Annuals

  

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

  

Annuals

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

Maintenance

  • 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

Selection

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

Features

  • 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.