Annual Plants and Flowers to Grow in Your Garden
Annual plants are those whose life cycle lasts for only one year. Their life cycle begins with the germination of the seed. The plant then blooms, producing the next generation of seed, after which the parent plant dies. Removing the blooms prior to them going to seed will prolong the life of the plant.
Annual plants will often re-seed themselves, or the seeds may be collected, prepared and re-sown. Annuals are an excellent way to create a dramatic splash of summer color in the garden, or for long blooming annual baskets.
Botanical Name: Arctotis x hybrida
African Daisies typically have bold, beautiful foliage and large, 3"-4", intensely colored flowers with bright centers. The foliage is grey to silvery green and coated with soft, downy silver hairs. The flowers close at night.
Botanical Name: Osteospermum barberae
Osteospermums should be grown in full sun, but they will tolerate some partial shade. They produce a steady supply of unique 2" spoon flowers from early spring until the first frost
Botanical Name: Callistephus chinensis
This annual plant is a native to Asia. The 2-4" flowers range in color from blue, white, red, yellow, or pink on 1'-3' stems. Do not plant annual varieties of Asters in the same are for more than two consecutive years to prevent Aster wilt.
Botanical Name: Centaurea cyanus
Bachelor's Button is the annual version of the Mountain Cornflower. It is an easy to grow plant that quickly forms a nice clump. It begins producing it's bright flowers in late spring and will often continue blooming well into fall. Excellent for dried flowers and potpourri.
Bat Face Plant
Botanical Name: Cuphea llavea
Bat Face Flowers are low maintenance, shrubby perennials with glossy green, lance shaped leaves. They grow 18"-24" tall with a three foot spread. Bat Face Cupheas produce masses of 1" purple tubular flowers with two bright red, upward facing petals.
Botanical Name: Iberis species
The Iberis genus of plants includes about fourty different species of annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs, with flower colors in shades of white, red, pink or lavender. They are great plants for borders or in your Rock Garden.
Botanical Name: Cuphea cyanea
The Cigar Plant or Black Eyed Cuphea as it is also known, form two foot tall mounds of lance-shaped, bright green leaves with brittle stems. They produce foot long sprays of tubular, orangish-red to pink, 1"-1½" flowers with two tiny black petals.
Botanical Name: Cuphea ignea
The Cigarette Flower plant is sometimes called a Firecracker Plant. They have small, lance shaped, glossy green leaves that form tight mounds and tubular, petal-less, bright orange-red, ¾"-1¼" flowers.
Cup and Saucer Bellflower
Botanical Name: Campanula calacanthema
There are about three hundred different species of Campanula. This annual variety prefers full sun and rich, well drained soil and should be kept well watered, especially when in bloom.
Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
The English Marigold is a bright and cheery plant that produces 3"-5" blooms all summer from June until frost. They are very fast and easy to grow and are easily grown from seeds.Herbal and Medicinal uses of the English Marigold Plant
Botanical Name: Ricinus communis
Castor Beans are fast growing, tender perennial shrubs that are capable of growing up to 12 feet in a single season. Castor Bean plants have reddish colored stalks with very large palmate shaped, deep green to dark purple leaves that can grow up to 2 feet wide. Seeds of the Castor Bean plant are extremely poisonous!
Botanical Name: Cosmos atrosanguineus
The dark maroon flowers of Chocolate Cosmos appear on wirey 18 inch stems from June until frost and produce a pleasant chocolate scent. With excellent drainage and heavy winter mulching Chocolate Cosmos will often survive in zone 6.
Botanical Name: Pericallis cruenta
Cineraria plants form 12"-24" tall, mounded clumps of large, lush, bright green leaves which create a nice accent for the vividly colored, 3"-5" flowers that stand above it in the spring and summer.
Botanical Name: Celosia Argentea
Plumosa cultivar flowers resemble plume like feathers, while Cristata flowers looks like a rooster's comb with crested heads and ridges. Low maintenance, good for dried flowers
Botanical Name: Cosmos bipinnatus
Cosmos are extremely heat and drought tolerant. They prefer full sun and do well in poor, infertile soil. Cosmos plants come in a rainbow of summer blooming flower colors
Botanical Name: Sanvitalia procumbens
Creeping Zinnia is a bright little yellow flowering annual plant. They should be planted in rich, well draining soil, in full sun.
Botanical Name: Nierembergia
Cup Flowers are long lasting annual plants that produces hundreds of 1", upturned star shaped flowers from late spring until mid fall. It is great for hanging baskets and planters or as a quick ground cover
Botanical Name: Senecio cineraria
USDA Zones: 8-11
Dusty Miller are compact, mound forming, evergreen perennial plants that are grown as annuals in cooler regions. They are great for borders or as companion plantings for brightly colored annual flowers. Excellent for growing in containers.
Botanical Name: Bellis perennis
USDA Zones: 4-10
The original English Daisy is the wild Daisy often seen growing in lawns. This biennial plant has now been hybridized to include double flowering varieties in shades of white, pink, rose-red or purple. The bright 2" flowers appear in succession, on 6" stems from April through June.
Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
Florist's Carnations are actually tender perennials that are best grown from seed as an annual and then disposed of. They prefer alkaline soil and dislike heat. They produce richly fragrant flowers in the summer
Botanical Name: Ageratum
Ageratum is known for its furry mounds of long lasting floss-like blue flowers, occasionally you can find them in white and pink. Deadhead regularly for continued bloom
Botanical Name: Nicotiana alata
Flowering tobacco is a tall, easy to grow annual that is useful for garden backgrounds or for eye catching mass plantings. It produces an abundance of 2½" star shaped flowers all summer until first frost. Can be easily grown from seed
Four o' clock
Botanical Name: Mirabilis jalapa
Four o' clocks are fragrant, colorful and very easy to grow. The plants got their name, Four o' clock, because the flowers do not open till around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, except on cloudy days. Can be easily grown from seed
Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea
Height: 3-6 ft.
Foxglove is a biennial flower which is native to Europe but now grows wild in most temperate climates of the world. Foxgloves prefer moist, well draining, fertile soil but can survive drought and almost any growing conditions.
Botanical Name: Dianthus
Most Garden Pinks are tender perennial or biennial clump forming plants that prefer alkaline soil and dislike heat. They produce richly fragrant flowers in the spring or summer, sometimes extending right up until the first frost.
Botanical Name: Heliotropium arborescens
Heliotropes are also known by the old-fashioned name of Cherry Pie. They are frost tender, evergreen shrubs that are most often grown as annual bedding plants. Their main attraction is the aroma from their clusters of tiny flowers with the sweet fragrance of vanilla or cherry pie.
Botanical Name: Pelargonium peltatum
The Ivy Leaved Geranium is a frost tender, climbing and trailing, semi succulent perennial that produces clusters of orchid-like flowers at the vine tips all summer. Good in hanging baskets. They can be propagated by softwood cuttings or grown from seed
Botanical Name: Consolida ambigua
Larkspur is a low maintenance, upright growing annual with many stems of sparsely covered with light green, needle-like foliage topped with a spire of brightly colored flowers throughout the summer. Remove spent blooms to prolong flowering.
Botanical Name: Lotus maculatus
The Lotus Vine is a semi hardy hanging or ground crawling vine that is most often grown as an annual plant. The foliage consists of fine, 1-2", silvery blue needle like leaves. Produces lots of bright, 'parrot beak' shaped flowers in late spring and early summer. Excellent for hanging baskets or to cascade down a rockery
Botanical Name: Lupinus
Lupines are upright, mound forming annual or perennial wildflowers with large green, lance shaped leaves and spikes of brightly colored sweet pea-like flowers from June to August. Can be easily grown from seed Beware of slugs!
Botanical Name: Argyranthemum frutescens
Marguerite Daisies are easy to grow, tender perennials that are usually grown as annual plants. They produce masses of fragrant, 1-2", Chrysanthemum-like flowers from mid spring until mid fall that attract many types of butterflies
Botanical Name: Tagetes
Marigolds are one of the easiest of all plants to grow and care for, making them a perfect plant for teaching young children about growing and gardening. These spunky little plants are only hardy in zones 9-11 so they are normally grown as annual bedding plants.
Botanical Name: Mimulus hybridus
The Monkey Flower is a colorful, easy to grow addition to the shaded areas of your garden. This plant grows well in containers and can be grown as a house plant
Botanical Name: Ipomoea species
Morning Glories are very fast growing vines that are capable of growing 10 feet or more within the first two months. They readily reseed themselves for the next year. Morning Glory vines may become invasive
Botanical Name: Portulaca Grandiflora
Moss Rose is a quick growing succulent annual. Portulaca seeds should be sown outside after your last frost has passed. Seeds will germinate within 10-15 days.
Botanical Name: Clarkia elegans
The Mountain Garland is a fast growing, easy care annual plant that produces an abundance of bright, double flowers on tall whispy stems. Excellent for cut flowers. Can be easily grown from seed
Botanical Name: Tropaeolum majus
Once established, Nasturtiums take little or no care. As they spread and grow, their foliage resembles a sea of tiny lily pad leaves topped with brightly colored, edible blossoms. Can be easily grown from seed
Botanical Name: Nemesia strumosa
Nemesias are brightly colored annual plants that quickly grow to a height of 12 inches. Nemesias grow well in hanging baskets and planters
Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea
Ornamental Kale will not tolerate summer heat. These plants are very showy, and come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to pinks, purples or reds, extremely cold-tolerant
Botanical Name: Coleus blumei
Coleus plants are durable and easy to grow. They are best known for their bright colors, and variety of foliage forms
Botanical Name: Viola
Pansies may be cool season annuals, biennials, or hardy perennials. They may bloom in early spring or fall depending on the species. Planting time is critical
Botanical Name: Ranunculus asiaticus
Persian Buttercups provide a continuing display of beautiful 3"-5" Camellia-like flowers atop branched, 8"-18" stems, from late spring through mid summer. They are well suited plants for growing in planters
Botanical Name: Petunia x hybrida
Petunias have long been the most popular flowering annual for planting in hanging baskets, window boxes and for border plantings. There are many single and double flowering varieties available. Can be easily grown from seed
Pin Cushion Plant
Botanical Name: Nertera granadensis
The Pin Cushion Plant is a fast growing tropical plant that produces an abundance of tiny orange berries just in time for halloween. Pin cushions require full sun or they will produce a lot of foliage and very few berries
Pocketbook Plant Pouch Flower
Botanical Name: Calceolaria
USDA Zones: 9-11
There are about 300 species of Calceolaria, but the vast majority of those commonly cultivated are hybrids of the Chilean species Calceolaria crenatiflora. They are commonly known as Pocketbook Plants, Pouch Flowers or Slipper Flowers.
Poor Man's Orchid
Botanical Name: Schizanthus wisetonensis
The colorful orchid like flowers of the Butterfly Flower contrast beautifully against the soft, feathery foliage of this annual. Schizanthus dislike extremes of heat or cold, preferring cool and moist conditions.
Botanical Name: Salvia splendens
Scarlet Sage is a frost tender perennial that is usually grown as an annual. It blooms in various colors including scarlet, purple, orange, lavender and yellow. Remove old flowers for repeat blooms.
Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majas
Snapdragons produce tall stalks of fragrant flowers that attract both butterflies and hummingbirds throughout the summer. Snapdragons are easily grown from seed
Botanical Name: Bracteantha bracteata
Paper Daisys are tender perennials usually grown as annuals. They need moist, but well drained soil. They can be propagated by softwood cuttings or grown from seed
Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus
Sunflowers are single stemmed annuals with large, fuzzy, silvery green, lance shape leaves. They produce long lasting, large single or multiple flower heads that range from 4-12" depending on the variety.
Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus
Sweet Peas have long been a favorite of gardeners because of the wonderful fragrance of the large clusters of colorful flowers that grace these annual vines all summer.
Botanical Name: Dianthus barbatus
Sweet William is a clump forming, deciduous biennial that prefers alkaline soil and dislikes heat. They produce a steady supply of fragrant, showy flowers from late spring to late summer, sometimes extending right up until the first frost.
Botanical Name: Gazania
The Treasure Flower's brightly bi-colored, daisy-like flowers are 2-5 inches in diameter, growing atop 6-12 inch stalks. The foliage is somewhat grasslike, but narrow at the base and widening toward the tip.
Botanical Name: Diascia barberae
Twinspurs are a vigorous growing, tender perennials that are closely related to the Snapdragon. They have small, heart shaped foliage and grow from 6"-12" tall, forming 8"-20" clumps. From late spring until early fall, they produce bright pink or salmon colored, 1/2"-3/4" flowers.
Botanical Name: Viola sp
Violets are dainty little self seeding versions of the Pansy. Their seeds can be directly sown into the garden at anytime from spring through fall, but the seeds need darkness and 70° to germinate
Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans
Zinnias are easy to grow annual plants that produce an abundance of brightly colored 2-3" flowers through the summer months. They grow well in containers and make excellent cut flower arrangements. They dislike wet foliage. Can be easily grown from seed
Search The Garden Helper: