How Plant Genetics Improve Each Year & How This Benefits You

How Plant Genetics Improve Each

Year & How This Benefits You

BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia

While there was a lot of fear in 2020, thanks to Covid-19, there’s a silver lining when it comes to horticulture.

Each year, plant producers come out with new plant varieties that make them easier to grow, more resistant to disease, and more drought-tolerant.

And this benefits you, as a home gardener, because you save money and time.

How New Varieties of Plants Help You

Vegetable and flower varieties that are resistant to disease, such as garden phlox that resists powdery mildew, will make your flowerbeds pop with color. You also get a return on your investment with hardier plants tough enough to weather dry, hot conditions.

It also benefits you because you spend less time tending your garden and more time enjoying it. Gardening and relaxing around plants and wildlife improve your mental well-being. You’re more able to handle the stresses and uncertainties of life when you have a green space to take a break.

In 2020, people found hope and purpose in their gardens, and it looks like that trend will continue in 2021.

Are you curious about how plant breeders come up with new varieties? Well, you know more than you realize. You only have to think back to middle school science. Somewhere in the curriculum, you learned about plant breeding.

Does Gregor Mendel ring a bell? He’s the father of classical genetics when he experimented with different pea plants using cross-breeding to create peas with other characteristics.

Learn more: How to Grow a Home Vegetable Garden

And classical genetics continues today. Plant breeders take genetic material from a plant and cross-breed it into another plant with the desirable genetics that gardeners, like you, are looking for. So, you can now buy mini-tomatoes or mini-peppers as well as invest in tall phlox that’s resistant to powdery mildew.

Garden Design and Seed Catalogs in 2021

What does this all mean to you now—in the wintertime?

Starting in January, seed and plant companies will be sending out their catalogs to home gardeners. And you can expect to receive catalogs until late spring.

So, you open up a catalog looking for strawberries, pumpkins, and hydrangeas. And you’ll find a plethora of different varieties for you to invest in.

A word to the wise: Don’t buy before you design your garden—whether you’re doing square foot gardening or creating stunning landscapes in your backyard. Successful gardening starts with a plan.

You can find simple garden designs for flowers and vegetables online. On Pinterest, you can create boards centering on your favorite style of gardening.

Many catalogs you get in the mail provide plants that succeed in your growing zone, or these catalogs will have a map of the U.S. that shows you what growing zone you live in. Only buy plants and seeds that are designed to grow in your zone.

According to one map, Richmond, VA’s growing zones are 7a to 7b. Here is a list of vegetables that grow well in Richmond’s growing zone:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Onions

Here’s a brief list of flowers and other plants that grow well in Richmond, VA landscapes:

  • Caladium
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Dahlias
  • Daylilies
  • Gladioli

Read more: Looking Forward: What’s Trending

BCLS Landscape Services Will Help You Design the Gardens and Landscape of Your Dreams

If you want a beautiful property in the spring of 2021, you start planning your landscape and garden in January. Don’t let the winter weather discourage you.

If the idea of designing your landscapes and gardens seems out of your comfort zone, then turn to us at BCLS Landscape Services. We provide estate gardening and landscape design/build services.

When you’re ready to make your garden and landscape dreams come true this year, make your appointment with us by dialing (804) 752-0052 or filling out our contact form. We look forward to working with you to create your next garden design.

BCLS serves residential and commercial properties throughout Richmond and Central Virginia.

Sources:, “Zone 7 Full Sun Plants—Choosing Zone 7 Plants that Grow in Full Sun, “Garden Trends Report 2021: The Great Reset.” (Pdf), “Plant Breeding.”, “Gregor Mendel.”