Our Top Five Favorite Annuals

In Summer on April 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Written by gtadmin20

Now is the time to start thinking about what annuals you want to plant in your garden. Annuals are designated as “cool-season” or “warm-season,” based on their hardiness and ability to grow in cool soils.

Cool-season annuals grow best in the cool soils and mild temperatures of spring and fall. Most withstand fairly heavy frosts. When the weather turns hot, they set seed and deteriorate. If your live in a cold-winter area, plant these annuals in very early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. To bloom vigorously, they must develop roots and foliage during cool weather.

Warm-season annuals grow and flower best in the warm months of late spring, summer, and early fall; they’re cold tender and may perish in a late frost if planted too early in spring. In cold-winter climates, set out warm-season annuals after the danger of frost has passed. In warm-winter areas, plant them in mid-spring.

1 Million Bells

Million bells or trailing petunia, is a tender plant that produces a mound of foliage, growing only 3 to 9 inches tall, along trailing stems and flowers in shades of violet, blue, pink, red, magenta, yellow, bronze and white. Growing these flowers are easy, they prefer to be grown in moist well drained, organically rich soil in full sun. Million Bells are also low maintenance. The soil should be kept fairly moist but not soggy especially in full sun areas as they may succumb to the intense heat of summer. Container plants require more watering.

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2 Sweet Potato Vines

A sweet potato vine is a vigorous grower that you can count on to make a big splash in your garden. It’s colorful foliage, in shades of chartreuse or purple, accents just about any other plant. Sweet potato vines do best during the warm days of summer and prefer moist, well-drained soil. They will thrive in sun or shade. Sweet potato vine can be a vigorous grower, especially old-fashioned varieties that can grow quite large. Don’t be afraid to prune or clip back the plant whenever it seems to get out of control.

3 Elephant Ears

No were not talking about food, were talking about those big leaf plants. Elephant ears can be planted in sun or shade. If your put them in a hot, sunny location, make sure they get a little shade during the middle of the day. Elephant ears are planted in spring after any danger of frost has passed. The tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so don’t plant the tubers until the soil temperature is 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Elephant ears are a perfect solution for shady porches, decks and other places around your home that are not in full sun. Their huge, heart-shaped leaves add a tropical feel to pools, spas and water gardens.

Related: Flowers and Other Plants for your Garden that Resist Rabbits

4 New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea impatiens flowers can tolerate up to half a day of sun in most parts of the country. These colorful blooms come in bright shades from lavender to orange, spanning the rainbow with a choice of bedding colors. Caring for New Guinea impatiens is no more difficult than any other flower, as long as you keep the plants well-watered throughout the hottest parts of the year. Each plant will grow into a rounded mound, and if planted 18 inches apart, they’ll grow to fill in the entire space in a matter of weeks. Keep the plants in the front of the bed 12 inches away from the edging to keep the front branches from growing onto the lawn or sidewalk.

Related: Getting the Most out of your Garden this Spring

5 Geraniums

Geraniums require moist, well-draining soil similar to that of indoor potting soil with equal amounts of soil, peat and perlite. Locate your geraniums in an area with a least six to eight hours of sunlight. Since these plants must be protected from cold, wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting. Space plants about 8 to 12 inches apart and around the same depth as their original planting pots. Mulching the plants is also recommended to help retain moisture.

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