“Look, Look, Look at the Flowers.” Who doesn’t want their garden beds or window boxes filled with annual flowers to scream as people pass by?
The garden with annual plants can be as simple or complex as one wishes.
All these factors can enter into your garden plan:
- Combining and contrasting a variety of colors
- Graduating heights
- Varying round and spike flower forms
- All combined in creating flower color producing focal points of interest
Disney World plants annuals to create gorgeous flower beds and hanging baskets!
The plant care information you need is in the list of best annual flowers below. For more details on each of these popular annuals follow the links for each plant.
Your experience this growing season will be of untold value. Next year and each season you’ll discover new combinations which suggest themselves.
Growing annuals is one of the finest ways to become an established gardener.
Once you sow annual seeds and watch them grow to flowering plants – You’re hooked!
Don’t forget –> Annual Flowers for Shade
16+ SHOWY Annual Flowers
Ageratum (Ageratum) 6”-12” inches:
Ageratum is one of the best purple-blue annual flower options. The low compact forms are excellent as edging plants, for planting in containers or in plant boxes.
Tall forms are fine for cutting. Sow seed early indoors to get enjoy bloom. Grows well in full sun or partial shade.
More on Floss Flower Ageratum Care
Baby Blue Eyes Flowers (Nemophila) 8″-12″ inches
California native and a “blue” flowering garden favorite. Plants reach 8″ to 12″ inches tall with a blue, cup-shaped flower produced on sprawling stems against a background of soft, feathery foliage.
It is one of the earliest annuals to bloom and one of the easiest to grow. It blooms heavily in poor soil.
Plants begin to bloom in February in most areas.
It is a good choice for hanging baskets in the shade and for containers in the shady patio.
More On Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila Care
Bachelor’s-Button (Centaurea) 12”- 30″ inches:
Bachelors-buttons or cornflowers are long-lasting flowers in the garden and when cut. The newer strains are double with bright clear colors.
A June sowing will flower in late fall. For earlier bloom, sow seed outdoors in late fall.
More on Bachelor Button Flower Care
Celosia (Celosia) 10″-36″ inches:
Celosia or cockscomb is fantastic in form, crested typos resembling a cockscomb. The plume types are like ostrich feathers.
Flower heads may be dried by hanging head down in dry, warm, dark place for two weeks. Celosias like light soil, full sun.
Click To Learn about Celosia Plant Care and Celosia argentea care.
China-Aster (Callistephus) 18”-30” inches:
China-asters are valued highly as cut flowers. Base-branching types grow to 20” inches tall, are compact and seldom need staking.
For a long season of bloom, grow early and late varieties. It is best to select wilt-resistant strains.
Learn more on China-Aster (Callistephus)
Cleome (Cleome) 48” inches:
Cleome or spider-flower produces a bold effect in the garden. Plants tend to be leaf-less at the base, use other annuals in front of them.
Sow seed in open ground. Long willowy seed pods add interest to plants. Space 2’ feet apart.
Details on Cleome Plant Care
Cosmos (Cosmos) 30”-48″ inches:
Plant early strains as late types may not flower before frost. Keep faded flowers cut to prolong bloom or let a few go to seed to attract goldfinches.
Use yellow and orange forms more often than they are at present.
More on Cosmos Plant and Flower Care
Dahlia (Dahlia) 18″-60″ inches:
Many types of dahlias easily grow from seed. The compact hybrids are particularly useful. Foliage is attractive; colors are fresh and clear.
Tubers may be dug in fall and stored in a cool place over winter.
More on Dahlia Care With Answers
New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens) 10″-24″ inches:
Bright glowing 1″-2″ inch flowers and magnificent multicolor foliage make it a popular annual. Used outdoors as a bedding plant or in a hanging baskets in shade.
Sports showy, oversized, flowers and variegated leaves. Thrives in many garden locations because it tolerates and even prefers partial sun.
Few types of bedding, landscape, and potted plants rival these plants popularity.
Learn More about New Guinea Impatiens Plant Care
Marigold (Tagetes) 6″-36″ inches:
Marigolds, one of the most dependable annual flowers and a garden favorite. The wide variety of types available suggests limitless uses in the garden.
A border of marigolds looks fascinating with the diverse forms and colors available.
Details on Marigold Plant Care
Million Bells (Calibrachoa) 2″-9″ inches:
Heavy blooming perennial in mild climates, grown as an annual in colder zones. Small petunia-type blooms in various flower colors.
Blooms from spring until the first light frost. Considered full sun plants needing a minimum of 6 hours daily.
Million Bells need generous quantities of water.
More on Calibrachoa Million Bells Care
Moss Rose (Portulaca) 6″ inches:
Portulaca plants and flowers are very undemanding. The double flowers resemble a rose. Full sun and summer heat give plenty of summer flowers in white, yellow, pink, rose, orange, or scarlet.
Flowers last only one day but bloom constantly. Pretty growing in hanging baskets, in a pot or planter. Loves sunshine!
Also, check out the Portulaca relative – Rock Purslane aka Calandrinia
Nasturtium (Nasturtium) 12″-15″ inches:
Nasturtiums are valuable plants for dry, sandy or gravelly locations. If soil is too rich there will be more leaves than flowers.
Train tall types on wires or allow them to fall over the edge of boxes or walls. Use leaves in salads.
Learn more on Nasturtium Plant Care
Nicotiana (Nicotiana) 15″-30″ inches:
Most nicotiana or flowering tobacco flowers open late in the day and remain until morning. White varieties (Nicotiana Sylvestris) show up particularly well at night.
A few varieties remain open during the day. The fragrant flowers of Nicotiana alata are best seen against the background of taller plants.
Care Details on Flowering Tobacco – Nicotiana alata
Petunia (Petunia) 12″-24″ inches:
To ensure good clear colors, petunias should be sown each year.
Don’t make the mistake of using self-sown plants that may appear in spring as colors will be inferior.
Seed is very fine and is best started early indoors or outdoors in a cold frame.
Details On Petunia Plant Care
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) 6”-36” inches:
Snapdragon plants and their flowers are almost unsurpassed as cut flowers. In the garden, their bloom spikes are a great asset.
The blooms offer a contrast to the rounded forms of most flowers. Pinch plants several times to encourage branching; for continuous bloom pick flowers.
Sweet-Alyssum (Lobularia) 2”-10” inches:
Sweet-Alyssum blooms fast from seed sown in open ground. Shear tops to plants for flowers throughout summer.
Some varieties are neat and compact. Others varieties are useful as trailing plants for window boxes or walls. Prefers sun.
Learn Sweet Alyssum Plant Care
Perennial Sweet-Pea (Lathyrus) 12″-72″ inches:
Plant perennial Sweet Peas very early outdoors. Best to prepare soil carefully in the fall. Plant seed as soon as soil thaws.
Plants grow best during cool, moist weather. Grow in open sunny location in rich soil, and provide support.
Wishbone Flower (Torenia) 8″ – 10″ inches:
A fantastic summer annual. Small single flowers in such quantity the whole plant is covered in flowers.
Not only they good bloomers, Torenia also blooms for a long time.
In general enjoy Torenia wishbone flowers from the early summer until fall. Removing flowers as they start to fade will encourage new blooms.
Verbena (Verbena) 6″-18” inches:
Verbena plants are particularly useful as ground covers or for low masses in mixed borders.
Seeds are slow to germinate and best started early indoors.
The colors are intense and include red, pink and purple as well as white and pastels.
Details on: Verbena Care and Trailing Verbena Care
Annual Vinca (Catharanthus) – 12″ – 24″ inches:
The rose periwinkle, tolerates summer heat, is drought tolerant, grows in poor soils and still flowers profusely.
A perfect potted patio plant. Flower colors range from white through pink, rose, and lavender.
Details on Vinca Periwinkle Plant Care and Caring for Trailing Vinca
Zinnia (Zinnia) 12″-48″ inches:
Consider Zinnias as almost basic to all summer gardens. They are long-lasting in the garden and as cut flowers and demand little special attention.
Seed may be sown directly in the open ground. There is a type for almost every purpose.
More On Zinnia Plant Care
More Annuals To Consider
- Calceolaria Flowers (Pocketbook Plant)
- Diascia Flower (Twinspur)
- Fleabane (Erigeron)
- Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)
- Salpiglossis (Painted Tongue)
- Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
- Nemesia flower
- Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope) USDA hardiness zone 2 -9
- Sutera Cordata (Bacopa plant)
Annual flowers make colorful blooming beds large or small. Use low-growing annuals to continue the display of color when the shrubs finish flowering.
Annuals are indispensable for window boxes, or container gardens on porches or terraces., patios, decks, and terraces. There are flowering annuals for every possible garden use.