How to Handle Annuals

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Apr 19, 2011 1:40 PM
Impatiens are a good choice for planting in shady locations.

An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in a single growing season. That means it germinates from seed, grows stems and leaves, produces flowers, sets seed and dies all in the same season. Some annuals are produced from cuttings and some do not produce seed. Annuals do not survive the winter and must be planted every year, although there are a few exceptions like calendula that seed themselves and grow again the next year. Unlike most perennial flowers, annual flowers generally have long bloom periods, adding vibrant colour to the garden from spring to fall.

Here is a guide to help you choose the best annuals for your property. For tips on transplanting, frost protection, and growing annuals in your garden or in containers, see "Down to Earth" in the May 2011 issue of Downhome.

How to Choose Your Annuals

Shady Locations:
Impatiens
Begonia
Torenia
Mimulus
Fuchsia

Borders:
Ageratum
Alyssum
Dusty Miller
Lobelia
Wee Willie

Hot and Dry Locations:
Verbena
Cosmos
Gazania
Portulaca
Lantana

Fragrance:
Alyssum
Heliotrope
Nicotiana
Sweet pea
Stock

Dried Flowers:
Statice
Strawflower
Xeranthemum

Cut Flowers:
Calendula
Dahlia
Salpiglossis
Snapdragon
Marigold

Trailing:
Fuchsia
Petunia
Ivy geranium
Verbena
Million bells

Climbing:
Black-eyed Susan
Morning glory
Moonflower
Sweet pea

Fall Colour:
Pansy
Snapdragon
Flowering Cabbage
Fall Asters
Garden Mums

Seed Directly in the Garden:
Nasturtium
Sweet Pea
Calendula
Nigella