When looking to plant flowers that bloom all year long, plant annuals. As long as you remove their faded flower heads, these flowers will continue to bloom until killed by frost. Many will grow and bloom indoors in a sunny window during cold winter months. They can be planted outdoors when frost-free weather arrives in spring, where they will keep right on blooming.
Geraniums are native to Africa and are tender, heat-loving plants. They are widely planted in window boxes and hanging baskets. For many years geraniums were only available in red or white. Plant breeders have developed new colors in all shades of pink and coral, including some with variegated leaves. As long as they aren't exposed to frost and the faded flowers are removed, geraniums will keep blooming practically forever. At the end of the growing season before your first fall frost, cut the foliage back to about 4-inches high, dig them up, and plant them in hanging baskets. Hang the baskets in a south-facing window and they will bloom in about three weeks and continue to bloom all winter long. Plant them outdoors in the garden the following spring after all danger of frost has past.
Also called “pot marigold,” the calendula gets its name from the Latin for “calendar” because in ancient Rome calendulas could be found blooming on every day of the year. These are 12- to 18-inch high plants with small daisy-like flowers in shades of tan and yellow. They have the interesting habit of following the sun as it tracks across the sky in the same way that sunflowers do. Calendulas are called pot marigolds because they were used as a seasoning from ancient times until the early 20th century. An infusion of their petals makes an antiseptic wash for small cuts and scrapes.
Impatiens are a tender plant that is native to the tropics. They are shade-lovers that grow about 8 to 12 inches high and quickly grow to fill in their flower beds. Impatiens have medium to dark green pointed leaves and four to five petaled single flowers in a wide variety of colors. They are profuse bloomers and seem to keep on blooming even if seedpods are left on the plants to mature. In temperate zones with severe winters they can be dug and potted up to overwinter indoors in a sunny window.
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