10 Annuals that Bloom All Summer - Backyard Boss
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10 Annuals that Bloom All Summer

Color all season long. It’s the number one reason why gardeners choose to endure the extra work involved with planting summer annuals every year. But there are other causes too. Many of these botanical beauties are hardy and, once planted, require little maintenance. Add a few to your garden and savor their dazzling display and the wildlife they attract.

Check out theses 10 best annuals that bloom all summer!

AGERATUM

Ageratum Summer Annual lilac
Image credit: GAIMARD via Pixabay

The name says it all. Ageratum refers to the Greek god of old age, Geras, a fitting inspiration for this summer annual that blooms soft, fuzzy flowers with impressive longevity. Their blossoms appear in clusters of five to 15 tubular florets in shades of blue, pink, white, and lavender.

The genus Ageratum includes annuals and perennials, so check the label of the plant or seeds you buy. They do best in soil rich in organic matter in a sunny or partially shaded nook in your garden.

ZINNIA

Zinnia orange flower
Image credit: Hermann via Pixabay

Dubbed the “hardest working flower in the summer garden” by the Chicago Botanic Garden, zinnias bring gardens alive with brilliant color. As summer annuals go, they will also be first on your list for their low-maintenance nature and hardiness in extreme heat and dry conditions.

Zinnias are easy to sow directly into the ground, and you’ll be gazing at blossoms in just six to eight weeks. A host of birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps will flock to these hardy plants.

PETUNIA

Galvanized tubs being used as planters for bright pink petunias
Image credits: Kristen Prahl via Canva

Petunias are some of the most popular summer annuals to plant. They have a strong reputation for prolific blooming that lasts from spring up to the first frost. The individual flowers come in a wide range of colors with a pattern of five hearts joined together in a trumpet-like appearance.

Petunias can tolerate partial shade but produce more of their stop-and-stare blossoms when you locate them in full sun and rich, well-draining soil. They spread out a bit, so allow for at least 18 inches between each plant.

IMPATIENS

Impatiens pink with green foliage
Image credit: JACLOU-DL via Pixabay

It’s no surprise to see these uber-popular summer annuals that bloom all season on the list. They are some of the easiest flowering plants to grow and offer up blossoms in red, pink, violet, orange, and lavender blue. If you are looking for more color variety and a bit more toughness in sunny spots in your garden, choose New Guinea impatiens instead of the native species.

Shorter impatiens that grow to just about 10 to 16 inches tall are go-to choices for garden beds, footpaths, and containers. But you can also find varieties that grow to three feet tall, such as Impatiens arguta.

MARIGOLD

Marigolds
Image credits: Suthina via Canva

It’s easy to love marigolds for their boldly colored flowers shaped like pom-poms. They put on a show in garden beds, in containers, or along borders. They are also good companion plants for vegetable beds, helping to distract aphids from tomatoes, for instance. Their scent will also deter deer, and they are rarely susceptible to disease or pests.

If you believe the bigger the blossom the better, choose African marigolds, which have blooms that reach up to four inches in diameter. French marigolds are shorter and have smaller flowers but are equally as appealing in your garden.

CELOSIA

Celosia orange flowers with green foliage
Image credit: JACLOU-DL via Pixabay

Members of the Amaranthaceae family, celosias are striking summer annuals. Flowers like feathery plumes, brain coral, or wheat spikes emerge from dense foliage in green, blue, gold, and burgundy. Their red, orange, and yellow flowers steal the show, but purple and multicolored ones also hold their own.

Celosia is native to the Mediterranean and East Africa and loves the sun. It will grow vigorously with little maintenance on your part. They can reach as tall as 18 inches and require well-drained soil.

SALVIA

Purple salvia flowers
Image credits: ksushsh via Canva

Salvias are summer annuals you can rely on to bloom and provide punches of color all summer long. Both their flowers, which last until fall, and foliage are scented and attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. On the flip side, as members of the mint family, they keep rabbits and deer at bay.

Also known as sages, salvias grow quickly and robustly. They can reach as much as six feet tall and four feet wide. Their size, velvety leaves, and tall, spikey flower clusters combine for a feast for the eyes. But you can also snip a few to take indoors for your seasonal flower arrangements.

ANNUAL VINCA

Annual Vinca pink and white with green foliage
Image credit: VinceFL via Openverse

It’s easy to mistake annual vinca (or periwinkle) for impatiens with their seemingly similar pint-sized flowers and foliage. However, vinca flowers, which last until the first frost, are almost bell-shaped when viewed from the side, while impatiens are flat. Also, vinca leaves have smooth edges rather than serrated ones. The plant has a compact, neat shape and is attractive as ground cover in hanging baskets and containers.

Annual vinca is native to Madagascar and tolerates heat, drought, and poor soil conditions well. Although it grows as an annual in cooler zones, it self-seeds, so you can expect to see some popping up in your garden the following summer.

ANGELONIA

Angelonia Angustifolia pink, red and yellow
Image credit: _Alicja_ / 2728 via Pixabay

Angelonias are native to Mexico and the Caribbean and tolerate hot, dry weather extremely well. Their small, fragrant blossoms in hues of lavender, pink, purple, and white last all summer. Angelonia Angustifolia, or summer snapdragon, has flowers in a variety of colors, making it one of the more popular choices.

Angelonia grows up to three feet tall in well-drained soil with an occasional feeding of slow-release fertilizer every two months. Cut it back in midsummer for even more flowers.

WAX BEGONIA

Wax begonia flowers
Image credits: Robin Jonathan Deutsch via Unsplash

Also known as Bedding Begonias, these succulents are attractive for their coquettish flowers as well as their thick, waxy leaves in green and bronze colors. Their flowers are typically white, red, burgundy, or pink.

Wax begonias require very little maintenance and are great choices for beds, planters, and window boxes. They are also quite adaptable, being able to flourish in hot, dry weather and from full sun to full shade. If potted, bring them indoors in winter to enjoy them even longer.

SUMMER ANNUALS SATISFY

These desirable additions to household gardens tick all the right boxes. They produce gorgeous flowers in many shapes, sizes, and colors that last all season. They attract beneficial wildlife while deterring pests. They stick it out in tough seasonal conditions and reduce the work you need to do to keep them happy and healthy.

Do you have a summer annual not on the list that you always recommend to other gardeners? Let us know below.

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