List of Popular Annual Flowers for Home Gardening

Are you looking to grow a colorful garden full of beautiful buds and attractive blossoms? Then you cannot do away with Annuals. This group of plants make for some of the best garden flowers and are also the easiest to grow and maintain. If you are a novice gardener or a starter green thumb, you will love annuals thoroughly. Advanced gardeners use annuals in conjunctions with perennials to ensure flowers through out the year.

Annuals do have a drawback, they only live for a year. Their lifecycle begins and ends within the space of one year - hence the name Annuals. But in this small span, these plants provide a riot of flowers and blooms making the garden look like a virtual canvas. They are well worth the money you spend so don't discard them just because they have a short lifecycle.

In this article we endeavor to provide you with a list of beautiful annuals that you can plan for your garden. We have also mentioned the popular cultivars available in the market for each type of flowering Annual. The end purpose is to help you make a quick decision on the type of annual flowers that will be suitable for your garden. So, here is the list of some of the most popular annuals.

A Garden Of Annuals

Marigold

Marigolds in Full Bloom
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Just because it has become a household name does not make it any less significant as a beautiful garden flower plant. Many people tend to ignore Marigolds as clichéd but we consider them as one of the most beautiful flowering annuals. Growing marigolds can have added advantages - they are known to repel nematodes (because of their strong scent).

You don't have to contend yourself with the an orange flower, marigolds come in a variety of color - dark red, maroon, yellow and even a shade of white. The size of a marigold plant can vary depending on the variety - it can go up to a mighty 30 inches or stay as puny as 6 inches. If you are looking to plant marigolds, be sure to heed the below tips

  1. They require plentiful sun. Excellent blooms can be expected if 6 hours of direct sun is available. If you grow them in shade the blooms will be sparse.
  2. Marigolds grow best in well-drained soils. If your garden is replete with clay soil you must consider mixing in some coarse organic matter or compost to improve the soil draining capacity.
  3. These plants are low-maintenance, they require very little fertilizing. You can add water soluble fertilizers once every few weeks or add dry organic fertilizer once before the start of the growing period.
  4. Dead heading is of course a must. Be sure to chop off the dead blossoms before they go to seed else the flowering would stop.

Different varieties of marigolds you can choose from are as below

African Marigolds - Jubilee and Antigua are the two varieties available in this cultivar. Jubilee grows up to 32 inches tall while Antigua stays a small stature of 9 inches. The flowers are large and can be as wide as 4 inches. Flowers are fully or semi double.

French Marigolds - Well suited for small hedges. They grow like bushes, short and dense. The flowers are small sized (2 inches wide at max). Flowers are single, crested or fully double depending on the variety. Several colors are available such as red, orange, gold, yellow, mahogany and bi-color.

A few varieties you should consider in French marigolds are - Bonanza, Safari, Aurora and Disco.

Signet Marigolds - Flowers have single rowed petals with a yellow center. They have a mound like framework with small flowers. The various colors available are gold, orange, mahogany and bi-color. They don't require deadheading.

Varieties available in Signet Marigolds are Tangerine gem, lemon gem, Red gem and orange gem.

Triploid Marigolds - This is a hybrid variety. Few attractive features of this variety are

  1. They bloom early
  2. They offer large flowers.
  3. Deadheading is not required
  4. They are very versatile and stress-resistant

Zenith and Nugget are the two varieties of Triploid marigolds.

Impatiens

The Beautiful Impatiens
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It can easily be the one the most elegant flowering plants around. The flowers are usually single row and they come in various colors such as white, pink, red, oranges, rose, lavender, purple or salmon. Impatiens are gaining in popularity as container plants as well as for over-hanging baskets. They have a tendency to cascade over the sides of the container and they grow in a very lush manner.

Be sure to grow your impatiens in clusters. They look extremely attractive this way. If you provide the right conditions, you can be sure of a carnage of blossoms throughout summer and well into the fall. The proper conditions for growing impatiens are as given below.

  1. Less sun - they prefer shade, it would be ideal to plant them in regions of your landscape whether they are exposed to morning sun but shaded from noon sun.
  2. Moist soil - Impatiens are fussy about soil moisture. One day of dry soil is enough to cause them to wither away. Be sure to keep the soil moist.
  3. Mulch away - mulching will help retain soil moisture better and is a must for impatiens
  4. No deadheading needed, of course you can cut off the dead blossom for aesthetic appeal.
  5. They require very little fertilizing and as such are low-maintenance.

You might end up having a hard time growing impatiens from seeds. They are bit finicky about the soil and moisture. The best way to grow impatiens would be from cuttings. In fact your garden can be lush with impatiens within a year if you take cuttings from time to time.

The various varieties of impatiens you can consider are as given below

Standard impatiens - You can buy the compact variety in this one called - super-elfin. If you are looking for a medium sized plant you can consider the variety called "Accent". The series of standard impatiens that grows tall is called "Blitz 3000". So make sure you choose the right series as per your needs.

Double impatiens - As the name suggests, this variety has double layered flowers. The rose impatiens in this variety would look like actual roses. The "Fiesta" series in double impatiens is getting really popular with its beautiful blossom and tendency to flower above the foliage.

New Guinea impatiens - there are several features in this variety that would set it apart from the standard variety. Some of them are given below>

  1. More tolerance to sun
  2. Larger blossoms
  3. Glossy flowers
  4. Thicker foliage
  5. An upright growth
  6. Better recovery in dry conditions

Hybrid impatiens - The advantage with hybrid varieties is that you end up with flowers of different colors that are out of the normal as far as impatiens are concerned. The colors you can end up with are - yellow, peach, orange and other fruity colors. The "Seashell" series of hybrid impatiens is popular for its delicate colors while the "firefly" series is popular for its small flowers.

Petunias

The Petunia Trumpets
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The advantage you get with petunias is the variety of flower colors and their ability stay blooming from summer to fall. Thanks to various hybrids of petunias you can get flowers in almost any color except black. There was a time when the only color available in petunias was pink. Even today, the pink petunias are considered to be the most robust.

The conditions necessary for better growth and blossoms are as given below

  1. A minimum 6 hours of sun would ensure beautiful blossoms. Petunias are known to stop flowering in regions of partial shade.
  2. Petunias will die off by the start of frost unless you plant the frost-resistant variety called the "Wave" series.
  3. They required a well-drained soil for better growth. Make sure you mix good amount of coarse organic matter into the soil before planting your petunias.
  4. Might require deadheading depending on the variety
  5. They are low-maintenance plants and require little fertilizing.

The various types of petunias you can consider are mentioned below

Grandiflora - Mostly grow into mounds. The flowers are 3-5 inches wide. They are less resistant to bad weather and rains. The various varieties available are "daddy", "cascade" and "Ultra".

Multiflora - They grow in a more compact fashion. More prolific blooming habits. The flowers may not be are large as grandiflora but they are better resistant to weather conditions. The various varieties are "Carpet", "Celebrity" and "Madness"

Wave - A hybrid variety that has the tendency to survive the frost climate. Flowers are available in several colors such as purple, pink, lilac and rose. They require some maintenance as they are heavy feeders. Water soluble fertilizers would need to be applied once every two weeks.

Supertunia - Tends to grow in a Vine like structure. Needs moist conditions for better growth and requires regular fertilizing. You can consider growing them in window boxes, they look attractive due to their cascading habit.

Zinnia

The Majestic Zinnias
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If you look to make a bold statement with respect to your garden flowers, you must consider Zinnia. They older original varieties have an upright growth and give off majestic flowers that have several rows of petals. The world of zinnia has progressed much, nowadays you have zinnia with a compact, low-spreading growth with flowers that are single rowed. You can grow these new low-growing varieties in containers or window boxes. They clustered flower growth looks very attractive especially when several zinnias are grow in groups.

The conditions required for better growth are as given below

  1. Ample sun - Zinnias are sun loving plants and would require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for better blossoms.
  2. Low-maintenance - They require very little fertilizing
  3. Well-drained soil - They grow better when the soil is kept moist but is well-drained.
  4. Avoid spraying water on the foliage. Zinnia are prone to mildew and one way to protect them would be to keep their foliage as dry as possible.
  5. Fungicides may be sprayed occasionally if your zinnias develop a mildew problem.

The different varieties of Zinnias you can consider are "Star Gold", "Starbright" and "Crystal White". All of these varieties are compact with a low growing habit. You can also consider the new variety of zinnias called the "Profusion" series - as the name suggests you can expect a profusion of blossoms when you plant this variety. Lobelia - They give off beautiful masses of blue flowers. Lobelias make for excellent flowering plants in regions that have a predominance of cool climate. They grow well in moist and rich soil - they are thirsty plants. It is best to allow them protection from the summer sun by planting them in regions where partial shade is available.

Conditions required for better growth and blossom are as below

  1. Protection from sun - they grow better in partial shade. Dry and direct sun can be lethal. Once they become stable they can tolerate more sun.
  2. Plenty of water - the soil should be porous and should have better water retaining capacity. Mulching is a good option.
  3. Feed with water-soluble fertilizers once in three weeks for better growth.

Though blue colored flowers are most popular in lobelias, you can also consider varieties that give off white colored and rose colored flowers. Some of the varieties that give off white colored flowers are "Snowball", "White lady" and "White pearl".

Alyssum

Sweet Fragrant Alyssums
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If you love clustered flowers then alyssum is a good choice. Alyssums give off small flowers in trusses, the flowers usually have a four petals arranged in a square fashion. The leaves are so small and narrow that they are also invisible when the alyssums are in full bloom. You can plant alyssum as borders, to hide the foundation or in containers. They are also known as "sweet alyssum" because of their sweet fragrance.

The suitable conditions for this plant are given below

  1. Partial shade - It is best to protect them from direct afternoon sun. Place them in regions where they get ample light but are protected from direct sun rays.
  2. Well-drained soil - They prefer moist conditions but are averse to water logging.
  3. Pruning - If they grow leggy its time for a haircut. Don't let them droop over.

The most popular color in alyssums would be white. The other colors available nowadays are - purple, pink and rose.

Continue reading about the other commonly grown annuals - list of commonly grown annuals