Annual flowers grow from seed, bloom, and die off all in one growing season. They need to be replanted from seed the next year in order to bless your garden with more beautiful flowers. Some are self-sowing and drop their seeds in to the garden to grow and bloom the next year, while others have to be planted by hand to return. Annuals come in many different varieties, so it makes sense to learn more as you plan your garden for the spring. Here’s what you need to know.
Annual Flower Types
Not all flowers can tolerate the frost. Selecting the right types of annuals will ensure they can grow to their fullest potential, providing you with lovely blooms all season long. When considering annuals, you will need to select from the following types.
Hardy annuals can be planted in the fall or as soon as the ground is workable in the spring. As a seed, they can handle the freezing temperatures well, allowing you to have flowers budding early in the growing season. Annuals with self-sowing tendencies are typically hardy, as they drop their seeds in the fall to grow in the spring.
Popular hardy annuals include:
- Bachelor’s buttons
- Sweet peas
- Shirley poppies
Half-hardy annuals are less tolerant of freezing temperatures, so they need to be planted after the threat of hard frost has passed. To enjoy these flowers earlier in the growing season, they need to be sowed indoors and hardened off before transplant. They are able to handle a light frost after hardening, though any more than that can damage the plant.
In this category of annuals, you will find:
Tender annuals are not tolerant of freezing temperatures at all, which means they should not be sown in the garden until the danger of frost is over for the year. They respond well to being planted indoors about six weeks before the last frost date, however.
Tender annuals include:
- Morning glories
Within all these types of annual flowers, you have hundreds of gorgeous options to consider for your garden space.
Start Growing Annual Flowers
When growing annual flowers, you can opt to grow from seed, cuttings, or nursery plants. Growing from seed is the most cost effective option, though it takes a lot more time before you start to see flower buds form. Cuttings can be hit or miss, depending on the type of flower, growing medium, and technique. Plants from the nursery have been growing for several months and are ready to plant in the garden, as long as the timing is right.
Whatever way they are started, annuals improve the beauty of every garden. They also make excellent cut flowers to brighten up the inside of your home or give away to family, friends, and neighbors. The sky is the limit in how you can use your annual flowers once they have grown and bloomed.