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Catch them in the spring

6 annual plants to spruce up your garden during the year

February 11, 2020
Have you heard of annual plants? They’re the plants that experience their entire life cycle in one calendar year. For many annual plants, you’ll see the first flowers bloom in the spring after the last frost has melted away. From there, flowers can be enjoyed through spring, summer, and fall until the first frost before winter. In some regions, annuals plants behave like perennials, which are plants that grow again in the spring. However, these are a handful of the most sought after annual plants to grow in your home garden, whether they’re outdoor decoration or beauty to enjoy indoors.

1. Cosmos

Cosmos are moderately-hardy annual plants that you can start growing indoors before moving outside. To get the most of your year with cosmos flowers, plant the seeds in an indoor container in the spring. This is to avoid any frost from the winter months as this plant doesn’t do well with cold temperatures. However, if preferred to plant outside, wait until April or May to do so. Surprisingly, cosmos can do well even in poor soil, so the key to these annual plants is keeping them nice and warm. Look out for the daisy-like blooms in the summer to enjoy the rewards from your hard work.

2. Marigolds

If you’re looking to keep mosquitos at bay, marigolds may be the direction to go with your garden. Even more interesting is that marigolds are edible annual plants that can be both savory and sweet. Before eating the petals or leaves, the parts of the plant that can be eaten, it’s highly recommended to remove the white sections of the plant, which are bitter. Marigolds do well in the heat and can be planted under full sun. These annual plants typically bloom in post-frost months of spring through the fall.

3. Geraniums

Geraniums are a tried-and-true tradition when it comes to annual plants. You’ve likely heard them mentioned before, they’re a favorite for gardens and remain extremely popular. Though they do well when subjected to hot temperatures, they can be brought indoors in the colder months or even year-round if you want to see blooms all for the whole year. Additionally, scented geraniums can act as an all-natural mosquito repellent as their lemon scent deters the pesky creatures.

4. Zinnia

One of the true annual plants, zinnias are brilliantly-colored flowers with multiple variations of petals. They can resemble cactus, daisies, and most recognizably, dahlias. Zinnia blooms in the spring and can withstand the cold long enough to make it through the first frost of the year in the fall. They’re a fantastic option if you want beautiful flowers for nearly the entire year, and colors can range from warm reds and oranges to lavender and green. The quick-growing zinnia needs direct sunlight and proper drainage to give you fresh flowers through the summer and beyond.

5. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a popular annual that’s native to America. These flowers inspire happies with their long stems and sunny outlook. These annual plants love bright sunlight and moist soil, so it’s no surprise they’ve become associated with long summer days. It’s best to start growing sunflowers in containers indoors a few weeks ahead of the first frost or plant them directly outside once the temperature warms up in the spring. Sunflowers bloom in summer and fall.

6. Petunias

Believe it or not, petunias can be perennials or annuals. It’s all in how they’re grown and taken care of. These delicate flowers come in many colors from white, purple and pink to multi-hued bicolor blooms. You might have seen them in hanging baskets or edging lawns as these plants thrive outdoors in sunlight. If you keep these annual plants inside, make sure they’re in full sun since they don’t do well in the shade. It’s recommended that once petunias have at least three leaves, plant them outdoors.