I've got a large terra cotta pot, about 4-5 gal. I need a showy annual to place in full, very hot sun. Must be fairly tall. Can be watered frequently. Any ideas?
Not a very large pot and possibly not big enough for this plant, but several Cleome work well in our yard in fired pots about 30" high and 24" across at top. Let it go to seed and the birds will ensure you have more in your garden next year - the migratory passerines always make a stop.
The Cleome idea sounds good if it would work in my pot -- 15" tall and 16" wide (id). Anybody had success? Also the pot would be located on a gravel-covered part of the yard. Would this become a reseeding nightmare, or just a few volunteers here and there?
I'd suggest something like Verbena bonariensis or Calandrinia spectabilis, especially if they can root through the bottom of the pot into the ground, they won't need to be watered quite so frequently. Cleome looks great in bloom when you keep it dead headed, but is kind of messy looking if you don't. The ones I've listed don't need deadheading, and are also very long blooming perennials. You could always consider old standbys such as Zinnias, African Marigolds, Cosmos or Amaranthus caudatus, all of which get tall and thrive in heat and sun. Of all of these, Verbena bonariensis will grow the tallest, and gives a great lacey appearance.
We don't deadhead our cleome, it just keeps going and going. Then the little migratory songbirds come through and appreciate the banquet; we let two each year reseed in the yard for the little guys coming through.
Nonetheless, that pot's too small. I like the verbena idea instead, I think you will too.
Hollyhocks and Sunflowers are both tall and showy, but I like the idea of Verbena bonariensis too. It really puts on a show.
My nicotana is about 3 feet tall right now, and growing. It smells heavenly at night, it's a fabulous plant.
Here is a previous discussion about one varity of nicotana, with photos so you can check it out.
Carla in Sac
Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/annuals/msg0517111330976.html