Which annuals do you plant?

hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)August 17, 2011

I was reading about nasturtiums in the thread by Jenn. I plant them every year- I love the apricot and peach colored ones best. There are a few other annuals that I cannot live without. Are there any annuals you cannot live without? Why? List your top ten.

1. Larkspur, Giant Imperial. Height! no pests, lovely colors. Spiky flowers are my favorites. Great cut flowers.

2. Nasturtiums Creamsicle and Apricot Trifle. The colors are wonderful and they reseed. Such a long bloom period this year- I just pulled the last ones out.

3. Paludosum daisies. I weed out the ones I don't want- they are such sweet little things, and fill in the blank spots all by themselves.

4. Red flax. I actually prefer the white, called "Bright Eyes."

5. Papaver somniferum- I like the Peony poppies especially.

6. Violas. They bloom forever. I buy pony packs.

7. Iceland poppies, also pony pack purchases, but last year I saved and sowed seed and the seedlings are growing.

For summer, I have three more:

8. Cosmos, especially Bright Lights and Orange.

9. Amaranth, especially the lime green. It's so tall and lovely, and it's great in arrangements.

  1. Vinca. They reseed, and the ones from seed are sturdier than the nursery pony packs.


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I plant many of your faves, Renee, including the paludosums and nasturtiums and vinca. Iceland poppies, of course. I tend to favor white Cosmos (Sonata) over the orange ones. In addition,
Cleome hassleriana -- love their spidery effect
Sunpatiens (which really do better in part shade, but they pick up the colors of their shady cousins can carry that color into the sunnier parts of the garden)
Zinnias -- shoes and socks
Lobelia crystal palace (can't live without that intense blue)
Torenias, especially Summer Wave Blue
Rudbeckias -- I have Goldsturm, which is perennial, but I goose its impact with R. Indian Summer. As we get closer to fall, I also love Cherokee Sunset, even though it doesn't really fit in with my color palette
Delphiniums, especially Guardian Blue
Coleus, especially the ones that will take some sun. Like the Sunpatiens, they aren' really "full sun, as in 3pm 105 degrees" plants -- despite the claims of their makers -- but they will take more than the traditional Wizard or Rainbow mixes.
Senetti (pericallis cruenta) -- again for that super blue
Primroses, especially white fairy primrose and blue Pacific Giants

And yes, this means I'm pulling bloomed-out stuff more often than I'd like, but so it goes.


PS: Tell me more about your flax and your poppies. I have a bunch of P. orientale Princess Victoria Louise that I planted last fall. I thought would bloom this past spring. They thought otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:15AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

These are great lists!

I don't grow many annuals but I'm considering adding more this year into the side yard.

Those I've grown and like... none especially fancy but all tried-and-true here:
-- Impatiens -- easy, shade-brighteners and never need deadheading; just give them a haircut about once a season and they come right back.
-- Lobelia (oh that blue!)
-- Pansies and Violas, esp. Johnny Jump-Ups
-- Nasturtiums
-- Sweet pea: From a few seeds I sowed in 2001, a few more come up every year further and further away from that spot. It's fun waiting to see where they'll come up each year.
-- Cosmos

I've grown Snapdragons in the past... for me, they were rust magnets.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

I don't plant a lot of annuals because it is so hot in summer (Sonoma Valley) and wet and cold in winter. Two plants which are as tough as nails in my garden and conveniently self seed are sweet alyssum and Gaillardia (Goblin). They both do well in the heat can tolerate spells without much water and look pretty nice. I would not be without them to fill holes and niches.

Paludosum daisies which a couple of you have mentioned do very well until it gets hot and they wear out. As I recall, they self seed too. I will have to put them in again next early spring.

Amaranthus, which one of you suggested, is one I have thought of trying. Maybe now I will. How does it do in real heat?


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:20PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I just have the ones that reseed themselves every year. They are so handy. I move the seedlings around to empty spots where ever I need something. Cerinthe, Impatiens, Ageratum, Lobelia. The last two are my favorites. The hummingbirds love the Cerinthe.

I just adore Stock, but I never get around to planting it. I love that fragrance they have.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:41PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Bob, the Amaranth reseeds itself here and gets through those triple-digit Augusts just fine. I water, though, twice a week. I have not planted it in areas that get no water, but it has come up on its own sometimes in those spots, and it just doesn't get tall in those conditions.

Hoovb, I didn't know Cerinthe reseeded. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:28PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I mostly just grow in my own garden those annuals which volunteer themselves, and have already been listed by several others here, such lobularia maritma, lobelia, Impatiens balfourii and I. ciliata, nicotiana sylvestris, cerinthe, verbena bonariensis(actually a perennial, but it readily reseeds ), poppies such as California poppies and opium poppies, calendla, violas, cosmos, to name a few of the most prolific ones that self sow. Of course I also find the ordinary Impatiens walleriana indispinsible for summer bedding color, but it is also very convenient to drop in at nearby Annie's. Annuals to pick up more exotic annuals, and linaria reticulata is a favorite summer and winter, amongst others.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:39PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Kay, the oriental poppies do not grow here for me. They bloom down in the foliage for one season then promptly die. I only grow the somniferum (opium) poppies or the other annual kinds like Shirley or California poppies.

The red flax is a nice lacy annual and it does not suffer from mildew or rust. It's a reseeder. It doesn't last long- about as long as larkspur or toadflax. I'll see if I can find any photos where it doesn't look fuzzed out.

Bahia, I didn't know there were different types of impatiens. I can't really keep them wet enough to keep them happy, and I had no idea they would reseed! I will try some of these other varieties, just in case they do better here.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:26PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Renee, you should definitely check out all the various Impatiens species available at Annie's Annuals Nursery, available on line, to see the range of colors and types available. I would suggest I. auricoma as a tender perennial species available through Kartuz Greenhouses in Vista as a particularly nice saffron yellow which unfortunately is not quite winter hardy here. I know that I. ciliata an balfourii would thrive to the point of semi-weediness anywhere in coastal influence California. Not annuals,but I. oliveri 'Flash' is another personal favorite that CA be shrubby and get 5 feet tall and blooms all year long. A hybrid with I. oliveri, called Central Coast Rose and previously available thru San Marcos Growers is another shrubby perennial type to 3 foot tall that has intense fuchsia colored blooms thru all the warmer months. Of course, most Impatiens tend to grow better where there is some coastal fog influence to keep humidity up, but species like I. balfourii will thrive anywhere with bright shade. There is such diversity of colors, forms, sizes for Impatiens, that it could be possible to design an entire garden with just Impatiens and have plenty of diversity.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:33AM
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