Darroll Guilbert Flower May 11th 2020, 00:00:00
Annuals provide more color, more quickly than any other group of flowering plants. They give you the biggest bang for your color buck! Moreover, they give you planting choices as well: you can plant them from seed or seedling six-packs or as already established plants in four, six, or eight-inch pots.
The life cycle of annuals is to sprout from seed, flower, set seed, and die within one growing season. Many flowers, vegetables, and herbs are planted as annuals, either seeded or set out in the spring to grow during the summer and die when frost hits.
Some annuals will reseed themselves, thereby providing several years of colorful viewing pleasure for the minimal expenditure of effort. Annuals come in virtually every color, height, and leaf texture there is; they are especially showy in masses of solid or mixed colors, but also appealing when planted in small groups or as colorful accent plants in perennial borders.
Many annuals are also well suited for container gardens on porches, roof gardens, terraces, patios, and decks, while some annual vines may be grown on fences, arbors, porch rails, or trellises.
Here are some planting suggestions that will add annual color to your garden:
To make your garden glow with yellow and orange shades, choose marigolds, nasturtiums, Mimulus, celosia, chrysanthemums, California poppies, or sunflowers.
For pink color accents, including some wax begonias, snapdragons, cosmos, dianthus, impatiens, portulaca, or petunias.
Blue choices include ageratum, browallia, heliotrope, morning glories, lobelia, forget-me-nots, and torenia.
The best white annuals are alyssum, Crepis, gypsophila, nicotiana, and mullein.
For gorgeous foliage annuals, choose amaranthus, ornamental cabbage, coleus, euphorbia, or castor oil plant.
Though annuals are less costly than perennials, they do require the same high level of soil preparation, fertilizing, watering, and weeding as their more permanent plant relatives. Most annuals hail from semiarid climates and require full sunshine to thrive; some, however, came originally from woodland environs and do well in shadier sites.
Annuals that need full suns, such as periwinkle and marigold, grow and flower best when they receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, while woodland-based species perform best under partial to heavy shade. When planting annuals, avoid heavy soils and areas where water can collect and become waterlogged as well as areas close to large trees and shrubs with thirsty feeder roots.
Most gardeners add annual flowers to their gardens, window boxes, and containers to ensure that there is obvious color in the garden all season long. It also is ideal for filling gap times when your perennials are not in bloom, such as early summer and late fall. There are so many varieties of annual blooms that the only limits to what you can include in your garden is restricted by your imagination!