Plant Annual Flowers
For Season Long Color In Your Garden
Annual Flowers provide color for long periods of time. While trees, shrubs and even perennials typically bloom for only three or four weeks, annual bedding plants produce color all summer.
This picture shows a Cleome 'Rose Queen'. Cleome is a fast growing annual which produces spidery flowers. It's common name is Spider flower. Cleome grows best in full sun with well drained soil. This annual can reach a height of 4' easily.
What Are Annuals?
Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in one year, germinating from seed, flowering, producing seed and dying all in the same growing season.
The definition above is a technical definition but one can also consider plants as annuals from a practical standpoint. Annuals from a practical standpoint are any plant thats you put into your garden that are going to flower for only a single season, regardless of its potential for longer life. This practical definition of an annual extends to cover biennials, tender perennials, some grasses and even shrubs!
Let's use my zone 5-6 garden for examples of both the technical definition and practical definition of annuals.
I can plant marigolds in my garden. They are true to the technical definition in that the seed germinates, flowers, produces seed and dies all in one season.
Gardenias which I dearly love can be planted in my garden. They are by technical definitions a shrub but are not hardy in my garden zone When I plant one in my garden, it will provide me with fragrant flowers, but only for one season. The plant will die once winter arrives. The gardenia is treated as an annual in my yard since it dies after one season of flowering.
Growing Annual Flowers
You can purchase annuals in the form of seeds packets or as bedding plants ready to put into your garden.
Growing annuals from seed can save you money and they're a lot of fun to watch grow.
Garden centers offer plants that provide them with the best turnaround and profit. You may be able to get a few interesting varieties of annual plants locally, but to get the best selection of varities, growing you own
annual seedlings is the way.
While annual plants may not be expensive, they still deserve a good start. Here are some tips for
planting annuals that will ensure your plants get off to the best start possible.
I love growing annuals and watching them progress during the season, but I don't like paying for them year after year. To lessen the drain on my bank account balance at planting time I pick out
self seeding annuals.
Self seeding annuals will toss their seeds around and provide plants the following season. My bank balance and I like them a lot!
Gardening With Annuals
Annuals may only live for one year, but you sure can do a lot with them..
An annual container garden can be placed on patios, tabletops and even used in the garden to fill in bare spots. If an item can hold soil, you can plant annuals in it.
An annual cutting garden allows you to enjoy your flowers indoors in arrangements and crafts.
Planting in shady areas can be a challenge. Impatiens and begonias are not the only annual flowers for shade.
Here is a listing of shade annuals that will brighten up those challenging areas of your yard.
Annual vines can help shade a sunny porch or hide an unwanted view. Climbing annuals don't have to grow vertically, you can also use them to grow horizontally across the ground.
Fragrant annuals can help ease the stress of a hard day if you plant them close to your patio or place them in containers close to where you relax.
Cooking with fresh annual herbs will make your dishes mouth watering. They're not really as hard to grow as you'd think.
More On Annual Flowers
List of annual flowers
Annuals seed starting chart