name some annuals please

v1rtJanuary 4, 2009

Good evening folks.

I'm in zone 5a. I would like a list of annual plants that have stunning flowers and/or foliage. 5 annuals would be enough. I'm looking for an annual plant that would also flower the same season in my area. Right now, I have seeds for cleome and cosmo. I have seen this flower in my neighbor. I also learned another plant today and it's called lavatera.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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I've had the 3 you mentioned and enjoyed them all. One thing, cosmo in my area will get powdery mildew if planted too close to each other. They need good air circulation. I've grown the 'Queen' series of cleome. They get at least 5 ft tall. Lavatera started flowering for me in early July and continued all summer. All of those plants like the sun.
One annual I love is coleus. It comes in so many different colors. They do well in a shaded area, but I have grown many where they get at least 6 hrs of sun and do well as long as they don't dry out. Wave petunias are a great ground cover in a sunny area. Another good thing about them is they reseed very well. Marigolds are another favorite of mine for a sunny area. Different kinds and colors of yellow, red, orange and mixtures of those colors. They'll bloom until a hard frost. All of these plants are easy to start from seed, but I prefer to buy small plants.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 5:29AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

Zinnias would go well with your cleomes and cosmos and you can just seed them in the ground.
Zinnias come in various heights: from small like the 'dreamlands'and 'profusions', to the three footers like 'uproar rose' and the benary series.

I plant a blue annual called Ageratum 'Blue Horizon' in groups near my Echinacea 'white swan' and yellow daylilies.

If you want height and something to see from a distance, the hollyhock 'creme de cassis' blooms the first year from seed.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:31AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Annuals complete their life cycle in one season. From seed to producing seed in one season. Al

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:53AM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Neil -

Some of the photos I have here are very easy annuals. Cosmos, zinnias, marigolds (I grow the white ones), calendula, four o'clocks, annual poppies and bachelor buttons all put on a really good show in the garden. A pack of each will give you flowers coming out of your ears. They are also really easy types for seed saving.

If you click on any of those photos sets you can get an idea of what they look like in the garden.

If you winter sow, you can start calendula, poppies and bachelor buttons while it's still quite cold. The others are frost tender so you want to start them later.


Here is a link that might be useful: flower photos

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Thanks Lynda. Very nice pictures! :D

Is someone interested in seed exchanging their Lavatera and Zinnias for either Purple Cone, Calendula or Black Eyed Susan?

Franeli, I just saw your post above. I posted to your Lavatera pics at WS. I was asking for the seeds. :D hehehe.
You mentioned "Ageratum 'Blue Horizon'". I looked at the pics. They are so gorgeous. I want to have seeds of these as well.

Someone seed exchange please?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:19PM
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franeli(z4 NH)

i've looked through all of my seeds and i believe last year i finished the pack of lavatera; i'd certainly send you some if i had them.
i remember i bought the seeds from Fedco. it was a mix of pale to dark pink blooms. i winter sowed them March 21(Z4)
and had them out in the garden early may when they had only the first true leaves.
i'm not planning on lavatera this plans are to try some new flowers for fragrance and cutting.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:57AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Neil, there will be lavatera in your swap envelope. Just hang lo, bro.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 12:01PM
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Thanks Tom!

I can't believe how much seed is making me so addicted to it. Hahaha.

There is another plant I saw. It's really nice. Looks like it doesn't have any flower. It's variegated red or maroon. Perfect combination for Canna Striata. I'm not sure if it's a perennial or annual.

Thanks again! :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 12:09PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

That's a coleus. You can grow them from seed, but usually you need to buy a certain variety. Do a google search and see how many colors there are. They are annuals and die at even the first hint of frost.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Oh, they're annuals. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:50PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Did you say what condition you were growing in?

I'm also in Z5.

I'm really hooked on the dragon wing begonia - seed can be
expensive, but I find they're worth it. They are sterile and
don't produce seed - which keeps them blooming freely all
season. I start them from seed in Jan/Feb and put them out come
early June. I find they grow in any condition as long as
the soil is good - but I still fertilize.

Once they got situated they went like gang busters ALL

If you have shade, like I do - Don't pooh-pooh impatiens:

These are VERY easy to start from seed.

If you have more sun and don't want to go through the expense
of Dragon wing begonias - New Guinea imps are really pretty:

These are some 'queen' begonias I started from seed last year:

Good luck - you have lots of choices...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 12:13PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Those impatiens are beautiful. I haven't grown any for several years because I didn't have a shady area. This year, I'm planning to grow mine from seed and clone others for the North Bed. It gets little to no sunlight and they should compliment the hostas nicely.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 1:59PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Those impatiens were from 2 years ago - last year they
peetered out with all the rain we had around here. The
begonias were from 2 years ago also (my SO decided to put them
outside prior to some hardening off and they all croaked on me).
Anyway, I've found with the Tempo/Blitz impatiens they were
very forgiving with a good deal of sunlight. If you water them
enough they're happy regardless of the amount of sun - IMO.

If your talking NO sun - I had a spot at my old residence
North facing - and I couldn't grow impatiens - not enough
sun... I finally went with begonias in the area and wham
they worked. I started seed - and went with Stokes Embassador (?I think that's what it was) and they were FAB!!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 2:55PM
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I went back to my drawing and I noticed that I have enough for my full sun area. I have very few in the north side. I only have Red Twig Dogwood shrubs.

I love your begonias. And like what you said, it grew perfectly on the north side. Did you winter sow them outside?

Where can I get these seeds? Are you willing to do a seed exchange?

Thanks for the pictures! They are stunning, so lovely and gorgeous!!!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 3:23PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I start seed in the house. No winter sown seed (in the ones I suggested) although I did have some volunteers this year (from last years flowers) that I was pleased with. These are some impatiens that took up residence in the driveway...

Which begonias were you interested in? Queens (the doubles) or the Dragon Wings? Both are available via seed from Stokes - they're not complicated to start, but you have to follow the directions closely.

The impatiens were also bought via seed through Stokes. They were tempo and envoy (taller growing and larger flowers). These are not expensive.

The new guinea impatiens were bought via seed through Hazzard Seed Co - they were Java Coral Flame (I believe).

You can drop me an e mail or leave me yours and I'll get back to you about an exchange - I'll did save seed from a few from above - but they were hybrids so there's no telling what you'll get! :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:49AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those begonias are actually tender perennials. In warmer climates (zones 8-ish and warmer), they remain evergreen throughout the winter. Coleus fall into the same category. Actually, I think that impatiens are tender perennials, too.

Not an important point for this discussion, but still interesting, I think. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 1:07PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Knew that was coming. :)

They are treated as annuals in my area. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 8:33AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No matter what the plants are, let's just call them SPECTACULAR in your yard!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 1:49PM
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rhizo, just bought 3 types of coleus seeds today! Velvet Red, Wizard Rose and Giant Exhibition Limelight

I fell in love with the beauty of the foliage. I noticed that my garden plant didn't have any foliage pattern and color contrast!

I'm thinking of buying impatiens too!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 11:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'll be ordering some coleus soon, as well. Though we've planted lots of trees since we moved in, they aren't big enough to cast much shade as yet. I'll be 'experimenting' with how tough these plants are in our Northern Alabama summers and our red clay soil!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:27PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

rhizo, there are coleus now that can take the full NC sun. But they need to be watered well every morning.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 9:19PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I saved seed from the impatiens (peach, white and red star) and the begonias (the double queens)- If anyone is interested in them.

Please keep in mind I'm not sure what you'll get from them -They might not grow 'true'. (please put something about impatiens/begonia seed in the subject line - I get a lot of junk at that address.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Tom,what are the flowers on your fence, and how do you keep them on the fence?Thanks,Steve

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 4:34PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Looks like trailing petunias in hanging baskets.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 5:52PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

they're impatiens (I don't have enough sun for petunias) in
hanging bags. I made them myself - they were a mix
of Envoy and Tempo series impatiens. (The larger flowered,
more vigorous impatiens). They really grew nicely... Then
last year, they didn't look nearly as good - I had funky
weather here last summer...

But yes- hanging bags.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:50AM
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Campanula UK Z8

phacelia campaniflora, cosmos sulphureum, ricinus (castor oil plant), nemophilia, omphalodes linifolia, linum grandiflora, centaurea annua, ammi visnaga, thelesperma burridgeanum, layia, specularia, gillia capitatum, calendula officialis, scabious arvensis, agrostemma gracilis,mentzelia, californian poppies, ursinia, arctotis, nemesia, godetia bottae, lathyrus odoratus, zinnia peruviana, aster (callistephus),
have fun, annuals are just so brilliant, cheap, easy and versatile.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 5:09PM
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Awesome! I have petunias and impatiens. I have a question though.

I'm currently wintersowing perennial seeds. Can someone please share how I would sow annual seeds in the bed in spring?

Do I just
1. create a small hole
2. put the seed in the hole
3. lightly cover the seed with soil
4. lastly, water it lightly


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:03PM
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