Choose the right annual plants for your garden with these easy tips and recommendations. Growing annual plants in Colorado can be challenging since we live in an all-weather environment. If you follow some basics you will be able to grow the most beautiful annual plants in flower beds, patio containers and hanging baskets. Annuals are plants that germinate, grow to maturity, flower, set seed, and die within one year. Most bloom all summer and are not winter hardy and many tender perennials are treated as annuals in Colorado.
These plants can be planted into any container in a full sun location. Since they tolerate full sun (with enough water and food) they will survive just fine in our Colorado Summers!
Smaller flowered varieties like purslane or portulacas do well in windy locations.
Portulaca (Moss Rose): Double flowered and wildflower mix.
Calibrachoa: Also called mini petunia or million bells, great heat tolerant plant and low maintenance needed.
Petunia: Cascade and uprights, keep tops pinched otherwise plant will overgrow.
Verbena: Red, pink, purple, Aphrodite (lavender), lots of water and food.
Geraniums: Most zonals, pink and red minicascade.
Gazanias: Bright colored daisy-like flowers, good in the heat.
Vinca (Annual Periwinkle): Glossy green foliage, pink or white flowers
Sanvitalia: Tiny daisy like flowers, lots of water
Lantana: Uprights and spreaders, needs lots of water
Need shade in the hot afternoons. Tolerates more sun if kept well watered. Colors vibrant with afternoon shade. East, bright North, shaded West and South.
Impatiens: Great selection of varieties, good for acidic soil.
Lobelia Upright: Crystal Palace, Blue Moon Lobelia Trailing: Saphire, Red Cascade
Pansy: Keep seed pods picked off
Begonia, Fiberous: Red, pink, white, mixed blooms, also variegated foliage
Thunbergia (Black-Eyed Susan): Vine, bright flowers with afternoon shade
Nasturtiums: Lots of water and feed, use flowers in salads, they are edible
Cuphea (Cigar Plant): Bloom summer and fall
Chenille: Red tassels bloom continuously, some shade in summer, good house plant.
Brachyscome: Blue daisy-like flower, short plant in Moss Baskets with shade loving plants – fun and different, may need water 1-2 times a day, especially if it is windy.
Geraniums, Ivy: Most do best in partial shade
These plants need shade from summer sun. No more than 4 hours of direct sun, many of them can be a great house plant. They do well on the East or North side of a house. Under a deck or a tree is an excellent place for them to grow.
Fuchsia: Keep fed, moist, and out of wind
Impatiens: Double, variegated, regular bedding type
Browallia: Good blue color, semi upright
Begonias Tuberous: big colorful flowers, keep out of wind
Coleus: Grown for colorful leaf, good house plant
Colocasias or Alocasias: great for containers and houseplant use.
Rabbit Resistant Annual Plants for Northern Colorado
Please note that all animals will eat anything and everything if they are hungry!
Rabbits occasionally find the following plants less tasty.
- African daisy
- Morning Glory