Theodore Klein Plant Awards

Named for one of the patriarchs of the Kentucky Nursery Industry

Theodore Klein

A program promoting superior woody and
herbaceous plants for Kentucky Landscapes.

Named for one of the patriarchs of the Kentucky nursery industry, the Theodore Klein Plant Awards names each year plants that offer excellent ornamental and performance characteristics in the Kentucky climate. Award winners are selected each year by a panel of plant professionals representing Yew Dell, the Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association, University of Kentucky Landscape and Nursery program, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

2022 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winners Announced

They’re here! Each year a panel of Kentucky green industry professionals hunkers down in a dark and smoky room and battles it out to see which plant nominees will make the list. And this list that started back in 1999 now adds up to the go-to collection of woody and herbaceous garden plants for the region.

Chinese Dogwood

(Cornus kousa ‘Greensleeves’)

One of the best cultivars on the market today, this 20’ x 20’ tree develops deep, glossy green leaves, brilliant white late spring floral displays and excellent fall color of red, orange, and burgundy. It is highly disease resistant and adaptable to a wide range of soils. Best for full sun but happy in part shade as well.

Japanese Beauty Berry

(Callicarpa dichotoma)

This 3’ x 3’ shrub is best known for its brilliant, amethyst-colored fruit that color up in late summer and last through the fall. Bright green foliage sets off delicate pink/white flowers on branch tips in mid-summer. Best in full sun to light shade. Deer resistant.

Kodiak® Series Diervilla

(Diervilla Kodiak® Series)

North American native shrubs to 3-4’ tall and wide that are best known for their spring and fall foliage colors. The Kodiak® Red, Orange and Black selections all offer disease (and deer) resistant foliage and delicate yellow summer blooms. Plants are tolerant of full sun or light shade and perform well on any reasonable soil.

Short-Toothed Mountain Mint

(Pycnanthemum muticum)

Stunning 2’-tall perennial with silver/grey leaves and pale pink flowers that is an absolute pollinator magnet. Best in sun to light shade. Excellent for rain gardens, mixed borders or naturalizing at the woods edge.

Swamp Sunflower

(Helianthus angustifolius ‘First Light’)

This fabulous, compact selection of an already excellent North American herbaceous perennial will top out at about 4’ tall. In September and October it is smothered in 2-inch diameter, screaming yellow daisy flowers. Loves full sun and can handle damp soils but will adapt to any reasonable garden soil. Deer resistant.

Foam Flower

(Tiarella cordifolia ‘Running Tapestry’)

This fabulous North American native herbaceous groundcover is perfect for the shade garden. Growing to about 10” tall, its bright green leaves are flecked with deep red through the summer and the color intensifies after fall frost. Spikes of clear white flowers cover plants in spring. Avoid very dry soils.

View All Past Winners

Provided by the UK Department of Horticulture