15+ Best Annual Flowers and Plants That You Should Try Growing in Your Garden

1. Zinnias

A true annual, zinnias are easy for beginners to grow from seed, and they reseed readily, making them a no-fuss bloomer for lazy gardeners. Plant zinnias in your butterfly garden, and the flowers will likely attract hummingbirdstoo. Available in an array of forms and vibrant hues, with sizes varying from petite dwarfs to towering stems that benefit from staking, this beloved annual deserves a spot in your cutting garden for flowers all summer long.

2. Petunias

You can’t go wrong with these fuss-free flowers for containers, pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, and garden beds. You can find them in pretty pinks, reds, whites, yellows, and purples. The hybrid ‘Supertunia Vista’ is a particular favorite of Melissa Lallo Johnson, a Midwest-based master gardener who shares her expansive garden on Instagram at @fancyflowerfarmer. “It is a superstar that quickly fills in gaps with loads of color,” she says.

3. ‘Aaron’ Caladium

Annual plantings aren’t all about the flowers. The pretty foliage of ‘Aaron’ caladium, boasting heart-shaped leaves with dark green borders and pale centers, makes it a go-to annual for landscape designer Daniel McCurry of Father Nature Landscapes. Technically a tender perennial, you can enjoy it as an annual in most areas throughout the U.S.

4. Florida Foliage ‘Blue Daze’ Evolvulus

Both drought and heat tolerant, this low-growing ground cover, also known as shaggy dwarf morning glory, offers charm in spades. It’s is another favorite of McCurry’s for annual plantings.

 

5. Begonia

These dainty flowers, which bloom in shades of white, pink, and red, require very little maintenance and upkeep (no deadheading or pruning required!). When fall arrives, you can move them indoors or dig up their tubers to reuse for the following year.

 

6. Angelonia

These heat- and drought-tolerant flowers are perfect for gardeners down South. Even the hottest, sunniest days won’t ruin these beauties. In warmer regions, they’ll continue to flourish through the fall.

 

7. Celosia

These colorful beauties come in a variety of shapes (brains, fans, and plumes) and a range of colors (pink, red, orange, and yellow). Plus, they grow fast and are incredibly easy to care for.

8. Cosmos

These cute and feminine flowers grow taller the more you cut them (and faster, too), meaning you’ll have pretty petals (in shades of pink, white, or purple) in your garden all summer long.

9. Geraniums

Dress up your walkway, porch, or front yard with these perky and petite blooms. Once grown or potted, these fuss-free flowers will flourish for months.

10. Impatiens

These small flowers with soft and delicate petals are ideal for darker areas of your yard that aren’t suitable for plants or flowers that need lots of sun. Plant them in your favorite shady spot, and you’ll have beautiful blooms to enjoy all summer.

11. Marigold

Looking to get a lot of bang for your buck? These fast-growing, vibrant orange and yellow flowers produce a hardy amount of blooms each summer. You can expect around 15+ flowers per plant.

12. Snapdragons

Easily add height, dimension, and bold color to your garden with these tall, easy-to-grow flowers.

 

13. Sunflowers

While you can opt to grow sunflowers in their classic golden hue, you can also find other varieties in shades of red, white, orange, and even pink. These tall flowers can grow several feet high, so you may need to stake them to give them the proper support they need to flourish.

14. Dahlias

These stunning flowers will make your garden beds look oh-so-lush. From honeycomb-like shapes to fluffy peony-esque varieties, there are endless options. They’re incredibly easy to grow as annuals. With proper care, you can dig up and reuse the tubers year after year as perennials.

15. Chrysanthemum

If you’re looking to add some fresh blooms to your fall landscape, chrysanthemums (or simply, mums) are a must-have. Pick them up at your local nursery and add them to planters, or grow them from seeds starting in the spring.

 

16. Pansies

If you’re after bold color, frost-resistant pansies are the way to go. You can find them in almost every color of the rainbow (and several multi-color options). And since they can tolerate frost, they’re the perfect bloom for your garden in both the fall and early spring.

17. Larkspur

This blue- and purple-petaled annual is easy to care for and ideal for colder climates. Plant them in the fall (their seeds can survive freezes) and you’ll have beautiful blooms to enjoy all spring.

18. Ranunculuses

You’ll want to prep and plant these fragrant flowers in the fall for the best blooms come spring. While you can use the tubers year after year, they tend to grow best with fresh corms each year. These colorful flowers (think pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, and whites) will look stunning as part of your landscape or cut and arranged in vases.

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