Annuals are flowering plants that grow from seeds. After flowering, the plants produce new seeds and die, completing their entire life cycle in a single growing season. Although they must be planted every year, annual flowers are the best way to add instant color and texture to your flower beds.
Petunias (Petunia x hybrida) are popular, versatile annuals available in a wide variety of sizes, both double- and single-blooming types, and in nearly every color of the rainbow. Petunias are lovely in a flower bed or patio container, and trailing varieties are ideal for a hanging basket or window box. Plant petunias in full sunlight and well-drained soil. Water petunias two or three times every week, or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Never allow the soil to become soggy.
Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is a delightful annual flower, beautiful in a flower bed, patio container or in a cut flower arrangement. Although the flowers, which bloom during the evening hours, are available in green, red, yellow and pink, white flowers will emit a sweet scent. Plant flowering tobacco in well-drained soil and either full sunlight or partial shade. Water flowering tobacco lightly every other day. The soil should be kept slightly moist at all times.
Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) are sun-loving plants, ideal for the brightest spot in your garden. Available in sizes ranging from small, bushy French marigolds that won't grow more than 12 inches high at maturity to big, bold African marigolds that grow up to 3 feet tall, marigolds will provide orange and yellow blooms non-stop all summer long. Marigolds are drought-tolerant annuals that only need to be watered once or twice every week during hot, dry periods.