Types of Annuals
Flowering annuals live for one growing season and are too tender to survive a cold winter. Popular annuals include summer-loving impatiens, geraniums and marigolds, but there are many blooms to suit your garden site and climate. Some tough, hardy annuals like pansies and snapdragons will even tolerate a light frost.
Annuals can be planted in flower beds, along borders, in container gardens and hanging baskets. Read on to learn more about versatile annual blooms.
- For soil that contains clay, add compost or manure to the mix.
- Many annuals prefer soil with a pH between 6.7 to 7.4.
- Add lime to acidic soils or aluminum sulfate to alkaline soils.
- Gently untangle roots before planting to help plants take hold of soil.
- Placement holes for each plant should be slightly larger than the root ball.
- Plants should stand in the ground at the same level as in the container.
- Carefully tamp down the earth around the plant for stability.
- Water thoroughly.
When to Plant:
- Pay attention to the typical growing season of your region.
- Most annuals can be planted as soon as the danger of frost is over.
- Planting later in the day yields better results.
- Fertilize once or twice during growing season.
- Soil enriched with compost may not require fertilizer.
- Need between 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of water per week during growing season.
- Water early in the morning to allow foliage to completely dry.
- Add mulch to retain moisture in soil and reduce growth of weeds.
- Use general purpose insecticide or fungicide to treat disease or insect damage.
- Weed regularly to improve appearance and reduce insects and disease.
- Pinch off dead blooms to encourage new flowers.
Consult the following list for suitable annual options:
Characteristic: Hardy annuals – tolerate cool temperatures, freezing conditions.
Characteristic: Prefer full sun.
Characteristic: Prefer shade or filtered sun.
Characteristic: Semi-hardy annuals – tolerate cool temperatures, moderate frost.
Characteristic: Tender annuals – don't tolerate cool weather.
Characteristic: Thrive in alkaline soil.
- Sweet pea
Characteristic: Thrive in infertile soil.
Characteristic: Tolerate drought.
- Dusty miller
- Globe amaranth
Characteristic: Tolerate wet climates.
- Seeds: Starting seeds requires plenty of space, good light and proper temperature levels.
- Live Plants: Choose plants that are deep green in color and are neither too compact nor too spindly. Also, look for plants that have not yet bloomed.
- Containers and Hanging Baskets: Provides a more ideal root-zone environment.
- Screens and Hedges: Some fast-growing annual vines can be used as screens when grown on trellises or fences.