Self-/re-seeding annuals in MA

amna(6 (MA))July 6, 2012

Hello everyone,

I wanted to tap into the collective wisdom of the group to help add some color to my garden. I generally don't "deal" with annuals because I have a bias against having to buy the same plant over and over year after year :-) But, I was thinking it might be time to branch out a bit. So, would you be able to recommend any pretty annuals that re-seed somewhat reliably for you in zone 6? For example, I have had luck with Cosmos and Portulaca. They reseeded pretty well for 2-3 seasons but have now petered out. Alyssum didn't work for me.

Looking forward to the lists,


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These have bloomed and reseeded in my garden at one time or another.

Calendula--A medicinal plant that has been around for a long time. A salve made from the flowers is good for minor burns and cuts. It comes in an 18" or 12 " variety. Orange, Yellow and cream pom pom type flowers

Annual forget-me-not--there's a perennial too but it only blooms for a week or 2. About 12" to 14" tall with tiny masses of blue flowers.

Pansy--a very reliable self seeder.

Snap dragon--It is a slow grower but it comes up when the frost is coming out of the ground.

Annual poppies.

Zinnias and Marigold seeds can be collected and planted outside after danger of frost is past. They will bloom in about 1 1/2 months

You might also want to investigate winter sowing in these forums. It is a good way to grow a lot of plants when you don't have a greenhouse.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Verbena bonariensis -- reseeds to the point of extreme weediness, but it's a wonderful garden plant so I forgive it for making thousands, no, tens of thousands of seedlings.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 6:27AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I agree with both responders above. Also, rudbeckia annual varieties reseed vigorously. The rudbeckia, snapdragons, calendula and verbena all have normally been annuals, but the past winter was so mild that many of those plants survived and were up and blooming early this season. I also second the wintersowing recomendation. I've been doing it for years and it's an addiction in itself. And it's fun to collect seeds and trade with other gardeners, too. Good luck!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

in my z5 i would add:

lychis.. rose campion
for get me not
annual poppy

and many, many annual weeds ... lol ...


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Some other annuals that I often fight unwanted volunteers include amaranth, Nigella damascena, Datura, bachelor buttons, and Persicaria orientale/Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate.

Ditto with feverfew and foxgloves, both technically biennial.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:27PM
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amna(6 (MA))

Thanks guys! This is so much fun. I love winter sowing too. The last couple of years I was rather non-functional since I had a newborn and my gardening activities all but ceased :-( Looking forward to getting into it again.

I have to agree about the Nigella, denninmi but I love them so. They are like little jewels.

I want to try some poppies for sure and the rose campion too.

I'm loving all these wonderful suggestions :-)


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:52PM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

I used to garden in Z6 so am speaking from experience. The following can be added to the self-seeding list:

salvia coccinea
malva zebrina

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Larkspur reseeds heavily for me, I haven't planted it in a couple of years, yet one of my garden beds is full of them. Others that reseed for me - california poppy, portulaca, snapdragon, pansies, cosmos, nicotiana, calendula.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:46AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Nasturtiums too.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 4:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

johnny jump ups...

cornflower.. which was called bachelor button above ...

4 oclocks ...

moss rose if no mulch

allysum ... but 99% white.. no matter which color you planted the year prior ...


will keep an eye out for others in the garden ..


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:54PM
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amna(6 (MA))

Just remembered these masses of Cleomes in a neighborhood yard. Looked stunning and the lady said that she has never had any issues with them coming back year after year. She very nicely offered that I could collect seed when the pods were ripe :-)


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Black eyed Susan Vine? Thunbergia. I inserted a question mark because last year was the first time I tried them. I've seen many reseed, but it could have to do with the warm winter. Yes, I've noticed Cleomes will come back with vigor.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:28AM
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