Best Annual Flowers That Bloom All Season

The bright and diverse colors of annual flowers are a main attraction in a summer garden. You can get the most out of their showy blooms by planting the right varieties and giving them the care they need.

Annuals are plants that grow for one season and die over winter. You can buy annuals as bedding plants in the spring. Many of them will also do well grown directly from seed. A fertile soil rich in organic matter is the best for annual flowers. Keep them evenly moist throughout the growing season for consistent flowering.

Try some of these long-lasting annual flowers for an abundant display throughout the summer.

Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum)

Many different types of geraniums exist, although the easiest to care for are known as zonal geraniums. They grow 12 to 30 inches tall and make attractive clusters of flowers in a variety of colors, including white, pink, salmon, red and orange. Trim off the long blossom heads once they’re finished to encourage more buds.

Geraniums are more drought-tolerant than some annual flowers and prefer full sun. They can also be taken indoors in winter and kept as houseplants.

pink geranium

Pink Geranium

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Sweet alyssum earns its name for a reason. Patches of alyssum will fill your garden with a gentle perfume. It grows 3 to 6 inches tall and creates a dense groundcover of small flower spikes. The colors range in shades of white, pink, salmon and purple. Plant in a sunny or partially shaded location.

They can be seeded directly in the ground in spring after the risk of frost, or bought as seedlings. They will also often self-seed and come up again the following year, so make sure you have them in an area you like.

Marigold (Tagetes spp.)

Marigolds come in a variety of sizes, from 4 inch tall plants up to 5 foot giants. Their single or double flowers are bright orange, yellow or bicolored. If the flowers are kept wet for too long, they may start to rot. It’s best to grow them in hot areas with full sun to prevent standing water on the blossoms.

The flowers are edible and can be used as a spicy addition to salads or other dishes. When cooked with rice, the petals provide a nice color.

marigolds

Marigolds

Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)

Petunias are started easily from seed, or stores carry a wide selection of seedlings. Their distinctive trumpet-shaped flowers are available in almost any color from yellow to red to black, with many multicolored varieties. You can also find different growth habits and sizes for petunias, including small, upright plants and well as assorted trailing types for hanging baskets.

Petunias are fairly drought-tolerant and can handle full sun to partial shade. Due to the profuse blooms, they benefit from deadheading and removing the spent blossoms to encourage new buds. Pruning the foliage back in mid-summer can help keep them compact.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnias bloom in an array of colors, including red, yellow, orange, pink, white and multicolored. Their large blossoms are carried on upright stems from 6 to 30 inches tall and make a great cut flower. Plant in a sunny location. You can buy seedlings from a store, although zinnias dislike being transplanted. They will often grow better if you seed them directly in the soil.

zinnia flower

Zinnia

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

The large, daisy-like flowers of cosmos come in shades of white, pink and orange. They also have a delicate scent, which is often stronger in the evening. Plants reach 18 to 60 inches tall, so they can be used in the middle or back of a flower bed to provide height. Cosmos is a good cut flower and the blossoms often attract birds, bees and butterflies.

Fuchsia (Fuchsia hybrida)

Fuchsia is a showy, trailing annual that’s great for hanging baskets. Their exotic flowers come in multiple combinations of white, red, pink and purple. Fuchsias do best in shady conditions and will produce fewer flowers when overheated. Deadhead the older blooms to promote new buds.

fuchsia

Fuchsia Hanging Basket

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)

Lobelia has delicate white, blue or pink blossoms that can start early in the summer and last until frost. Most varieties grow from 4 to 8 inches tall. Lobelia prefers sunny areas, but will tolerate partial shade. The plants stay nicely compact and do well in containers and window boxes as well as in flower beds.

Impatiens (Impatiens spp.)

Impatiens are one of the best annuals for shade. Their unique flowers and foliage can give your garden a tropical look. Two main types are available. Impatiens walleriana is a shorter variety, growing from 6 to 16 inches high. Impatiens hawkeri is also known as the New Guinea impatiens, which can grow up to 4 feet.

The New Guinea types are more resistant to impatiens downy mildew than the walleriana species. If you have a particularly damp location that may promote mildew, the New Guinea impatiens will be a better choice.

impatiens

Impatiens

Begonia

You have many different types of begonias to choose from, although some of them are better known for their foliage color rather than their flowers. All begonias prefer partial or full shade.

The two showiest blooming varieties of begonia are:

  • Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) – A shorter variety, 8 to 12 inches tall. These look especially good in large plantings where you can appreciate their shiny, succulent-like leaves and long-lived flowers. Bloom in white, pink and dark red. Good companions for impatiens.
  • Tuberous Begonia (Begonia tuberhybridacultorum) – Grow up to 24 inches tall. The blossoms are much larger than the wax begonia, coming in a rainbow of bright colors. Trailing tuberous begonias are also available and make gorgeous additions to hanging baskets.
begonias

Tuberous Begonias

Related:
How to Create a Wildflower Garden
Flowers to Plant Now for Great Tea Later
How to Pick the Perfect Home for Your Bird Friends

 

151 comments

natasha p
Past Member about a year ago

pretty

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Elisa F
Elisa F2 years ago

Gorgeous Flowers :)
Thanks for sharing!

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Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T2 years ago

Thanks

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Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L2 years ago

thanks for the article

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George L
George L2 years ago

Thanks for the article.

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Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers2 years ago

jThanks for the info. I love flowers.

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Charmaine M.
Charmaine M2 years ago

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Good info thanks for sharing

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