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Annuals for Sun

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Flowering annual plants bloom from spring to fall. They don’t overwinter, but the reward of low maintenance continuous color is worth the effort of planting out in May. This list includes annuals bred for easy maintenance and to bloom through the heat of summer. Some will benefit from weekly removal of faded blossoms (“dead‐heading”) or shearing mid‐season to stimulate blooming. Read the labels on transplants available in your garden center to verify the identity of plants and for care instructions. Prepare the soil for annuals as you would for a vegetable garden. The same steps apply. → See Growing Tips 18 Plan a Vegetable Garden.

Flowering annuals Prefers Color
Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

B, I, V, W, P
Bidens (Bidens ferulifolia)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

Y
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y
Cape Daisy (Osteospermum x hybrida)

Full Sun to Part Shade

Average Moisture

O, Y, V, W, P
Flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum)

Full Sun to Part Shade

Average Moisture

B, I, V, W, P
Gazania (Gazania ringens)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

O, Y, W, P
Lantana (Lantana camara)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, V, P, W
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

O, Y, W
Mexican Heather (Cuphea spp.)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, V, P, W
Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, B, I, V, W, P
Phlox (Phlox drummondii)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, B, V, W, P
Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, W, P
Salvia (Salvia x hybrida and spp.)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, B, I, V, W, P
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, V, W, P
Strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, W, P
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

V, W, P
Verbena (Verbena x hybrida)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, B, I, V, W, P
Zinnia (Zinnia x hybrida)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, G, V, W, P
Key: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White, Pink
Foliage Annuals Prefers Colors
Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)

Full Sun to Part Shade

Steady Moisture

G, V, Multi
Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

G, Silver
Ornamental Kale (Brassica oleracea)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

G, V, W, P

Multi

Ornamental Pepper (Capsicum annum)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

R, O, Y, G, V

Multi

Key: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White, Pink
Annual Grasses Prefers Colors
Feather Grass (Stipa tenuissima)

Full Sun

Steady Moisture

G
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Full Sun

Steady Moisture

R, P
Golden Millet Grass (Milium effusum)

Full Sun

Average Moisture

Y, G
Key: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White, Pink

Keep It Simple

  • Combine contrasting colors for dramatic visual effect. Multi‐colored foliage plants will tie everything together! Include tall plants for architectural interest.
  • Plant sturdy, well‐grown young plants after the last frost in your area.
  • Space according to directions on the label. Plants should grow to touch each other to discourage weeds.
  • Mulch, then water with care throughout the season, as necessary. → See Growing Tips 6 Watering New Plantings.

Great Combos

Plants in the combinations below are listed by height, low to high. Choose your favorite colors!

  • Full Sun: bidens, salvia, lantana, ornamental pepper, angelonia, fountain grass
  • Sun/Part Shade: sweet alyssum, flossflower, cape daisy, dusty miller, snapdragon, feather grass

Sow Seeds

Plant seeds of carefree annuals such as calendula, cosmos, bachelor’s button, nasturtium, sunflower and zinnia into prepared soil in late May. Annuals will provide bouquets all summer.

Resources

http://ag.umass.edu/resources/home-lawn-garden

http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/

www.massflowergrowers.com

Topics: 
Home Lawn & Garden
Home Lawn and Garden topics: 
Flowers