Self Seeding Annuals Help You
Save Money On Plants For Next Year
Self seeding annuals are almost as good as perennial plants. You plant the self seeders one year and they will distribute their seeds onto the ground to grow new plants the following year.
Balsam, Touch-me-not. Impatiens balsamina
Fun self seeding annuals to grow. The flowers look like little roses but the best part is the seed pods. You can see them in the picture as green tear shaped balls. They are filled with air and spring loaded once they become ripe. If you touch a ripe seed pod it will pop open scattering seeds everywhere. The skin of the seed pops curl up when that happens. Just a really neat plant to grow.
Popular Annuals That Self Seed
Love-in-a-Mist, Devil-in-a-Bush. Nigella damascena
Nigella has a growth range of 16-24 inches in height and 8-12 inches in width.
The plant has an airy leaf structure and flower colors that range from white to the typical bluish purple.
The plant may slow down blooming when the temperature gets to hot in the summer. You can plant seed directly into your garden every two weeks starting in spring to ensure flowers from this plant will be blooming until fall.
Dried flowers and seedpods from Nigella are great to use in floral arrangements.
One of the self seeding annuals that is very prolific with its' seeds.
Sweet Williams. Dianthus
This is by far one of my favorite self seeding plants. It may have been one of the first plants that I ever experience self seeding happening with. Annual dianthus and perennial dianthus have similiar looking flowers, but with the annual dianthus the foliage has more green to it, the perennial dianthus tends to have a gray coloring.
This annual flower grows up to a foot tall and a foot wide.
The longest I managed to keep getting new plants from a one time purchase was five years.
Spider Flower. Cleome hassleriana
Spider flower is such a neat annual that you need to grow this one at least one time.
The plant will reach up to 4 foot in height in the one season that it lives. The spidery looking flower is unique and fun to look at. It also is a fragrant annual that emits a light sweet smell.
You can buy this plant already started but it is also an easy annual to start by seed. This seed starting chart will help you plan when to start your seeds indoors.
Zebra Mallow.Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'
I planted this flower because I love the color purple. It is a rampant self seeder so if you don't like chaos in your garden don't plant this one. If you have plenty of room and need a filler plant, this is your answer.
The plant reaches 18-24 inches tall with a spread of about a foot. The flowers are a light lavendar color with a dark purple strip down the petal. When I purchased this self seeding annual, they were selling it in the perennial department but I'm not so sure the plant has come back in the exact same spot any two years in a row to me its an annual through and through.
Sweet Alyssum. Lobularia maritima
Sweet Alyssum is perfect to use for edging of walkways and for the edge of walls. The flowers let off a lightly sweet scent when the plant is disturbed.
It blooms from early summer to fall. It takes a heavy frost to put this one to sleep for the winter.
I have it planted at the edge of a retaining block wall and I'm amazed how the seeds manage to fall into the spaces between the bricks, you won't see them until the plant starts growing again in the spring.
Getting Plants To Self Seed
Stop trimming or deadheading your annuals a month or so before fall turns cold. This gives your annual flowers a chance to produce their seeds. You can leave the seed pods on the plant or you can trim them off and lay them on the ground under the plant.
Between fall and spring do not disturb the soil under plants that you are letting self seed. Any disturbance can disturb the seeds.
Do Not Apply Preen to seed beds where you are wanting annuals to self seed. Preen prevents seeds from germinating, you'd be wiping them out before they even got started.
Other Self Seeding Annuals To Try
Prickly poppy. Argemone grandiflora
Godetia. Clarkia pulchella
Cosmos. Cosmos bipinnatus
California poppy. Eschscholzia californica
Euphorbia. Euphorbia marginata
Sunflower. Helianthus annuus
Forget-me-not. Myosotis sylvatica
Iceland poppy. Papaver somniferum
Moss Rose. Portulaca grandiflora
Nasturtium. Tropaeolum majus
Not interested in self seeding annuals than try these summer annuals instead. You might even want to look at shade annuals to fill in spots under trees.