As the sun cascades down on the garden, sun-loving flowers emerge to light up the landscape with their vibrancy. Flowers that often handle full sun are drought- and heat-tolerant, creating a hardy flower that blooms all summer long. Grown in dozens of varieties, each one with its own size, shape and color, sun-loving flowers are garden essentials.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) are annual flowers with a rapid growth rate and clump-like form. Zinnia flowers grow 1 to 3 feet tall and wide and are ideal flowers to plant as a colorful bed or garden border. Drought- and deer-tolerant, zinnia blooms have upright stems that hold the colorful blossom. Blossoms grow up to 2 inches across and in a wide range of colors including, pink, yellow, lavender, white and crimson. Their flowerhead form includes double, semi-double or single and are ideal as fresh-cut flowers for arrangements and displays. Zinnia flowers emerge in summer to last until early fall, making for a long-lasting annual flower. Zinnias prefer well-drained, fertile soil that is nutrient-laden. To promote a long flowering season, deadhead or remove spent blooms as soon as they are visible.
Sea shell cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus, Sea Shells) are annual flowers that require full sun. With a rapid growth rate, sea shell cosmos blooms create a colorful annual border in a short period of time. Sea shell cosmos have a clump-like form and grow 3 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 12 inches wide. The colorful blossoms on the sea shell cosmos are quilled or fringed with scalloped edges. The hollow petals come in a range of colors including, bright red, hot pink and white. The petals on sea shell cosmos radiate from a bright yellow center that contrast with the bright and unusual petals. Cosmos foliage is bright green and lace-like to contrast with the classic flowerheads. Drought-and heat- tolerant, sea shell cosmos are ideal blooms to plant in arid, warm climates where moisture is limited. Blooms on the sea shell cosmos emerge in early summer to last into fall and are perfect for a cutting garden or nestled within containers. Sea shell cosmos prefer dry to medium well-drained soil. Prolong flowering on sea shell cosmos by deadheading the spent blooms.
Wild petunias (Petunia integrifolia) are fast-growing annuals that tolerate full sun to thrive. Wild petunia plants have a cascading, spreading form that grows 1 to 3 feet high and wide, ideal for planting in a hanging basket or window box. The deep purple and lavender blooms grow 1.5 inches wide. Wild petunia flowers are prolific bloomers to cover the plant beginning in May to last until the first frost. Unlike certain annual flowers, wild petunia flowers do not require deadheading. Wild petunia flowers require a medium amount of moisture and loamy soil.