Annual plants are plants that grow for only one growing season, usually spring and summer. Most food plants, such as peas and corn, are annual plants. These plants die off after flowering or producing seed for replanting. Most annuals prefer well-drained soil and 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. They are generally easy to grow and require little care.
The periwinkle bears purple-blue flowers on it's shrub-like frame. This plant can spread very quickly and can grow up to 3 feet in height. However, as an annual it usually grows much closer to the ground. It is often grown along hillsides as a groundcover to help guard against erosion. Periwinkle flowers prefer full sun and will bloom all summer long before dying out in early fall. Periwinkle is in Hardiness zone 4.
Pansies come in a wide variety of colors from yellow, red, pink, blue, black and very dark purple. These flowers are planted early in spring and are very hardy plants. They can survive a late frost but thrive in full sunlight. Pansies are easy to grow but are often susceptible to stem rot and mildew if the soil is not well-drained. Pansies are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zone 4 to 8.
The sunflower is a bright yellow flower that blooms early in the spring until late summer. The plants can grow over 20 feet tall with large flowers up to 2 feet in diameter. The center of the flower contains seeds used to make sunflower oil. Sunflowers can be started indoors and moved outside when they are approximately 6 inches tall. Sunflowers are hardy in zones 3 to 10.
Corn is an annual grain that is native to America. Some varieties of corn can grow over 20 feet tall. Most corn that is grown for food is around 8 feet tall. Corn plants prefer to grow in full sun and well-drained soil. The vegetable takes around 60 to 90 days after planting to fully mature. Corn is frequently bothered by caterpillars so an insecticide is often used. Corn is strongly recommended for hardiness zone 7
Peas are from the family of legumes. The edible part of the plant grows in pods that usually contain three to five peas. The pea plant is a cool season vegetable that is usually planted very early in the spring. Peas grow on vines that are often supported by a trellis or wire. They are grown for their fresh or dry seeds, which is easy to store. Peas normally will survive in Zone 7 or any warmer zone.