Annuals are plants that live for only one season. Planted fairly early in the season, they grow and bloom, then die as fall comes. They provide a brief, precious blast of color to be enjoyed for only a short time.
Annuals are certainly an inexpensive way to add color to your yard and garden. During early spring and into mid-summer, trays and trays of annuals are available at low prices. You can mix and match flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. When buying annuals, choose plants that are well-rooted with healthy green leaves and sturdy stems. They don’t have to be in bloom, just healthy. After the normal planting season is over, beware of buying too many more annuals. A bargain may not be so good if your plants are unhealthy.
Climbing annuals are a great way to spruce up your fence line or to hide that unsightly outdoor item. Some climbing annuals include the morning glory, scarlet runner beans, black-eyed susan vine, sweet peas or hyacinth beans. They’ll climb, bloom and make you glad you took the time to plant them.
The aforementioned climbing annuals need lots of sun. They would not do well if left to climb up a tree trunk or a shaded trellis. There are some annuals however that thrive in shady spots. For successful shade plants try planting impatiens, monkey flower, nasturtium, California bluebell or the wishbone flower.
Planting annuals in pots or flowerboxes is becoming more popular each year. Pots can grace porches, patios and pathways. They are easy to plant and maintain. In fact, many of today’s pots resemble marble or clay but are made of lightweight plastic. With this wide variety of pots available, what will you plant in them? Petunias, marigolds, verbenas, thunbergia, lobelia and heliotrope are excellent choices.
Remember that annuals need sun and proper drainage. They can be planted in spaces between shrubs or between rows of vegetables as fillers. If you decide to start your own plants from seeds, try putting some chicken wire over the seeding tray. Drop a seed in each hole. This will make it easy to pull those plants apart when it’s time to put them in the ground. Annuals can be the prelude to the blooming of your perennials.
Should you plant a solid color or vary them? For small spaces, such as pots, planter and window boxes, use one color. If you have a large space to fill, use lots of colors but first make a sketch and color it with colored pencils to see how the colors will look together.
Keep your annuals wet and if you can remember, pinch off the tip of the main stem before it blooms for the first time. It will make your plant hardier.
These tips for annuals will help you keep your yard looking colorful from early spring to when your perennials spring into action.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.