what can you do in the meantime? Let’s start with the butterfly bush. Prune back your plants to anywhere from 6-18″ high. Feed them with Plant-tone, following the directions on the back of the bag. Plant-tone is a slow-release fertilizer that will feed over time and not interfere with dormancy.
Now it’s time for hydrangeas. The most important item to remember is to resist the temptation to prune your hydrangeas all the way to the ground. Most varieties of hydrangea bloom on old wood, so if you remove the old growth it will affect the flowering for the season. Right now, you should start to see green foliage breaking from the center of the plant, with large portions of the branching of the plant still looking dormant. Now is also the time to feed your hydrangea. We recommend Holly-tone, slow-release fertilizer for acid-loving plants, now. Once your plants start blooming you may apply Color-Me Blue or Color-Me Pink to ensure they are the perfect color for your garden all summer long.