CFAES Give Today
Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Cultivar Trial Gardens

Cultivar Trials

The Cultivar Trial Gardens, located at The Ohio State University Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens, are conducted each year in order to evaluate ornamental bedding plants. The objective of these trials is to observe the performance of the plants under environmental conditions typical of central Ohio, as well as to determine local consumer preference for each plant.

Evaluate the Cultivar Trials yourself, here. 


Growing our Cultivar Trials each year is only possible through the hard work and dedication of our volunteers! Here are a few fun facts about our 2022 trials:

  • Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens at Ohio State University and Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum in Springfield, Ohio, each grow the same 200 varieties of annuals sent to them from breeders from around the country and are evaluated based on two levels of maintenance.
  • The cultivars are evaluated  throughout the summer by staff, students, and volunteers for performance and consumer appeal, and the results are posted on this page at the end of the growing season. We typically have about 25 volunteers evaluating. 
  • Planting takes place in May and plants are removed in October.
  • Chadwick Arboretum volunteers, along with our Cultivar Trials Lead employee, do everything from planting the seeds, to watering, to "adopting a bed" throughout the summer to keep them well maintained. It takes over 70 volunteers to handle everything! 
  • The trial gardens are always open to the public and are a favorite place to visit with beautiful color throughout the growing season. Bring your friends and family - and tag us on Instagram!


Trial Categories
Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

The field trials feature ornamental bedding plants grown in the ground and in full sun. These gardens are located at the southeast corner of Fyffe Road and Woody Hayes Drive and will be exceptionally maintained as examples of how a cultivar can look with proper handling and maintenance. 



Springfield TrialsSnyder Park Gardens and Arboretum Cultivar Trials

The cultivar trials at Clark County will feature the bedding plants in the ground and in full sun, using the same stock of plants that are grown at Chadwick Arboretum. These gardens will have minimal maintenance and care.