Plant fast-growing flowering species and enjoy a quickly established garden, especially when starting from transplants rather than seeds. Visit garden centers and nurseries and choose healthy plants appropriate for specific sun locations in your landscape. The most prolific flowering plants usually require more sun than shade-loving species.
Sunflowers (Helianthus species) are fast-growing, summer-blooming annuals of various colors and sizes, depending on the species and cultivar. Grow sunflowers in an open, sunny location in nutrient-rich, moist yet well-drained soil.
Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) are bushy annuals with size variable by cultivar, growing up to 36 inches tall rapidly. They are available in yellow, red, orange or brown flowering forms with dense heads up to 5 inches across. Grow marigolds in full sun on various well-drained soils.
Cannas (Canna x generalis) are tall, erect perennials growing from 1.5-to-5-feet tall, depending on the cultivar. Cannas have large leaves, up to 2 feet long, and are available in many different colors, such as red, pink, yellow, white, and striped or spotted. Their flowers are irregularly shaped and up to 18 inches tall and 6 inches across. Cannas prefer full sun or light shade and various well-drained, nutrient-rich soils. In growing zones colder than USDA Hardiness Zone 7, dig up their rhizomes each fall and store in a cool, dry location.
Scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) is a perennial often grown as an annual bedding plant. Scarlet sage grow 2-to-3-feet tall with long, triangular leaves and whorls of red, showy flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Scarlet sage prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant but requires supplemental watering during dry periods. Salvia splendens is also commonly called scarlet sage, but it is frost tender and does not attract butterflies or hummingbirds.
Garden verbena (Verbena x hybrida) is an evergreen perennial in USDA zones 8 through 10. It is killed to the ground by freezing temperatures but will grow back during spring. In zones 5 through 9, verbenas are grown as summertime annuals. Garden verbenas are available in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some hybrids are dense and bushy, and others have an open form or trailing habit. Their blooms grow in clusters 3 inches across or more. Verbenas prefer full sun on various soils.