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Outdoor Plants, Spring, Blog

Annuals

May 26, 2022

Annuals

Annuals are perfect for brightening your garden, window boxes and containers. They provide vibrant colour, shape, and texture to any garden, and with proper care, annuals will provide continuous blooms until frost arrives.

 

With so many annuals to choose from, it is important to understand the different growing conditions required per plant. Annuals can vary in size, required sun exposure, growing and soil conditions.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING ANNUALS

Select plants suited for their sun exposure – Examine the area where you will be planting your annuals so you will know your ideal growing conditions.

 

  • Full sun – plants can be exposed to 8 hours of direct sunlight
  • Partial sun – plants can be exposed for 4 to 6 hours
  • Full shade – plants need 4 hours or less of sunlight

 

Have a colour scheme in mind – annuals provide so much variety in colour and foliage. Narrow your colour scheme to 2 to 4 shades when choosing plants, your planters and gardens will look more coordinated. Annuals come in so many variations that you can choose colours that complement your surroundings, pots, and personal taste.

 

Choose good quality potting soil if planting in containers – you will want a good blend with water retaining properties.

 

Always look for healthy plants with lots of buds and unopened blooms

 

Visually map out the area where you will be planting.  This will help you determine how many plants to buy.

 

Select plants that will be compatible with the growing space. Some annuals are well suited for planters or window boxes, while others may grow better placed in a garden bed.

 

Make sure you have a good water source close by your annuals.  You will need to water your annuals regularly, so you must consider the location and convenience of your water source when planting.

 

 

Types of annual to choose

With so many choices of annuals, you will want to assess your garden bed, window box or container to get the best growing results.

 

 

TALL ANNUALS FOR SUN

 

Salvia Mystic Spires

 

Salvia Mystic Spires – add great height to garden and container plantings. Very drought tolerant. Blooms all summer right through to fall before frost.

 

Canna lilies – These annuals are available with tropical-looking green, deep purple, or variegated foliage. Flower colours range from red, pink, yellow, or orange.

 

Sunflowers – Sunflowers are quickly grown from seed or plant. Many new cultivars are available with shorter bloom periods and vibrant colours such as orange, red, and white.

 

Cleome or spider flower – is particularly robust and a vigorous self-seeder.

 

Cosmos – have a wispy, delicate foliage and single white, pink, and crimson blooms. This annual makes for a great cut flower and is very easy to grow.

 

Purple majesty ornamental millet – this is a unique annual that adds structure with bronze, corn-like leaves and distinctive seed heads.

 

 

MEDIUM HEIGHT ANNUALS FOR SUN

 

Verbena Lanai

 

Verbena Lanai – is a soft, whimsical trailing plant with pom pom like blooms and jagged foliage. Deadheading will encourage continuous blooms all summer.

 

Geraniums – are very popular in our climate because of their tolerance to heat and drought. Geranium blooms last a considerable amount of time and are available with upright, trailing habits. Many new geraniums are available with variegated and deeply lobed leaves and pointed spidery flower petals.

 

Petunias – are voluptuous, silky flowers that come in many varieties. They will bloom all summer long with minimal care.

 

Marigold – are often chosen for their insect deterring properties and ability to attract pollinators. Great for borders, beds and containers.

 

Snapdragons –are stunning and available in many bright colours and sizes and will be sure to brighten up any garden.

 

 

SHORT ANNUALS FOR SUN

 

Sweet Potato vine

 

Sweet Potato Vine – this trailing plant has variegated heart-shaped leaves and is a perfect spiller plant for container gardening. Available in variety of colours from bright chartreuse, bronze, and deep purples.

 

Pansies and violas – enjoy cooler temperatures and can be planted in early spring.

 

Icicle® pansies – are available in the fall and last until snowfall.

 

Vinca – a compact annual with shiny leaves and flowers that resemble impatiens.

 

 

 

ANNUALS FOR HOT, DRY, POOR SOIL

 

Licorice_Vine

 

Licorice vine – is a fast-growing plant that does well in full sun, and it can tolerate very dry conditions. It is a cascading plant that works well in hanging baskets and planters.

 

Zinnias – come in a wide variety of colours and are perfect for cut flower gardens. They are drought-tolerant, and extremely low maintenance. Available in short, medium, and tall varieties.

 

Nasturtium – has brightly coloured flowers and distinctive leaves.

 

 

ANNUALS FOR PARTIAL SHADE

 

English Ivy

 

Annual Ivy – are fast growing annuals that come in a various leaf shades and shapes. They are good for ground cover, and an excellent addition to hanging planters and containers.

 

Impatiens – are colourful flowers suitable for containers, garden beds, baskets and borders. They grow well in part shade with consistent moisture.

 

Dahlias – are bushy plants with pom pom flowers that add extraordinary burst of colour to your gardens and containers. Dahlias enjoy the morning sun.

 

Fibrous begonias and nierembergia –flourish in sun or partial shade. They grow in a mound and produce masses of flowers all season long.

 

Lobelia – prefers the morning sun and comes in either mounding or trailing varieties.

 

Fuchsia – has an exotic, delicate look with blooms that resemble a ballerina’s tutu. Colours range from white to pink, lavender, and purple. This annual prefers cooler temperatures, so it’s best to keep it out of the direct afternoon sun.

 

 

ANNUALS FOR FULL SHADE

 

 

Begonias – are versatile, luscious shade plants that provide summer long colour in dark spaces where there is not a lot of sun. Drought tolerant and requires minimal care.

 

Dragon wing/angel wing begonias – grow in all light conditions and blossom continuously.

 

Browallia and wishbone plants – are flowering annuals ideal for shady or partial shade conditions.

 

Coleus – are low maintenance plants appreciated for their vibrant foliage. They come in various colours and are perfect for containers and planters.

 

 

EXOTIC TROPICAL ANNUALS

 

Bougainvillia

 

Tropical flowers add a whole new dimension to your garden or patio. These plants are enjoyed outdoors in the spring and summer seasons and then brought inside to enjoy over the winter.

 

Bougainvillea – needs lots of sun and well-drained soil. It will grow as a vine and produce vibrant blooms.

 

Mandevilla – is a fast-growing vine with trumpet-shaped flowers. It does well in the sun but will also tolerate some partial shade.

 

Hibiscus – these do well in full to partial sun and are an excellent container plant.

 

HOW TO PLANT ANNUALS
  • You will need to prepare your planting area or pot with the soil loose enough to insert your plants. Having loose soil will allow for good drainage through the roots when watering.
  • Use a hand trowel and dig a hole twice as wide as your plant.
  • If you purchased your annuals in pots, gently loosen the pot from the plant and open the roots slightly with your fingers.
  • Place the plant into the hole and then top up with soil to level and press the plant firmly into place. The plant should be at the same height it was when in the growing pot.
  • To reduce the number of potential weeds, apply mulch around your plant.
  • Water generously.

 

 

Sheridan has one of the largest selections of annuals in the GTA. We are known for our quality plants and expert gardening advice.

 

 

 


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