Annuals are flowers that complete their life cycle in one year. Sun-loving annuals are among the easiest plants gardeners can grow. They come in a wide range of colors and are used in flower beds, containers and window boxes, or as a garden border. Annuals produce a beautiful variety of cutting flowers as well. Growing sun-loving annuals is a pleasurable experience for both experienced and novice gardeners.
Cockscomb (Celosia argentea plumosa)
Group large amounts of cockscomb together to create a showy border for your garden or walkway. These plants do best in fertile, moist, but well-drained, soil with full sun exposure; although, they can tolerate some shade. Water plants regularly, especially in drier climates. Cockscomb grow to be about 36 inches tall. They have red, pink, yellow, cream and orange flowers. Cockscomb are prone to spider mites and leaf spots.
Garden Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)
Found in flower beds and window box containers, Petunias are annuals that add a dash of color to any garden. Excessive heat may harm them, but they love the sunnier spots in your yard. They like well-drained soil and regular waterings. Petunias can grow to be 12 to 15 inches high. Blooms are large, 2 to 5 inches in diameter and are quite delicate. Colors range from white to bright pinks, deep reds, variegated stripes and dark velvety purples. Rabbits are fans of the petunia and enjoy munching on their brightly colored flowers.
Jersey Beauty Dahlia (Dahlia hybrida)
Jersey Beauty Dahlias are one of the taller annuals found in gardens. They grow to be 5 to 6 feet in height and produce a long-lasting, large pink flower. They grow best in sandy loam soil and like to be planted in sunny to partially sunny areas. Keep soil moist, but well-drained. Jersey Beauty's bloom from midsummer until the first frost. They are prone to rot, mildews and leaf spots.
Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens)
Sometimes mistaken for a chrysanthemum, the Marguerite Daisy does well in containers or in flower beds and garden areas that are exposed to full sun. Plants will grow to 1 to 3 feet in height. Water regularly as they do not like excessively dry soil conditions. Flowers, which are orange, salmon, pink, white or yellow in color; bloom in early spring and continue to blossom until the fall. The Marguerite daisy is attractive to birds, bees and butterflies.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Native to America, the Zinnia is a hardy annual that will grow to heights ranging from 6 to 40 inches. Taller varieties of Zinnia will need to be staked. They require full sun exposure, well-drained soil and are best used in flower beds and as borders. The Zinnia makes excellent cut flowers. They bloom in early summer and last until early fall. Flowers attract butterflies and can be bright yellow, hot pink, deep reds and any color in between. Zinnias are prone to mildew when grown in humid, wet conditions.
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