Annuals for container gardening

Gardening is more than tending to that large area of soil where you grow your vegetables ~ gardening is also a brightening of space on patios and balconies where container plants are most popular. If you like to change the plants in your outdoor planters, search for new looks and different colors each year, then annuals, both flowers and foliage, are an excellent choice for your container gardens.

Each year you can explore a different color scheme or flower groupings. New annuals are constantly being developed especially for growing in planters and small space gardens.

Annual flowers can be found in a large variety of colors, sizes, and blooming times and are generally less expensive than perennials, as they last just one season. You can start many annuals successfully from seeds, or purchase live plants from your local nursery or online. Some annuals last through the fall to bloom again next summer season and some will re-seed themselves to produce new plants the next season.

Here's a sampling of traditional annuals that perform well in containers. Be creative ~ mix these dependable plants with different combinations for a new look each year. Sprinkling annuals amongst perennials in your planters is a great way to refresh your container garden displays each year. Select your annuals carefully for your growing conditions and be sure to pay extra attention to their watering needs in hot summers.

annuals in plantersAgeratum is an annual plant that will survive best in partial shade where it receives only a few hours of sunllight a day. This is an attractive light purple plant that will bloom from summer through to fall months.

Snapdragons thrive in full sun to partial shade areas. Snapdragons are a great plant - easy to care for, colorful and perfect for adding to summer bouquets. This is a plant that blooms from early to mid summer months through the fall months until the last of the frost. When flowers are dying off, cutting them back or pinching them off will produce additional new flowers!

annual flowers for container gardeningBegonias are another favorite plant for container garden and landscape garden alike as they last so long and are easy to care for. Wax begonias will last throughout the winter in the greenhouse or in the home and will bloom for the next seasons but will not survive outside through the winter months. Look for stunning new colors and a wider variety of bloom sizes of begonias ~ an ideal plant for containers.

Marigolds are an annual flower that you can easily grow from seed, and they continually grow and blossom from early summer until the hard frost hits. A full selection of colors are available in varieties from small to large. While the smell of the marigold may not be pleasant the colors can often make up for that. An added benefit of marigolds is there ability to fend of some destructive insects ~ even in containers.

Celosia is a full sun annual that loves to brighten your patio or balcony all summer long. The Celosia is a plant that is a little more difficult to get started, requiring watering when they are getting established in the early weeks. Once the plant established they will last until the frost kills them off.

Asters are a full sun plant that you can plan on blooming from mid to late summer months through to the fall months until the frost kills them off. Save the seeds from your Aster annuals to plant the next growing season!

Here's a small sampling of popular annuals that do well in containers:

Annuals for Sun:

Lobelia
Nasturtium
Coleus
Dianthus
Salvia
Pansies
Geranium
Osteospermum
Petunias
Cleome
Zinnias
Nicotiana
Gazania
Phlox
Poppy
Nemesia
Calabrachoa
Portulaca
Verbena
Cosmos
Bacopa
Swan River Daisy

Annuals for Partial Sun/Shade:

Impatiens
Snapdragons
Lobelia
Pansy
Salvia
Begonia
Coleus
Browallia
Nicotiana
Nasturtium


A great way to fill your flower pots with blooming annuals throughout the summer ~ plant lots of annual seed mix directly in large containers around your yard, patio or balcony for a spectacular showing!