bug and drought resistant annuals

whitepetunia(z6NJ)September 5, 2006

what annuals are the most bug resistant? the last couple of years i've had terrible luck with petunias. i even sprayed. i'm thinking marigolds, begonias, and geraniums. is this right? are there any others? what's good for drought? do zinnias attract bugs that eat petunias?

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I grow all kinds of annuals from seed. Thsi year I grew profusion zinnias. These things are bullet proof. All long you have decent drainage, they are great. I have wave petunia and summer shower ivy geraniums growing just feet away and I have had no issua at all with insects. I even have two daturas grwoing near by. All they have seen was a few cucumber beetles from time to time.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 7:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Marigolds are spider mite magnets!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:38PM
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oh yes.....i agree with rhizo......here in ks when it gets hot and dry.....the spider mites come in and can devour my marigolds in a week...........vincas....to me are the number one annual that isnt bugged.....and can take the heat and drought of summer .....

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 3:08AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

I have good luck with begonias, dianthus, and madagascar periwinkles(vinca)
for hot, dry places. I can't think of one insect that has been a problem on these plants!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 7:33AM
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Melampodium is one of the best bug and drought resistant annuals.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 10:01AM
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tinamcg(Z5b Kansas City)

I gave up on marigolds and even the Profusion zinnias I had planted in their place because they were both slug magnets. I swear I saw the slugs racing each other from the hostas over to where the marigolds were planted!

My favorite carefree annuals are gazanias and portulacas. They're not bothered by any pests or diseases, and they thrive in intense sun, heat and drought. They're also long bloomers. My gazanias are among the last things to stop blooming in late fall.

The portulacas have the added benefit of being prolific self sowers. Gazanias, not so much. I have to plant those ever year.

Melampodium has also been mentioned here. I agree it's a good one. I haven't planted it in a few years but will probably have some next year.

Tina McG

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 9:37AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)


I'm not too far from you, in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Beware of zinnias, because the Japanese beetles will devour them! If you can wait until late July or so to plant them, they should be fine. That's what I did this year, and I guess they were too small for the beetles to find them. The beetles are gone now, and the zinnias look great.

I've had great luck with Marigolds, and have not noticed any slug damage, but I don't seem to get many slugs at all in the garden. In fact, I have not noticed any damage on them from anything, and have not once seen them wilt. Same with Sweet Alyssum.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 11:19PM
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I love portulaca too, it's absolutely care free, if planted in full sun. I also find profusion zinnias to be great, despite all the rain we had this year, none showed any signs of mildew. They were, and still are, blooming like crazy. Vincas are another great annual, very drought resistant and no bug problems. Nicotiana is another great annual, handles drought and rainy seasons well, never had an insect problem, and blooms constantly. Oh, and it reseeds almost like a weed. Plus, some of them smell wonderful. Gerauniums do fine for me too. I love gazanias, but my woodchuck ate them all up.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 4:17PM
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