Whether you want trailing flowers for a hanging planter or something to cascade over rocks in the garden, you have a wide variety from which to choose. Before deciding on which flowers to plant, it’s a good idea to contact your local cooperative extension to find out if that particular species does well in your area.
It seems like everyone’s grandmother had these growing in her yard, and for good reason: they are easy to start from seed, simple to grow and add a lot of brilliant color. The nasturtium requires full sun and will bloom from early spring until late autumn. Picking the flowers as they fade will inspire the plant to further bloom. Seed catalogs offer seed packets of mixed-colored flowers. If you plan on purchasing your nasturtium, look for Peach Melba, Canary Creeper and Jewel of Africa Mix. The common annual nasturtium is hardy to USDA Zones 10b to 11.
If you don’t see Million Bells at your local nursery, look for its scientific name, calibrachoa. This is a wonderful trailing plant whose flowers look like miniature petunias and bloom in yellow, pink and purple. Very easy to grow, the Million Bells needs at least a half day of sunshine, and you can let it dry out between waterings. Best of all, it’s very popular with hummingbirds. Trailing varieties include: Trailing Blue, Trailing Pink and Superbells Dreamsicle, which is a lovely apricot color. Million Bells are hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 11.
Is it a pelargonium or a geranium? It’s easy to confuse the two, especially when most nurseries tend to call them all geraniums. According to Allan Armitage, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, although the two plants are in the same family, there are botanical differences. One of those differences involves the colors of the flowers: the pelargonium blooms in red, pink, and white, while the most common colors for the geranium flower are purple, blue and white. Some lovely trailing varieties of pelargonium include Peppermint, Lady Scarborough and Roger’s Delight. As an added bonus, many pelargonium flowers are scented. The pelargonium is hardy to USDA Zone 7 to 11, depending upon variety.
Bacopa is a very easy plant to grow, and the Snowstorm variety will reward you with small, white, star-shaped flowers all summer. If planted in the sun it will require lots of water and frequent applications of an all-purpose fertilizer. The more heat you give a bacopa, the more it will thrive. It is hardy to USDA Zones 9 and 10.