Annuals continue to provide a wide range of choice. Every year, the new color combinations are dazzling and sure to catch your eye. Whether used to brighten containers or flower beds, there are annual choices for everyone. Currently, Acer grows over 700 varieties of annuals.
THE SHADY SIDE
Begonias bring masses of bright color to shady areas where nothing else seems to thrive and will keep flowering until hard frosts. They do particularly
well under trees, by shady walls, in window boxes and planters. They should be shaded from strong afternoon sun. Begonias require good drainage, air circulation and wind protection. There is a wide range of height and spread with some even reaching 18”.
Coleus is one of the most colorful and decorative plants available. Its rich foliage colors allow it to combine well in containers as well as in beds. Some newer varieties are sun tolerant but most coleus want shade. The foliage
holds up all season. Coleus is not fussy about soil but needs moist, well-drained soil to thrive.
New guinea impatiens
This plant will flower in your bed or container until the first frost and is self-cleaning. Sunpatiens, with a spread of 24-30” and 12” high, will take more sun than most. The Super Sonics have a spread of 24-30” and are available in many colors. The Sonic and Divine series is more compact, 8” high with a 12-18” spread, which makes them ideal for window boxes.
Sometimes known as “Wishbone Flower”, Torenia’s bright, upturned flowers will remind you of pansies. Its tubular flowers bloom steadily all season,
needing only a little deadheading from time to time. Happy in partial shade, Torenia is ideal for containers, shady garden borders and hanging baskets. Try
planting it as an accent in front of ferns.
VINES FOR PUNCH
Brilliant trumpet-shaped flowers in tone of pink, white or red will give your garden a tropical look. A water soluble fertilizer applied every 2 weeks will keep this vine blooming summer to frost.
Mandevilla tolerates wet soil and is deer-resistant. Provide support or a trellis.
THUNBERGIA (BLACK EYED SUSAN VINE)
A quick-growing vine, Thunbergia bears bright orange, yellow, pink or cream flowers with black centers. It needs full sun, average, well-drained soil and makes a good container plant. The vine climbs by twining so provide a trellis or netting.
ipomoea alba (moonflower)
A close cousin of the morning glory, the large creamy white moonflowers open (in slow motion) as the sun sets. Heavily fragrant, the flowers last only one night and should be grown near a terrace or deck where they can be admired. They start bloom in August and continue until the first frosts.
ipomoea sloteri (cardinal climber)
This graceful, airy vine features tubular flowers in red with a white throat. It blooms heavily all
summer and is a great favorite of hummingbirds. The vine takes full sun to partial shade and will
bloom from summer through fall.
THE SUNNY SIDE
This wonderful annual will add bright color to hot, sunny spaces. Flower spires in shades of purple, white, red or pink can reach 2’ and bloom all summer long. Fertilize monthly and keep watered.
The wide range of Dahlias and the huge variety of colors they come in make them an ideal choice for garden beds and containers. They need a sunny location and well-drained soil. Dwarf, bedding, and "dinner plate" varieties are available.
This heat-lover produces a sweet, honey-like fragrance from plump cushions of white, purple, or pink flowers. An excellent trailer for hanging baskets or containers; quick to bloom and tolerant of cool temperatures.
Dark red-brown, chocolate-scented flowers will attract butterflies. Grow in full sun; deadhead and provide support as needed. Grows 30" tall x 18" wide.
tithonia (mexican sunflower)
Tithonia produces large bright orange flowers on thick stems from mid-summer until frost. Drought tolerant, these flowers shine at the back of mixed borders. Grows best in full sun and is attractive to butterflies.
Intense dark blue or white flowers produce a sweet scent. Semi-compact growth habit with good
branching. Large flower heads will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.