Annual flowers grow, bloom and die all in one season. During their season, they add their interesting foliage and bright blooms to the garden. Flower colors on annuals are vast and range from electric blue to variegated blooms with more than one color swirled together. Grown in a wide range of sizes and shapes, annual flowers are ideal plants to grow among a perennial bed to help fill in empty spaces.
Sea Shells Cosmos
Sea shells cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sea Shells') have unusually shaped blooms that make these annuals garden stunners. The quilled hollow blossoms are tube-shaped and radiate out from the bright yellow centers. Bloom colors of sea shells cosmos include, white, pink and bright red. Sea shells have a rapid growth rate and clumping form. They grow 3 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 12 inches wide. They are drought-tolerant annuals that survive in areas of limited rainfall or dry soils. To promote a long flowering season, deadhead the spent cosmos blooms as soon as they are visible. They thrive in full sun only and well-drained soil. An added bonus is that sea shell cosmos attract butterflies to the garden. As an annual, the sea shells cosmos is hardy in all USDA zones.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) flowers are garden staples, producing single, semi-double or double blossoms that grow in a range of colors including, pink, yellow, orange and red. Their bright 2-inch-wide flowers sit atop tall, erect bright green stems, making zinnias well-suited for use as fresh cut flowers. They grow in clumps up to 3 feet tall and wide. Zinnia flowers are drought- and deer-tolerant, creating a low-maintenance annual to grow within a cutting garden or lining a garden walkway. They require full sun to thrive and grow best if the soil is nutrient-rich and well-drained. Deadhead zinnia blooms to promote a long summer blooming season. Zinnia is hardy in all USDA zones.
Petunia (Petunia x hybrida) flowers are a favorite in hanging baskets and containers because of their mounding form and trailing habit. The funnel-shaped blooms produce masses of bright flowers from spring until summer and don't require deadheading. Petunia grows 6 to 18 inches tall and has a spread up to 14 inches. The flower colors range from red and pink to pale purple and white. Known for their sticky foliage, petunia flowers require full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. As an annual they are hardy in all USDA zones.