While starting a flower garden, selecting types of flowering plants is a challenging task for beginners. Many landscapers suggest annual plants for the home garden. They are of the opinion that the most beautiful colors in the garden are brought by their flowers. But, actually what are they? How do they differ from the biennial and perennial varieties? What about the popular types of annual flowers for home garden?
According to botany, annual plants are defined as those that require one year for completion of their life cycle. In other words, they have only one growing season. In case of a typical plant variety, it begins its life cycle from viable seeds and ends by producing seeds within a year. In contrast, biennial plants require two seasons to complete their life cycle, and perennial ones continue to grow for many years.
During spring, when the environmental conditions are favorable, the previous year's seeds of annual plants are sown in soil, and then they sprout and develop leaves. By summer, their flowers bloom, which later produce seeds at the end of the growing season. However, keep in mind that the planting time and the blooming period of these plants differ according to species. While some are spring blooming cultivars, other may flower in fall and winter seasons. Hence, choosing the plant variety is up to you.
Most Common Varieties
As far as the maintenance level of these plants is concerned, they are no different from other flowering plant varieties. The only thing is that you need to replant a new set of such plants every year, as the previous season's plants die after producing seeds. You can collect the seeds for later use. With every passing year, you have the option of changing the garden look by selecting varied annual flowers. Common types of such flowers, which you can consider including in your gardening project, are as follows:
If you have a shade garden and are worried about gardening in the same, then choose hardy flowering plant varieties. One of the best choices is begonia that blooms throughout the summer. In some regions, this shade loving plant is grown as a perennial, allowing growers to enjoy lovely flowers for more than two years.
Nothing can beat the beauty of pansy flowers, which are available in different colors such as white, yellow, orange, and purple. You can plant pansies in partial shade to full-shaded garden. Generally, this plant blooms in early spring, while some hybrid varieties develop flower buds even in late frost.
When it comes to flowering plant variety for fall, marigold is the one that adds fall color and winter interest to the landscape design. Available in shades of yellow, orange, and multicolored shades, you can grow the dwarf version or the tall variety. Also, its flower size varies according to species.
If you have a sunny yard, then think of growing zinnia plant. Other than full sunlight exposure, this species tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. It continues to bloom from summer till the arrival of frost. Zinnia flower is found in white, pink, orange, yellow, red, and multicolored shades.
This trumpet-shaped flower, with rich colored petals looks spectacular in flower beds, in groups. You can select petunia with single or double petals. Maintain optimal temperature required for the cultivar, and you can induce repeated blooming throughout summer months.
Of the different annual flowers for sun, phlox is a popular plant owing to its great adaptability. It is best grown in zones 2 - 11 and is tolerant to drought and dry condition. Phlox makes a wonderful color display for garden beds, borders, or container gardening. Its maximum height is 18 inches, and it spreads to about 12 inches.
The sun-loving sunflower needs no introduction to gardeners. It is one of the most spectacular varieties, which bloom in showy head inflorescence. It blooms and yields edible seeds within three months of plantation. As per your garden layout, you can select the dwarf variety, or the tall cultivar that grows to more than 15 feet.
- Angel's trumpet
- African marigold
- Bachelor's button
- Basket flower
- Blood flower
- Canterbury bells
- African daisy
- Fan flower
- Firecracker plant
- Evening primrose
- Hyacinth bean vine
- Morning glory
- Moss rose
- Passion flower
- Sweet alyssum
- Sweet William
Truly speaking, annual flowers are excellent choices for avid gardeners, who love changes and have a passion for experimenting with different flower garden layouts. Nevertheless, if you are worried about time-consuming steps for uprooting the dead plants, preparing soil, and sowing new seeds, then consider combining them with some biennial and perennial plants. You can grow them in one or two flower beds to create a color pattern with the remaining plants in the garden.