Annuals are a great way to add color to your landscape and spring annuals are especially welcome after winter’s bleak palette. Here are our picks for the top five spring annuals to include in your garden:
Pansies – These cheerful blooms with their sweet “faces” come in a rainbow of colors, can withstand mild freezes (some new varieties can even make it through a winter) and last until they get leggy from summer’s heat. Cluster them in containers to use throughout your landscape for pops of color. Check out these varieties:
- The hybrid Delta™ series includes signature colors such as ‘Pure Lemon’, ‘Pure Red’, ‘Orange Blotch’, and ‘Neon Violet’ for solid, vibrant garden color.
- “Halloween II” with its burgundy-black blooms, is stunning in the spring garden and perfect for when the spooky winds of October begin to howl.
- “Mammoth” lives up to its name with magnificent 3″-4″ sized flowers.
- “Moulin Rouge” boasts flirty, ruffled petals reminiscent of its namesake’s dancer’s dresses.
Sweet Alyssum – This lacy annual may look dainty, but it’s as hardy as they come. Keep it watered and it will bloom from spring (even through frost!) until the first hard freeze in the fall. These low-growing blooms look pretty edging the border of your garden and giving a lush, abundant feel to containers. Some varieties we like:
- “Royal Carpet” has blooms that vary in shades of purple from deep heliotrope to almost white.
- “Snow Crystals” is frosty white and a drought-tolerant variety, attractive to butterflies.
- “Basket of Gold” is a brilliant yellow variety that looks like permanent sunshine in the garden.
- “Wonderland Copper” comes in a vibrant pink that’s a garden show-stopper.
Lobelia – The intense violet/blue hue of these flowers looks stunning in mass plantings, used as a border and in containers. They’re naturally deer-resistant, and attract butterflies. While they are cold-tolerant, they aren’t as hardy as pansies or alyssum and won’t withstand frost, so make sure you’re past the last frost date before planting.
- “Lobelia Erinus”, also known as trailing lobelia, is one of the most popular and compact lobelia species. Bloom color ranges from traditional blue/violet to red violet, white and pink.
- “Lobelia Siphilitica” produces spikes of vibrant blue flowers that sit beautifully on top of lightly toothed foliage.
Petunia – This sun-loving annual comes in huge range of hues, providing a continuous show of color from spring throughout the summer. Like Lobelia, Petunias are cold-tolerant, but not-frost hardy, so be sure to plant them after the last frost date. Their big, lush blooms look beautiful cascading from hanging baskets as stand-alones or with other plants. Here are some varieties to consider:
- “Wonderfall” is a variety with a stunning lavender-to-red-violet ombre color.
- “Chalon Supreme” has lovely ruffled petals with dark purple centers and soft white edges.
- “Nature Rose Picotee” has crisp white edges that strikingly outline its red-violet petals.
- “Jolly Joker” is a vibrant bi-color mix of bright orange and deep purple petals.
- “Nature Orange” with its solid, vibrant tangerine hue looks as stunning in a hanging basket as it does in a garden bed.
Snapdragon – While technically a perennial in zones 7-11, snapdragons are grown as an annual in more northern zones. Their unique “dragon’s mouth” makes them a long-standing garden favorite, especially among children. Available in a rainbow of colors and height ranges (from 6 inches to 3 feet) they work well as border plantings. There are solid and multi-colored varieties, so whether you want to make a statement in your garden with a solid hue or create a jewel-like effect with multi-colored varieties, here are some options to explore:
- “Potomac Appleblossom” with its creamy white petals and soft pink centers captures the essence of early spring.
- “Madame Butterfly Bronze” has a unique “double petal” in gorgeous coppery-pink. It also comes in “Ivory” that looks striking when massed in the garden.
- “Chantilly Cream Yellow” is a lovely pale buttery hue perfect for cuttings.
- “Potomac Cherry Rose” is a vibrant rose that practically glows in the garden.
- Bridal Pink” has petals that range from the palest shell to a beautiful blush pink with an almost watercolor-like look.
Main image credit to: @whats_blooming