rouge21_gw

Perennial gardeners what are your favourite ANNUALS in 2020?

rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
13 days ago
last modified: 13 days ago

I am a dyed in the wool perennial gardener but each year I appreciate more and more the variety offered by annuals. The "sleep, creep, leap" for annuals happen all in one season...luv that almost instant gratification which is nic

(All 5 pictures below were taken this past week ie mid October)

I am completely impressed with Lantana. This is my first year planting it en masse. As I am sure many of you know it thrives on sun and dry and no dead heading....it always looks immaculate.

Here is "Berry Punch":


An oldie but a goodie for me ie Gomphrena started from seed, directly in the soil in a container in late May. (For whatever reason I have way more success with gomphrena from seed when in a container rather than in the ground).


And finally my only ever Dahlia ie "Mystic Illusion" (and also always in a pot):


The past couple of seasons I have planted Ageratum but only in small pots...more as an after thought. But with long lasting blooms, water conserving, and tight habit....I will do an in ground planting en masse next season.


I would love to see and hear about your favourite annuals from this past season as I am always loking for new plants to try come May.

Comments (33)

  • callirhoe123
    13 days ago

    This year I grew an old-fashioned brilliant pink/rose petunia from seed. It bloomed its head off all summer and is still going strong. It is supposed to self-seed. I hope it does, but will buy more seed just in case. It's about the color of the gomphrena above.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked callirhoe123
  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    13 days ago

    Omg, rouge, this is like asking which is my favorite child lol!

    I have to say I have two annuals I cannot be without. The first is zinnias. I grow mostly Benary's Giants for cutting. I love the color range, I love that they look great in the garden and last forever in the vase, I love that they are relatively carefree and I love that the bees and butterflies love them.

    The second is cosmos. I grow many varieties - Sensation, Seashells, Cups and Saucers and Cupcake, and a few others. The foliage is lovely, the way they seem to float on the breeze is wonderful, they add delicacy to bouquets even though they don't last too long, and they are another carefree, bee and butterfly attractant.

    This year, after several years, I revisited Cosmos Bright Lights and I am LOVING it. A bloom machine, and looks great in my red/yellow/orange garden next to the veggies.

    And if we are counting dahlias then I have to add them too. I never was a big fan because of the lifting, etc. I would plant one or two and treat them as annuals. But then last year I grew flowers for my daughter's wedding and planted about 90 dahlias, and they were just so gorgeous! So I lifted about 50 of them, and overwintered fairly successfully and am enjoying them this year again. I need to try to figure out how to get earlier blooms out of them though (potting up inside, earlier??)

    Here's one I cut the other day. I believe it's Fleurel or White Perfection (the latter certainly fits!) Sorry for the poor quality photo.


    I used to sell bouquets so I have many, many other favorite annuals. Gomphrena is lovely, chinese asters are gorgeous, I never met a rudbeckia I didn't like, celosia, statice, amaranthus, larkspur - oh my goodness I could go on and on! Portulaca, nigella, strawflowers....

    :)
    Dee

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked diggerdee zone 6 CT
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  • dbarron
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Dahlias and lantana aren't annuals, they may be (in vogue description) temp-perennials for you though. Both are relatively dependable perennials for me, and you wouldn't believe how big a 7 year old lantana is ;)
    I really liked my 'Antique Shades' biennial rudbeckias (will see if they persist next year) this year. I like zinnias and cosmos too and I really should plant some cosmos next year. However, due to weird weather (I think), I actually failed to successfully grow zinnias this year...my results flowering at 3 inches high and then dying.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked dbarron
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    dbarron, I guess I will apolgize in advance as I probably don't appreciate the finer points regarding the distinctions between annuals and perennials. I would suspect that there is no area in Canada that can have lantana survive the winter outdoors. If a plant is "perennial" only for those way high # hardiness zones but that same plant thrives for me from June 1 to...October 1 then thats what I am calling an annual in this thread.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Dee I like seeing Cosmos at someone else's home as they are too tall for me. Are there shorter varieties?

  • dbarron
    13 days ago

    Well, it's simple (if you want to be technical, I really don't...I see your point), an annual would die after a single year even if planted in the tropicals. It's their life cycle. Other things would live for years (if not indefinitely) if the harsh climate didn't kill them. For you most of the more tender perennials can only be grown as annuals.

    Temp-perennials (even for us) are gaining hold here, there's a lot of more tender grasses, crinums, bananas, sages, and others being grown..more every year. They seldom (if ever) winter over here, though given climate that may shift in the next few years. The advantage (as for you with lantana) is that they tend to flower almost perpetually, as they are native to regions that don't suffer much winter.

    However, with advancing global warming, you may be growing Lantana in twenty years as a perennial (lol). When I was a boy, we were z6a, I'm now z7a. I expect another twenty years or so, and I'll be z8a.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked dbarron
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    However, with advancing global warming, you may be growing Lantana in twenty years as a perennial


    Without thinking too hard about the possible consequences of your prediction I am thinking that if that does come to pass in my location then I will be either under water or in a dustbowl.


    (If you have a crystal ball and know this will happenn I actually hope I am not here.)

  • pennlake
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Going with the 'a perennial that won't survive the winter in my zone' definition of an annual, I love Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow. I mail ordered some plugs and they did great. Very vigorous growers and will look good until it gets very cold. I put some in pots and some in the ground. With that said, in a mIld MN winter I could get surprised. Who knows.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked pennlake
  • dbarron
    13 days ago

    Oh, I also love those euphorbias..I've seen them at the local botanical garden and they look so fantastic. Sadly, I live in a winter/spring seep and they would just rot for me...but I'm thrilled you recalled my memories of pre-Covid garden tours.
    Yes, well Rogue, this year we had a drought during summer to current...so yes, dustbowl could easily happen :(

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Going with the 'a perennial that won't survive the winter in my zone'

    That wasnt what I was thinking. If it was, many of you would know that for me it would be a Butterfly Bush ;).

    For your Euphorbia and my BB examples we are probably off by one hardiness zone.

    The annuals I were envisioning would require a jump of 3 or 4 hardiness zones to be able to overwinter.

    This thread is lots harder than I imagined...oh well.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    I don't grow many true annuals :-) Most are tender perennials that will often overwinter for me - snapdragons, pelargoniums, begonias, dahlias, etc. But I do grow nasturtiums every spring and sweet peas. I also like Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' which is rare in being a fully annual euphorb but blooms nonstop from spring until our late fall frost knocks it back. Most other annuals get decimated by our huge slug population.....I have given up attempting to grow petunias at all!

    btw, euphorbias like Ascot Rainbow and any of the martinii's and characias cultivars grow like flipping weeds here and depending on variety, can self seed rampantly. Be careful what you wish for :-)

  • dbarron
    13 days ago

    Well Rouge, I've never been able to grow a butterfly bush in ground either...it's somewhat too wet every place I have lived. I do have one in a pot though..but it would do much better in an unconstrained environment. Nobody can grow everything.
    I wonder that it's your wish plant though, I'm not really all that impressed with having had the BB for two years now. It doesn't really bloom that much, though it is sweet smelling when it does.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    13 days ago

    "...This thread is lots harder than I imagined...oh well...."

    Lol, sorry, rouge! That happens to me sometimes too. I think this is a great thread!

    Yes, there are shorter varieties of cosmos, although mine don't ever get much more than 4 feet tall. Tall, yes, but don't find them overwhelming or overpowering, but I guess that's relative to everyone's own garden. Here's a nice list of different varieties from Swallowtail seed. Honestly I don't know how anyone could look at this page and NOT buy at least one kind of cosmos haha!

    dbarron, are you referring to buddleia? This year (second year) mine bloomed nonstop from spring, and is in bloom today.

    :)
    Dee

  • dbarron
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Maybe they just don't do as well (yes buddleia) here. I'm really not impressed. I'd never had one over winter before (planted in ground), so I gave it a 2nd year try (in pot). Still not impressed...though probably not quite ready to toss the pot. I am kinda impressed that it was basically semi-evergreen last winter..didn't expect that.

    And yes, your cosmos note made me think of Swallowtail, but I convinced myself to wait till their spring debut when there might be new things I would want too.

  • mxk3
    13 days ago

    My perennially favorite annuals (sorry, couldn't resist....)

    * "Mystic Spires" salvia

    * "Black & Blue" salvia

    * Zinnia -- Benary's Giant series

    * "Blue Planet" ageratum

    * Heliotrope ("Fragrant Delight" is my favorite but I can't always find it, I'm trying to over-winter one this year)

    And I always have at least one or two New Guinea impatiens of some sort in pots -- they are summer shade stalwarts. And alyssum - solely for the fragrance - although she usually peters out mid summer, can't take the heat.

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  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    13 days ago
  • mxk3
    13 days ago

    Oh, and sunflowers -- such a happy flower, who can look at a sunflower and not smile.

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  • dbarron
    13 days ago

    Don't forget all the cool season annuals, though I think some have already been mentioned (snaps, torenia, violas, cabbage and kale, etc) Even if I typically don't use them much, I love them for what they give.

  • cab84
    12 days ago

    This was the first year that I grew annuals from seed and I liked all of them lol. I grew

    ageratum blue planet

    Benary’s giant zinnias

    cosmos- apricot lemonade, rubenza and double click

    poppies- Shirley and breadseed

    strawflowers

    sweet peas

    verbena bonariensis


    I’m planning on growing most of these next year plus other plants I didn’t try this year.


    I also have dahlias that I’m going to attempt to overwinter.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked cab84
  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    12 days ago

    I was out cleaning out the veggie garden today and remembered another annual I always have - marigolds! I know they're common but I love 'em!

    :)
    Dee

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked diggerdee zone 6 CT
  • oursteelers 8B PNW
    12 days ago

    My must haves are heliotrope and alyssum. The fragrance of heliotrope is intoxicating and alyssum is a perfect ground over with my flagstones and roses

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked oursteelers 8B PNW
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Thanks so much for the picture deanna.....colour and shape are so perfect.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    mxk3 and oursteelers, so glad you did include alyssum as it is often included in our containers. The only reason we havent emptied this container is because of the alyssum. (I really like the PW "Snow Princess" as it seems to maintain its health through hot and cool temps).


  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    11 days ago

    Actually, rouge, now that I think about fringed dianthus, it is technically a perennial. But, it behaves like a seeding annual. I do have them come back, but each plant is short-lived while providing many babies for following years. Makes me think of it as an annual.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    now that I think about fringed dianthus, it is technically a perennial. But, it behaves like a seeding annual.


    No problem at all deanna. I understand completely. (For a couple of years I thought I had a reliably perennial dianthus ("Heart Attack") but it too went to plant 'heaven')

  • dbarron
    11 days ago

    Dianthus are weird. Here they put on a slight show first year (more if fall planted), a truly grand on 2nd year, then usually either disappear or start to decline more than first year, in their third...which means time to go :) But considering they're usually priced as annuals, a great buy!

  • getgoing100_7b_nj
    7 days ago

    coreopsis Mardi gras, purslane (orange/red with yellow center), snapdragons, lobelia erinus, morning glories, dipladenia, and red pentas. I would call them all tender perennials except for the morning glories. I love that they all bloom non stop and self seed. They are all in full bloom in my balcony garden right now and making me smile.

  • fourpawsonetail
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    I need flowers be it annual or perennial that will take abuse, meaning after established it can wilt from excessive heat if I forget to water and can take punishing full sun heat.

    Those annuals include;

    Zinnias, dwarf cosmos and marigolds. Because of my excessive heat, I need to rip out and re-plant in early July, then I will add ornamental corn.

    Next year I'll try some of these suggestions.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked fourpawsonetail
  • bfox254
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Any annuals I plant in my beds must be colorful, self-sufficient and flower all season. No deadheading, no supplemental watering, no flopping and must be deer/rabbit resistant. That really narrows down my selection. I've found these four fit the requirements and use then liberally: angelonia, melampodium, spreading vinca, lantana, They're all annual in my zone 6.

    I use plenty of other annuals in pots on my deck where I can give them a little more care and attention (and keep the critters away).

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a) thanked bfox254
  • cab84
    4 days ago

    I just remembered that I grew Tower Chamois China Asters. Those were super easy to start from seed and the flowers lasted forever in a vase. I’m planning to grow more colors next year because I loved them.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    4 days ago

    'Big Duck Yellow' marigolds were very nice with having large blooms from top to the bottom of the plants, will be growing these again next year !!



  • Sue Hughes Zone 6b in Pittsburgh
    4 days ago

    Old fashioned Morning Glory "Grandpa Ott's"...I always wanted to plant them and just got collected some free seeds...right after I swore off planting annuals, for being so much extra work...but I just gotta have 'em!