Discover 12 Eye-Catching Annuals That Are Perfect for Any Conditions
This is the perfect time of year to add a splash of color to your garden by bringing in some beautiful annuals. But, whether you're planting annuals as borders, in planters, or in hanging baskets, choosing a plant that is wrong for the conditions in that area will lead to dead flowers and wasted money instead of eye-catching beauty. That's why we've put together this specialized list for you of annuals that are perfect for sunny areas, shady areas, dry soil, or wet soil. Read on to see our top 12 annuals, and get the most bang for your gardening buck this season!
Canna sport large, wavy, bold-colored blooms that can be red, pink, orange, salmon, white or yellow. They grow to a height of 24 to 60 inches, and bloom from early summer to mid-fall. These tropical beauties make excellent wetland plants, border flowers, or foundation or container plants. Canna are perennials in USDA hardiness zones 8b to 10b (e.g. southern Georgia to central Florida) but, if you live in a cooler climate, you can store the rhizomes indoors during the winter and re-plant them in the spring. Canna's vivid hues will definitely catch your eye when you're out enjoying your garden!
Zinnias come in many varieties, and their blooms can be purple, pink, orange, lavender, red, white or yellow. Most zinnias have large, round blooms with lots of narrow petals, with an intricate ring of tiny gold-colored "flowers" in the center (see photo above). Zinnias come in some vivid color combinations that can really bring the "wow" factor to your garden, such as the aptly-named "Zowie! Yellow Flame" cultivar in the photo above. Zinnias reach a height of 12 to 36 inches, and are beautiful in flower borders, containers or rock gardens, and make lovely cut flowers. These bright blooms are attractive to butterflies, as well as people!
Salvia is a beautiful long-blooming annual that will grace your garden with cone-shaped clusters of vividly-colored, bell-shaped blooms from spring through fall. Salvia is known for vivid red blooms, but this flower also comes in blue, lavender or white varieties. Brightly-colored salvia varieties, such as the salvia in the photo above, are very inviting to hummingbirds and butterflies, so salvia will help you and your family enjoy a "live show" as well as the beauty of the plant itself. Salvia grows to a height of 7 to 29 inches, and makes an attractive ground cover, border flower, or container flower.
Lantana is a tall, fast-growing annual flower that blooms in pink, salmon, red, orange, white or yellow. Also called shrub verbena or yellow sage, lantana produces rounded clusters of tiny, colorful blooms, often with different-colored blooms in the same cluster. Lantana grows up to 4 to 6 feet tall, and can be helpful for erosion control, as well as looking beautiful in flower borders, containers, or features. Bonus: lantana is very attractive to butterflies, as you can see in the photo at the top of this article, so the blooms won't be the only color you'll enjoy when you plant lantana.
Published May 12th, 2014 1:52 PM