Growing Annual Plants
Annual Flower Guide

A list of different types of annual plants to plant in flower beds. Discover the fun of gardening with and growing bedding annuals. Deer resistant and shade tolerant annual flowers. Annual herbs.



Wave petunias have spread a pink blanket of bloom across this backyard.

Growing annuals will bring easy, nearly instant color to your annual flower beds or container gardens.

Annuals are plants that grow, bloom, set seed, and die within one growing season. They do not return year after year like perennials do.

There is some overlap between the categories as many plants will survive very mild winters. These are technically tender perennials but they perform as annuals in most parts of the U.S.

I classify any plant that will grow from seed to bloom in a few weeks time as an annual.


Gardening with Annuals

White alyssum and blue lobelia are a pretty combination.

The honey-scented blooms of Lobularia maritima appear in great profusion in early spring.

Sweet alyssum displays a creeping growth habit which makes it one of the best plants for container gardening. It will drape over and hide the edge of the pot.

Buy Agastache, Aurantiaca Fragrant Delight Mix 1 Pkt.

Pink Wave Petunia icon

Lobelia Crystal Palace Blue icon

Gardening with annuals allows you the freedom to change your mind and your color scheme every season. You can experiment with all the new varieties the hybridizers introduce each year.

Because of these amazing plants, you don't have to have a cookie cutter landscape. You can design a garden as unique as you are. You can order annual flowers online and obtain unusual plants that are not available to you locally.


Growing Annual Flowers from Seeds

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale plants make a brilliant display in winter and spring.

The leaves of flowering cabbage and kale can be smooth or deeply cut. They start out blue-green and turn magenta, purple or white when kissed by frost. These ornamental brassicas will retain their good looks until summer's heat causes them to bolt.

Virginia Corkscrew Vine icon

Ornamental Kale, Nagoya Mix icon

Purple Wave Petunias icon

You can sow annual flower seeds indoors in late winter and have transplants ready to go into the ground after the last spring frost or you can wait until spring and sow the seeds directly into the soil.

Annuals seeds can provide you with an overflowing garden oasis of color and beauty at a modest price. You can have flowers in any range of colors you chose from spring to frost.

Rewards come quickly when you plant annuals from seed. Your landscape can be rejuvenated in a matter of weeks.

You are not restricted to the few varieties sold by your local nursery, you can order the newest annual plant varieties online and keep abreast of all the changes in the horticultural world.


Caring for Annual Flower Plants

Dusty Miller pairs beautifully with pink Impatiens.

Impatiens are famous for their shade tolerance but most varieties will grow in all but the hottest sun if sufficient water is supplied.

Senecio cineraria's white, silver or gray leaves (depending on the cultivar) are a fantastic foil for bright flowers in the landscape.

Impatiens Patchwork Cosmic Orange icon

Dusty Miller, Silver Lace icon

Impatiens Salmon Splash icon

Your annual plants will need regular water. Drought stress will cause many annual flower plants to set seed sooner than they otherwise would. Remember, an annual plant's mission in life is to set seed.

In order to extend the bloom season, your mission is to prevent it from setting seed for as long as possible.

Unless they are self-cleaning, most annuals will need regular dead heading. If you don't pick off the old blooms, the plants will go to seed and die. Dead heading forces the plants to bloom again in an attempt to set seed.

All of this relentless blooming is hard on annual flower plants so don't forget to feed them a water soluble, bloom-boosting fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.


Perennials vs Annual Plants

Peppermint Twist Geranium icon

Sunflower, Jade Hybrid icon

Stardom Pink Geranium Plants icon

If you want to design a bed once and have it look the way you envision for many years, plant perennials.

In an area where you aren't sure what you want, experimenting with annual bedding plants can help you decide. In a spot where you want something different each year or every few months, an annual flower bed is the way to go.


Annuals for Sun

Vinca, Trailing Peach icon

Vinca, Arizona Mix icon

Vinca, Cascade Appleblossom icon

The vinca plant, Catharanthus roseus, looks much like an Impatiens but it can handle the sun's most scorching rays.

They flower all summer long, through drought and deluge with little care and come in a range of colors.

Click the headline above to see a list of sun annuals divided by height.

Annuals for Shade

Impatiens, Fusion Peach Frost

Fuseables Coleus, Under the Sun icon

Torenia, Happy Faces Mix icon

A list of easy-to-grow shade annuals:

A List of Deer Resistant Annuals

Gladiolus nanus Charming Lady icon

Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus icon

Buy Coleus, Wizard Mixed Colors 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)

Deer proof annual plants that are easy to grow:

  • Sunflowers
  • Coleus
  • Marvel of Peru

Annual Herbs

Stevia, Honey Dip icon

Basil, Christmas icon

Lemon Balm icon

Growing annual herbs for the kitchen and the natural healing medicine chest is the best way to enhance your cooking and improve your health.

Click on the headline above for easy-to-make herbal tea remedies.

Growing Instructions for Basil

Growing Tips for Lemon Balm

Discover an easy way to grow your own food and save!

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Annual Plants & Seeds

Watermelon Coleus icon
Debonair Dusty Rose Petunias icon
Tequila Lime Zinnia icon
Zinnia Zowie Hybrid icon
Marigold Fireball icon
Calibrachoa Double Rose Chai icon
Petunia Sophistica Blackberry Hybrid icon
White Vinca Merry Go Round icon
Petunia Moonlight Eclipse icon
Petunia Black Cat icon
Chocolate Mint Coleus icon



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