longest blooming annuals?

chueh(7B)May 24, 2008

I would like to know what annuals have the longest blooming periods for each season. I have always had pansy from november till now. Then, I have not known or planted anything which seems to have long blooming for late spring, summer, or autumn.

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maineman(z5a ME)

chueh,

I don't know about your climate in Georgia, but here in Maine, zinnias are a contender. They start blooming in the Spring and continue until near the killing frost in the Fall. As long as you deadhead them, they keep re-branching and re-blooming.

When I grew zinnias in Fort Worth (a good many years ago), the 100°+ temperatures in mid-Summer made almost daily irrigation a must, or they could succumb to the heat. But with enough water and nutrients, you could almost see them grow and push out new blooms. Zinnias come in almost every color except true blue. I am a zinnia hobbyist and amateur breeder.

This is a good article about growing and starting zinnias.

MM

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 4:21PM
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chueh(7B)

Thank you MM. I was thinking about zinnias, yet I kind of gave up when I saw their hardy zone. I thought that it would be too hot here in GA for them. Now, the myth is gone. I am going to plant some. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 10:06PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

There are plenty of annuals that can take our heat and keep looking great from late spring all the way to frost. This, of course, requires good, fertile soil, plenty of mulch, and proper watering. Keep in mind that annuals, by definition, will die out after it freezes (pansies and their friends, die from the heat, but you see what I mean), and have to be replanted each year. Therefore, hardiness zones are fairly meaningless. What matters is heat resistance.

Here's my list. I have grown them all for years and they are easy care, constantly bloom, don't need dead heading, and do not commonly fall prey to disease and insects. I have grown many many more annuals than these, but these are the top performers in my area.

fall/winter:
pansies
violas
flowering kale
snapdragons
larkspur (plant seed in fall, they come up, then bloom in spring)
Shirley and California poppies (same as larkspur)
Dianthus (buy plants in fall. They don't do much till spring, but they're green. BEautiful in spring.)

Mid to Late Spring:
petunias
salvia splendens (the red ones)
verbena
These, and others that escape me right now will burn out from the heat by mid June or so, but they fill the lull between pansies pooping out and summer bedding getting going.

Summer:
Ageratum (dead heads get ugly in late summer)
Begonias:not tuberous. The Angel Wings and the bedders.
Coleus (shade)
Zinnias: Profusion, Highlight, and Crystal are just about unstoppable. They do not have disease problems like some of the big ones, and they are very easy to mix in with other things.
Scaevola (a wonderful trailer for pots, but can be used in the ground too. They are very drought tolerant.)
Gomphrena (a real workhorse and very showy in masses. You will never see a dead flower until very very late summer. They dry well too.)
Vinca
Pentas (the best flower nobody seems to plant)
Salvia farinacea, Victoria and related others: blue and spiky, need I say more?
Angelonia (spiky and blue, but I like the Salvia better)
Torenia (shade. GORGEOUS)
Mexican oregano (a type of plectranthus) makes a wonderful trailer
Almost any plectranthus does well here. They're primarily foliage plants.
Sweet Potato Vines do well in sun or quite alot of shade.
Caladiums (tender shade bulbs)
Cosmos

Fall:
There are a few good mums for the south. My favorite is Ryans Yellow. It's perennial, and enthusiastic. Just this side of invasive, but I love it.
Marigolds, started in mid summer from seed, make great mum substitutes and bloom a whole lot longer. They also like our cooler falls much better than our hot dry summers.
I also like the Profusion Zinnia, called Fire, for fall. It's a gorgeous red/orange and looks very mum like.

I hope this list helps you!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 9:11PM
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ankraras(8/9AZ)

I thought I should mention Gerbera. They're really pretty and can also be grown in containers. Mine bloom from early spring and often continue to bloom till fall. They are perennial here in Arizona.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:10PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

The high deserts are far from GA in altitude and climate I'm rather sure but we have marigolds that will bloom from now until after the first few light frosts. Calendula will bloom till the heat of mid-summer and then, if cut back, will sometimes bloom some more in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 1:56PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Gerberas are lovely in mid to late spring. When our heat moves in, they are spent. Marigolds are so plagued with white flies in the heat of our summer that I usually wait to plant them until late summer, then set them out as fall annuals. I have never tried calendulas. If they do in AZ, they just might do for us. I have tried nasturtiums this year for the first time. The ones that get afternoon shade are still hanging in there, which is a pleasant surprise.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:05PM
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