Annuals provide bright bursts of color in the garden throughout the growing season



Annuals can be planted in flower beds, along borders, in container gardens and hanging baskets.


Planting Tips

  • 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 they were at 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” to 1 1/2” of water per week during growing season
  • Water early in 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 chart for suitable annual options:

Characteristics of Popular Annuals

Characteristic Plant

Hardy annuals -- tolerate cool temperatures, freezing conditions

  • Forget-me-not
  • Larkspur
  • Pansy
  • Snapdragon
  • Viola

Prefer full sun

  • Geranium
  • Marigold
  • Petunia
  • Zinnia

Prefer shade or filtered sun

  • Ageratum
  • Begonias
  • Coleus
  • Fuschia
  • Impatiens
  • Lobelia

Semi-hardy annuals -- tolerate cool temperatures, moderate frost

  • Calendula
  • Petunia

Tender annuals -- don't tolerate cool weather

  • Marigold
  • Vinca
  • Zinnia

Thrive in alkaline soil

  • Dianthus
  • Strawflower
  • Sweet pea

Thrive in infertile soil

  • Cosmos
  • Gazania
  • Nasturtium
  • Poppy

Tolerate drought

  • Cleome
  • Dusty miller
  • Globe amaranth
  • Petunias
  • Zinnia

Tolerate wet climates

  • Browallia
  • Fuschia
  • Nicotiania
  • Pansy


  • 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.