Which Annuals?

Welcome to Plant Exchange! We’re thinking about colors we’d like to include in flowerbeds and containers this season. Annual flowers definitely add pizazz.

Greenhouses will soon be filled with annual transplants ready for outdoors in May after the last frost. If you are willing to wait until July for plants to mature and flower, direct seeding some annuals is an option.

Pansies are great cool spring and fall plants and can tolerate those conditions well. They take a long time to grow from seed under artificial light, so a greenhouse pansy is a source of early color.

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Many annuals grow best in full sun, so that is a consideration when choosing annuals.  Impatiens are a welcome exception that add color to partial shade areas such as this window box. Greenhouses have lots of colorful impatiens.

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How tall the annuals grow is another consideration for where you plant them. The first of these woodland Nicotiana (tall with white flower) grew from direct seed planting, and are beginning to bloom in July.

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If you have a south facing deck in August, picking plants that can tolerate the heat is a consideration. Vinca thrive in hot weather.

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If you like to draw pollinators with annuals, butterflies are abundant in August and September. Direct seeded zinnias will be mature and in bloom. They’re one of many annuals that make cut flowers for bouquets.

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Of course, there are other considerations about the colorful annuals you may select for your planters or flowerbeds. Some of the joy of gardening is trying plants that may fit as a trial and observing the results for another year.

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