Orange and Yellow Magellan Zinnias

Orange and Yellow Magellan Zinnias

I love to talk about annuals. They’re colorful and long lasting. I like to call them the “workhorses” of the flower garden. Planted after the last frost in your geographical area, they will give you joy all season while providing shades of every color of the rainbow.

The great thing about annual bedding plants is this year, you love hot orange, but last year you planted all yellow and pink, and next year purple might be your top choice. Annuals are an inexpensive way to change the curb appeal of your home and stay updated with fashion and color trends. It’s a fun way to spend time with the family as you pick colors, plant for the season, and then watch them produce color until fall. With water, soil prep and a little fertilizer, it’s very rewarding.

Purple Veined Petunia

Purple Veined Petunia

From the dwarf zinnias to hedge-type marigolds, size and shape is up to you. Some plants will tolerate hot, dry sunny locations and others prefer moist shade. Almost every yard has a place where annuals can be planted. Your local florist or garden center can help with information and education on what plants will do best for your yard. Here are a few ideas to inspire you in choosing annuals:

Borders: lobelia, ageratum, sweet alyssum, dwarf marigolds, dianthus, moss rose portulaca, dusty miller

Mass Plantings: geraniums, petunias, marigolds, celosia, cosmos, phlox, vinca and gazanias

Tall Flowering Plants: snapdragons, cleome, nicotiana, salvia, gomphrena and zinnias

Trailing Plants: verbena, lobelia, vinca vine, sweet potato vine, calibrachoa, lantana, scaevola and bacopa

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Climbing Plants: morning glory, nasturtium, black-eyed Susan vine and scarlet runner bean

Shade Lovers: impatiens, begonias, fuchsia, coleus, mimulus, torenia, browallia and balsam

Fragrant Flowers: nicotiana, sweet alyssum, scented geraniums, stock, heliotrope and four o’clocks

Mixed Verbena

Mixed Verbena

Patio Pots: spike, dahlias, calibrachoa, gerbera, osteospermum, bidens, geraniums, petunias, marigolds, pansy, viola, helichrysum, chrysanthemum daisy, New Guinea impatiens, asparagus fern, statice, ivy, herbs and veggies of all kinds.

A few of my favorites: salpiglossis, schizanthus, nemesia and diascia.

Be adventurous. There are new varieties introduced every year, along with new colors and textures. You are limited only by your imagination. Enjoy a great summer of color in the flower garden.

What’s your favorite annual and why?