Annual flowers are relatively easy to grow. They are grown from seeds that are sown each year or seedlings purchased at a nursery. They allow a gardener to have a diverse and new flower bed each year. Many annuals make excellent cut flowers to brighten the indoors. Annuals are a good choice for planting in a temporary flower bed, such as at a summer cottage or rented home.
Pink Sand Verbena
The pink sand verbena is a low-growing, trailing plant with a round-topped flower cluster. In spite of its name, the flower is rosy lavender in color. The plant is often grown along flower bed borders and walkways. In some mild regions along the West Coast the pink sand verbena is grown as a perennial.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the snapdragon has vertical flower spikes, and each blossom resembles a dragon’s mouth that can open and close if pinched. During the course of the summer a single plant might produce about eight blossom spikes. The tall variety needs to be supported by stakes in the garden and makes an excellent cut flower.
The colorful China aster is extremely easy to grow. Its flowers come in a variety of forms, with some resembling a daisy, while others look like chrysanthemums. China asters come in a variety of colors, such as pink, blue, lavender, purple and white, and some of the flowers have yellow centers. China asters have long, wiry stems and are a favorite addition to the flower bed.
The cosmos is an extremely fast-growing annual. It is native to Mexico and grows up to 6 feet in height. Its blossoms resemble daisies and measure between 2 and 4 inches across. Cosmos comes in a variety of colors, including pink, red and white, with yellow centers. The yellow cosmos variety does not grow as tall. The cosmos is appropriate for planting toward the back of a flower bed and is a long-lasting cut flower.
The low-growing portulaca makes a colorful carpet in the garden. The plant produces an abundance of flowers, each about an inch wide, which open each morning in the sunshine. Portulaca grows well in a dry, hot location and is a good choice for a rock garden. Choose a sunny spot in the flower bed for this flower.
Zinnias are favored by gardeners because they are easy to grow and have brilliant-colored flowers. When many annuals are past their prime in the late summer, the zinnia will provide the flower bed with colorful blossoms. Zinnias are available in a wide variety of flower sizes and colors.