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Plant Trials

Every plant in North America is subject to at least one weather- or critter-related problem. What few gardeners realize, however is that these problems can be avoided by selecting plants that are more suitable for the specific region you live in. That's where trials come in!

Trials are the plant industry's way of measuring how well a particular variety will perform in different parts of the country and evaluating new plant varieties.  There are two kinds of trials:  University field trials which generally consist of beds where each plant is grown in a small plot (called a row trial), and public gardens, where plants are often put in display beds or pots.  Proven Winners sends plant material to both kinds of trials, and also conducts their own trials at test sites across North America.

By visiting a trial in your area, you will be able to see how plants perform in an environment similar to your own.  For instance, if there is a new Verbena that is tolerant to mildew, gardeners in the Midwest and Southeast would like to know about it. And while all Proven Winners varieties perform well in a range of environments, there will always be some that are better suited to certain regions than others.

Use our search function to find trial locations in your area where Proven Winner plants can be viewed and start your journey to a garden that is not only beautiful but also the longest-lasting

Different varieties are grown side by side for comparison.

Boerner Botanical Garden
9400 Boerner Drive
Hales Corner, WI
Open Daily to the Public 8 a.m. to Dusk, May through October

Admission is Charged

Champaign County Illinois Master Gardener Idea Garden
South Lincoln Avenue
Champaign, IL
Open Daily to the public

9 to 6

Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., From Labor Day to Memorial Day 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reiman Gardens are conveniently located just south of Jack Trice Stadium (the ISU football stadium) in Ames.

Hours of Operation
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Extended summer hours from May 1 to September 30
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. includes outdoor gardens. The Butterfly Wing, Conservatory and Gift Shop are temporarily closed.
Conservatory will be closed for exhibit change outs on the following days. The rest of Reiman Gardens remains open.
From May 17 through 22
From August 16 through 21
From November 15 through 20
Note: With close proximity to Iowa State University’s Jack Trice Football Stadium, there is no guest parking available on home football game days. Check the Iowa State football schedule HERE. Call (515) 294-2710 for more information.

Location & Directions
Some smart phones and GPS list Reiman Gardens and our mailing address 1407 University Blvd. in the wrong location.
Instead of entering Reiman Gardens or our address, enter into the map’s search field “intersection of University Boulevard and South 16 Street Ames”. Find the map below with directions to our entrance from the intersection of University Blvd. and S. 16 St.

Michigan State University
500 S. Bogue St
East Lansing, MI
(517) 355-5191 ext. 1359
Open to the public Daily, Limited access November through March

Limited parking is available in the gardens visitor lot, south of the Plant and Soil Sciences building on Bogue Street and Wilson Road. During university business hours (8:00 am to 6:00 pm) parking tokens are required to exit the lot and are available at the Visitor Booth for $3.00. At other times parking is free.

Raker Greenhouse Trial
(517) 542-4550
OPEN: July 19 - September 1, Monday - Friday, 9am - 4:30pm

This Trial is located at C. Raker and Sons Greenhouses, 10371 Rainey Rd., Litchfield, MI 49252.


The trial gardens are open July 17-August 28.

South Dakota State - McCrory Gardens
Brookings, SD
Dawn to Dusk

All trials are in the All American Trial Garden. Link to the map:

The Gardens at Ball
622 Town Road
West Chicago, IL
630 231-3600.

Located at the Ball Horticulture headquarters.
633 Town Road
West Chicago, IL 60185

University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
South Lincoln Ave
Urbana, IL
Open Daily to the Public

No admission Fee.

The Idea Garden is located within University of Illinois Arboretum on south Lincoln Avenue in Urbana, just south of the corner of Florida and Lincoln Avenues.

University of Minnesota - Grand Rapids
1861 E Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN
Open daily to the public.

Most trials are located near the greenhouse.

University of Minnesota - Morris
46352 State Hwy. #329
Morris, MN
Open Daily to the public.
University of Minnesota - St, Paul

The gardens are located near Coffey Hall.


1420 Eckles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108



University of Wisconsin
8502 Mineral Point Rd
Verona, WI
Dawn to Dusk

Free to the public.

Trials are located behind the extension center building.

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