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Annuals

Annuals come in shade tolerant, hot sun tolerant, and vines.

Hot Sun (Most of the Day, or Most of the Afternoon)

Canna Cannas Flower stalks rising in the center of fleshy succulent leaves, bear large flowers. Foliage may be green, bronze, or purplish in hue. Cannas need full sun and grow best in a deep, rich, moist but well-drained soil. For earliest bloom, start in pots indoors. Remove spent flower heads for more prolific bloom. In fall after the first light frost, cut back stems to 6 inches, dig roots with soil attached, and store in a cool, frost-free place. While in storage, water sparingly.


Celosia Cockscomb Cockscomb/ Celosia has large flower clusters on top of green or reddish leaves. Colors include yellow, gold, red, pink, orange, and wine. Velvety crested celosia (cockscomb) are rippled, whereas other varieties of celosia are shaped like plumes or spikes. Heights range from 6 to 36 inches; flower sizeĀ­ is not determined by height. Grow in rich to average, well-drained soil in full sun.


Cosmo Cosmo flowers form a lacy, open plant with flowers three to four inches in diameter. These daisy-look-alikes come in pink, red, white, and lavender with a contrasting yellow center. Cosmos grow best in full sun.


Dusty Miller Dusty miller prefers full sun and ordinary, well-drained soil, though they will grow in lightly shaded areas, too, brightening them with their silver color.


Foxglove Foxgloves. For more blooms on shorter stems, cut the central spike most of the way down before the flowers are fully formed. You'll force growth of many side shoots with flowers on them all. Deadhead plants after they flower, but allow at least a few flowers to ripen fully into tan pods full of brown seeds, and sprinkle the seeds onto cultivated ground where you would like more foxgloves.


Gazania Gazania grows in rosette form with notched leaves. Flowers rise 8 to 12 inches on short stems. They're white, pink, bronze, red, yellow, and orange with banded markings. Flowers close on cloudy days. Gazanias prefer full sun and moderately fertile but well-drained soil. They don't like heavy soil in hot, humid climates.


Geranium Geraniums are upright bushes covered with red, pink, salmon, white, rose, cherry-red, or bicolored flowers on long stems held above the plant. Flower clusters (umbels) contain many individual flowers and give a burst of color. They prefer full sun and moderate to rich, well-drained, moist soil. Geraniums must be dead-headed.


Lantana Lantana are woody shrubs with large, rough leaves. They grow about three feet tall and equally wide over a summer. Lantanas need full sun and hot weather-and actually poor soil-to give their best performance. Space the plants about 18 inches apart.


Marguerite Daisy Marguerite daisy butterfly. A profusion of golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers are produced over the delicate foliage of this plant from May to September. Though the individual flowers are medium, they are produced in large quantities.


Marigold Marigold can be tall plants, growing up to 36 inches high, though breeding has produced shorter heights. They have large, fully double flowers in yellow, gold, and orange. French marigolds (T. patula) are bushier and more compact with smaller flowers. Triploids, a cross between French and American marigolds, resemble French marigolds but have larger flowers. Marigolds grow best in full sun with moist, well-drained soil, though they will tolerate drier conditions.


Melampodium Melampodium will form a vigorous, bushy plant 10 to 15 inches high, and about as wide, in the garden. The flowers are small, up to an inch in diameter. Melampodium needs full sun. An average but well-drained soil is satisfactory. Plants should not be allowed to dry out.


Nasturium Nasturtium are vigorous and can grow as either vine like or compact bushy plants. The leaves are nearly round, and the flowers are bright oranges and yellows with long spurs behind them. Nasturtiums need full sun in a dry, sandy, well-drained soil. They're at their best in regions with cool, dry summers, though they will grow elsewhere, too. Bushy types get viny or stringy if they have too little sun.


Petunia Petunias are divided into two types: multifloras and grandifloras. Each has single and double forms, with grandiflora petunias being larger (though new hybrids have blurred this distinction). Singles are more weatherproof than doubles. Well-drained soil in full sun suits petunias best. To promote more branching and increased bloom, shear plants back halfway in midsummer. And we do mean give them a serious haircut!


Plume Celosia Plume celosia offers large flower clusters on top of green or reddish leaves. Colors include yellow, gold, red, pink, orange, and wine. Velvety crested types (cockscomb) are rippled, whereas others are shaped like plumes or spikes. Heights range from 6 to 36 inches; flower sizeĀ­ is not determined by height. Grow in rich to average well-drained soil in full sun.


Portulaca Moss roses grow nearly flat -- a mat of fleshy leaves with stems topped by flowers. Newer varieties are available in a myriad of jewel-like colors. Full sun, sandy soil, and good drainage are musts for portulaca.


Salvia. Depending upon variety, salvia will grow from eight inches to three feet tall. The spikes of flowers are composed of bright bracts with flowers in the center of each. They are either the same color or contrasting. Salvia is a good dual-purpose plant that will perform dutifully in full sun or partial shade. It needs average soil and continuous moisture to perform its best.


Snapdragons Snapdragons uniformly bear a whorl of flowers atop slender stalks. The best known are ones with snappable flowers, but others have open-faced flowers including double forms. Colors include white, yellow, burgundy, red, pink, orange, and bronze. Plant in rich, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Grow in full sun. Pinch tips of young plants to encourage branching. For cool season bloom, plant snapdragons in September.


Statice Statice is a tender perennial with upright sprays of small flowers enclosed in papery calyces, which last for days as a freshly cut flower and for months when dried. They come in bright or pastel shades. Provide full sun and well-drained soil of moderate fertility. Cut the flowers when blooms are at least three-quarters open. Air dry them upside down in the dark.


Sweet Asylum Sweet alyssum grows only a few inches high but spreads as much as a foot in diameter. The tiny flowers are closely packed around small racemes that grow upward. Although white is the most planted color, colors in the pink family are also available. Sweet alyssum grows best in full sun in cool weather, but it will tolerate partial shade. Sweet alyssum will reseed vigorously.


Verbana Verbena. The trailing plant varieties may reach 18 inches in diameter, while the mounding types will grow to about a foot high and wide. The flowers bloom in clusters and come in strong and pastel shades. Verbenas prefer well-drained, sandy soil with good fertility.



Zinnia Zinnias flowers come in almost every color except blue and in many textures. Zinnias need full sun and rich, fertile soil.


Flowering Vines



Black-eyed Susan vine Black-eyed Susan vines produce dainty, funnel-shaped flowers that vary in color from white to yellow to orange. The dark-colored throat gives the flower its "black eye". The twining vines will grow 3 to 6 feet tall. Since they do not like intense heat, they perform best in locations that provide partial or light shade. The best flower display on black-eyed Susan vines occurs in late summer or early fall when the temperatures are cooler.


Cardinal Climber Cardinal climber will grow 10 feet or more. The twining stems have small, dainty palm-like leaves. It produces 2-inch red flowers with white centers. The cardinal climber blooms throughout the summer


Cup and Saucer Cup- and- saucer vine is a dense vine that can grow 15 to 25 feet in one summer. It will grow rapidly over a fence, trellis, or wall. The vine bears unique flowers about 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide from early summer to mid-fall. The flowers resemble tiny greenish-purple, lavender or violet cups sitting on green saucer-like bases. The cup-and-saucer vine thrives in full sun and in a moist, well-drained soil.


Hycainth Bean The Hyacinth bean vine grows 10 to 30 feet in a single summer and will completely cover a fence or trellis with its twining stems. It has large, 6-inch green leaves with burgundy veins. Its stems are also burgundy. The hyacinth bean bears clusters of purple or white flowers in midsummer through fall. The flowers are followed by flat, burgundy-colored pods. The hyacinth bean requires full sun and well-drained soil. The hyacinth beans pods are edible when harvested young and tender. However, the purple-colored pods fade when cooked.


Mandevilla Mandevillas are a popular deep throated pink flower considered tropical. These vines may not look like much at the beginning but throughout the season they have abundant pink blooms and twine around anything that stays still! Mandevillas can be wintered over if taken inside.

Moonflower
Like morning glories, moonflowers also grow very rapidly. They have prickly stems that can grow up to 40 feet in one season. The large, oval-to heart-shaped leaves surround large, fragrant white flowers. These flowers resemble morning glories, however, they are somewhat larger and open at night and close in mid-morning. We recommend mixing morning glories and moonflowers together in the same area so you have blooms most of the day.


Morning Glory The morning glory family is a large group of annual vines. They grow best in full sun or partial shade. Morning glories grow so fast that you can almost see the vines stretching and twining up the trellis or post. The vines will reach 10 feet just two months after planting. They bloom in shades of purple, blue, pink or white with lighter-colored tubes. The trumpet-shaped flowers on morning glories appear in mid-summer and open in the morning and often close in the afternoon. On cloudy days the flowers remain open during the day.


Nasturium Some varieties of nasturtium are actually vines that climb up to 10 feet high. The orange, yellow, salmon, pink, white or red flowers that form in mid summer are edible. They add bright color and a peppery flavor to salads. The coiling leaf stems grow quickly and can be trained on trellises or posts. Plant them in a sunny, well-drained location.


Passion Flower is an exotic, fruit bearing tropical plant that vines around anything. It comes in a variety of colors including red, purple, blue, and white.


Scarlet Runner Beans The twining stems of scarlet runner beans will climb 10 to 20 feet. The bright green leaves are a beautiful contrast to the profuse sprays of flaming red, pea-like flowers. The pods that form after the flowers fade may grow to a foot long. If left on the vine, the pods will turn black, mottled with purple. Scarlet runner bean pods are tasty if they are harvested when only 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are also edible and can be used to garnish soups and salads.


Sweet Pea Sweet peas are grown for their fragrant flowers. They grow rapidly up to 6 feet tall. The flowers appear in early summer in colors from blue and lavender through salmon and red. The tendrils on a sweet pea will easily climb and cling to a lightweight trellis or fence.


Foliage


Caladium Caladium have large, spear- or arrowhead-shaped leaves on long stems. Depending on weather and soil, each leaf can grow up to 12 inches in length on 1-foot stems. Caladiums are unparalled for foliage color in bright, shady beds or borders, window boxes or containers.


Coleus Coleus; annual. Coleus leaves are banded and veined with multiple colors like purple, lime, red, brown, white, and copper, in a variety of lacy or plain shapes. Leaf size can be from 1 to 6 inches, and plants have a mounded shape anywhere from 6 to 36 inches tall and almost as wide.

Coleus grows best in moist, rich soil in partial shade.


Dusty Miller Dusty miller prefers full sun and ordinary, well-drained soil, though they will grow in lightly shaded areas, too, brightening them with their silver color.


Licorice Plant Licorice Plant as an annual, bears stems that reach about 20 inches long. They are covered with furry, silver, heart-shaped leaves, also available with cream or yellow coloration. Great in container gardens! Blend a single, silver-leaved plant in a pot with cool blue and purple or warm red and pink flowers. Try the golden-leaved form with warm orange and red flowers. You also can plant masses of either color in annual beds for the contrasting foliage and season-long color.


Sweet Potato Vine Sweet Potato Vines grow into ground-hugging vines that can reach 5 feet in length. Provide rich, moist but well-drained soil -- in a large pot or garden bed. Plant sweet potatoes about 1 foot apart in garden beds or blend them with other plants in mixed containers. The dark purple foliage of 'Blackie' looks good with purple, pink, and blue flowers. Chartreuse forms are ideal for warm-colored annual flowers.

Shade Tolerant

Begonia

Begonias. There are three types of Begonias: Tuberous, Semperflorens, and Rex. The Semperflorens are by far the most common. They include Fibrous Begonias, Wax Begonias and Everblooming Begonias. Depending upon type, you can find red, white, pink, or yellow varieties. All flowers have a bright yellow eye (center). All varieties will grow compact, dense foliage, and grow about 6-12 inches tall. They like rich, loose and fertile soil, which drains well. Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry before the next watering. Begonias like attention. Remove dead flowers, leaves, and stems. Trim off long stems to help retain its compact shape. A little care will pay you back with lusher foliage and more blooms.


Browalia Browallia. The sapphire-blue flowers are grown in beds and borders. The compact plants make good edges for a tall border and are excellent container plants.


Caladium Caladium have large, spear- or arrowhead-shaped leaves on long stems. Depending on weather and soil, each leaf can grow up to 12 inches in length on 1-foot stems. Caladiums are unparalled for foliage color in bright, shady beds or borders, window boxes or containers.


Coleus Coleus; annual. Coleus leaves are banded and veined with multiple colors like purple, lime, red, brown, white, and copper, in a variety of lacy or plain shapes. Leaf size can be from 1 to 6 inches, and plants have a mounded shape anywhere from 6 to 36 inches tall and almost as wide.
Coleus grows best in moist, rich soil in partial shade.


Fuschia Fuchsia are sometimes called Bleeding Hearts because their blooms fall down and resemble hearts. Shade plant.


Impatiens Impatiens. Flowers are pink, red, white, and orange with many bicolored variants. Foliage is deep, glossy green or bronze in color. Most specimens grow 12 to 15 inches high. Impatiens requires lots of moisture and fertilizer to bloom well. In deep shade, bloom diminishes.


Torenia Torenia forms a compact mound about 1 foot high with many branches. Leaves are oval or heart-shaped. The flowers look a bit like open-faced snapdragons with prominent markings on the petals. The most predominant color in the past was blue, but new varieties are pink, rose, light blue, and white. Most carry yellow, but some may have deep blue or purple markings. Torenias grow best in rich, moist, well-drained soil.