The Best Annual Flowering Plants for Your Garden

The top 5 annual flowering plants for your garden.
The top 5 annual flowering plants for your garden.

Why Use Annual Flowers?

An annual plant is a plant that completes its full growth cycle in one year. It then has to be replanted the next year. So why plant an annual that will die at the end of the summer over a perennial plant that will continue to come up each year? Annual flowering plants add an instant color boost to the garden that will last all summer long. Since they die off each season, you can also plant new and different plants ever year, giving the garden or container a new look from year to year. They are also inexpensive, so if the plant doesn't have the desired look it can be pulled up and substituted with another flowering plant.

A perfect garden will have the right combination of both annual and perennial flowering plants. Although the number of annual flowering plants to choose from is almost limitless, the following is a list of the 5 best, easiest, and most beautiful flowering annual plants for your garden.

The variety of colors of the Impatiens are only one of the reasons this is the perfect flowering annual plant.
The variety of colors of the Impatiens are only one of the reasons this is the perfect flowering annual plant.

Impatiens

Impatiens are the easiest of all the flowering annual plants to grow. Plant them, water them, and then all is left to do is enjoy them. Impatiens were once considered a shade plant, but the newer varieties can tolerate full sun. The plants are covered with beautiful blooms from late spring until frost, and they come in a variety of colors.

Impatiens Size – Impatiens can grow from 8 – 16 inches tall, and from 12 – 24 inches tall. The closer they are planted to each other the taller the plant will grow.

Colors of Impatiens – Red, white, salmon, pink, orange, purple, and yellow.

Sun Requirements for Impatiens – Although some varieties of Impatiens will tolerate full sun, most do best when planted in full to partial shade.

Care and Maintenance of Impatiens – The most important thing to remember with impatiens is that they need to be watered. If they are allowed to fully dry out the leaves will wilt, and they will take a while to come back. Fertilizer is not necessary. In fact, over fertilization will result in leggy plants that will fall over. If plants become leggy cut they can be cut back to stimulate new growth on a more compact plant.

Petunia's make excellent container and bedding plants.
Petunia's make excellent container and bedding plants.

Complete Instructions on making the pictured flower tower in the link below.

Terra Cotta Flower Tower

Petunias

Petunias are one of the most popular flowering plants to put in a sunny location. There are two main types of petunias: Grandifloras and Mulitfloras. Grandifloras have blooms that can reach up to 5 inches in size. Mulitfloras have more blooms than Grandifloras they are usually around 3 inches each. It is best to plant Grandifloras in containers because they are more susceptible to stem rot.

Petunia Size - Petunias can get up to 8 – 16 inches tall. Most Petunias also grow just as wide. The ground cover variety, such as Wave Petunia, can grow up to 3 feet wide.

Colors of Petunias – Red, pink, white, purple, salmon, and yellow. Petunias can also have patterned with stars or stripes.

Sun Requirements for Petunias – Full sun and partial sun

Care and Maintenance of Petunias – Petunias are very heat tolerant, so they don’t require a lot of water. A deep watering once a week should do the trick. Don’t over water, because stem rot can become a problem with these flowering plants. Their stem rot can be caused by shallow watering and poor drainage. Fertilize petunias once a month. Remove any dead blooms to keep the plant flowering. If the plant becomes leggy cut the plant back to about half its size to renew growth.

Moss Rose give a punch of color to any sunny and dry location in your garden.
Moss Rose give a punch of color to any sunny and dry location in your garden.

Moss Rose

Moss Rose, also known as Portulaca, is known for its small 1 – 2 inch brightly colored flowers that bloom on green succulent leaves. It thrives in the heat, and will grow even in the worst soil conditions. This flowering plant is so hardy that it has been used on roadside plantings in locations where there is little rain. The colors of the flowers can be called nothing short of brilliant, and they will bloom all summer long.

Moss Rose Size – Moss Rose can grow to be 6 – 8 inches tall with a spread of about 12 inches.

Colors of Moss Rose – White, pink, yellow, orange, rose. In the most common varieties of Moss Rose, each plant can have multiple colors.

Sun Requirements for Moss Rose – Full sun

Care and Maintenance of Moss Rose – Since this flowering plant loves the hot and dry conditions that make other plants wilt, little is needed when growing Moss Rose. It will need an occasional watering. Newly planted flower beds may need weeded as the Rose Moss fills in since its leaves are sparse at first and the plant is a bit of a slow grower. As an added bonus, Moss Rose is a self-seeding plant which may reward you with beautiful flowers for years to come.

Marigolds are one of the most cheerful looking flowers to plant in your garden.
Marigolds are one of the most cheerful looking flowers to plant in your garden.

Marigolds

Marigolds are beautiful flowers that can brighten up any area of the garden. They are very tolerant of most locations, but they do need a sunny location to thrive. The variety of Marigolds seems endless: some are short; some are so tall that they need staking. There are varieties that have a daisy shape and some that look like they are in the carnation family. According to old wives tales, the scent of Marigolds has the uncanny ability to ward off common garden pests.

Marigold Size – Marigolds have a variety of types that can grow anywhere from 8 – 36 inches tall. They spread to about 18 inches. Check the label when purchasing to verify the variety.

Colors of Marigolds – Yellow, white, gold, orange, and burgandy

Sun Requirements for Marigolds – Full sun

Care and Maintenance of Marigolds – Water these flowering plants only when the soil is dry. Like the Petunia, Marigolds can get stem rot. If planting a variety with large flowers make sure to cut off spent blooms to encourage new flower growth. Marigolds also can attract earwigs and mites, but don’t let their pests deter you. Aside from the pests, they are easy to grow. So easy, that by just scattering some seeds in the garden and adding water you can expect a bountiful Marigold crop.

Zinnas make excellent cut flowers.
Zinnas make excellent cut flowers.

Zinnia

Nothing says old-fashioned grandma’s garden like the Zinnia. This flowering plant is over looked my many modern gardeners these days, but it shouldn’t be. The Zinnia is an easy to grow flowering annual that makes perfect flowers for cutting. The Zinnia is drought and heat tolerant, and they don’t need the best soil conditions. They come in almost every color imaginable. Zinnias are even easy to grow from seeds.

Zinnia Size – Zinnias can grow anywhere from 12 – 36 inches tall.

Colors of Zinnias – Pink, red, white, orange, yellow, gold, green, and purple

Sun Requirements for Zinnias – Full sun

Care and Maintenance of Zinnias – These flowering plants don’t need much water, but they will produce more flowers with regular watering. Keep in mind thought that Zinnias are susceptible mildew so water in the morning. This gives the leaves time to dry off. Deadheading the flowers will keep them blooming throughout the whole summer. This task is easily accomplished with Zinnia since they make such excellent cut flowers.

How many of these annuals have you planted in your garden

  • None of them
  • One or two of them, but I'd like to try them all.
  • Most of them. They are real winners.
  • All of them.
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There are so many varieties of annual flowering plants to choose from. The best part about planting annuals is that you can select new ones to try each year. Some work in the garden and some in containers. Some love the shade and some are sun worshipers. There is an annual flowering plant for everyone.Hopefully, learning a bit more about these top 5 performers will make your selection at the nursery much simpler in the future.

Happy Gardening!

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5 comments

Raimer Gel 2 years ago

I am actually growing Petunias right now, however it is wet season in the Philippines where I live. I hope that my Petunias can make it despite the heavy rains.


Krysanthe profile image

Krysanthe 2 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois Author

Good luck with those petunias Ramier! I've got some growing too, but I'm sure we don't get the rain that you do.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO

Your hub is very helpful and inspiring. I can hardly wait to get out there in the spring. Voted Up, I, I, Tweet, pin, share.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

I love the petunia and marigold flowers


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 18 months ago from Germany

Those are beautiful flowers. I have petunias, portulacas and zinnias in my tropical garden. Thanks for sharing the informations.

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