48 care-free annuals that will liven your outdoor space

48 care-free annuals that will liven your outdoor space

Annual plants complete their entire life cycle, from seed to flower and back to seed again, all in one season. Because their time is limited, annuals bloom with gusto, often for months on end. Here are some care-free annuals that will help transform your garden into a beautiful outdoor space.

48 care-free annuals that will liven your outdoor space
48 care-free annuals that will liven your outdoor space

Defining annuals

A number of perennials also are willing to grow as annuals, particularly semitropical plants, such as lantana, four-o’clock, and sweet potato vine.

  • Many gardeners simplify this matter by referring to all plants that are easily grown for a single season as annuals.

The benefits of planting annuals

Care-free annuals are the workhorses of the garden, providing reliable foliage and flower colour from spring to fall, and throughout winter in mild climates.

  • In mild climates, early-blooming, cool-season annuals such as pansies are perfect companions to spring-flowering bulbs and flowering shrubs.
  • With the onset of summer, you can switch to heat-tolerant, warm-season annuals including marigolds, salvias, and zinnias.
  • The majority of bedding plants that fill stores in spring are annuals, so it is hard to imagine an easier way to kick off a colourful summer than to buy a few, prepare a suitable bed, and pop in these ready-to-grow plants.
  • Many of the annuals sold as bedding plants are compact dwarf varieties, bred to need little maintenance and grow as well-behaved subjects in gardens, containers, and window boxes. They bloom for months and you can just toss them on the compost heap at season’s end, and you’re ready for next year.

Surprising regrowth

Although annuals are, by definition, one-season wonders, they sometimes self-sow, making replanting unnecessary.

  • The best of these are charmingly informal plants, such as forget-me-nots and poppies, that surprise us by cropping up in new places, and delight us with the bonus of free plants.

Give these 48 annuals a try!

The annuals listed on the following pages will look good for an extended period of time without fuss or bother. Easy, fast, and inexpensive, they are ideal for busy gardeners.

  1. Ageratum
  2. Begonia
  3. Borage
  4. Browallia
  5. Butter Daisy
  6. Calendula
  7. Castor Bean
  8. Chrysanthemum
  9. Cockscomb
  10. Coleus
  11. Cosmos
  12. Dusty Miller
  13. Fan Flower
  14. Flowering Cabbage
  15. Flowering Tabacco
  16. Forget-Me-Not
  17. Four-O’Clock
  18. Fuchsia
  19. Bedding Geraniums
  20. Globe Amaranth
  21. Grasses
  22. Impatiens
  23. Lantana
  24. Larkspur
  25. Lavatera
  26. Licorice Plant
  27. Lobelia
  28. Marigold
  29. Nasturtiums
  30. Pansy
  31. Perilla
  32. Periwinkle
  33. Petunia
  34. Plectranthus
  35. Poppy
  36. Portulaca
  37. Salvia
  38. Snapdragon
  39. Spider Flower
  40. Statice
  41. Stock
  42. Swan River Daisy
  43. Sweet Alyssum
  44. Sweet Potato Vine
  45. Tithonia
  46. Verbena
  47. Wishbone Flower
  48. Zinnia

The more you try, the more of these care-free garden performers you’ll fall in love with, and the more ways you’ll find to use them. Keep these tips in mind and get started today!


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